December 10, 2009

Yay or Nay: Sephora Vending Machines

Sephora Vending Machine

Gone are the days of struggling for change, possibly dropping it on the floor, getting on your knees to look for, all to get your Dorito fix on. I remember I lived off vending machine snacks in college…I think at the time it was either all I could afford or some sugar rush kept me up when I was trying to get through life on three hours of sleep. Ahh those were the days.

Nowadays the vending machine has gone all high tech. You can buy video games from ’em, rent movies, get snacks, sodas, gum, and if you live in Japan just about everything including a pair of underwear can be purchased from a good old vending machine.

How about makeup?

Sephora Vending Machines are gracing airports in Nashville, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Dallas, New York, and Houston. If you’re traveling through and forgot your favorite lipstick you can now stop at a vending machine and pick one up!

With a super simple touchscreen menu that offers product info and pricing these vending machines could prove a wave in a new future of beauty shopping! Your local mall might soon have one or two and even JCpenney!

The question is remains though is a Sephora Vending Machine a yay or a nay for you?

Jump to find out my thoughts!

Yay and Nay for this Muse.

Love the idea of grabbing something I forgot to bring with me. It’s rather easy to stop at a vending machine and grab my fav lipstick on the go.

But total nay if  I’m shopping for something new. I like to play, swatch, and just get a feel for a product. If it’s a staple item and I’ve already purchased in the past I can easily see myself using the vending machine to stock up but doing new shopping via a vending machine does NOT appeal.

What do you think?

Sephora Vending Machines a good thing?



Share it!


About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment.

Leave a Comment



    Hmm, a definite yay from me! So convenient. But they shouldn’t replace the actual stores though.
    Maybe in the vending machines, they can have the popular items.

    • the Muse

      good idea vintagelove! Popular items would be awesome 😀 but I agree it could never replace the store for me!

  • crotchfairy

    Maybe now my father will come back with cool presents instead of the usual pack of gum or snacks from airport convenience stores. The range of products offer will be limited. Eh, it’s alright. Great for general gifts but probably not so much for specific stuff or shades.

    • the Muse

      LOL crotchfairy 😀 occasional purchases maybe but def not when selecting a new shade and such!

  • Kiera

    I really like the idea, but if I would end up liking the machine per se I guess it depends heavily on what they plan to put on those machines. If there are items I use and they have them at the JC Penny’s then most likely I’m going to fall in love with these vending machines! If not… well I wouldn’t really care for them, perhaps just to try the ocasional thing I’m really dying to try out and can’t wait ’till I go to the nearest city with a Sephora

    • the Muse

      kiera my inner geek can’t wait to try one out either but I still love the good old fashion browsing method in store 🙂

  • MC

    Depends on what is in the vending machine..if it has the staples I forget, then yay!! Otherwise..I guess I would go for a Meh, give an take.

  • Yao

    I agree with you: I want to say “nay” because half (well, more like 75%) of the fun of shopping at Sephora is trying stuff on, BUT if you’ve just realized that you left your moisturizer/face wash/favorite lipgloss at home before your flight, then it’s awesome! Also “yay” for Sephora because it totally encourages impulse purchases. 🙂

    Either way, I’m totally going to track one down when I fly home to Vegas for the holidays.

    • the Muse

      hi yao! absolutely areed! omg does it ever encourage impulse purchasing totally bad for the wallet LOL! I’m heading to Vegas soon so I hope to see it! maybe take some pics for the blog 😀

  • imprompturoses

    Yay for me. I travel a lot & also love the idea of picking up a staple quick & easy (and without the temptation to browse for hours on end in a physical sephora shop). Muse, do you know if the prices are cheaper? Are they in the duty free area of the airports?

