Hi all! It is *that* time of year again– Sephora VIB sale time! Many a beauty and skincare devotee spend days– if not weeks– carefully curating their shopping basket to make the most of the sale. That is, a blanket discount everything at Sephora (except for Colourpop items), which is pretty exciting since Sephora carries several brands which often never go on sale or are often excluded from promotions.
The discount is based upon the “tier” of the Sephora rewards program that you are. If you aren’t a member, don’t fret! Anyone can sign up to be a “Beauty Insider.” Here are the details:
VIB Rouge: 11/3-11/6 and 11/10-11-15, 20% off everything (use code 20FORROUGE)
VIB: 11/10-11/15, 20% off everything (use code 20FORVIB)
Beauty Insider: 11/10-11/15, 15% off everything (use code INSIDER15)
In this post I am going to share my strategy and philosophy when approaching sales like this, and then I will share my tried-and-true recommendations as well as share my personal wish list for the sale.
This post contains affiliate links.
I think it is really easy to get carried away when these hyped up Sephora sales occur, because they make you feel like you are getting a really good deal– and sometimes you can be. However, just because an item is on sale doesn’t mean that you need to buy it. If a discounted item was not an item that you would have spent money on otherwise, it isn’t really a good deal. During these sales there are lots of tempting value sets, but I always try to ask myself “Would I buy it if it wasn’t on sale?” and “Will I use all of the items in the set?”– if the answer is no, then it would end up being wasteful in both a financial sense, and also just by contributing to clutter in our apartment.
Additionally, individual brands will often hold sales around the time of the Sephora sale to “compete” –they may even offer a larger discount than Sephora gives! So, always do your due diligence and check out your favorite brand’s website before clicking the “purchase” button just in case you can save some more money. Other retailers like Nordstrom will often price match with the Sephora sale for the items that they carry.
All that being said, I do enjoy purchasing from Sephora because of their easy in-store, no hassle returns and overall good product selection– so I’ll stop trying to talk you out of purchasing things now 🙂
Let’s talk about with when the sale goes live– midnight PST. This isn’t all that important unless you are after a particularly in-demand, “trendy” item, or a highly desired gift set. For example, if you are looking for some of the new Fenty Beauty products or any of the large gift sets (like the popular Drunk Elephant ones) or “Sephora Favorites” sets, I would consider being one of the intense folks that gets up at midnight (or your midnight PST equivalent) to place your order, since these types of items often sell out.
Here are some other technical things that you may need to know if this is your first (online) Sephora sale experience. If you are ordering online, you can only use one “code”– the sale discount code. This isn’t ideal, because Sephora actually has an awesome selection of gifts with purchase available throughout the year that you use a code to redeem. Make sure to check them out here (it updates fairly regularly) if you are ever ordering from Sephora when it isn’t sale time. You can, however, still redeem your “points” from the Rewards Bazaar and select samples at checkout. The discount code can be used an unlimited amount of times, so you can make multiple orders if you want to. You can use this to maximize on samples, or if you just change your mind and decide to purchase additional things. Sephora does offer free shipping on all orders over $50– just expect a wait with the high volume of purchases from the sale.
If you will be shopping in store, everything will be totally normal other than it being busier than usual!
One last tip– if shopping online, don’t forget to use Ebates! They currently have a 4% cash back for Sephora but frequent increase to 8%. If you haven’t used Ebates before, it is a website that after registering allows you to add a button onto your browser to “activate” it prior to making online purchases…and then you get cash back on a quarterly basis! I’ve been using it to book all of my residency interview travel as well as do all online shopping from glasses, to my winter coat, to my (future) Sephora purchase.
If you haven’t signed up and are interested, you can get $10 for your first cash back bonus by using my referral link. If you’re not into that, that’s cool too– you can just search “Ebates.” Either way, having a quarterly Paypal deposit for shopping that I am already doing is a nice bonus. Last quarter, I got a little over $40 back– a solid contribution to my coffee budget!
1) Bite Agave Lip Mask ($26): This lip mask is my savior through the winter months. There are people out there that believe that this is overhyped, but I am totally on team #worththehype. This is a THICK lip mask that I can often feel remnants of on my lips in the morning after applying before bed– it has grip. The clear lip mask, while packing a protective and healing punch, just looks like a normal lip balm on the lips– nothing too shiny. The “smashed” shade is perfect for long winter days when you want a touch of tint on your lips and also want all of the heavy hydration of the lip mask. I love it for hospital days because it leaves a pretty pink stain, is low maintenance (unlike a lot of lipsticks), and is heavy enough of a lip balm to stay on for several hours.
