15 Smartest Ways to Save at Sephora

By Andrea Cannon on 1 April 2016 0 comments

Sephora is the mecca of all things beauty. And while it may be the best place to find all of your beauty essentials, it can also be the easiest way to overspend and break your budget. Fortunately, we've found a number of ways for you to save money and get more from every Sephora trip.

1. Join the Beauty Insider Program

Once you join the free Beauty Insider Program, you'll start building points towards rewards. You'll get one point per dollar you spend, and once you hit 100 points, you can trade them in for a free product. They also offer a free birthday gift and other freebies throughout the year for Beauty Insiders. If you let your points accumulate, you'll be able to get a bigger, better prize. Don't worry, your points will never expire. (See also: 9 Store Loyalty Programs That Are Worth It)

If you spend $350 in a year, you'll enter the VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) Program for even more perks and insider events. If you spend $1,000 in a year, you'll enter the VIB Rouge Program for perks like free shipping and unlimited free makeovers, so you can take advantage of the talented Sephora makeup artists whenever you need.

2. Get Free Samples

Ask for free samples of anything you want to try. You can get up to three free samples from each of the three departments: makeup, skincare, and fragrance. All you have to do is ask and they will give you a free sample of the foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, perfume, shampoo, lotion, or any cosmetic item you want to try out at home.

You should also inquire about free samples at checkout. And you can expect three free samples with any Sephora online order. For even more free samples with your online order, take a look at the Weekly Specials for freebies with a discount code.

3. Get a Free Makeover

You can get a free 15-minute makeover or mini facial at your local store. You can choose from mini-makeovers like false eyelash application, eyebrow application, or focusing on a specific area of the face.

4. Take Free Classes

Do you want to learn to apply makeup like a pro? Sephora's got you covered. They offer free makeup application assistance and two-hour beauty classes so you can improve your skills and keep up with the latest makeup trends.

5. Follow Sephora on Social Media

Follow Sephora on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They commonly offer discounts, promos, and giveaways for their social media fans.

6. Ignore Store Temptations

Sephora places items that they think will tempt you most by the cash register — which aren't usually the best deals). Try ignoring those cute, but costly, temptations.

7. Look Beyond Eye Level

Sephora, like many retailers, commonly places the most expensive products at eye level. Look above and below eye level for the best deals. To save even more, start shopping the perimeters of the store, where the sales and deals are usually hiding.

8. Avoid Travel Products

In most cases, travel items aren't a good deal. They are more expensive, per unit, compared to larger products. If you really need travel products for your next trip, ask for free samples instead.

9. Get Free Shipping

If you're planning on making a lot of online purchases, consider joining the Sephora Flash Subscription Program, which will get you unlimited free two-day shipping for $10 per year. When you consider that two-day shipping can cost $10.95 each time, you'll see that this is a great deal. The program is free to join for VIB Rouge members.

If there is an item you need that Sephora doesn't have in stock at your local store, they will ship it to you for free. You can also get free shipping online at any time with a $50 purchase.

10. Purchase Value Sets, Palettes, or Sampler Kits

Value sets, sampler kits, and palettes offer more product for less money, so you'll get a better deal. In fact, you can save up to 70% off and have more fun with a value set. Some sets will even advertise on the front of the packaging how much you'll save.

The Sephora perfume samplers are another great deal. You'll get to try samples of some of the most popular fragrances for men and women. Best of all, the set includes a certificate for a free full-size bottle of your favorite perfume or cologne from the sampler.

11. Check the Beauty Steals Bins

You'll find Beauty Steals bins throughout the store, which are usually located on the aisle ends. They feature some of the best deals in the store, so make sure to regularly give them a scan.

12. Shop the Semi-Annual Sales

Sephora has semi-annual sales in April and November. You can stock up on all your beauty must-haves at that time for 10%-15% off.

13. 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 price adjustments if you find it on sale within two weeks of your purchase.

14. Shop Online

When you shop online, keep in mind that you'll get free samples. And make sure to visit the Beauty Deals page and Sales page for the best discounts and freebies. Use Ibotta, Ebates, or Raise.com whenever you shop — in store or online — along with promos and discount codes, for the best savings.

15. Return Anything That Doesn't Work for You

Don't waste money on products you're never going to use. Sephora has a great hassle-free return and exchange policy, so if something doesn't work for you, simply return it within 60 days. If you don't have your receipt, they can look up your purchases using your ID, Beauty Insider account, or the card you used to make the purchase. You can also return anything you purchased online for free using the prepaid return label.

Do you have other tips for saving big at Sephora? Share with us in the comments!

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