“You can now swipe your Sephora Credit Card”

Well..that’s an interesting phrase to get used to.

Yep, Sephora announces their exclusive credit card while teaming up with VISA so you can use it anywhere. That means for gas..even for coffee.

They are said to launch it later this Spring and I think we can start rolling the ball now! I want to see how they market it to us in stores and if any of the benefits are worth it.

We know ULTA Beauty launched their credit card with VISA years ago and it might’ve been one of the best decisions they’ve done so early on in their retail career. Reason being is because their rewards system is KICK ASS and they know it!

It’s so magical to see how companies like VISA are eager to team up with ULTA and Sephora. It demonstrates strong and stable growth in beauty retail.

At ULTA, every dollar spent on the credit card is worth a point and while they accumulate over time, certain ranges of points are qualified as money off of your purchases. You can also use your reward money anytime. (On prestige makeup too!)

Not to mention the magazines and coupons that come in the mail with the classic $3.50 off.

So this is cool, I’ve hyped myself up for ULTA. But it’s Sephora that is launching their credit card now and last time I checked, points get us samples..small samples.

I can’t forget about that birthday gift though!

But seriously, Sephora’s rewards system isn’t up to par with ULTA’s when I think about how much they give back to the customer. Which is KEY to customer growth!

I would totally use their credit card for gas, makeup, shoes, etc if it meant the point system gave money back (reward money), the way ULTA does.

Do I think it’s worth spending more money for samples? No.

Do I think it’s worth spending more money for money back? Yes.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

While Sephora hasn’t hit us with the news yet, it might be because they’re attempting to fix how the reward system will play its part in the new credit card. *crosses fingers*

They did disclaim there will be some differences between the credit card rewards and the beauty insider rewards. Let’s just hope this becomes clarified. Only way to go from here is up!

Andrea Zaretsky, Senior VP of CRM and Loyalty at Sephora said, “The Sephora Credit Card was the next natural step in our loyalty journey…taking our client experiences to the next level through special access, rewards and perks.”

For those approved that don’t have a rewards membership already, they will be automatically signed up! So this is all supposed to be for the grand scheme of loyalty in the points system.

I agree, that’s a smart move! And Sephora might need a better point system incentive to add on. If they do change the benefits to reward money after years of petite-cute samples, ULTA will look like the OG of beauty retail 101. *flips hair*

Are you going to apply for the Sephora Credit Card? Tell me your thoughts below!

Enjoy your week lovebugs, xo

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When businesses lack customer service

I’m not one to judge. We all have issues going on in our lives and unfortunately, life DOES get in the way of our most passionate hobbies, hanging with friends and even focusing on academics. However, I do believe that taking on a business/job/lifestyle does require commitment and consistency.

So here’s my story on a business that took 3 months and 21 days to send me my small package of 2 lip glosses. This story isn’t about how awful the business is because truly, I wouldn’t have minded the wait IF there was customer service involved.

Heres the break down:

I ordered my package from Oalika Cosmetics on August 19th. I received an immediate email regarding the order number which comes automatically with any purchase. On August 24th, I became concerned because I still hadn’t received my processing email or tracking number for UPS!

What did I do? I emailed Oalika Cosmetics with the email they provide us if we have any questions (like any other concerned customer). I wrote I was beauty journalist who was thrilled to try their cosmetics and write a review on my platform for PBC Mag.

11 days later and no response. So I decided to re-send my email! Keeping myself optimistic because I was aware Oalika Cosmetics is a small, emerging beauty business with only 11.6k followers on Twitter and 1,440 followers on Instagram. Small businesses are usually under the most stress. Entrepreneurs taking a leap of faith to build their own empire, I’ll give them that; it’s not a walk in the park!

Sadly enough, I still didn’t receive a response. So I took it to the one place they HAVE to answer me to avoid public embarrassment, Twitter. And what happened? They finally decided to answer me.

Below are my screenshots that I kept with Oalika Cosmetics, via Twitter DM’s. I slowly became frustrated because I thought this was a legit company, not a company who will ignore your emails but answer you via Twitter. Please look at the dates between all these messages, you’ll see they don’t reply for weeks at a time. *Disclaimer, my conversation with Oalika Cosmetics was hostile and I’ll own up to it. But there comes a point when you’re the owner of a business, stealing customers’ money and acting as if they’re nonexistent.

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Yes, I even decided to threaten with legal action. Moral of the story: if they don’t care, they truly don’t care.

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I decided not to publish with my newspaper, they don’t need the recognition.

 

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Oalika didn’t document me with any proof. And I’m not going to believe that when I’m being blatantly ignored for a reason. 

 

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Yes unfortunately, I’m the one saying thank you

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Meanwhile during this one way conversation, Oalika Cosmetics was tweeting about new, upcoming launches and retweeting pictures of women who had been flaunting their products. My problem with that is you can’t be investing in more products if you’re not even focusing on your current issues. That goes against any value in business. If you don’t treat your customers right, why should anyone care about your new launches? 

I was constantly tweeting at Oalika Cosmetics, I even took it to Instagram. And I guess once they noticed I took my problem to another social media platform, they decided to actually talk to me again.

At this point, I just wanted my money back. At the end of the day, it’s not about buying the best of the best, it’s about purchasing and supporting businesses that actually care about you. I had one goal with Oalika Cosmetics, to help their business with my platform by writing a review and possibly a mini-tutorial.

During September, they told me their policy states they don’t do refunds until 35 days of placing your order. I begged them for three months and 21 days (82 DAYS) to give me a refund. On October 28th, they decided to change their rules and say NO REFUNDS. I was furious. Who wouldn’t be?

Strangely, I wasn’t the only one involved in this. Julie, aka @jujubeanbeauty on Twitter reached out to me with the same issue she was facing with Oalika. As a makeup enthusiast, trying out products comes with exploring new businesses. After receiving no response from the company about a color change for her order, she started to become skeptical (like anyone else would too!) Julie recently updated me saying,

“I don’t even care about my money anymore, this is too tiring. I disputed it with my bank and I got credit for it. I don’t know what they’re gonna do to get their money from Oalika.”

If you needed to hear it from another person, there’s your witness. Or better yet, there have been hate accounts in Oalika’s name for their delays and lack of customer service. Please look it up, I’m not lying!

This isn’t meant to be seen as a bashing article. If that’s the case, you don’t take critique well. I wouldn’t have minded the wait if I knew there was going to be a wait. That’s my point. That is where the customer service is lacking. Oalika Cosmetics never told me they were going to fix the issue, when it would be done or any other reassuring response.   They simply ignored my DM’s and emails for weeks at a time and continued to glorify their newest products as if they had any room to do so.

That is why they won’t be getting any product recognition on my site. Their products are beautiful and chic, I won’t lie on that. If you saw the packaging and the products, you would be tempted to buy them because you saw pictures of them from my site. But that’s not my purpose for this article. Oalika Cosmetics does not deserve more customers because of the help from my site. I tried doing that once and they rejected me in the most unprofessional way possible. 

Regardless, every emerging business will have its challenges. If you do happen to fall upon their website and fall in love with a gloss, by all means, go ahead and purchase it! Instead of me telling you to screw them and block them on social media, I’m advising you that your products will not come in 2 weeks or even one month. Fortunately, mine came in the mail 3 months and 21 days later. I was also given a loose-glitter pigment and a third gloss; I’m assuming to compensate for the wait.

And if Oalika Cosmetics is reading this, your business has room to improve. Every business has room to improve. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s the beauty of owning your business, accepting its flaws AND working towards its goals.

As a beauty journalist, it’s my duty to inform my readers what goes on in such businesses, good or bad.

xoxo