November 3, 2017

Things You Shouldn’t Buy During the Sephora Sale

It’s pretty easy to get carried away during the annual Sephora sale. I mean, 20% Off your entire order on 100s of different brands both mid-range and high-range is tempting. It just makes you want to go all crazy and haul all the makeup things.

I get it, I totally do.

But here’s some things you shouldn’t buy during the Sephora sale. Maybe this will help you save a little money and have a second thought about removing an item or two from your cart.

I mentioned in my tips, tricks, and hack post that you should ask yourself, “Is this item going to be sale from the brand’s website at another point during the Holiday?” For example, I avoid purchasing Philosophy during Sephora’s Sale because as much as I love it I know I can get a better deal by purchasing from Philosophy directly during the Holidays as they have 30% or even 40% off your total during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Not to mention QVC gets a lot of value sets that are worth far more than 20% off at Sephora. You should ask yourself this question when purchasing any item at Sephora during this sale. More important nowadays sales are so plentiful on some very popular items. I would advise you not to purchase any mega palette sets this year from brands such as Tarte and Too Faced. Neither the Tarte Treasure Box or Too Faced Boss Lady Agenda has sold out at this point and I believe they MIGHT just make it to January which means you can score them at 30% or more off. Also, this year in July some of the Too Faced Christmas Sets re-appeared on Sephora and Too Faced’s site during a “Christmas in July” type sale. So, be frugal with mega palettes. The quality is sometimes subar and you might just be able to get a better deal after the Holidays on them.

Another gift set I strongly advise against would be makeup vaults. Why? Well, there’s an exception to this rule but first let me tell you why you shouldn’t buy them. If you’re anything like me, you see a makeup vault and you want it. You own everything already in that vault or at least some of it but still you’re like, “Ooooo pretty! Don’t DO it! Stop, think about it, do you already have three of the four palettes in the vault? Why not just buy the fourth palette you don’t already own instead of spending much more on a vault. I know 20% off a vault is tempting but if you have the contents of the vault give it a second thought before clicking submit. As for everyone else, well, if you DON’T own the items in the vault I say go for it. 20% Off is a great savings and you’ll experience a ton of great items at a discount. But again, if you already even have just one of the items in the vault that becomes wasteful so try to talk yourself out of it and buy something else instead.

Don’t buy Holiday everything! Gift sets, palettes, mega palette sets, it’s overwhelmingly tempting and if you have the pokemon disease (gotta collect ’em all) you’re in trouble with the Holiday Makeup Collections launch. But try to remember sometimes mega and gift sets are lacking in quality not to mention they go on sale after the Holidays. Sit back, think about it for a second, “Will this item go out of stock? Is it a hot ticket item? Is the quality there? What are trustworthy influencers, bloggers, or makeup communities saying about it?” Do a tiny bit of research before you get click happy with your mouse. Yes, they are a value plus 20% off makes them an even better value but do a little research, think about it, and you might see that you don’t REALLY need that mega set and might be happier spending money and saving money on skincare or makeup staples rather than ending up with a mega set that will collect dust on your vanity.

Don’t buy brush sets. Brush sets are iffy! Do your research before you indulging in a Holiday Brush Set. Some are a incredible values and others are a huge rip off as they end up shedding, being too stiff, or even breaking. If you want to indulge in a set do some research prior and see what people are saying about them. I’m always very happy with my Sephora Holiday Brush Set purchases but I’ve been known to be burned by Holiday Brush Sets from It Cosmetics and Tarte. I know 20% Off combined with 7 brushes for $50 or something looks like a steal but I’d recommend not buying online but instead going to a store to feel them for yourself! See how soft they are, are they shedding, do the handles feel sturdy and do they fit the contour of your hand comfortably, etc….!

Other items to avoid:

I hope this helps you out a little when deciding what you do and don’t need the sale.

Good Luck!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Denise

    I prefer to do the majority of my beauty purchasing at ULTA or directly from brands when they have good GWPs. I limit my Sephora purchasing to exclusives I can’t easily get elsewhere. This will officially be my last year as a VIB, as I actually haven’t bought anything there in 2017!

