Updated: Sephora Canada Changes

So, there’s been some changes at the Mothership Sephora recently.

I guess Sephora has decided to open up a Canadian warehouse in Canada which is great-I guess?!  That means orders will ship duty free and no extra Border crossing fees. The other reason they’ve decided to start the Canada-based warehouse is that they’ve changed their return policy too.


If your purchase was before June 27, 2015: Returns must be received within 60 days from the date of purchase.
If your purchase was on or after June 27, 2015: Returns must be received within 30 days from the date of purchase.

So, they have to ship stuff faster to Canadians because 2 weeks to get your order is no longer acceptable when you only have 30 days to return stuff. BOOM, new warehouse in Canada is the result.


Items purchased in store and returned within 30 days of your original purchase date along with your receipt will be refunded or exchanged at your preference. Items accompanied by a receipt but returned after 30 days will not be eligible for a refund. Instead we will gladly offer to you a product exchange or merchandise credit. Items returned without a receipt but found within our system will be processed according to the Sephora refund and exchange policy. Any products not accompanied by a receipt and not verifiable within our system will be ineligible for a refund, exchange, or store credit.

The other thing that’s changed because of this new warehouse, is that Sephora can’t stock certain items that don’t comply with Canadian packaging laws(french must be on all packages in Canada) or containing certain ingredients.
Sephora has released a list of the main brands that will no longer be available to Canadians and you can see it HERE on Smart Canucks.
Some brands are showing not available to Canada or out of stock right now, but that should change as items arrive in the Canadian warehouse they’re saying. At least I hope so! Most of Laura Mercier is not available anymore, some Bobbi Brown, like a LOT of stuff. Go take a look your jaw will drop. But I did go in-store today, and Laura Mercier DOES have French on the packaging, so the products not being online is just a hiccup is all. And that is also probably the case for some other brands too.

So,this means that you might want to hop on over to your local Sephora and stock up on some things that probably will be disappearing from the shelves soon? I don’t know man…. this has taken beauty shopping back to 1995 when we had nothing beauty wise to choose from except the usual department store brands. And since I’ve vowed to no longer buy L’OREAL(EXCEPT VICHY I WON’T GIVE UP VICHY I LIKE THEM)…. HAHAHAHAHA….they own like EVERYTHING. Which just reinforces my blog change and wanting to blog about STUFF, LIFE, not just beauty anymore.

According to my friends on Twitter, the brands sold at Shoppers Drug Marts comply, so I’m betting Sephora will now sell similar brands too. Which means, you’re better off shopping at Shoppers now because seriously the Optimum Rewards program is SO much better than anything Sephora gives us.

Anybody out there work for Sephora Canada and can tell us anything else? 
UPDATE Thanks to Liz @Reductionista

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UPDATED AGAIN: Liz went to another Sephora and they told her they know nothing about and nothing will change. Then someone on Instagram has told us that most things will be restocked, but again everything has to be compliant with Canadian packaging and ingredient laws. So, they expect hiccups but hopefully most will be resolved.

Again, it’ll be up to individual companies to make the packaging compliant, but it’s pretty expensive to adjust packaging according to some of my friends who have companies. As far as any ingredient that isn’t compliant-yeah, well that is something that probably won’t change.

Hopefully, things will get back to mostly normal, but it’ll take some time.

  • xXxCxXx

    Tracy… don’t even get me started with SEPHORA!!! I could write chapter and verse about what a failure they have been in regards to their CANADIAN Online Customer – I’m speaking specifically to the whole online gouging debacle. They will put themselves out of the online business shortly… and now that I think about it, that would probably be better for all of us!!!

    • Yeah, I agree dude! They’ve really screwed up a lot for Canadians. And now this, which is so weird. I don’t know man…just means less to buy which in the end will be good for our wallets!

      • Eyeshadow Addict

        Yes, I suppose I have bigger problems than a smaller shopping selection! Ha!

  • Thanks for the update Tracy! I second the comment below and I also definitely feel that Canadian VIB Rouge don’t get the same perks as the US buyers.

    • You are most welcome!
      Yeah, we don’t! It’s time for us to start shopping elsewhere for sure.

    • Literally the only good thing was free shipping on every order. I won’t miss being one, honestly.

  • Eyeshadow Addict

    That is just brutal! Their return policy used to be so amazing. I guess too many people took advantage. Any idea whether you’ll still be able to return online purchases in store? If I have to MAIL returns back…no more online orders for moi!

    I guess I’ll be shopping a lot more at Shoppers! Too bad about Bobbi and Laura Mercier. I wonder whether they’ll still be available at Holts.

