As a beauty writer, I’ve gone to some really great industry events that allow me to purchase products at a discount. It’s a great way to try new products and stock up on some of your favorite ones. I’m used to the crowds and lines at The Makeup Show or IBS, but nothing prepared me for both the exhaustion and elation of the Shiseido Warehouse Sale a week ago.
For some background information, Shiseido is a high end skincare, makeup and fragrance company. But under the Shiseido Group, there are several other beauty brands such as NARS, Bare Minerals, Cle de Peau, and more. Each year, they have a warehouse sale in New Jersey (and I also think they have one in Canada as well) for friends and family of the company. It’s an invite only event and spaces for the 2 day event fill up fast.
My girlfriend Kim (her 2nd time attending) got us the tickets and signed us up for the 9 AM time slot. The warehouse was in Oaklyn, NJ- a good 2 hours away from my house in South Jersey. But I was intrigued by the lure of great makeup deals, so I left my house at 7 am with nothing but a granola bar in my stomach and a thermos of coffee.
Once I got to the street where the warehouse was, I quickly realized how serious this event was. The cars lined the street for what seemed like miles. I had to park at the furthest end of the street. No biggie, I thought. It wasn’t that cold. Once I got to the specific warehouse, this was the line I saw waiting for me.
I arrived at 9:03 AM and was quickly joined by my girlfriend, Kim. Forever the optimist, I thought the line was moving quickly. And it was. Until we got under the tent. Here’s where my optimism was replaced with hunger and frozen toes. The line basically stopped moving, except for a few feet every 40 minutes. It wasn’t cold out initially, but under the tent away from the sun, it was freezing.
Probably around 10:30 the hunger kicked in. I eagerly gulped down an applesauce pack my girlfriend Kim had for her son (he was with us and luckily slept the whole time!). To add insult to injury, the people working the event ordered lunch and there was a parade of hot pizzas and caesar salad in front of us. I get hunger pains just thinking about this.
Finally around 12 pm…3 HOURS LATER, we entered. The hunger, cold, and tired feet faded as I looked up at the sign awaiting us at the door:
Ahead of me was a warehouse with tables setup in a snake like line. Each table was stocked with makeup, brushes, skincare, and fragrance. Every product was marked with a colored sticker to indicate the price. The most expensive product was $35 (!!).
As we approached, the line moved slowly as people stopped to review the products set up for demos. First up was Shiseido skin care. High end creams, serums and cleansers were mostly $15. I hadn’t gotten 2 feet and my box was already filled with 5 products. This wasn’t going to end well. I decided to put whatever I wanted in my box, and would filter out what I didn’t want to keep at the end (you can’t move backwards).
From there I hit the NARS makeup section where almost everything was a jaw dropping $9. They didn’t have everything that is available for retail and some items were discontinued (like the Sheer Matte foundation, which I unfortunately love), but I stocked up on my favorite concealer (Creamy Radiant Concealer – $9), the Botan Kabui Brush (retails for $70—I think I got it for $6 or $9), Yachiyo Kabuki Brush (retails $55 –got it for $6) a couple of Illuminators, Moni Body Glow, lip liners, glosses, bronzer/brush duos, eyeshadows…all $9. I nearly passed out from pure elation (and hunger).
There was also NARS skin care, Cle de Peau makeup – they only had one shade of the concealer…but for $9–I did grab a $50 mascara for $9, and Burberry cosmetics (finally bought one of their foundations for $9 and loved it). There was also a ton of fragrances and fragrance sets. They had Hermès perfume sets that retailed for $130 for $35. I picked up My Burberry for $25 and a Burberry scent for the hubs for the same price.
All in all it took 2 hours to go through the entire warehouse. It was so overwhelming but exciting at the same time. I couldn’t believe the deals I was getting.
I went only wanting to spend $200. I ended up spending $337. Not too bad. And I had a ton of stuff. After I got home, I looked up each product online and it’s retail value to see how much I really saved. And once I found out I had $1,400 worth of products, I was mad I didn’t spend more! It was completely worth the time and money spent. Next time, I plan on coming prepared with snacks and dressing warmly. Heck, might as well tailgate! #kiddingnotkidding
My advice to my fellow beauty buffs is to make bffs with someone that works for Shiseido ASAP 🙂