    • the Muse

      hi impromopturoses! totally a valid point someone else said the same…I think it would really save us alot of $$ as we wouldn’t be as tempted to purchase everything 😀

      Prices as far as I know are the same hun but if I hear anything I’ll let you know 🙂

  • del

    I’m in total agreement Muse… surprised you didn’t comment bout the lack of SA’s lurkin around a vending machine…imagine a futuristic video console that would talk to you & show you instant makeovers of yerself…maybe in 2020? hehe

    • the Muse

      my god del you are So right! everyone reminded me that it would lack SA’s and I proceeded to do a fist pump in the air! I HATE irritating SA’s! So this is actually a god sent in that realm 😀

      omg! yes! I’d dig that 😀

      • del

        my fear would be that my udpp i was tryin to buy would get stuck in the coils like my doritos…then I’d wanna break the window or shake the darn machine till it gave me my product! haha… possibly resulting in arrest- yikes!

        • the Muse

          LOL del! Good Point that would be funny you’d see me climbing on it like an ape and shaking it till it releases my makeup that it was holding hostage!

  • Ruth

    Huge yay, I would love to see one near me, even though I have 3 local Sephoras !

    • the Muse

      another yay ruth 😀 we got a few nays but looks like yay is creeping up!

  • Carol L

    As long as my points count towards those purchases, I say YAY! You never know what you might need or have forgotten.

    • the Muse

      carol heck yes good point! likey points 😀 I don’t mind if I forget something but wouldn’t do all out shopping on it 🙂

  • audrey d

    i say no. i agree how you said it would be good if you forgot a product at home and you can get it from the vending machine. But what happens if the vending machine doesnt carry it? What are the chances that the Sephora vending machine is carrying the product your missing? I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a product I don’t get to swatch/test out. Half the fun of Sephora is getting to try out all the products.

    • the Muse

      I’m with you audrey…yay for products I forget but nay as I enjoy the experience of sephora too much…swatching and playing rocks 🙂

  • myolie

    yay for me, i sometimes don’t like to tour around the store just to find what i need ( it makes me spend more,if i see something nice). ^ ^

  • jackieg02

    Nay. One of my local malls has one and I think its quite stupid…I could walk a little further and go to the store. And even if it was to buy a product that I’ve already used I still think I would go into a store. Just to go.

    • the Muse

      jackie me too! I love shopping! REAL shopping not vending machine shopping haha!

  • hiromix

    love the idea! but for expensive products i’d like to, like you said, try them out first and have a think and ask a sales person maybe, don’t think that the vending machine could do that. but if it offers, let’s say, touche eclat, i’d totally use the vending machine for it, cos i’ve been using it for thousands of years 😀 so no need for either playing around and or asking sephora person 😀

    vending machines are DEFinitely a good idea for painfully shy people, who can’t handle strangers. just a thought 😉

    yay i’d say 🙂


    • the Muse

      hey hiromix happy holidays long time no speak dearest 😀 I kinda dig I don’t have to deal with SA’s when using it 😀 sometimes they are overwhelming 😀 yay and nay for me for sure 😀 and true! anyone who is a bit of a shy person could def enjoy this way of shopping!

  • Paloma

    sounds totally weird, but totally cool at the same time. Hopefully this vending machine would be out of the store, which means no pesky salesgirls harassing you! I totally would like this more if it meant ALL makeup brands.

  • Ashley C.

    I think it is a yay and nay for me, as well. I can definitely see myself buying something I forgot at home when traveling, and maybe trying a new lipstick or something like that. But when it comes to stuff like new skin care or eyeshadows, I like to discuss it with a rep. and play around with the colors – after all, eyeshadows are not all created equal! 😀

  • Jodi

    Yay…and why not! I know if I was stuck at an airport, bus terminal…whatever, I’d love to be able to stop by one of these machines to see what was available! It wouldn’t take anything away from the store or website and it would make for an interesting wait! I can’t imagine much being left in it though! lol The only thing sad is if it would not be re-stocked often enough to not disappoint you when you were looking for something you found there and loved! I don’t think it’s meant to replace anything about Sephora but just a wonderful treat for weary travelers who would welcome the distraction here and there! Would be great if you got samples with every purchase too!

  • Janice

    huh?! what will happen if they drop the product down to the receiver? or they put really lotsa lotsa cushion at the bottom? ~_~

    this idea is actually pretty funny. I mean we all like the idea of vending machine especially the varieties of them in Japan. A_A” but vending a make up is like… what if the product got broken and we complain to the machine? (of coz i never seen this machine before so maybe there will be some SA around.)