    • Yes you can still return online purchase inshore, as long as it’s within the 30 days limit.
      Yeah, when I worked there I remember people returning stuff TWO YEARS later. C’MON….

      • Eyeshadow Addict

        True. That’s pretty nuts.

  • I am sorry to hear about the news, Tracy. You know I’m not a big fan of Sephora. The new policy doesn’t sound coherent at all if you ask me. I agree this is a sure way to lose online customers. I first steered away from shopping from Sephora locations then soon after from online. At least you guys have Shoppers with a great point system plus Nordstorm has landed in Canada.

    • I remember you saying you stopped shopping there. You guys are lucky as you have so many other places to shop from and all the brands. What was cool about Sephora was that they BROUGHT us access to all those cool brands, and now that’s gone!

  • Eyeshadow Addict

    So Shoppers will keep stocking Clinique, but Sephora won’t? I wonder what the difference is? Or will SDM stock change too? :/

    • I don’t know! It’s weird! I think that one is because it’s ‘not in the warehouse” yet like I said.

      • Louise @ INGREDIENTS

        Some of the brands listed, like Clinique and Chanel, have manufacturing facilities in the U.S., and they manufacture for the U.S. market, so the packaging does not have French on the label. I am guessing that Sephora has to switch from those U.S. suppliers to manufacturers that are printing French on the label. Canadian stores like SDM and The Bay that carry Clinique and Chanel already get their supply from those manufacturers so they shouldn’t be affected. Whatever the case, it’s weird that Sephora didn’t take all that into account when they first set up their Canadian online site.

      • Eyeshadow Addict

        This makes sense. Fingers crossed.

  • I was looking forward to sehpora opening here finally so I could get brands that we can’t here. But now, it seems like more of the same old. At least I still get to the US once a year, so I will stock up then

    • Yup, that’s pretty much going to be what we’ll have to do now to get all the cool stuff.

  • So, now I have to teach my parents how to buy shoppers drug mart stuff to get most points while I am away. WTF. My life keeps getting more complicated. But I have to agree with you shoppers’ point system > Sephora’s “perks”

    • hahahaha the best hahaha!

      Yup. SO much better at Shoppers anyways! I just wish every Shoppers was the same, but they aren’t! Like the one in Chinook Mall is like WOWZA.

      • I’ll check it out now, I am going there tomorrow to for a last shopping trip. Yeah I think they have Chanel and Urban Decay! Going to spend my points tomorrow, or maybe i should wait for the coming weekend’s flyers if there will be a spend your point event. Confused!

      • I hope there’s a redemption this weekend-there’s hasn’t been one for awhile!

  • Yikes at Bobbi Brown being gone. At least Murale will still have them.

  • And here I thought the world was moving closer to the boarderless consumer experience..

    Also just tead your previous post about blogging.. Ugh. Marketing and PR…the downfall of passion and hobbies.

    • Apparently not for Canada! So much for globalization haha!

      Yeah-it’s just a WTH.

      • Lily

        Globalization? Let’s not talk about that, considering where I live. Shit’s been hitting the fan for a while now. While others are marching forward, we’re being forced to take steps backwards.

      • Us too Lily!

  • Liz

    I don’t think we should panic, but definitely if there are fave sunscreen and skincare now restricted on Sephora online, grab from the stores. I couldn’t find PTR 10% Glycolic Toner at the location I went to today and they didn’t even have any at the back. It’s easy enough to find makeup replacements but skincare can be difficult.

    What I can’t imagine is ALL the tagged stuff online being ALL pulled out from the stores. If it’s regulation and enforced nationwide, they’ll have to pull the same items from all the dept stores and drugstores as well, no? I can’t imagine Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom will stop selling Laura Mercier, AmorePacific and Bobbi Brown. There’ll be a massive outcry from the retailers, not just consumers. And restricted items cross the border all the time through Winners and Marshalls. No one’s checking there.

    I noticed that The Face Shop was getting around the French issue by posting French label stickers on some of the skincare products. But almost all of their makeup are in Korean, barely English, much less French. There are tons of retailers in Toronto selling Asian products and it’s the same situation. I don’t understand why only Sephora is being targeted by FDA and whether others will be forced to do the same.

    • Yeah it’s kind of WEIRD to say the least. Maybe some of the stuff like I said is not online, as it’s not in their warehouse yet. And that’s what I was talking about with others on Twitter-how does HR get around it? And Nordstrom’s?

