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I’ve never walked passed a Sephora that I didn’t want to at least browse through. But unfortunately, browsing turns into sampling and sampling turns into buying and—ugh—I just accidentally blew my whole paycheck on beauty products that I wanted versus what I needed.
If you’re tempted by all the sights ad smells of Sephora, try using some of these tips to save on your next shopping trip. Here are 20 ways to save at this beauty lover’s dream.
1. Check out the Sephora Beauty Offers Page
Make sure to regularly check their beauty deals page to see what kind of codes for discounts, deals and samples are available. They change often, so there many opportunities to save money on different products.
2. Sign up or Sephora Flash
If you frequently shop on their website, you may want to consider signing up for the Sephora Flash subscription. It’s a free 2-day shipping on all orders (no minimum) for a year for only $10! Considering that orders less than $50 have a charge of $5.95, this is a pretty good deal. The program is free to join for VIB Rouge members.
3. Apply for the JCPenney Card
Did you that many JCPenney stores have Sephora stores inside them? And that you can use your JCPenney gift cards to purchase Sephora products that are only in the JCPenney stores? If you don’t Sephora store nearby, you can shop online at JCPenney.com. The Sephora stores inside JCPenney usually have the best clearance deals. They are smaller, so they have to get rid of extra inventory quickly so they usually price it to move fast.
4. Make the Most of Complimentary Services
If you’re already spending money at Sephora, be sure to get the most out of your purchases. For example, a 45-minute full face makeover are complimentary with a $50 minimum purchase, and a 90-minute customized skin care, fragrance and beauty makeover is free with purchases of $125 or more.
Mini-makeovers in the form of 15-minute sessions with Sephora beauty and skincare advisors are free in all stores, so be sure to inquire.
5. Shop through a Cash-Back Site
Shopping through portals such as Ebates or Ibotta will give you cash back on purchases from Sephora.
6. Follow them on Social Media.
Make sure to follow Sephora on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When you do, you’ll be alerted of upcoming sales and you may even be able to get additional coupons and samples.
7. Sign up for Sephora Emails
Scroll to the bottom of the Sephora homepage and enter your email to receive alerts notifying you of sale items, the latest beauty trends and upcoming events.
8. Shop Semi-Annual Sales
Sephora holds major semi-annual sales twice a year. This is where loyalty pays—since only Beauty Insiders get access to this major sale, when products are up to 20% off. The semi-annual sales usually happen in the spring and fall, usually mid-April and mid-November and the sales normally last a few days.
9. Sign Up for Sephora’s Loyalty Program
Sign up for Sephora’s loyalty program, Sephora Beauty Insider to save on products and services. When you sign up, you’ll get points for each dollar spent in-store and online. The program has three tiers: Beauty Insider, VIB and VIB Rouge, depending on how much money you spend with them.
10. Buy Discounted Sephora Gift Cards
Sites like Raise.com sell unwanted gift cards at a lower price, so if you’re planning on shopping there anyway, this is a great way to save money.
11. Try the Sephora Brand
Sephora carries its own brand of products, and while the selection isn’t huge, it is affordable. Choose from face masks and other skin care products that are priced much lower than the other name brands in the store. You can ask an associate which one they would recommend if you’re not sure where to begin.
12. Take Advantage of Free Classes
At the entrance of the store, you’ll often see a display informing you of upcoming classes and workshops. This is a great way to learn new makeup techniques and new products for free! Pay attention to this display and take advantage of events that you think will be beneficial to you.
13. Check the Beauty Steals Bins
They have Beauty Steals bins throughout the store, usually located on the aisle ends. They feature some of the best deals in the store, so make sure to regularly check them.
14. Return Gently-Used Products
If for whatever reason you’re not satisfied with a purchase from the Sephora store, don’t hesitate to ask for your money back. As long as the product you bought is in new or gently used condition, you have up to 60 days of purchase to return the product for a full refund.
15. Get Free Samples
At Sephora, you can get three samples in every section, including skin care, makeup, hair care and fragrance. This way, you can try out products without having to purchase them.
16. Splurge on Palettes, Not Single Items
Even if you don’t think that you will use every single color in a eyeshadow palette, purchasing the palette instead of a few individual colors that you like is bound to save you money.
17. Look for Value and Gift Sets
Gift sets are usually filled with tons of amazing options at great values. Sure, you may not use every single piece in the kit, but this is probably the easiest and cheapest way to find a new favorite lipstick or mascara without purchasing several individual full-sized tubes.
18. Search Online for Discount Codes
Look for promo codes for Sephora on sites like RetailMeNot.com and Coupon.com when you shop online.
19. Take Advantage of Sales Within Two Weeks
We've all made a purchase only to find it on sale the following week. Fortunately, Sephora will offer a price adjustment if you find it on sale within two weeks of your purchase.
20. Look Beyond Eye Level
Sephora, like many retailers, place the most expensive products at eye level. Look above and below eye level for the best deals. And to save even more, shop the perimeters of the store first, where the sales and deals are located.
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