The Definitive Guide to Couponing at Sephora

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Behind Sephora's trademark white-and-black-striped facade lies a cosmetic candy store of sweet scents, luscious textures and tantalizing colors with price tags that might leave a sour aftertaste in your newly plumped and glossed mouth. But must you sacrifice beauty when over 200 brands of luxurious makeup and skin care products beckon to be brought home in that shiny black bag with the bold white letters?

Fear not. Under those big, bright store spotlights reflected in glossy mirrors lay hidden treasures for the budget-conscious. And your friends at Dealspotr are here to help put your best face forward by sharing tips that are more than skin-deep. After all, Sephora built its empire of over 1,700 stores in 30 countries through customer loyalty and brand advocacy. And Sephora's popular rewards program is rated as one of the best among top retailers.

Let's take a look.

Become an Insider

Available both in-store and online, the Beauty Insider rewards program is a tier-based system with rewards and personalized offers. One point is earned for every dollar you spend at any location. Members redeem points for more beauty booty, rather than discounts. This is because discounts and coupons are not aligned with most premium brands, so matching points for products is a better fit.

An online beauty profile is created based on your preferences, concerns, physical color tones and skin type. From your beauty profile, you can access customized recommendations that are also based upon your previous shopping history. No purchase is necessary to join. It is important to note that you must spend up to $350 each year to maintain your membership by flashing your special card with every purchase. Gift cards, taxes and shipping costs co not count toward accruing points. Also, points toward membership level expire each January.

Points are held in a "Beauty Bank" account that does not expire. For every 100 points you earn, you are eligible to select one Beauty Insider deluxe sample with your purchase. Of course, the points will then be deducted from your account. There is even a better advantage when you reach the 500-point level. You will then have access to a limited-edition set, handpicked for Beauty Insiders. After you pick this set, then 500 points will be drawn from your "bank."

Insider Tip

Sephora knows you are an ageless beauty, but the company still honors your birthday with a special gift with a Beauty Insider membership. It is available 14 days prior or after the special day, and during your entire birthday month. No purchase is necessary.

VIB and VIB Rouge

Those Chanel lipsticks and Givenchy eyeshadows can add up to even greater rewards when you reach the Very Important Beauty and Very Important Beauty Rouge status by spending a minimum of $350 and $1,000 respectively. You will be entitled to special invitations to store events, emails containing codes for special free samples and promotions. At the Rouge level, you will receive free shipping and a beauty concierge for advice. Your status is good for the calendar year in which you qualify, as well as, the following year.

Insider Tip

Use your upper-level status to benefit from unlimited free full makeovers for any occasion or even for just a little pick-me-up.

Shop Relaxed Due to a Generous Return Policy

You may return your merchandise for any reason within 60 days for a full cash or credit card refund. You will receive store credit after 60 days. If you purchased online, then simply use the free return shipping label included with every order or bring the item to any to any convenient Sephora location. It is also possible to return a gift and have the refund as a store credit under your account by contacting 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672).

Insider Tip

You might be able to get away with returning an item using only your ID and not a receipt, but some customers have warned that Sephora is cracking down on this practice.

Sales, Samples and Free Shipping

The store doesn't have regular sales, but discounted items are available in bins at the end of product displays. From time to time, the best place to find a sale is shopping at and capitalizing during the times in which it offers free shipping with any purchase (as opposed to $50 minimum purchase for free shipping). You are also eligible for three samples of your choice from the Sephora Offers page with every order. Also, along with the three free samples, you are allowed to select a fourth "deluxe" sample with any order over $25 at check-out. Be certain to check the current code on their website.

Insider Tip

Every customer is expected to leave with samples of products they want to try, so be certain to bring your wishlist. Also, every customer is allowed a free 15-minute mini-makeover for a glam eye or perfect pout --which is perfect prep for that lunch date or after-work cocktail. Also, the nail bar offers opportunities to give yourself a great complimentary manicure.

Take Advantage of Discount Gift Card Purchase Sites

Most people use gift cards as gifts, but it's far from the only way you can utilize these magical little inventions. Smart shoppers buy themselves discounted gift cards as an extra means of saving money when they go shopping. Currently, is offering Sephora gift cards for up to 8.2% off! Use those gift cards when you go to Sephora and it's like getting an additional 8.2% discount on anything you buy, plus it doesn't exclude clearance items, promo codes or coupons.

How It Works

Start out by searching through the selection of gift cards for Sephora. The full value of the gift card will be displayed on each listing as well as the seller's asking price and the money you will save. If you purchase a physical gift card, it will be shipped free to you, but eGift cards are immediately available electronically. There is no sales tax.

Insider Tip offers an enticing program that dispenses rewards incentives once you have referred friends to the site. You'll get $5 in your Raise account each time your friend makes a purchase.

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This guide was published on April 14, 2015, and last modified on April 14, 2015.
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