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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

SEPHORiA: House of Beauty

Finalist in Immersive

Gold Honor in Event & Experiential

Entered in Extended Reality



Transform Sephora’s biggest beauty event of the year – SEPHORiA – into a hybrid experience for the first time ever for an international community of beauty lovers. Build an approachable, interactive, fun and socially-driven hybrid beauty environment that celebrates diversity, encourages positive brand perception, and highlights Sephora’s product differentiation as a premium beauty event. 


SEPHORiA: House of Beauty has grown exponentially since its launch, starting as a live ticketed event in Los Angeles in 2018 and 2019 before pivoting to virtual in 2021 and 2022. As the next evolution for Sephora’s flagship event, OBE was asked to unite SEPHORiA into a cohesive hybrid experience with the in-person portion occurring in New York City while the highly engaging, gamified SEPHORiA Virtual portion was available to the wider global audience. This hybrid approach was destined to be more connected, more innovative, and more expansive than ever before, cementing SEPHORiA as the leading beauty event in the U.S.



Strategy and Execution


Leveraging these insights, OBE created an environment where attendees could explore the Sephora brand and prestige product offering, express themselves creatively and celebrate the Sephora Beauty Insider community. 



Creatively, we evolved the “House of Beauty” signature to capture the essence of New York City. Our “Apartment” replaced the traditional house, inspired by artist co-ops, where aspiring makeup artists could learn from professional makeup artists and where street signs were used for wayfinding. The virtual experience drew from the NYC apartment but broadened the appeal with surreal and playful elements.

Both the virtual and in-person experiences mimicked an urban apartment with six themed rooms featuring over 50 unique interactions and photo ops. In both environments, we immersed attendees in a chic and stunning space where they could engage with their favorite parts of a beauty event – meeting beauty icons, learning about the newest products, and enjoying incredible swag. 


First, we secured an accessible venue in the Lower East Side, which connected to a local marketplace to encourage attendees to support small businesses. 

We then crafted a design system and attendee journey that layered the SEPHORiA: House of Beauty narrative into the architecture of the venue. We meticulously curated our rooms—ensuring our brand booths, photo ops, and sponsor activations kept beauty fans engaged and wondering, “What’s next?” Our stage hosted live and broadcasted “Master Classes” to educate the SEPHORiA audience. 

And since no “House” party is complete without an unforgettable kickoff, we invited special guests, press, and influencers to a preview night in partnership with Sephora Credit Card, featuring a Chandon champagne sampling.


Working with expert interactive partners, Demodern, OBE recreated “The Apartment” in an immersive, mobile-optimized Metaverse environment that mirrored and extended the in-person experience for global attendees. 

Users customized their avatars by choosing from options that represented themselves. Hair options like afros and dreadlocks or badges that celebrated the LGBTQIA community ensured all felt welcome and empowered to pursue their beauty style. Our community then engaged with each other and shared their beauty knowledge through moderated chat areas, which also hosted Sephora representatives.

In addition to much of the same exclusive content available at the in-person event, virtual attendees could play multiplayer mini games in branded zones and unlock a one-of-a-kind NFT for an exclusive reward. To ensure the content didn’t feel like marketing, while maximizing brand content engagement, the entire experience was gamified and connected with Sephora’s existing Beauty Insider loyalty program. Users collected hidden lipsticks by exploring the environment and watching brand videos (captioned in 6 languages), which earned them Sephora Beauty Insider perks. 


In-person ticket sales and virtual registration exceeded our expectations, plus encouraging feedback ensured that those who attended enjoyed their experience and felt it was a great way to get closer to the brands they love.

Key KPIs




The overall takeaways from the event were not only exciting in terms of deepening engagement but solidified a real sense of togetherness amongst this audience, a truly communal and spirited group of beauty aficionados.


Video for SEPHORiA: House of Beauty

Entrant Company / Organization Name

On Board Experiential, Sephora


Entry Credits