    • lovelylight

      This is my first year really being into makeup during the sale. I’m eyeing up the Bite Cherry Pearl gloss and Maison Margiela Replica By The Fireplace (which would be my first perfume, ever, and it makes me smell like a classy arsonist, which is super fun). Are these bad calls? Do they go on sale regularly? Should I wait on the lip gloss until after the holidays?

      You and Temptalia have been really helpful in figuring things out while I”ve become semi-makeup proficient.

      • Isabella Muse

        Both excellent picks! Especially By the Fireplace, my favorite ;-D Absolutely adore it. Try Marshmallow Fireside available from Lathers and Lights! Toasty bonfire marshmallow goodness hehe. And layers well with By the Fireplace! You’ll never see a Maison Margiela fragrance on sale so you did good. Doubt Bite will be on sale either so again, good pick! ;-D <3! Aw my I'm glad to hear it <3! xoxoxo! Enjoy your goodies!

      • LeeLee B

        The perfume purchase is an excellent idea! Perfumes hardly ever go on sale anywhere (they are so often excluded) so the Sephora sale is a great opportunity to buy a perfume you like. Buy it!

        Also, fyi, Sephora & Nordtrom prepare GREAT perfume samples (up to 2 or 3) if you ask. They come in a mini mini spritzer that surprisingly provides a really good number of uses. The associate will take the mini spritzer and fill it with any fragrance you like (unless it is a big brand like Chanel/Hermes and they already have pre-made samples). I think a lot of people think you can only get sample remade by the company or in an online purchase, because I hardly ever see Sephora associates making fragrance samples in store (but I do see people customers spritzing!). In my opinion, it is so much better to take the sample home and try it for a full day to see longevity, also to see how you like the scent with different moods, work vs. going out, different weather/seasons.

    • Carol G

      Denise, I am with you. By the end of 2017 I am breaking up with Sephora. The only thing I will miss is their flash shipping for $10. Other than that, I blew all my points in my beauty bank and decided that Ulta reins superior over Sephora. I can’t even think of one item I want during this VIB event and I am Rouge this year! Ulta just had a 20% off, so I got everything I needed there. But I also agree with Muse: I am not buying any big holiday palettes this year until they go on sale either right before Christmas or afterwards. I’m sick of getting burned by paying full price for these items only to find they aren’t flying off the shelves like the companies predicted they would and then they end up marking them down. For once in my makeup junkie life, I am being smart instead of automatically ordering a palette I like the day it comes out.

    • Jennifer

      I’m on hold with Sephora as I type this. Very annoyed by this company lately. I can’t get anyone on the line that speaks English and I’m missing products from a very large order. Now, I’m on hold. I’m switching to Ulta as well. However, their CS is horrible as well. But at least you get money back as opposed to crappy 100+ rewards. Ugh. First world problems. :-/

  • Caroline

    Great tips. Seriously, what is it about brush sets?! They always suck. One I got from It Cosmetics was so bad that I took it to work and stuck it in my desk drawer, to be used only in an extreme blending emergency at the office.

    • Isabella Muse

      Not always ;-D Sephora does some AWESOME ones! lol yeah I dunno what happened with it Cosmetics, lately their holiday brush sets aren’t great!

      • kjh

        Omg, IT? Really? Didn’t consider any, and only bought one this year. But theirs usually are soft and easy/functional. I did do the WG eye set through ‘lish and will fill in a few holes at the Zoeva sale. Agree that Sephora brushes usually are reliable.

        • Isabella Muse

          there regular brush line is great but some of the gift sets are iffy!

  • Janessa

    Great tips! I put in my first order already this morning for some online exclusive items, and my bestie and I are going to the store this evening for other stuff – that Toasted palette is coming home with mama! I also picked up a couple for the Foreo Plays for stocking stuffers for my mom and sister – they both travel a lot and I have come to love having my Play in my toiletry bag when I’m traveling with my Honey or at his place for the weekend. Much more convenient than bringing my Clarisonic.

    • Isabella Muse

      yay ;-D Happy Shopping! Have fun! Your sis and mom are going to be very happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fey P

    Thank you so much for this post. As a reader, I always value your honesty in your posts. It’s one of my favorite things about your blog. I’m like, “Muse is on our side!” in stark contrast to blog/vlog/gram posts sponsored by companies. These are fantastic tips. I definitely get swept up and carried away with glitzy holiday packaging!

