After much anticipation, US beauty giant Sephora opened its third bricks-and-mortar store – and its first outside London – at Manchester's Trafford Centre on Thursday 16 May 2024 with a star-studded launch party the night before and a queue of 2,000 before doors opened at 10am this morning.

This is big news for beauty fans, who have been begging for more stores to open after the first two – located in London's White City Westfield London and Stratford Westfield – proved to be so popular, with shoppers finally able to shop IRL Sephora-exclusive brands such as Makeup by Mario, HAUS Labs by Lady Gaga and Sephora Collection.

Inside Sephora's new Trafford Centre store

I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek around the new Manchester Sephora store before it opened to the public, and it's heaven for beauty connoisseurs. The shelves are lined with all the top brands – including a few only available in Sephora stores and on the website – plus the famous minis section that lie temptingly by the checkouts, and it's helpfully curated into categories to make it super easy to shop if you're in a rush.

But with other big beauty retailers such as LookFantastic, Cult Beauty and Boots all available to shop from too, it can be hard to know exactly what's worthy buying, but here are the products that I think are worth buying from Sephora:

Makeup By Mario SurrealSkin Foundation, £42

From celebrity make-up artist Mario Dedivanovic

I swatched this foundation from Kim Kardashian's make-up artist Mario Dedivanovic for the first time at the store launch and I was super impressed by its formulation. It's very fluid and lightweight, and gives a gorgeous, natural-looking luminosity to the skin. One to try, for sure.

  • Makeup By Mario SurrealSkin Foundation, £42 from Sephora

Sephora Collection Fiber Face Mask Coconut, £3.99

There are loads of different sheet masks to choose from

Sephora's own brand sells a large range of excellent skincare and make-up products at reasonable prices – and its wall of sheet masks in particular is like a pick 'n' mix stand for adults, with someone for every skin type.

  • Sephora Collection Fiber Face Mask Coconut, £3.99 from Sephora

Natasha Denona I Need A Nude Eyeshadow Palette, £64

Quite possibly the only eyeshadow palette you'll even need

Natasha Denona eyeshadow palettes are kind of holy grail products amongst make-up fans; they're expensive, but I think they're worth it. If you only own one palette, make it this big, suits-all selection of matte and shimmery nude shades.

  • Natasha Denona I Need A Nude Eyeshadow Palette, £64 from Sephora

Glossier You Eau de Parfum, £62

Sephora also stocks Glossier

Glossier You is my all-time favourite, ride-or-die perfume, and Sephora is the only other retailer that you can buy Glossier products from, outside of the brand's own stores and website. This woody, musky, skin-like scent is well worth sniffing out if you're shopping online or browsing the store.

  • Glossier You Eau de Parfum, £62, from Sephora

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Jet Set, £30

Three Sol de Janeiro minis

You could spend an hour – and a small fortune – shopping Sephora's famous miniatures section alone, which includes travel-friendly products from all your favourite brands, including Elemis, Olaplex and Milk Makeup. I've highlighted this Sol de Janeiro set as it's perfect for getting in the holiday mood, and contains some of the Brazilian brand's must-try products.

  • Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Jet Set, £30, from Sephora

By Editor