Sephora employee shares how all her makeup had to be engraved with letters. It's a loss-prevention tactic

@kelsielynnxoxo/TikTok withGod/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘They treat their employees like thieves’: Former Sephora employee shares how all her makeup had to be engraved with letters. It’s a loss-prevention tactic

‘It reflects how little Sephora trusts their employees.’


Allyson Waller


A former Sephora employee is showing the downside of receiving free products from the store when they worked there—engraved makeup. 

In a recent video, TikTok creator Kelsie (@kelsielynnxoxo) showed how a plethora of her makeup products were marked with the letter “g.” 

“When you used to work at Sephora so now half of your makeup has little letters engraved on it forever,” Kelsie captioned her video, showcasing various forms of makeup like foundation, perfume, and lipstick. A sound of a woman screaming over some music accompanied the video.

According to the Sephora forum Beauty Insider Community, items not for resale can be seen marked with the letter “g.” It’s a common assumption that the letter stands for “gratis,” which means “free.” 

One former Sephora employee shared with the publication Refinery29 that the best part about working for the chain was the “tons and tons of gratis.” 

“Brands will come in and train you on new products and, oftentimes, they give them to you for free to try,” the employee told the publication. “After working there for years, I still have drawers and drawers of those products.” 

@kelsielynnxoxo Shoutout to the (few) managers who didn’t put it in the most noticeable spot possible 🫡 #makeup #makeupartist #makeuptiktok #makeuptok #beauty #beautytok #sephora #formersephoraemployee #haul #shopping #fyp #fypシ #microinfluencer ♬ original sound – ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*

The Daily Dot reached out to Sephora and Kelsie via email for comment. 

Commenters on Kelsie’s video echoed that free makeup was a huge plus when working for Sephora. Also, some shared that engraving the makeup with the letter “g” was supposed to help stores with loss prevention. 

“Anything engraved with a ‘G’ means we got it for free, anything with a ‘P’ means we bought it. It’s so that they can see we didn’t steal anything,” Kelsie explained in the comments section. 

“No bc everytime I see the letters I just get upsetty,” a person commented. 

“I get gratis at my job too and they PUT [OUR] NAMES on the barcodes, feel like a kindergartener fr,” one commenter shared. 

However, several alleged Sephora employees in the comments criticized the tactic, calling out the company for not trusting their workers.

According to Kelsie’s comments, any makeup they brought to work that wasn’t engraved was tossed in the trash, as it was assumed to be stolen.

“I lost so many products I bought because I didn’t get them engraved and then forgot I brought them with me,” Kelsie wrote. She clarified that workers would bring their own products to work for touchups during the day, like lipstick or powder.

In another comment, she explained how it “ruined how the products look.”

“Plus it shows a huge lack of trust on the part of Sephora,” she continued. “They treat their employees like thieves.”

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