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Sephora is seriously anticipating our beauty needs these days. First with the launch of custom manicure and nail art stations in their Times Square and 34th Street locations and then with their New York City Same-day Beauty Delivery service. So who are the customers have such an urgent need for beauty products? What do they order? To find out, let's check in with New York editor Izzy Grinspan, who has joined the Sephora delivery team today for an in-depth ride-along.
Our ride for the afternoon
1:09pm: Greetings from the Sephora Same-day Beauty Delivery Mini Cooper! There are four of these that leave 5 Times Square every day at 1pm. In the summer, they hand out freebies and samples as well as deliver orders. Each car has a chauffeur and an escort. Mine are named Teeluck (the driver) and Dominique (the deliverer).
1:11pm: We're currently headed down the Bowery toward Broome Street.
1:13pm: The first customer ordered a Stella McCartney roll-on perfume, Nars matte lipstick, Nars eyeshadow, Tweezerman tweezers, and a Laura Mercier concealer for a total of $135 (there's a $50 minimum for delivery). Speculation in the car is that she's traveling somewhere, because she's getting all these mini-travel items.
First delivery of the afternoon
1:15pm: Deliveries come in a Sephora bag with a receipt in a plastic luggage tag. Everything inside is packaged with a magnetic box with Sephora stripes and red tissue paper.
1:17pm: Ooh! We're here! Broome and Lafayette. First delivery turns out to be two women in an office of start-ups. Danya Cheskis-Gold runs a company called Skillshare and Marisa Zupin works for Svpply.
1:32pm: Next stop: Madison Avenue. Whoa! This next delivery is huge!
1:34pm: Contents: Illamasqua powder blusher in "Beg". Sephora collection IT powder brush, hourglass mineral primer in travel size. Total spent: $103.
1:35pm: The brush (which is apparently ergonomic) must be why the box is so big. The brush cost $40, so it's actually really easy to meet the $50 minimum.
Dominique and Teeluck, heading up the East Side
1:40pm: Each of the cars has an area of the city. Teeluck and Dominique are Zone One, so they have the whole East Side. Another car has the West Side, and two are dedicated to Midtown. The East side of Fifth Avenue from 59th to 25th has the most deliveries.
1:42pm: Service is only in Manhattan. It's really well-received in Harlem because there's no Sephora up there. We're now zipping up Third Avenue. They'll deliver to hospitals, libraries...anywhere.
The view from our vantage point in the Sephora Mini Cooper
1:58pm: Teeluck and Dominique delivered to a library on the East Side of Chinatown recently. They also delivered to a major designer, but they don't want me to name names.
2:01pm: We're almost at the second stop and are trying to guess what this customer will be like. Since the brush is fairly new, we're guessing this is her first time ordering it.
2:02pm: Just passed Sephora's offices on 57th Street.
2:07pm: We're at the second location: An office tower on 59th and Madison. Guy at the front desk says, "Sephora? For me?" Dominique says, "Did you order from Sephora?" Front desk guy, "Well, I do from time to time!"
All we saw of the Polo offices
2:13pm: Oh, hey—it's the Polo offices! Lots of dark wood. We're being directed to the mail room. So that was a little disappointing. Didn't get to find out who the customer was. But next up is E. 77th, so that seems like someone's home.
2:15pm: Next package: Bumble and Bumble brilliantine spray and seaweed conditioner. Also, Urban Decay 24-7 waterproof liquid eyeliner in "perversion." Grand total: $97.75. We think she's experimenting with the haircare, but uses the eyeliner as a staple. The team agrees that seeing the insides of homes and offices is the best part. The Nintendo office was a recent standout.
2:26pm: Teeluck just figured out the cross streets based on the building number. I'm so impressed. We're here! 77th between First and York.
2:29pm: Damn. The customer is at work, so we're leaving the bag with the doorman. Guess we'll never know why she wanted new hair products.
2:30pm: Next stop is around the corner on E. 78th Street. It's a small order: Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume for $68. How Upper East Side.
2:36pm: Doorman building with a pretty entrance-way. We're bringing the bag up to the apartment.
2:39pm: There are three women with babies in here!
2:42pm: Rachel Lustgarten, who placed the order, says that the Sephora delivery service makes it easier for moms to shop for beauty products. She has a three-year-old and the other two moms have six-month-olds. Man, these kids are cute!
2:44pm: Next stop: E. 85th Street. This order is $126.05, including delivery.
2:54pm: There's a Sephora on 86th and Lex. We're going to 85th and Madison, roughly. This customer must be very busy. We're guessing either high-powered businesswoman or new mom.
3:01pm: We're here. The lobby is all marble and smells like lillies. She's out, so we're leaving the package with the concierge.
3:06pm: And that's a wrap. Sephora will actually deliver up to 9pm, but Teeluck and Dominique don't have any late orders today. Back to the office!