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When beauty retailers first reopened their doors in Phase 2, they did so without product testers. Those hallmarks of the beauty shopping experience seemed like a pre-Covid relic as we were greeted by counters and shelves bound in plastic.

Brands and retail spaces rolled out alternatives, from virtual try-ons to in-store foundation shade-matching. Some even predicted that it’ll be the last we see of testers.

But those predictions were wrong.

@minisokay Life finds a way 🥲 @sephora_asia #jurassicpark #sgnews #sgtiktok #singaporetiktok #sephorasg ♬ Welcome to Jurassic World – Michael Giacchino

Product testers have reappeared on shelves at beauty stores, including Sephora, a leading chain in Singapore.

TikTok user @minisokay uploaded a video of her recent Sephora visit to share the news. It sees her trying out skincare products from Clinique and Farmacy, a blush from Tarte, as well as a Jo Malone fragrance.

sephora store

Credit: Sephora

According to sources, unassisted testing started last Tuesday, and everything is nearly back to pre-Covid times.

At Sephora, you’ll find single-use hygiene tools at your disposal, so you can go ahead and use them to try out products. If you have to remove your mask in order to test a product, make sure you put it back on immediately after you’re done trying it.

Besides that, makeovers and other services are back. You can enjoy 45-minute custom makeovers for S$100, but you can also redeem them when you spend S$100 in stores.

These guidelines will apply to all beauty counters too.

kose counter isetan

Credit: Fujiya-net

According to Lim Yi Fang, brand manager of KOSE, the Japanese brand practises what they call “assisted self-testing”, according to official Safe Management Measures, the department stores’ guidelines, and its own protocols.

This involves having a beauty consultant assist customers to ensure disposables are being used and are thrown away immediately. The brand will have this implemented on 1 April 2022.

As fast as technology moves, there really isn’t anything quite like the tactile experience of trying beauty products in-store, which is why this is a huge milestone for us and the industry.