2) Hourglass Ambent Lighting Powder ($46 full sized, $22 mini): I wear this every day that I wear makeup– enough said. But really, this powder is a subtly light reflecting setting powder that leaves my dry skin looking glowy and smooth instead of crusty and sad. This powder is best as a “finishing powder” vs a “setting powder” –meaning, it isn’t going to do much to control oil and really isn’t going to mattify. That being said, I do use this to “set” my undereye concealer and it prevents it from creasing quite well. I have fully panned a full-sized powder and intend to repurchase. Diffused Light (not the shade pictured) is the perfect shade for my fair, neutral-to-warm undertones however there are several other shades to choose from. I would recommend checking these out in store to see which shade might suit you best.
3) Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder ($44): The creme de la creme of contouring. These powders have the perfect, neutral undertone that provides believable dimension to the face. They are finely milled and easily blendable– really everything you can ask for if you want a natural looking contour. It is an expensive product, but it will last you…maybe until the end of time, since you need such little product with each application. I use the shade Light, but it also comes in Medium and Deep.
4) Belif Holly Jolly Hydration Set ($38): Okay, so this one might be cheating a little bit (since one of the products in the set is new to me)…but hear me out. When folks with dryer skin types ask me for a moisturizer recommendation, Belif’s Moisture Bomb is one of the ones that I always turn to first. It is intensely hydrating without being “greasy,” works well for day or night, and layers well with other skincare products, as well as under sunscreen and makeup. This set contains the full-sized moisturizer, and costs the same amount as the full-sized moisturizer alone…but also contains Belif’s new well-reviewed eye cream and their very pleasant hydrating essence. This is one of the value sets that I feel like is truly a very good value.
5) Living Proof PhD Dry Shampoo Duo ($22): My favorite dry shampoo– available as a set in the sale with a free travel-sized can! This stuff actually makes my hair feel clean, instead of gritty or full of extra product. I also appreciate that the scent is very light and smells like freshly washed hair instead of perfume. There are lots of effective dry shampoos out there, but what really sets this one apart for me is that it doesn’t give much of a “gray” cast on very dark hair like a lot of products can– it really is just an all-around winner! I try lots of new products, but I always come back to this dry shampoo.
6) Shiseido Facial Cottons ($5 for 40, $10 for 165): When these were first recommended to me, I remember thinking that it was totally ridiculous. Luxury facial cottons? Well friends, I’m here to tell you that they are worth it. Gone are the days of bits of cotton getting all over your skin and eyelashes– these squares don’t shed at all and are incredibly soft. Using them makes applying toner or using a micellar water/makeup remover a treat. Silly? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely. Pro tip: cut them in half and they last a lot longer.
When preparing my own wishlist, I was considering ways to make the discount really worth it. For me, that is:
1) Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk ($126): a full-sized bottle of my favorite roller ball (that I’m almost out of!), since I have become quite smitten with the scent and fragrance in general is expensive.
2) Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist ($30): a very well-reviewed luxury facial mist in a smaller size to try out
(3) Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler ($21) : a new eyelash curler, because mine has seen better days
(4) Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer ($48) : a versatile base product with a cult-like following and a large price tag– I would try shade sx01
So…What are you actually going to get?
As much as I would love to get everything on my wish list (and a few others 😉 ), I am a medical student and currently in the thick of “interview season”– also known as a very expensive time. Needless to say, I have a running “low buy” policy going for non-essentials at the moment. Additionally, I’m at a place where I own quite a bit of beauty and skincare product and really want to focus on using what I have! That being said, I do have a $50 Sephora gift card (yay!) so I will be repurchasing my beloved Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, and will probably also pick up a new eyelash curler since mine has been around for way too long.
I don’t know about you all, but I love hearing about what is on other people’s wishlists– it is just fun to see what other people are interested in! So, I am linking a few of my blogger friends’ posts about the Sephora sale here. Feel free to peruse if you are curious like I am.
- “Sephora VIB Rouge Sale 2017 Wishlist” from MidnightWink
- “Sephora Sale Wishlisting” from Melanie at Overglowedit.com
- “2017 Sephora VIB Rouge Sale Picks” from MoodsandViews.com
And for a change in pace, here are some “Anti-Hauls” if you want to read about what people aren’t gonna buy. I agree with a lot of the sentiments in these and thought that these bloggers did a great job if you need some Sephora sale “real talk.”
- Sharmtoaster’s Anti- Haul #5
- Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick’s Anti-Haul (aka “What I’m Not Going to Buy”), Seventh Edition
Let me know if you’ve blogged about the sale too– I’d love to continue the linkshare love!
Do you plan on getting anything in the Sephora sale? Have you tried anything on my wishlist? What’s on yours?
I want to hear about it!