Beyond Sephora: 9 Beauty Boutiques You Must Visit

Emma-Charlotte Bangay

Beauty and Lifestyle Expert

Buying beauty? Here’s your shopping hit list.

The beauty boutique landscape is expanding, and unless you’ve been living under an ill-manicured rock, you know that Sephora hits Australian shores in early 2015. Understandably, the buzz is big over this French beauty behemoth, which has been sending beauty addicts positively giddy since the late 1960s. Owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), Sephora has kept itself ahead of the cosmetic curve, sitting atop a highly esteemed international perch offering luxury and niche products side by side. Those to be reveled amongst in the Sydney CBD Westfield space next year include Givenchy Colour, Estelle & Thild, Urban Decay, Tarte and Crème Simon.

But there are many beauty stores – found online or by foot – that already reign supreme for buying beauty. Here is the RESCU pick:

DIOR: The Doyenne

The first Dior Perfume and Beauty Boutique opened in Westfield Bondi Junction in September 2014, designed to offer the Australian public the Dior experience, direct. Within a grand 75sqm space, Dior Fragrances, Make Up and Skincare are on full luxurious display within a divine décor of sleek black lacquer and classic silver and gold shades. Exclusive to the Dior Perfume and Beauty Boutique are two limited edition products, The Backstage Box, containing an assortment of best sellers, and The Dior Backstage Studio Lashes. On hand are a team of Dior experts offering a comprehensive journey into the sensory world of Dior through feel of textures, scent of fragrances and touch of colour.

NARS: The French Evolutionary

Curated luxury is at the heart of Mecca, the Australian retailer that offers unsurpassed options in global beauty across their concept stores: Mecca Cosmetica, Mecca Maxima and Kit. Furthermore, Mecca have recently opening a new store in Melbourne that houses an exclusive NARS space and a dedicated fragrance area manned by a Mecca Fragrance Concierge to help fit customers with their perfect perfume. Such intimate and long-term relationship with brands such as NARS, By Terry, Kevin Aucoin, Hourglass and Chantecaille don’t come easily. Mecca has established itself as the perfect place to shop for oh-too-cute and oh-so-coveted brands.

Gorgeous: The Glamour Giver

Everyday women don’t always want everyday makeup, and that’s where Gorgeous comes to the fore. Founded in Melbourne by makeup artist David McConnell, Gorgeous aims to supply women with the knowledge and tools to create a glamorous and contemporary cosmetics wardrobe for any event, anytime. Professional products and in-store makeovers and makeup classes covering everything from the Perfect Pout to Special Eye Effects are on high-rotation in store.



A child of the Mecca dynasty, KIT is like the younger, cheekier cousin aside its more mature counterpart. Visually, its all 100% fun on high rotation, but brands remain serious heart-starters, including Smashbox, bareMinerals, Too Faced and Origins. KIT is a destination for the true beauty adventurer – one that is not hamstrung to any brands – but is willing to try what’s new, trick it up a little, and take a leap of faith when it comes to the latest trends. Shopping KIT online also offers added benefits aligned with Mecca, including complimentary samples with every order and contributing points towards your Mecca Beauty Loop benefits.

CHANEL: The Class Act

Chanel unveiled its first store in November 2011 in Queensland. Since then, they have continued national expansion with their latest store – the brands ninth in Australia – opening in Macquarie Shopping Centre. Streamlined in the black and white Chanel aesthetic, the boutique is divided into two halves for makeup and skincare with a dedicated fragrance area – Espace Parfum – anchoring the entire space. Beauty Advisors are on hand to consult customers through preference of colour, complexion correction and bespoke Chanel application techniques.

Jurlique: The Wunderkind:

Jurlique has positively bloomed over the past quarter of a decade, unearthing potent organicy, biodynamic ingredients within skincare well before most other Australian brands. Sourced in South Australia, an ongoing ethos of simplicity and pure results have established this brand well into the new millennium. Jurlique truly marries nature with the symbiosis of the skin within its expansive offering in store of skincare, body care and treatment products.

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Make Up Store: The European 

Founded in Sweden as a ‘world of colours’ The Make Up Store remains exactly that in Australia. Hard to walk past without popping in, it remains a veritable candy store of kaleidoscopic colours and hyper-toned trends. Founder, Mika Liias, set out to offer clients beautifully packaged products with top quality service – so that the message from the store to home was not lost in translation. And it’s not a one-colour-fits-all scenario, as within the store there is a large spectrum of adjustable colours to fit everyone. Better yet, products are not tested on animals, are perfume-free and allergy free.

Jo Malone: The Royal

Fragrance designer Jo Malone’s name is synonymous with luxury scent. So a store boasting her brands is nothing short of giddying. Beginning her career as a florist who branched out into facial massage techniques, her own tactile and fragrant history is evident still within her retail product. Beautiful packaging is at the heart of the Jo Malone brand, with her signature chic cream packaging and boxes adorned with bows which prove a popular starting point with gift giving for any occasion.


MAC: The Brave Heart

Internationally renowned, MAC Cosmetic stores are known as much for their stronghold in colour history as they are for their irreverent and groundbreaking marketing campaigns. MAC stores pulse with abated abandon when it comes to breaking new boundaries in beauty and there is an evidently strong commitment to cruelty-free products and a nod towards charity, allowing MAC to bridge the gap between the vacuous elements of the industry, and the giving back – no more so than with their Viva Glam products, with 100% of proceeds going back into the MAC AIDS Fund.

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