Sephora is a wonderful place for all beauty lovers with their amazing selection of luxe makeup and skincare. But what is a person to do with those crazy prices?
This is where we come in with some unexpected advice from employees and shopping experts:
1. Free samples
You can get free samples of foundation, powders, lip care, and perfumes without even buying anything from the store! Ulta doesn’t do this.
You can get three free samples per visit and try even the most expensive products free before committing to buying them. Those small sizes are great for traveling.
2. Free samples with online orders
When you order online, you get 2 free samples per purchase. You can even start your shopping at Beauty Offers Page, where you will pick items of your choice and will get them with $25 per order minimum.
3. Free makeovers
This makeover session is just 15 min, but it’s still a makeover and it’s free. You can try some products without buying and get smoky eye, contour, and great lips at no cost to you.
4. Sephora Value sets
Sephora value sets are bundles of popular products that can save you up to 80% off their value that you would pay if bought separately. Why buy them all one by one if you can save so much and enjoy a collection of your own?
Sets are usually made from one brand, like Tarte, Urban Decay, or Bare Minerals, so you won’t have to deal with multiple combinations.
You can buy the sets in-store or online. One good example that we have recently tried is Too Faced Dream Queen Limited Edition Value Set for $58, which would cost a whopping $357 separately.
Yes, we know that you don’t want to get any extra marketing emails, but trust us – Sephora newsletters are worthy of your trouble. They are choke-full of great discounts, coupons, and upcoming sales information.
6. Discounted gift cards
Raise and similar websites sell discounted gift cards that can bring you up to 10% savings right of the top. Truth be told, no matter how good this sounds, JC Penney gift cards go for 15% off sometimes, and you can use this JC Penney card for Sephora too, so choose your savings wisely.
7. Free birthday gifts
All Beauty Insiders get free birthday gifts and beauty classes. It’s free to sign up for this program and you get to collect points for every dollar spent online and in-store. Gifts are great and don’t repeat from year to year.
8. Cash back sites
You should shop through cash back sites like Ibotta and get 2.5% cash back on beauty purchases. Sephora is not always available on Ibotta, but it comes and goes, so check it out before shopping.
9. Collect points
Don’t hurry to spend your points as soon as you accumulate a decent amount, make the amount big, because they don’t expire (unless you are not active at Sephora for 18 months).
You will get the first reward for 100, but think bout 250 or 500! This is when we can talk about Clinique Moisture that Matters Kit and similar huge gifts.
10. When should you get your insider points gifts?
Unlike many other stores, Sephora will let you redeem your points and get a free gift without making a purchase as long as you do that in-store, not online, so you can do it any time.
11. Do the heaviest shopping in January
There are two reasons for that – you will be able to take advantage of best after holidays sales and will become a VIB member or even an uber-exclusive VIB Rouge and will enjoy perks those memberships bring all year round. You have to spend $350 for the first one and $1,000 for Rouge tier.
12. What is Sephora Flash?
This is Sephora’s version of Amazon Prime, which all VIB Rouge members get for free and others for $15 per year. With this deal you will get unlimited free 2-day shipping all year long. Otherwise, 3-day shipping costs $5.95 or is free with $50+ purchase.
13. Return policy
As long as you have a receipt, you can return gently used products for store credit any time. Stay classy and make sure you have at least ½ of package left.
14. Annual sales
Biggest Sephora sales happen in May and November. Both sales are week-long and really reward Beauty Insiders with favorable prices. May will feature 10-15% off many items and November will see things go for as much as 20% off.
Black Friday at Sephora is not the greatest time investment of your time simply because you will see the same deals remain all the way through Christmas.
15. Sephora Weekly Wow deals
This is not known to everyone, so listen up – every week Sephora offers a couple of products with great discount on Thursday and the discounts last until the product stocks last, so no time to waste.
16. Makeup palettes savings
You can save a lot of money by buying makeup palettes instead of individual colors.
17. Don’t buy travel size
This is your worst investment and especially when you can get many travel size samples for free. Why would you pay $15 for that?
18. Are there any travel size investment exceptions?
There are some small items that cost less per ounce than regular size. For example, Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer costs $37 for full size, which is 1 fl oz and only $14 per travel size of 0.5 fl oz. This is 22% savings.
19. Always calculate price per ounce
You should always focus on price per ounce, but especially at expensive retailers like Sephora. By doing your math and choosing a bigger container you can save quite a bit of money:
- Philosophy Purity Made Simple, 8 oz. - $24 ($3/oz.)
- Philosophy Purity Made Simple, 16 oz. - $36 ($2.25/oz.)
- Philosophy Purity Made Simple, 24 oz. - $44 ($1.83/oz.)
20. Stay away from perfumes at Sephora
The only smart way to buy perfume at Sephora is from perfume sampler pack, where you will get 10-12 travel size perfumes and best of all – you’ll get a coupon for one of those perfumes, full size, for free.
The sampler costs $75 and the coupon is good for up to $100 perfume.
- Free Skincare Trial Size with $25 Purchase
- 80% OFF with Latest Beauty Deals
- Free Shipping on $50+ Order
21. Get free shipping for all out of stock items
If there is an item that is not stocked at your local store or is out stock, you can get it shipped to your house for free.
22. Sephora employee discount
Sephora employees get 40% off Sephora brands and 20% off everything else. Those discounts are worth considering a career there just to save this much. The only limitation is $500 per month spending for employees.
23. Where else can you find Sephora makeup?
You can find the same brands that Sephora sells at discount stores like TJ Maxx and save a lot of money.