    • Isabella Muse

      aw thanks Fey <3! I am on your side hehe ;-D I do too! I have to sit down and talk myself down so I totally can relate!

  • Tammy

    Some of the Too Faced Christmas stuff is on HSN and they do 20% off fairly often.

  • Cindy

    Another tip from a serious Ulta shopper – if it’s something you can eventually get for free or at a big discount with your Ulta points, DON’T buy it at Sephora! Saving your points for “all the holiday things” is the best way to use the points. And you can get big ticket items for free like the Dyson hairdryer or the Simple Human mirror! I restrict my Sephora purchases to “things that Ulta doesn’t sell,” and that way I don’t have the “damn I could have gotten it cheaper or free” regret.

    • Isabella Muse

      excellent advise! I just recently started saving my pts at Ulta and don’t regret it. 😀

  • Hollie

    Does anyone recall if Urban Decay usually does a big holiday sale? I remember Too Faced and Tarte usually do PLEEEEEEASSSE BUY OUR STUFFFFFFFFFF sales…

    • Isabella Muse

      Not really, around this time of the year I recall FF sale but not a MEGA sale. I do know their stuff goes on sale at macys, sephora, etc…! They have had a lot of items that clearanced out lately!

  • Elaine

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. You are so right. This year I’m buying “staples” that otherwise never go on sale.

  • mylinda

    This is a great post! I agree with everything you said. 100%! I already placed my order this morning and limited myself to items that I can only buy at Sephora (brands that only Sephora carries, like uhm Sephora Collection hahaha) and things I immediately needed. I saved up a bunch of gift cards to cover the Guerlain holiday collection but ended not getting any of it… at all! I grabbed of Pat McGrath labs items instead. Hopefully will love em when they arrive.

    • Isabella Muse

      thanks 😀 <3! Glad you liked it! I hope they are awesome! let me know how is going with them!

  • Mariele

    Uh oh! I was actually kind of interested in the Becca Eye Lights palette. Why should we avoid it? I couldn’t find a review from you 🙁

    • Isabella Muse

      It was sheer and the texture gritty! Really didn’t like it at all!

    • Isabella Muse

      the regular face glow palette I highly recommend but the eyeshadow one I didn’t like. Wells are too small, the shades are sheer and slightly gritty, and they really don’t look all that great on eyes. You get some glow on your face but as an eye palette and formula wise I disliked it! But I’m all in on the face palette! That was stunning!

  • Kia

    I loved this.. So many enabling videos and posts and this keeps it real! Thanks!


  • Dee

    I had Josie Maran Argan Oil in my cart because I’m almost out and QVC has an amazing deal on three products for less than what one bottle of oil would cost. Good advice!

  • Katy

    I bought both Huda Beauty palettes. I should have stocked up on skincare but I have so much already, with a back up for everything. Lol. I’m pleased with my choice. I didn’t need much. I already have too much. Lol. Plus I used my Ebates refund and got 10% extra by picking a Sephora gift card. Not a bad deal. Had to pay like $12 put of pocket. Win!!!

    • Isabella Muse

      good pick! The palettes are wonderful so far! I got them too! 😀 that’s awesome!

  • Cheryl

    Ulta gets most of the love. It’s points program is without compare. After saving up points from my Ulta credit card purchases for a few months, I was able to buy $128 worth of goodies for a mere $3 during the 20% off sale. The only items I will ever buy from Sephora are from brands I truly love that Ulta does not carry. Hourglass is calling my name!

  • Celestine

    Wow!!! Great tips as always!! You talked me down off of a “fake”sale high! Thanks a million!

  • Emily

    Does anyone happen to know what the greatest discount is that Clinique ever offers on their website? I am hoping for at least 25%.

    • Isabella Muse

      Don’t quote me but it is rare they do any discount and not 25% that I’ve seen! Although, some of their items do go on clearance! Like right now all that Jonathan Adler Collection is on sale!

  • Cindy

    I think they do a discount like that on Black Friday/Cyber Monday but you have to spend a certain amount. I remember last year they did something and it was a great buy because they were giving away lots of stuff for free as well. I snagged one of those eyeshadow palettes for free, not bad!