12 Sephora hacks that all beauty obsessed people should memorize



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The INSIDER Summary:

• Sephora has lots of great perks and programs people may not know about.
• You can get free makeovers, free samples, and lots of deals with these tips.

Sephora is like heaven for the makeup obsessed. The aisles are chock full of goodies, from the latest highlighter to gravity-defying mascara.

There are also tons of deals and freebies, if you know where to look.


We spoke with Allegra Stanley, Sephora's VP of Loyalty, about some of the best Sephora tips customers should be taking advantage of. Here's how to get the most out of Sephora.

First things first: Sign up to be a Beauty Insider.

A woman walks with a Sephora shopping bag as she leaves a Sephora store in Paris July 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

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The best way to get the most out of Sephora is pretty obvious: Sign up to be a Beauty Insider. It's free, and if you spend over $350 annually, you automatically become a VIB; if you spend over $1,000 annually, you'll become VIB Rouge.

Being a Beauty Insider gets you access to sales and free birthday gifts, while the next two tiers also come with more perks, including free custom makeovers, free two-day shipping, exclusive events, and more.

You can learn all about what you get in each tier here.


Don't be afraid to ask for samples of any product in stores.

Stanley says that just about anything in stores can be made into a sample that you can take home with you.

"We want customers to learn about the products and feel knowledgeable," she said. "We allow our customers to come into stores and ask for any sample that they want so they can understand what will be the best product for them."

And it's not just things like foundation or concealer - Stanley says that if there's a way to help you sample a product, the Sephora team will help you, whether it's perfume or skincare items (though it does get trickier with things like hairspray).

When in doubt, just ask!

Customers get three samples checking out online.

Aside from in-store samples, customers shopping online can also get three free samples with their purchase.


If you're shopping online and want to test out a product, take a look and see if it's in Sephora's free samples section.

You can also get a deluxe bonus product in addition to those three free samples.

People walk out of the Sephora store on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris October 27, 2013.    REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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People walk out of the Sephora store on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris

For anyone who thought the three samples at check out was old news, did you realize you can also get a fourth free sample by checking out the Weekly Specials page?

Each limited-time markdown comes with a code you can use at checkout to get samples of some of the more high-end products, including Clinique, Versace, and more. The offers change weekly, check them out here.

Save your points for bigger rewards that are worth your money.

Stanley said that it's hard for many Sephora fans to save up their rewards points, but if you can, you get access to even bigger and better gifts that are more worth your money, from gift sets to custom makeovers.


Plus, if you spend 750 points or above, you get free shipping on your reward and no purchase is required.

"At the end of the day, we want our clients to get access and use those points in a way that's meaningful to them and we want to make it as easy as possible," Stanley said.

Take advantage of the Rewards Bazaar.

On the note of saving up your rewards points, take a look at the Rewards Bazaar page to see what your points get you. Once you get above 10,000 points, you start to get amazing things like a Stella McCartney bag or a VIP trip to Los Angeles.

"In the past, most of our rewards stopped at 500 points, and now we're giving our clients the opportunity to use their points in new and exciting ways," Stanley said. "We did a 25,000-point trip to Chicago with the Kat Von D team to go to the makeup show, we did a masterclass with Makeup Forever for 5,000 points, and we had a reward for a spa package for 10,000 points."

That's an amazing deal when compared to your typical travel-sized mascaras.


In the market for a new scent? Get the perfume sampler.

The perfume sampler can kind of seem like a rip off at first glance. It costs $65 for a range of little perfume samples (including big brands like Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Elizabeth and James, Tory Burch, and more), but the best part is it comes with a voucher for a free full-size fragrance.

Considering many of the fragrances featured in the collection easily cost $80 to $95, you're actually getting the full-size perfume on sale with a bunch of little travel sized products to keep in your purse, at work, or around your home.

Get a free 15-minute makeover.

Many women I know duck into Sephora to redo their makeup before going out. Turns out, you can do the same thing with a Sephora staff member as your guide who will likely have a steadier hand than you do.

"We do complimentary mini makeovers that are a 15 minute service at our beauty studio and it's kind of a targeted focus so we do things like smoky eyes or essential eyeliner," Stanley explains.


This is perfect for anyone who wants to both try new products and look a little nicer before running out to drinks with friends.

Sephora also has custom makeovers (if you're willing to spend $50 on products).

sephora makeup sales associate employee

Getty Images/Greg Barritt

Sephora's full makeovers are also amazing, though we do recommend making an appointment in person or online. There's also a minimum fee of $50, but it's completely redeemable on product.

"It's a good opportunity for our clients to come in store, learn tips and tricks, and we do have that fee but it allows them to purchase all of those amazing products that they learned about in their makeover," Stanley explained.

The best part for VIB Rouge members is this service is completely free for them.


Don't be afraid to return something you dislike - even if you've used it.

There are myriad reasons people may need to return products after they tried them - perhaps you bought the wrong color, realized it looked bad with your coloring, or had an allergic reaction.

Of course, this is the exact reason Sephora allows customers samples of anything they want to try, but they also have a generous return policy where you can return anything, even after you've used it.

"At the end of the day, we want our customers to be completely satisfied with their purchase," Stanley said. "Satisfaction is the main reason we sample, so as much as we can to put the right products in the hands of our clients, we will do what it takes."

You can sign up for free shipping for a year (and it's basically free).

Sephora Flash


There are so many good deals online - free samples, free weekly gifts, more selection, and sale items - that it gives customers a lot of incentive to shop online.


The only negative is a lack of free shipping, unless you're a VIB Rouge member. But now, Sephora is offering Flash so you can spend $10 and get free two-day shipping for an entire year. The cost of the service basically pays for itself with just one online purchase, so it's essentially free.

See more about Sephora Flash here.

Follow Sephora on social media and sign up for emails.

Ultimately, the easiest way to find out about new merchandise, beauty gifts, sales, new rewards, new products, and more are to follow Sephora on Facebook and Instagram and signing up for email.

"Those are amazing opportunities to really get in the moment announcements for what's to come from a product standpoint," Stanley said.

Now get to shopping.


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