    • the Muse

      hmm good question Janice 😀 it probably has alot of padding! omg japan has so many types 😀 I dunno if an SA is around, I doubt it but I think they will basically paid the product well or it will probably distribute via some sort of window not drop down as a bottle of coke or a bag of snacks would 🙂

  • Ashley

    AHAHAHA I totally just fell out of my chair. I’m kind of “stoked” about this! I think it’s the most… well let’s just say it made my night so much more eventful. Agreed – I don’t think I’d buy anything from one of those machines (unless it was repurchase) since I can’t sample or test the darn product! Though the vending machine does take up a lot of space. If you’re at the airport that’s probably like the size of the newspaper stand or atleast half. It looks like the width/length of a make up stall in Sephora. I rather someone just give us vending machines with actual HEATED food.

    • the Muse

      hehe ashley! highlight of your day eh? It does look HUGE doesn’t it!? lol I agree as there aren’t a whole lot of appealing places to eat at the airport. Maybe we can buy a cheeseburger along with a lipstick at it :-D! I haz cheeseburger and gloss!

  • Hailee

    Eh I really have no opinion…it’s kinda like whatever, it’s pretty cool, but..pass by haha

  • dangster

    I dunno. I’m a bit on the fence on this one. I guess it depends on what’s being sold. There’s only so much you can stuff inside a vending machine, though 🙂

    I’ve never seen one of these before, but SFO (San Francisco) already has its own Sephora store. Unfortunately, it’s outside of security in the international terminal, so I only get to visit it once a year when I’m leaving for my big trip! 🙂

    • the Muse

      too true dangster 😀 I love that SFO has a Sephora inside 😀 that still rocks it :)! A vending machine would be nice for quickies if I forget something but not full shopping!

  • nadia

    heeey muse !!

    how are you these days ??

    it’s been a while that i visit you’re blog.. it seems very diffrent i noticed

    but it’s still my favorite beauty blog on the internet !!


    • the Muse

      awwwwwwww thanks nadia! Miss you around these parts. Yes it’s kinda crummy looking! I’m working on a new template 😀 it’ll be live soon and pretty once again! hehe!

      Hope all is well love!
      Happy Holidays!

  • Marina

    NAY! I like to swatch them too and see if it would like nice with my skin tone. I mean, do we seriously need a vending maching for beauty now? We have food, which is totally acceptable…but we also have iPod vending machines, phones, and movies now. I don’t get it…It’s just pointless to me! I saw an iPod machine in a Macy’s I think, and just a couple stores down was an Apple store XP

    • the Muse

      me too marina! Love playing 😀 yup! our macy’s has the ipod thingy too 😛 groan!

  • Bonnie

    Not a fan of the concept except, as you mentioned, in emergencies or if your luggage gets lost or something. Then again, I thought those Redbox movie rental things would be a huge flop, and judging from the lines I see, I was totally wrong about that. 🙂 Never underestimate people’s love of extreme convenience!

    • the Muse

      hey bonnie those redbox movie things are huge around these parts :-D! absolutely cool for quickie items on the fly but for full shopping no ways!

  • Margaret

    Total Yay. Since I don’t live in a bustling metropolis, I either have to order online or take a trip. Neither of the two airports I was just in had Sephoras. I would take a vending machine over no Sephora at all!

    • the Muse

      hey margaret! good point! vending machine over no sephora is def a plus :-D! yay!

  • Lisa

    I like to play with the make up. Secondly, what if something is wrong with the product? How would you return it? And then you’re stuck with something.

    Thirdly, I’ve had to deal with that same kind of vending machine in Macy’s, it’s a pain! Plus the stupid tv is on a loop and drives you mad…but that’s another story.

    • the Muse

      Interesting Lisa never thought of that but I assume you could prob go to a sephora store and return so long as you had your receipt 🙂

      LOL! I hear you 😀 When I was around 14 I worked in a drugstore and they had one of those create a card machines on an endless loop that drove me bonkers!

