Sephora Shopping Secrets

Sephora Shopping Secrets

Sephora is the mecca of beauty supplies, with row upon row of eyeshadows, face creams, fancy face scrubbers and a rainbow of nail polish colors to choose from. Founded in France, Sephora can now be found in even the most standard of American shopping malls, including inside 485 JCPenneys. Sephora is known for its free samples and interactive atmosphere, so it’s a great place to try something new.

How to Shop at Sephora

Each store is divided into several sections: makeup, skin care, hair care, fragrance, nail polish. The abundance of choices and pretty packages can be overwhelming, so either research the products you’re interested in ahead of time, or avail yourself of the eager salespeople. Sephora has also developed several diagnostic products to help you find what you’re looking for, including a handheld device that will tell you exactly which color foundation to use, a computer program that makes personalized skincare recommendations and one that helps you find the right perfume. covers the same breadth of products online and also has several interactive features including forums and galleries where real women post photos of themselves with makeup from Sephora on. Don’t miss the Weekly Specials link for deals and freebies. Whether you shop online or in-store, sign up to be a Beauty Insider. It’s free and will get you all kind of little goodies. Make sure to check for a coupon code before you complete your order.

You’ll get free samples with every purchase you make, whether in-store or online and with our without a Beauty Rewards card.

Shipping and Handling

Standard three-day shipping is $5.95 for orders less that $50 or free for orders more than $50. Two-day shipping is $10.95 and one-day shipping is $16.95.


If you’re not happy with your Sephora purchase, return it within 60 days for a full refund. Return shipping is free for online purchases and a return label is included with your order. Returns sent in between 61 and 90 days are refunded with store credit. If you’d like to return an item within the 60-day period but have lost your receipt, you can still make an exchange or get store credit. Gently used products can also be exchanged and individual stores decided whether to accept used items on a case-by-case basis.

Sephora Beauty Insider Program

This is Sephora’s free rewards program. Once you sign up, Sephora will track your purchases and you’ll receive a point for every dollar that you spend. You can save up your points for extra free samples. You’ll get another gift on your birthday and access to free makeup lessons. Most of Sephora’s sales are directed at Beauty Insiders. If you spend $350 or more in a calendar year, you’ll earn VIB status, and $1,000 or more earns you VIB Rouge status. Each level has more perks, including invitations to in-store events and free custom makeovers.

Makeovers and analysis

Sephora will help you figure out which of their many products is right for you. Don’t be shy! Ask the salespeople for help or schedule a makeover.

Skincare IQ (free): answer questions about your skin and get personalized product recommendations

Fragrance IQ (free): answer questions about your favorite scents and how you want your perfume to make you feel and take home samples for three custom recommendations

Color IQ (free): a Sephora salesperson will use a handheld device to determine your skin’s Pantone color. You’ll get insight into your skin (do you have yellow undertones or red undertones?) and suggestions for foundations that match your skin color.

Mini-Makeovers (free): This 15-minute makeover focuses in on key techniques like using bronzer, putting on false lashes and achieving that perfect smoky eye.

Custom Makeover (free with $50 purchase or VIB Rouge status): Get a whole new look and learn the techniques to make it happen at home with this 45-minute makeover and tutorial.

Personal Beauty Advisor (free with $125 purchase or VIB Rouge status): This 90-minute session gets you the Custom Makeover, plus a personal shopping session.

Top 10 Shopping Tips

  1. Sign up for Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty card. It’s free, the points don’t expire and they earn you free gifts, makeovers and makeup classes.
  2. Get spoiled on your birthday when your Sephora Beauty Insider card will get you free gifts.
  3. FREE: Try out a new look with a 15-minute in-store makeover.
  4. FREE: Learn to create that perfect smoky eye and other techniques at complimentary classes for Beauty Insiders.
  5. FREE: Get three product samples with every purchase, in stores or online.
  6. Find the perfect makeup brush from its wide range of affordable beauty tools.
  7. Post photos and ask questions on the online Beauty Talk forums. Get advice from experts and other users.
  8. See real women’s made up faces and shop the look on the Beauty Board.
  9. Check for coupon codes for extra discounts and freebies, including deluxe samples.
  10. Discover your skin’s Pantone color with Sephora’s Color IQ device and get perfectly matched foundation recommendations.


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