Product lovers know that Sephora is the place to go for all things beauty-related, but shopping there can be a bit of a hazard, financially speaking, even when you do so with a list of needs in hand. After all, Sephora has everything you never knew you desperately needed.
If you’re likely to be tempted by all the sights and smells of Sephora, try using some of these tactics to save on your next haul. Here are 17 ways to save at the beauty chain.
1. Shop the Sales Section
Check out all the awesome beauty bargains available in the Sephora sales section online before you do anything else. From makeup, skincare and fragrance products to hair, beauty tools and bath items, you may just find everything you need for your date night look right there.
2. Check Out Weekly Specials
Unlike the sales section, weekly specials show up for a limited time and include things like bonus offers, limited-time markdowns, and freebie items, among other things.
3. Sign Up for Sephora Newsletters
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the Sephora homepage and enter your email to get Sephora newsletters. You’ll have access to all the current promotions, coupon codes and more.
4. Join the Beauty Insider Program
Register for free for Sephora’s Beauty Insider program and every dollar you spend earns you a point that gets you closer to free beauty products. (You can actually find out how many points you need for certain products on Sephora’s website.) You’ll also get a free birthday gift, access to free beauty classes, and for $10 a year, you can receive flash two-day shipping on all your orders online. Here are a few other awesome retailer loyalty programs to consider.
5. Upgrade to the VIB Level
If your Sephora obsession is serious, it might be worth the $350 per year to upgrade to the VIB level program. You’ll still earn points toward free products, get a free birthday gift, free beauty classes and have access to flash two-day shipping on all online orders for an additional $10 per year, but you’ll also get additional seasonal savings, handpicked gifts and one free custom makeover annually.
6. Go All Out with the VIB Rouge Program
Only if you really, truly spend a ton at Sephora will this program be worth it, but for $1,000 a year, the VIB Rouge program will give you access to everything the regular VIB program does, plus you’ll have unlimited free customer makeover access and free flash two-day shipping on all online orders. Plus, you’ll have access to a private hotline and you’ll receive invitations to exclusive events.
7. Create a Sephora Loves List to Share Widely
The next time someone asks you what you want for your birthday, Christmas or Hanukkah, point them in the direction of your carefully curated Loves list in your Sephora Beauty Bag. Simply sign in, click the heart icon next to any beauty items you must have, then print or share via email with your loved ones.
8. 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, 45-minute full-face makeovers are complimentary with a $50 minimum purchase or $50 gift card redemption, and a 90-minute customized skin care, fragrance, and beauty makeover is free with purchases of $125 or more. Both services are free to VIB Rouge members, as well.
Mini-makeovers in the form of 15-minute sessions with Sephora Beauty and Skincare advisers are free in all stores, as well, so be sure to inquire.
9. Don’t Forget Your Free Samples
Before plunking down full price to try out a brand new product, check and see if what you’re looking for is available as a free sample. Each online purchase comes with three free samples, and if you can try it out before buying it, you might save some wasted cash on products that weren’t what you were expecting. You’re also allowed up to three take-home samples per department in store, so ask about those options and details.
10. Apply for the JCPenney Card
Sephora now accepts a JCPenney credit card (full review here) for purchases at Sephora.com, so you can use your Sephora purchases to help you earn rewards on your JCPenney purchases as well.
Just be sure to pay your balances off in full. The card carries a lofty variable 26.99% annual percentage rate. Plus, high credit card balances can hurt you credit. (You can see two of your scores for free on Credit.com.)
11. Use a Rewards Credit Card
You can get a little kickback on your beauty purchases by using a solid rewards credit card. Again, just be sure to pay your balances off in full. Otherwise, any points, miles or cash back you earn will just get eaten by interest.
12. Follow Sephora on Social Media
The beauty store often shares discount, contest and giveaway information on its Facebook and Twitter sites. Be sure to follow them so you don’t miss out.
13. Search Online for Discount Codes
Try sites like Retail Me Not and Coupon.com for promo codes to use online.
14. Buy Discount Gift Cards
Check out sites like Gift Card Granny to purchase Sephora gift certificates at less than face value.
15. Get a Student Discount
Search for them online. For instance, you can earn 10% cash back on Sephora purchases at student discount site studentrate.com.
16. Splurge on Makeup Palettes, Not Single Items
Even if you don’t think you’ll use every single color in that lipstick palette, picking up the palette instead of individual lipstick colors you like is bound to save you some cash, as individual items tend to cost an arm and a leg.
17. Wait for the Sales
Beauty Insiders get early access on offers of up to 15% off products twice a year, but sales can be worth the wait in savings even if you haven’t signed up for the Beauty Insider rewards program.
Want more brand hacks? You’re in luck, because we’ve got plenty. For starters, you can find 14 ways to save at Overstock.com right here. Or you can check out these 12 ways to save at The Container Store if you need new bins to put all those beauty products in. Plus, if there’s a particular retail chain you’d like to see us cover, shout it out in the comments section below.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.