  • Lacey Starr

    I think part of the experience of buying high end makeup is being able to test it first and interact with a sales person who can answer all of your questions, demonstrate products, give advice, etc. I would buy cheap makeup from a drugstore before I’d shell out a lot of cash with a vending machine.

    • the Muse

      Lacey I agree part of the fun is testing items out and swatching them! Although I admit in many cases I could do away with the sales reps who I sometimes find annoying!

  • laura r

    clever idea! like you, i prefer to play and swatch items, BUT i can’t help wishing there was one of these to ogle during my six-hour layover in Orlando next week!

  • resham

    ok, now I think if the wending machines stock in those travel size perfumes/lotions/mini’s just staples…it would be good if you just forget something..,,,

    But I also feel, it would be fun to stock on some NEW stuff in those airport vending machines, it can be great for people who travel from various parts of the world, and can just pick sumthing in a jiffy…

    did this make any sense????

    • the Muse

      sure resham 😀 made total sense!

      It would also be cool to have exclusive items in vending machines…if you go texas maybe have some exclusive palette that can only be purchased from that vending machine…or vegas…etc :-D!

  • Melissa

    new beauty magazine (the beauty test tube folks) are doing this with samples of various higher end products ranging from $3-10 a sample. I think both are good ideas and if one was where I was (like the airport) I would be likely to induldge.

  • Karrie

    I think it’ a nay for me.
    I feel like the items wouldn’t be that fresh if lot’s of people are not frequenting the machine.
    And what about when the machine drops the item and the item gets damaged?

    • the Muse

      true on the fresh part karrie…I’m sure they have some padding on it 😀 so it doesn’t drop down and break!

  • Mae

    I think it’s a wonderful idea. I recently moved to a city with NO beauty stores. NONE. My hometown has multiple Sephoras and Ultas, not to mention Bloomies, Niemans… all the good stuff. Here, we have nothing (though the local Dillard’s has stepped up to the plate in the makeup department with Chanel, MAC, and Khiel’s counters… what?) I’d be so thrilled for a Sephora vending machine. It kinda depends what goes in it though. I miss being able to buy Nars and Urban Decay the most. Please bring it to Tallahassee, FL! 🙂

  • Kathie

    This sounds really creative! It would make a lot of sales probably, especially when put nearby some sort of waiting room or something (not like a hospital, but maybe a small store, airport, etc.)

    I would definately try this out! I love trying new things so this sounds kind of fun, having vending machine make-up. I would definately buy something especially if it was in an airport! I’d die waiting for my plane, so it would be fun to run over to a mini Sephora v.m.! It’s like a store, yet you can buy on-the-go! How fun, I am totally with this idea!

  • Jennifer D.

    I have to be honest. This is an incredible marketing idea and I would probably buy something just because it happened to be there.

  • SJG

    Yay. These are obviously geared to people who forgot something and/or people who are really bored on layover and just want to buy stuff. The products they’re putting in them are the most popular so I’m guessing probably pretty mistake proof. They don’t have any intention of doing away with regular stores any more than Pepsi or Hershey are going to take their products out of the grocery stores because they’re in vending machines.

    I do agree with Janice though, the delivery system needs to ensure the products aren’t just plopping down to the bottom.

    • the Muse

      hey sjg I doubt they’d ever do away with stores either but it’s a fun way to pick up extras if I forgot something on a trip 😀 def think they designed it so items aren’t falling down and getting broken 🙂

  • Lucky

    Underwear? Only if it’s clean -actually, I think I just came up with a brilliant money making idea! Now, if only I could pitch this to the folks at Hanes or Victoria’s Secret…

    • the Muse

      haha lucky 😀 good luck with that! Outside of Asia I can’t say I’ve seen underwear in a vending machine 😀

  • Felis

    I just saw the one in the Dallas airport on my long-ass layover!

    My conclusion: lamesauce. The selection is pretty pathetic.

    • the Muse

      that bad felis? boohoo! that stinks but I guess it’s good $$ saved when I’m at the airport 🙂

  • Charmaine

    what’s this now?

    they need to rename them Sephora SPending Machines, lol!