The Whole Foods of makeup, the Shake Shack of fast burger joints…the Chicago of cities (okay, you can argue with me on that one…I’m a little biased!). The three syllable word is practically synonymous with makeup heaven of the Gods. My absolute favorite Sephora, by the way, is the one on Michigan Avenue that opened relatively recently. They have the nicest, most knowledgeable and helpful employees out of any Sephora I have been to.
But anyways, I digress.
I think Sephora gets a bad rep because well, a lot of the items there are expensive. Some people don’t want to spend the money of a small mortgage to buy some makeup (I’m in that boat!), and that is perfectly understandable. However, like many other stores, there are tips and tricks to shopping at Sephora that will help you save money! I promise.
- Wait for the sales and coupons to buy bigger items. I know, you think I’m totally kidding. But I’m serious! Once a year, Sephora sends coupons for their BI, VIB, and VIB Rouge members. Their BI (Beauty Insider) program is completely free to sign up for, and you get $15 off a $50 purchase annually, along with many other perks! I purchased my Tarteist Pro Palette with a $15 off coupon, which made it much more justifiable.
- Be a Beauty Insider. Besides getting the previously mentioned coupon, you get a birthday gift every year. And the sets are PHENOMENAL. This year, it’s a wonderful Tarte set, or one from Caudalie! It’s your pick! Not to mention, you can rack up points and get freebies! Those deluxe size samples are bigger than you think.
- Purchase value sets. Sephora has some of the best value sets, hands down. Each one typical has a full size product (if not more!), along with multiple sizeable deluxe samples. Deluxe samples at Sephora are typically a multiple use product, such as small lipsticks or mascaras. Each one will last you plenty of time! I think people scoff at deluxe samples, because they envision those stupid foil packs. There are plenty of deluxe samples that I have used for months–eyeliners, lipsticks, mascaras, etc. Sephora designs their value sets to be exactly that–a value! Each one I have tried, I have always been satisfied with and felt like I have gotten more than my money’s worth.
- Don’t be afraid of travel sized or smaller sized products. Much like I just said, a lot of these “travel sizes” will last you a long time! They are significantly cheaper than the full-size version, and I find this to be especially true for mascaras! You have to replace the tube every six months anyways–instead of buying the full size $30 one, just pay $10 for the travel size!
- Truly research any potential purchases. I’ve found that the purchases that I have regretted have always been impulse buys that I didn’t research or look up thoroughly. Sephora employees are notorious for trying to shove products down your throats–and those products have always been “meh,” for me because they’re not things I really wanted for myself. No one knows you better than yourself, so make sure you know what you’re purchasing! This is one of the biggest ways you can save money.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for samples. Any time I have asked a sales associate, they have always been more than happy to get me a sample, and bag it up! You can truly try a product, or test it out before seeing if it is for you. I find that often times, when you test a sample out without any of the fancy packaging or gizmos, the appeal of it might go away, or you might realize that it isn’t as great as it’s chalked up to be! This was the case for me when I first started wearing makeup, and kept wanting to buy all these random foundations I didn’t need!
- Look at the Sephora Collection. I’m not trying to get in trouble, or sued, but I will say that there’s very high speculation and comparisons on the internet that the Sephora Collection products are repackaged versions of the same (or very similar) products in the store from higher-end brands. The Sephora eyeliners are pretty similar to Kat Von D, huh? And the eyeshadows are similar to another brand, right? (Check Reddit!)
- Give yourself a limit. Don’t do that thing where you just add everything you want to your cart. Give yourself a clear, and defined limit.
- Force yourself to buy it next time. Another trick I have for products that I really want, is it put it back and to tell myself that I will purchase it next time, if I truly want it. If I end up going back for it, it means that I really did want or need it, but if I forget about it then that’s another story!
- Buy their FLASH shipping. For TEN DOLLARS a year, you get free two-day shipping with NO minimum. I use it all the time for when I purchase sale items, which I seldom find in stores, and for buying gifts for friends! Plus, you get three free samples at checkout. My friends have even asked to use my FLASH, and just Quick Pay me because it is so convenient! It’s really a time and money saver. Plus overnight shipping is only $5.95 if you’re in an urgent make-up crisis!
I hope that these tips have helped you all out, and showed that Sephora isn’t a money suck unless you make it out to be one! There’s tips and tricks for every store, and these are mine for Sephora!
What tips do you have for shopping at Sephora?