      • Eyeshadow Addict

        I wonder if brands sell slightly different packaging to different retailers? (Grasping at straws…) Like you, I have no idea why these brands are okay at SDM and not elsewhere…

        My other big question is why is Sephora being so lame in not communicating about these changes? Where was the email? This is PR 101. 🙂

      • Liz

        Seriously, man. Could you imagine the chaos if things started disappearing like this from the US site?!

  • Shannon

    WTH. Tracy where can we buy Laura Mercier in Canada then?

    • Eyeshadow Addict

      I’ve seen it at Holts.

    • It is at Holt’s, so I’m assuming Sephora will have it, that maybe it’s out of stock online because it’s not in the Canada warehouse yet. I hope that’s all it is! I hope that’s the reason for a lot of brands. Otherwise what the HECK.

  • I see, an in Canada warehouse sounds convenient but disappearing products because of regulations, sorry to hear that! I’m sure the affected brands are now registering the products like mad though… Here in the last few months Sephora has made some funky changes too, but I won’t go into that because it so annoys me!

    • I hope you are right!
      Yeah, they’re starting to really tick a lot of people off lately!

  • I am confused, lol… It doesn’t seem to make sense like this.

  • Sephora aren’t doing much to win me over lately so this is yet another thing to annoy me – because it annoys you!!! We have one store in Sydney, NSW, that I’d have to fly to get to, no Australian online shopping available, and no international shipping to Australia from the Sephora US site. It just sucks even more to hear what’s happening in Canada 🙁

    • Yeah, me too to be honest. Now you’d think they’d ship from that Sydney location, right? LIKE WHY BOTHER.

  • Angela

    I missed your post last week!! And I see there are SOO many comments, so I thought I’d encapsulate my comments here, along with the Sephora posting. I am not a blogger, but a customer who’s easily duped. I love your blog Tracy, and bless you for staying true to yourself and to us. Crappy that all that political BS is making the waters murky and that you’re not enjoying it anymore. ALSO: Sephora? That really sucks. I liked that I could get different stuff from Sephora than from Shoppers because sometimes you just need a little Kat Von D, you know?? So hoping shoppers will up their game, LOL and drop their prices a weee bit. Everytime I see a new Shoppers open up, I almost expect it to have a Beauty Boutique and I am sorely disappointed when it’s not. Ok my rant is over…I guess we’ll see how things play out at Sephora!

    • Thanks Angela! I’ll get back to having fun soon, now that I’ve lost all the dead weight hahaha!
      Yeah, I know what you mean about Shoppers. There’s a new one opening up by house-that means I’ll have THREE to walk to whites insanity. Maybe they’re closing one of them. That’s why prices are higher there-they keep building more and more!

  • Man, I hope you guys don’t lose all of the goodies you’ve come to love and count on! That French will get ya every time. 😉

    • It will hahahaha! It’s such an archaic law though. I mean, even France doesn’t have it!

  • Toya

    This is all sorts of messed up. I don’t know if I should run out to my local store and buy all teh things or wait and see if we get some new brands we haven’t had before. I usually buy anything thats also sold at Shoppers, at Shoppers b/c the points system is so much better, and this reinforces that decision. This should have been handles so much better…

    • Right? Nah…I’d wait and see. It’s just so ridiculous that I don’t even want to go spend ANY money there, ya’ know?

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  • Maggie

    Sephora SUCKS SO BAD at communication. Half of their PR shit wouldn’t hit as hard if they had an actual strategy in place ahead of time. It boggles my mind how a company of this size manages to function when it struggles with basic PR/IT organization.

    To be honest, these shenanigans would have upset me more a year a go, but now I’m just sort of vaguely annoyed, and mostly because incompetence just generally irks me. I feel very….unattached to beauty things at the moment. I figure I’ll pick up what I need when I need it, and screw the rest. I’m kind of done with chasing after companies to make things available, and being grateful when they do. If they want to make it more complicated to get my hard-earned money, hey, that’s their choice.

    • RIGHT? It’s like these companies have IDIOTS working for them-I don’t get it.
      And I’m with you…I’m vaguely annoyed but don’t care all that much right now. I don’t wear a lot of makeup these days and don’t chase after every freakin’ new piece of whatever. I don’t care enough hahaha. And I’ve found skincare that is making a HUGE diff in my skin and I can get it EASY since it’s not sold at DUMBmakeupcentral.

  • Wow Sephora is frequently dropping the ball. I think one of the reasons why everyone is so upset (including me) is that they have not given out a consistent message. So you’re left in limbo. It just really makes it seem as an organization they don’t care about their Canadian side at all.