11 Sephora Hacks That Every College Girl Needs to Know

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Most of us love our makeup, but the cost begins to add up after a while. From snatching up the newest matte lip, to updating your mascara, lookin' good doesn't come cheap. But there are tricks to getting the most out of your dollar. So we gathered some helpful tips to help you get all you can out of the wonderful world of Sephora. We're revealing the immense, unhidden rewards on the Sephora Beauty Insider site alongside some insider tricks straight from the mouths of Sephora-lovers themselves—you will definitely want to take notes. 

1. Become a Beauty Insider

The Beauty Insider program is the rewards program for Sephora stores, where you earn points on everything you buy and get sweet rewards. You can get free makeovers, take some free classes and even get free stuff on your birthday. This is a definite first step to getting all you can from Sephora.

2. Birthday goodies

You will for sure want to go in for some b-day love during your birthday month. Claire Biggerstaff, sophomore at Davidson College, says that “if you come in on your birthday, you get a really cool grab bag of several high end product samples for free (I got 2 Nars Lip Crayons in mine)!”  Nothing like a little pampering on your special day.

3. Sign up for a free class in your area

Every Beauty Insider can take advantages of local classes on topics ranging from contouring and highlighting, to how to do your brows, to skincare solutions. So definitely get in on as many of these as you have time for. You too can become a beauty expert.

4. Use your points like a boss

Another way to use your Beauty Insider Account with finesse is to look at your points like they are an investment into something amazing, rather than simply a way to get free stuff. Here are few ways to grow your points and get something that will be worth the wait.

Related article: 8 Sephora Brands You Don’t Know (But Should)

5. Save up

Boston University junior, Savanna Takakoli, says that “[w]hen it comes to points, people are usually tempted to spend them on the monthly sample-sized products that can cost up to 100 points. What people don't know is that Sephora sometimes partners with other companies (especially around the holidays) to offer point-redeemable gifts like a trip to Paris, private nighttime makeup classes in the store, or lunch with a prominent clothing designer. Unless you're in love with a product, I recommend not spending your points on the smaller monthly items.” Let’s face it, saving up has always a good idea and now you know a little some of what you can do with what you save if you are patient. 

6. Be patient

Not everyone knows, but in the sales world, prices fluctuate.  What is regularly priced this week, may be on sale next week. Savanna reiterates that “it's really important that you don't throw all your money at a hot new product. Chances are, that limited edition Urban Decay palette is going to be on sale in a few months.” Yet another reason patience is a virtue. 

7. Buy gift sets

It’s a pretty well-known fact that often, when you bundle things you get a sweeter deal than when you purchase singular items. This is why it is super smart to buy gift sets because they are basically a bundle of the products you love at an already-discounted price. Even better if you can get them free with your points. Savannah recommends “buying gift sets from your favorite brands,” such as the Fresh line or Bumble and Bumble—both current rewards that you can get from 500-750 points, “as opposed to individual products. You get a lot more for your money and they usually all go on sale around the holidays so they're great if you're on a budget.” Saving has never been so sweet.  Now, for more free stuff…

8. Samples, samples, samples

Perhaps one of the sweetest perks of this store is its samples! As possibly the leading beauty giant in the world, Sephora expects clients to find their perfect products simply by trying things out with the help of trained experts. Claire says, “I would highly recommend asking employees if they can offer any samples. It’s a great way to try a product you might not have heard of before, and they’re free!”

Polli Guerrero, a Texas AMU alumna, encourages not to “buy travel sized samples, get a free one from an employee. Even skincare and  fragrances you can sample most of the time. Just ask! If there's a certain product you wanna try (like an expensive foundation you're not sure about) ask them for a sample. Or you can say things like ‘I really want to try some new charcoal masks, do you have any I can sample?’ Or ‘can I try some of these Murad products?’ They're also supposed to give you three samples automatically when checking out. If they don't, just ask for them. Sometimes they're busy or they forget." 

Don’t be afraid to ask if you really want to try something or more than one thing. Here’s to finding your perfect match.

9. Try the Sephora brand

Sephora has their “own brand of makeup, brushes, and skin care. They have a lot of good dupes for more expensive products, and their sheet masks are the BOMB,” Polli says.  Now, if you’re wondering what a dupe is, Claire Biggerstaff says it is “basically just a cheaper (and just as well performing) alternative to a more expensive product of the same type. A couple of other [dupe brand] examples would be “NYX Hydra Touch Primer ($14) instead of Smashbox’s Photo Finish Hydrating Primer ($42), E.L.F.’s Blush in Pinched ($3) instead of NARS Blush in Orgasm ($30), and Maybelline’s The Blushed Nudes Eye Palette ($10) instead of Urban Decay’s Naked 3 Palette ($54).” 

10. Take advantage of slower hours

Stephanie Huynh, a freshman at Lehigh University found that if you head in on a weekday when things are less busy “[t]he workers are much more willing to assist you. They helped me find the best face wash I've ever used. In case you're wondering, it's Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cleanser. It's great for super sensitive skin.” This is also the perfect time to sample to your heart’s content.

11. Follow on social media

Follow Sephora on social media channels to get even more discounts, since they post occasional coupons on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Also, their social media is a great place to check out new products and get a feel for what you might want to try out in the future and to hear some sweet advice from the founder. 

So, whether you are a Sephora fanatic or you are just now getting into using makeup and want to find the best products for you, I hope you find these hints helpful as you dive into the world of your own beauty.  Go on with your beautiful self.

About The Author

Starting out as a staff writer & visual contributor in the Spring of 2016, Christine soon became the replacement Campus Correspondent at Her Campus Savannah College of Art and Design for the 2016-17 school year. In January 2017, she facilitated the launch of the SCAD Atlanta branch's own editorial launch, apart from the Savannah campus, leading the team to win some 2017 Her Campus awards!  She is an illustrator and avid history lover, and she also served in the Army as an Analyst and went to Bethel Ministry School before attending SCAD.  Her goal, as an illustrator, writer and in life in general, is to mine life of the treasure contained within.  She loves to find and put on display ideas, people (portraiture) and beautiful things.  Valuable things that are all around us in our everyday life in the form of friends, coworkers, classmates, nature, even industry.  She loves music (even writing songs and performing!), dance and new adventures.   Eventually she plans to write and illustrate children's books, have her own business featuring greeting cards, paper products, and her own revolutionary online/physical editorial publication.  For more about Christine check out her website at www.christineburney.com.