Massive beauty mecca ARC is SA's answer to Sephora

This one-stop shop in Joburg is the country's newest and biggest dedicated beauty store. Here are seven reasons why it's one of the coolest too

24 June 2021 - 11:20 By nokubonga thusi
Inside ARC, SA's 'biggest dedicated beauty store', which opened in Sandton City in Johannesburg on June 23 2021.
Inside ARC, SA's 'biggest dedicated beauty store', which opened in Sandton City in Johannesburg on June 23 2021.
Image: Supplied/ARC

If you’ve been paying attention to your social media feeds for the past month, you’ll no doubt have got wind of ARC. This one-stopshop for coveted local and international beauty brands has been creating a buzz since it launched online in April.

Now ARC has opened the doors to its first physical store. Based in Sandon City, Joburg, this 500m2 flagship is being touted as being “the biggest beauty-dedicated store in SA”. It stocks products by the likes of SKOON, Amouage, Suki Suki Naturals, Ellis Brooklyn, Chanel, Dior, Benefit, La Mer and more.

We popped in to get a preview and discovered there are lots of reasons beauty aficionados should be excited to visit this vast, gorgeous and well-lit space.

One of them is ARC's promise to “responsibly deliver the beauty of tomorrow, today” with its vision statement being to pioneer a new conversation around beauty that celebrates inclusivity, diversity, individuality and sustainability

Here are six more:

ARC has replaced shopping baskets with bags, the different colours of which tell the store's staff whether you'll need help or not.
ARC has replaced shopping baskets with bags, the different colours of which tell the store's staff whether you'll need help or not.
Image: Supplied/ARC

1. 'DO NOT DISTURB' SHOPPING BAGS

When it comes to shopping, everyone’s different: some people like to be offered assistance asap, while others prefer to be left to peacefully browse on their own. 

ARC makes provision for this by giving you the option to pick between two different coloured shopping bags when you enter the store.

Grab a grey bag to signal to the store's team of architects (as they call their assistants, makeup artists and fragrance consultants) that you'd like their help, or pick a black one to indicate that you'd like to be left to your own devices.

The fact that the black bag acts as a 'do not disturb' sign is great given the pandemic as it gives you the option to have a socially-distanced shopping experience.

2. MINI GOODIES GALORE

Avid travellers, apprehensive shoppers who like to 'test before they invest', and beauty-on-a-budget babes will be chuffed to know that ARC stocks a wide selection of mini versions of some of our favourite products — including those from brands that have a cult following.

From mini MAC lipsticks (priced from R150) to skincare minis from Estee Lauder and Clinique, you'll find it hard to leave the store without adding some of these tiny treasures to your haul.

The ARC stocks buys from beauty brands you won't find elsewhere.
The ARC stocks buys from beauty brands you won't find elsewhere.
Image: Supplied/ARC

3. EXCLUSIVE BUYS

If you love one-of-a-kind beauty products or having been longing to get your hands on brands that are hard to find in SA, this part will pique your interest.

ARC's offering of exclusives is insane: you'll discover brands and product lines even those who are well-versed in the beauty industry would weep over.

There are luxury gems from the Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Creations and Tom Ford Private collections, the full Beauty Blender product line from sponges to foundations, makeup from Huda Beauty and Codex, and so much more.

4. THE POD

Why just shop for the skincare products at ARC when you can experience them too? There's an in-store therapy room called The Pod where you can book sneaky lunchtime treatments including Dermalogica facials.  

The Pod is a peaceful and private space with interchangeable mood lighting. Beyond being fun, this feature brings colour therapy into play during the treatments.

A sign reading 'Most Loved' highlights one of Dermalogica's hero products in the ARC store in Sandton City, Joburg.
A sign reading 'Most Loved' highlights one of Dermalogica's hero products in the ARC store in Sandton City, Joburg.
Image: Supplied/ARC
ARC is a one-stop shop for beauty aficionados.
ARC is a one-stop shop for beauty aficionados.
Image: Supplied/ARC

5. HERO CALL-OUTS

Shopping in a sea of beauty products can be really daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with some of the brands or the efficacy of their formulations.

To help introduce you to various brands and work out which of their products are well worth trying, the shelf displays clearly highlight each brand's hero products as well as ARC's most-loved and recommended buys. 

6. SUBTLE ENCOURAGEMENT

You'll discover empowering quotes dotted around the ARC store on some of the shelf displays such as: “There is no such thing as one-size fits all beauty. You do you” or “Nobody will wear this quite like you will”.

This is something we didn't know we needed, and it's nice to have a little boost of confidence and encouragement while you shop. Talk about retail therapy!

The ARC flagship store is now open in Sandton City, Joburg. Another one is planned for the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. See arcstore.co.za


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