Confession: I’m addicted to makeup and Sephora is my favorite place to buy it. Here’s how I shop strategically and save at least 25% every time!
Become a VIB or Find a Friend who’s one
Sephora’s VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) program has tons of perks including a free makeover, free birthday gift, product rewards, and most importantly – access to private sales. These private sales generally happen 1-2 times per year and discounts range from 5%-20% off. For as long as I can remember, Sephora has had a 20% off sale in November which will be here before you know it!
If you aren’t a VIB already, you’ll need to do two things to become one:
- Enroll in Sephora’s free rewards program, Beauty Insider.
- Spend $350 in a calendar year to earn VIB status for a full year. I typically stock up on my favorite products during the November sale and throw in a few Christmas gifts while I’m at it. I have no trouble spending $350 and earning VIB status. If you want to take advantage of the sale but haven’t yet qualified, find a friend who’s a VIB for that first year. Many times when I receive notification of the sale, I’m also given a coupon or code to share with a friend!
Use Ebates or another shopping portal
Ebates is currently offering 4% cash back at Sephora. and if it’s your first time shopping with them you’ll earn a $10 sign on bonus! This brings your savings to 24% before all of the bonuses and free gifts!
Pay with a credit card that offers cash back or rewards
I use the American Express Blue Cash Preferred, which offers great cashback rewards ranging from 1%- 6% (this card has an annual fee, but there is a free version with slightly lower rewards). If you sign up for either card now, they’re offering an additional $150 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first three months!
Depending on which card you use and if you’re able to take advantage of any special offers, you’ll have saved a total of 25% – 34% off at this point.
Finally, Redeem all of those Beauty Insider Bonus Points
Remember those samples I mentioned that can be redeemed for 100-500 points? During the holidays, Sephora tends to offer really nice gift sets for 500 points. Think Urban Decay Eyeshadow pallettes, Clinique skincare sets, Makeup Forever makeup sets and more. offers lots of free bonus gifts or gift sets you can redeem with points. I usually save up my points all year, use them for the 500 point sets and give them as Christmas gifts.
While Sephora may not ever be as cheap as the drug store brands, it is possible to buy nice makeup at a more affordable price. 26%-36% off plus free holiday gifts definitely makes it possible for to buy in bulk for the year without a big hit to my budget!