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Sephora Sale Recommendations (2021)

Let’s talk about what to buy and what NOT to buy at the Sephora Sale. The semi-annual Sephora sale is coming up, and I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. Like most in the beauty community, I wish they would give us some steeper discounts.

I know this is a lot of text and not a lot of pictures – but bare with me!

The MAXIMUM discount you can get is 20% – and that’s if you’re ROUGE and have already spent $1,000 in a year at Sephora. Hopefully you’ve spent most of that during Sephora sales, otherwise you’re 20% discount is watered down by all the full price purchases you’ve made, hope that makes sense. For example, if you spend $500 during the Sephora sale and got 20% off (so spent $400) but spent $1,000 before the sale, well really now overall you’ve only gotten $100 off off the total $1,500 – and that’s not a 20% discount, that’s 6.67%. See how they get you?

Anyway…I’m still not Rouge, even after having a beauty blog/Instagram/Youtube channel for a few years now. And let me tell you why. You can almost always get a better discount somewhere else. And also, there are so many awesome brands that aren’t carried at Sephora, I’ve been spreading my spending out among other brands and sites.

I’ve seen the following dates for the sale this year announced on @trendmood1’s Instagram account:

  • November 5-15 for Rouge members, 20% off, use code YAYHOLIDAY
  • November 9-15 for VIB, 15% off (this is me), use code YAYHOLIDAY
  • November 11-15 for Insider, 10% off, use code YAYHOLIDAY
  • Sephora Collection (house brand) 30% off November 5-15, no code needed

This is not to say there’s no good deals to be had at the sale! Au contraire! Let’s go over what those good deals actually are….

What You SHOULD buy at the Sephora Sale:

Anything Exclusive to Sephora

If you can’t get it anywhere else, then you might as well buy it during the sale! Some great examples of this are:

  • Sephora Collection brand items, this is their house brand. These are actually pretty good! I will note, however, that if you watch Sephora carefully throughout the year, they will do discounts on their Sephora collection items such as buy two get one free, etc. So you might be able to get a better discount by paying attention throughout the year, but you might not. It looks like this year they are doing 30% off Sephora Collection items during the sale, that’s great! I might pick up a few more single shadows…I like those.
    • Sephora does great brushes, and they always have a few sets available.
    • Sephora single eye shadows – I like these – they have some fun finishes – check them out
  • Holiday kits and Sephora Favorites kits. This is the time of year that Sephora has some GREAT gift sets! I recently posted about the Swipe of Lip Color set (see my post). First, these kits are an AMAZING value even when they’re not on sale. Second, getting an additional percentage off is EVEN BETTER! Sometimes I do buy these kits and gift sets even before the sale though because sometimes they do sell out…so you do take that risk if you wait for the sale. Here’s a link to their “Gifts” page – check out what they’ve got this year.
    • Sephora Favorites Perfumes set – if these sets include one or more fragrances you’re interested in, they are a GREAT deal. They are also an AMAZING gift because the receiver gets to pick what they like the best! This set includes BURBERRY Her London Dream, DOLCE&GABBANA Light Blue Eau de Toilette, Armani Beauty My Way Eau de Parfum, Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum For Her, Marc Jacobs Fragrances Perfect Eau de Parfum, NEST New York Wild Poppy Eau de Parfum, Prada CANDY Eau de Parfum, Sol de Janeiro SOL Cheirosa ’62 Eau de Parfum, TOCCA Florence Eau de Parfum, Valentino Voce Viva Eau de Parfum, Versace Bright Crystal Eau de Toilette, Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum, Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum for $68.
    • Charlotte Tilbury set of four mini lipsticks – this is a great set! But also available on the Charlotte Tilbury website, so see my note below about that. I bought last years set of three, and yes the lipsticks did fall apart, but it was a GREAT way to try out her shades and formula that I wasn’t willing to spend full price on without a good try! This year’s shades include Pillow Talk Original and Medium, Walk of No Shame, and Red Carpet Redj for $45.
  • Nars – I can almost never find a good sale on Nars stuff. Their seasonal stuff will go on sale at the end of the season (sometimes, not always) or when it’s getting discontinued. They really don’t run good sales on their brand website, sadly. So, this is a brand that can be worth picking up during the Sephora sale (for me)
  • Fragrance – Perfumes and fragrances tend to be hard to get on a good discount. So the Sephora sale might be the best discount you’re able to get.
  • Natasha Denona – maybe… first check her site and see if something you want is being sold in a discounted bundle that you want. But if you want one of her newest releases, Sephora Sale might be the way to go. I’m strongly considering finally picking up the midi size Glam palette (link to Glam palette at Sephora).
Sephora Favorites Swipe of Lip Color Set – only available at Sephora

Anything You Haven’t Seen Go On Sale Elsewhere

If you’ve wanted something for a few months, and you’ve been paying attention to Sephora, Ulta, and the Brand’s own website, and it hasn’t gone on sale…then you might get the best deal possible by purchasing it at the Sephora Sale.

Anything Else?

What do you think is actually worth buying at the Sephora Sale? Tell me in the comments!

What NOT to buy at the Sephora Sale

These brands do pretty nice sales on their own websites, so definitely sign up for their emails and keep an eye out for discounts better than 20%.

  • Charlotte Tilbury – I’ve recently really been getting into this brand. I purchased several products during a summer sale and got 40% off of a few things I purchased in kits. My order also came with a great sample card of about 10 lipstick shades I could try on. Since I’ve been subscribed to their emails, I’ve seen several really great gift with purchase options. I received the Angel Alessandra (see my swatches) full sized lipstick for free!
  • Tarte – This is another brand that I’ve purchased from a few times when their site has had REALLY good sales. I just recently purchased a few items at 50% off – Tartelette In Bloom palette, an empty magnetic palette, and Shape Tape concealer. They even included the Tarte Juicy palette (see my review) in the sale even though that’s a pretty new palette!
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills – I’ve seen lots of good discount emails from them too!
  • Pat McGrath – another brand that I’ve seen do sales up to 30%.

Seriously, sign up for brand emails – a lot of these brands run sales right along side the Sephora Sale with a lot better discount and sometimes really great gift with purchase/sample options.

Another nice thing about buying from a brand website, is that if there is a formula you like, sometimes the brand will have more shade options than Sephora carries.

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  • ghekate

    I’ve only recently started being interested in Dior, but I think that’s one that falls in the rarely discounted category. Unless you know of any retailers that have good Dior discounts on Dior or their own site?

      • ghekate

        The best deals on Tom Ford that I know of are the older products at Cosmetic Company Outlets, but my nearest CCO is so far away that it’s not worth the drive. I only go there every other year and end up picking up different Estee Lauder brand products instead like MAC, Bobbi Brown, and Smashbox. lol.

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