Four and a half years after opening its first retail store in Australia, Sephora (which has 1900 stores worldwide) has opened its first store in New Zealand.

Owned by LVMH, the mega beauty retailer opened the 450 square metre store at 152 Queen St in the heart of Auckland on July 20.

Although the store opened its doors at 9am, more than 800 beauty fans lined up outside the store for hours before then – including several who camped overnight – in the hope of receiving a complimentary Zoeva Premiere Eyeshadow Palette valued at $49 for being one of “the first 500”.

‘Weihong’, who was at the front of the line and had queued with her friend Lily since 9pm the night before, told that the store opening was really exciting as it had been “a long time coming”.

“I’ve shopped with them online but there are some products that I’ve never tried, only read or heard about,” she said.

Sephora Auckland staff pause for a photo before the store’s doors open to customers for the first time

Sephora entertained the two women and other queuing fans from 7am with opening day activities including music from local DJs’ Soraya and Andy Heart Throb, “oodles of Sephora samples” as well as coffee, hot chocolate and French crepes

Founded in France in 1969, Sephora opened its first Australian store in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall a few weeks before Christmas in 2014 – and launched its local online store less a year later in November 2015.

Today the retailer, which describes itself as a “beauty trailblazer” due to “its unparalleled assortment of prestige products, unbiased service from experts, interactive shopping environment, disruptive spirit and constant innovation”, has 19 stores around Australia – six in Melbourne, four in Queensland and nine in Sydney.

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