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A new department store solely dedicated to beauty is opening in Sydney

WORDS BY JASMINE WALLIS

Willy Wonka and the Beauty Factory.

On a Thursday night at 7pm I took a shower, did my skincare routine, poured a glass of wine and got into bed. But it wasn’t Netflix that I opened. Instead, I attended the virtual launch of the new Mecca flagship store in Sydney. 

Heralded as “a beauty wonderland come to life”, the flagship is the largest (and most immersive) beauty store in the Southern Hemisphere. It sits on the busiest corner of the Sydney CBD in the heritage Gowings building and is four levels worth of all the makeup, skincare, fragrance and treatments a beauty buff could ever dream of. 

Founder Jo Horgan had everyone’s childhood dream of being locked in a department store overnight as she took us through the colourful superstore explaining every detail and service available. The bright, spacey floors looked like a toy store for adults as Jo took escalators to showcase each of the 200 brands that now call the Sydney superstore home. 

Envisioned as not just a retail store but an experience, the wonderland was designed to be a destination – the place to be on a Friday night with friends to get the works done and indulge (yes, there’s even a wall of champagne included). 

While Mecca still has all of the features of its original incarnations, this megastore literally takes it up a level. The beauty destination now offers facial massages at the dedicated Skin Lab, a fragrance connoisseur at the Perfumeria, Mecca’s first-ever Brow Lab and a partnership with fellow Australian beauty icon, Edwards And Co, where stylists can offer up to seven different looks at the Hair Studio. 

Wanting to support local talent, Mecca will also have jewellery designer Sarah & Sebastian as their artist in residence until February 2021. While restocking your skincare supply, you’ll the chicest piercing on the market as the contemporary label offers ear piercings and bracelet soldering with unique charms. 

The store isn’t just a place to do some retail therapy and get pampered though. With a number of workshops on skincare, makeup and more, Jo explains the “edu-tainment” side of the beauty playground.

At the Makeup Lab you can book a private service for you and friends to get all of the industry tips and tricks while the built-in peach-coloured sinks at the Skin Lab mean you can enjoy workshops from cult brands like Drunk Elephant. 

Although the megastore is only in Sydney (for now), other beauty buffs can join via online tutorials or check them out as they’re live-streamed into MECCA stores around the country. 

If you still weren’t convinced that this is the Willy Wonka chocolate factory of beauty then I have to mention the Wonka-esque beauty shute. If you’re standing on the top level and need the latest Goop moisturiser, staff can send up the product in a beauty shute that transports items quickly between levels.

Once you’ve found what you need, take your goodies down to the Gift Wrapping Bar to receive wrapping paper designed specifically for the flagship. Between that, the neon yellow lifts, mosaic walls and huge digital backdrops, this megastore is like getting a glimpse inside the brain of a beauty fanatic. 

Being a beauty brand in 2020, Mecca knows that the line between what is and isn’t beauty is blurring more every day and it clearly shows in this all-inclusive wonderland of Mecca magic. Brb, booking my flight right now. 

mecca.com.au

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