Just when you thought shopping at Sephora couldn't be any more fun—these secrets are going to change the way you fill your cart.

By Susan Brickell
May 02, 2018
Kimberly White/Getty Images

I trust the employees at Sephora with my life. And my face. Between the approachable staff, the loyalty rewards program, my utter fascination with and dependency on their Color IQ shade-matching tool for deciding my foundation shade for every season, and their impressive list of luxurious and affordable beauty brands, this big-box store with a welcoming mom-and-pop attitude has earned my loyalty, and that of countless others. 

As if a Sephora visit couldn't get any better, turns out there's even more we can all get from shopping at this cosmetics wonderland. I interviewed three Sephora employees for their best insider tips and tricks. This is what they want you to know. 

Always Shop The Weekly Wow

“We have what we call a Weekly Wow,”  Eddanette explains, “which basically means certain products will be on super sale all week long!” Shoppers can find these items—often for as much as 50 percent off—both in store and online. The offerings change every week, so if you see a product you want to try, scoop it up today.

You Can Return Anything (Seriously, Anything)

As long as it's not more than half-used, you can return any product purchased at Sephora for a refund or store credit. That's a super-generous policy, because honestly, if it took you that long to decide whether you like it or not, we kinda think you should just keep it.

Ask For an In-Store Facial

The best reason to save up all your “I just need one thing” visits for a big everything-at-once splurge: Melvin shares that Sephora now offers a Perk Hydrating Facial with a $75 purchase. “It will cleanse, exfoliate, and pull out the sebum and dirt from under the skin that may cause congestion,” he promises. “Then it replenishes the skin with vital nutrients to plump and give you a beautiful glow.”

Skip The Beauty On The Fly Section

Employees know that being tempted by the mini, travel-size products in the Sephora checkout line is a rookie move. When priced out ounce-for-ounce, the minis tend to be way more expensive than larger sizes of the same product. If you want to try something new, or need something TSA-approved for an upcoming trip, ask for a free sample instead—and save yourself a little cash.

Fill Out The Surveys

Want to make an employee feel good? Melvin recommends filling out a survey! Sephora employees don’t work on commission (which means they'll never be pushy or recommend products out of your budget). They make product suggestions by taking into consideration what would benefit you most. And when you fill out a survey after your visit, you're giving them feedback that will truly make them better at your job—which is to make you look and feel fabulous.

“We read all of them, every day,” says Melvin. “My clients know how much it helps me and will take the survey after every visit.”

Test The Expensive Stuff

You're already familiar with Sephora’s sample policy, in which you can take home up to three samples at a time in store (you are taking advantage with every visit, right?). But here's a smart (yet still honest) sample hack: Test the most expensive products the store offers. The ones you know you can't afford, but are desperate to try. Employees encourage you to pay zero dollars for that gold mask you’ve been coveting from afar because #mortgage. Request a sample. Live large. Do it. 

Sign up For Free Classes

Yes, there are free classes—taught by highly-trained, makeup and skincare experts. (We'll wait here while you go sign up for a class at your local store.) “We hold classes at almost every location,” says Edannette, a class facilitator. “We teach everything from no-makeup makeup looks, to how to get ready for a night out!” Experts will teach you how to contour and highlight, apply false lashes, master the smokey eye, and how to figure out what anti-aging ingredients you should already be using. (Though it's never too late.)

These classes are all hands-on, explains Russell, another Sephora employee and class instructor. “Our classes are interactive and designed to let clients try out the products on themselves so they feel comfortable doing it when they get home,” he says.

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