Sephora's store-within-a-store opened Friday at 9 a.m. in JCPenney's location inside The Mall at Barnes Crossing. The makeup and beauty retailer sells nearly 50 brands and has testers of everything - a popular draw Friday as women flocked to perfumes, nail polishes, eye shadows and lip glosses.
"I think I'm in heaven right now," said Michelle Morris of Shannon.
More than 70 women lined up Friday morning to score free gift cards with mystery values up to $100. Most of the 100 cards were valued at $5, but that didn't matter to many of the people in line. They were excited about the cards and the goody bags, which had samples inside them. The first 750 customers at Sephora got goody bags.
Some of the women were previous Sephora shoppers, like Carol Munn of Pontotoc County.
"I love the Memphis Sephora," Munn said.
Others had been Sephora.com shoppers. And still more weren't familiar with the beauty retailer that started in France in 1970.
"It's a beauty paradise," said Sue Sweeney-Gates, who leads the Sephora team in Tupelo.
The 1,700-square-foot store also offers free, 10-minute makeup services, such as a smoky eye tutorial.
The shop is the third Sephora in Mississippi. The other two are inside JCP locations in Southaven and Flowood.
In 2006, the makeup retailer partnered with JCP to open scaled-down versions in the center of the department store. The agreement helped JCP revitalize its makeup department and helped Sephora expand its footprint.
"JCPenney has done a great job with its remodel last year and bringing the store up to a great retail destination," said Jeff Snyder, general manager of The Mall at Barnes Crossing. "Sephora coming into the mall says a lot for our mall and Tupelo as a retail environment in general. When you get a name like that, our region benefits."
The Tupelo Sephora has six employees. Sweeney-Gates said she's still looking for another part-time employee with retail knowledge. If you are interested, apply at JCPenney.com or in person.
The store is open during JCP's regular hours. Its phone number is (662) 844-2660, ext. 390.