Two major beauty retailers recently announced plans to make prestige beauty more accessible.
Though, our little corner of the world was left out once again.
Ulta Beauty and Sephora are joining forces with Target and Kohl’s, respectively, to create a store-within-a-store. For instance, Target will begin to house mini Ulta stores (complete with about 50 of Ulta’s brands) inside about 100 select Target stores at first. Kohl’s will play host to mini Sephora stores inside about 200 Kohl’s stores in the first rollout.
Not around here, though. The Target at 1600 N. Cedar Crest Blvd., Allentown, is the only one in Pennsylvania slated to unveil an Ulta store during this first batch. The closest Kohl’s store to Scranton to get a Sephora is at 5045 Windsor Drive, Bartonsville, located near Stroudsburg.
Perhaps our local stores didn’t make the first rollout because we already have a free-standing Ulta as well as a Sephora Inside JCPenney, both in the Viewmont Mall. While Allentown and Stroudsburg aren’t that far from us, it annoys me that our corner of Northeast Pennsylvania was left out, and that got me thinking about a broader issue: Why can’t we have access to cool things just because we’re not a “big” city? According to every press release and news story, that’s the whole point of the partnership: to combine higher-end brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, IT Cosmetics, Urban Decay and Tarte, found at Ulta and Sephora, with the ease and convenience of Target and Kohl’s.
A huge part of the reason I started writing about beauty within my job as a local newspaper reporter is because I wanted to make beauty more accessible to residents. It isn’t fair that our area should be limited to what we can get locally. We should be able to have access to the same makeup and skin care products people buy in New York City.
I was excited when the partnerships were announced last year because one of the most frequent questions I get is about where I buy my products. While the answer is different based on the product in question, the general answer is Sephora or Ulta, but mostly online, as their websites have the biggest selection of products.
The problem I run into at brick-and mortar locations is that they’re franchises, which usually don’t have to carry full ranges of brands. It’s also worth mentioning that Sephora in Dickson City is not a true Sephora store — it’s a Sephora Inside JCPenney, which has a truncated list of products it carries. Having both Target and Kohl’s host these prestige companies might widen the range of brands available to readers.
I just hate that, once again, we’re excluded from the beauty conversation. We are full of beauty lovers and people who want to take care of themselves. I get tons of feedback on this column, and at least twice a week, someone will call me to talk about products and concerns or to just tell me about something new they tried. I have one of the coolest jobs in the world, but talking about beauty is one of my favorites.
Some people who were born and raised here couldn’t wait to travel as fast as they could away from the area. That’s fine for them, but I always wanted to stay here and do whatever I could to make my home the best it could be, and I know I’m not alone. From my social media feed to when I walk around downtown Scranton on a lunch break to the publication this column appears in, I see dozens of businesses, artists, organizers, events and ideas. We are a region of vibrant, creative people who love our families and care for our neighbors, and we deserve every single cool opportunity they can get in a big city and more.
Hopefully these companies will see that one day, too.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT