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Chain beauty product store

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Candy Store of Beauty

  • Jan 7, 2010
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I am a label whore ONLY when it comes to makeup and perfume, so Sephora is my one big budget-killing weakness. With the exception of MAC, they have all my favorite brands under one huge, well-lit roof. Since there is such a huge selection and I'm on a budget, I have a somewhat obsessive plan of attack each time I visit. If you want to keep your head on straight & not blow your bank account to complete smitherings, try my helpful (and slightly crazy) steps:

  1. Know what you need. I always scan through my makeup to see what I have and make a list of what I'm looking for ahead of time, so I am less likely to make impulse buys. I've got probably 4 similar slightly shimmery cream-colored shadows because I love them and keep buying what I like. No bueno.
  2. Do your research. I "preshop" on Sephora.com to see what options I have and what the prices are like. If I'm looking for a deep red lipstick, I know which brands carry things that look promising and which are the least expensive. Then when I'm at the store I can try them out and not get swept away by pretty packaging that costs $12 more.
  3. Stay away from salespeople! I know people say they want the staff to be "helpful", but I want them to leave me alone & not pressure me into anything. If I want them, I get them. The best way to keep makeup salesfolk away? Go into the store bare-faced. They assume you aren't really going to spend a lot. Go in looking like a makeup artist and they'll be all over you.
  4. ASK FOR SAMPLES! I know everyone has said this in their reviews, but it's imparative. These are pricey items that you are putting on your face- you want to be sure they are right for you before you fork out major bucks.
  5. Think thrice about palettes. Sephora is chock-full of palettes and kits which are almost always really cute and tempting. It's easy to tell yourself "Well, I want this color but for $15 I can get it in a palette with 3 other colors." That's true, and is often a good buy, but ONLY if you are actually going to use those other colors and don't already have similar colors at home. Compare several palettes, remember your inventory & check other brands before deciding on something big.
  6. Be an Insider. Sephora's loyalty program is called "Beauty Insiders". You can sign up for free and earn a points each time you shop in store or online. 100 points gets you a "deluxe" sample (once I got sample sizes of all the new D&G fragrences and most recently it was a mini Anastasia mascara). If you resist the temptation of the deluxe samples and keep saving, 500 points gets you a full size product- some of which are Insider exclusives like Kat Von D 4 shadow pallets. You usually have a choice of 3-5 different bonuses regardless of the point value you're "spending".  As an Insider you can also get a free gift if you show your card in-store on your birthday! Usually it's something from the Sephora brand which isn't too shabby.
I'm pretty familar with Sephora's stock, so I often shop online as well. This is awesome because they have free shipping for orders of $50 or more (and really, if you're shopping at Sephora you're probably spending more than $50) and each order comes with three free samples. The choices are pretty cool, too.

Overall, I really love Sephora and would choose it any day over Ulta or a department store. They have a great selection of quality products and usually a very helpful staff. Go in prepared & have fun!

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November 18, 2011
I love Sephora! Great review and tips! I get suckered all the time and spend way more than I expected to, so I'm going to follow your tips to save some mula. Thanks :)
January 07, 2010
Hi Lia! Great to see you back : ) Awesome tips on Sephora shopping, thx!!
January 07, 2010
So nice to see you on here, lady! :)  And thank you for all those very, very helpful tips.  I don't think they're crazy at all and agree with you!
January 07, 2010
Great review...totally all inclusive. I really, really love Sephora - you were spot-on with the candy store comment!
More Sephora reviews
Quick Tip by . January 28, 2010
A place I could spend hours in! The prices are pretty high, but the store brand is always cheaper. And plus, sometimes it's just worth it!
Quick Tip by . January 28, 2010
This is my kind of candy store! ;D
review by . March 04, 2009
Are you a fiend for makeup?  Do you have at least 2 bottles of perfume on your nightstand? Is your shower/bathroom counter filled with insane amounts of conditioner, shampoo, and styling products?  If so, then you've got to check this store out.     Sephora is the world's largest beauty retail store that carries makeup brands ranging from Urban Decay and Nars to higher end brands like Fresh.  They have become a one stop shop for women that enjoy higher end perfume, …
review by . December 30, 2008
True make-up aficionados may disagree, but I think Sephora is pretty much genius. There's something for everyone, men included. The whole place is vibrant and shimmering...a grown-up candy store of sorts.    The pros:   One stop shopping - almost every brand you can think of and then some They not only have make-up, but perfumes, styling tools, as well as products for skin and hair care At every display there is a collection of q-tips, cotton balls, cotton pads, tissues, …
About the reviewer
Lia Lara-Tellez ()
Ranked #82
I work for a wholesale travel agency when I'm not Lunching (ok, sometimes when I am). No, this does not mean I can hook you up with a free hotel. It does mean I can hook myself up witha free hotel, so … more
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Sephora is the leading retailer of cosmetics in the United States and second in Europe.  With 91 stores in the US and 400 in Europe, Sephora is continuing to expand primarily with their website, sephora.com, which showcases over 14,000 beauty products.  The concept of the store emphasizes freedom, pleasure and beauty and institutes a lifetime return policy.

Sephora opened its first US store in New York in 1997. Its North American headquarters are located in San Francisco, with marketing offices in New York City. Sephora is a division of Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Sephora is known for their sampling program and for their life time return policy.

The Sephora Beauty Insider is a rewards program that offers customers coupons, discounts, and points for frequent buyers. The program is available to all Sephora customers and is free for sign-up. Each dollar spent is equal to one point, every one hundred points offers a free "deluxe" sample-size product. Beauty Insider members also receive sample-size gifts on their birthday.

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