November 27, 2018

I Tried to Return A Huda Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette and Sephora Offered Me $1.56 For It

I recently purchased one of the new Huda Beauty Precious Stones Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette and in my haste and excitement to check out I unintentionally purchased two of the same palette. Don’t ask me how I did it but I somehow checked out with two of the same exact palette in my cart.

No biggie though! Sephora is brilliant with returns so, when I got my box in the mail and realized my mistake I went to the store with my receipt and proceeded to request a return.

I have to admit I don’t return a lot of stuff. Things tend to get chucked into my makeup graveyard a lot as I do have the best intention of returning something I might not like but I’m so busy sometimes months will go and it seems way too late to return it. Also, I’m not a big believer in returning items. I think it’s bad for retail and also, I should have been smarter prior to ordering and thought about whether I really needed it and what I already know about the formula and has the brand been disappointing in the past formula-wise etc…! Another words, research prior to purchasing is a smart way to avoid returns.

And finally, I have return anxiety. I always get the worst sales rep when I return something that ends up giving me a snarky attitude for daring to ruin their day by returning something! Not to mention I’m typically treated as a complete criminal for returning an item. Sure, I have a receipt that I did indeed purchase it but 99% of the time I’m treated like I don’t have the receipt and in reality, just grabbed that item off the shelf, ran out the door with it, and came back a few weeks later to return the stolen item. Returns aren’t fun.

None the less, I had no use for two of the same eyeshadow palette so away I went on my way to Sephora to return it and I was offered $1.56.


Ok, so here’s how things went down and this story should be a word to the wise about reading the small print.

I waited very patiently in line to return my item and gave the girl behind the a counter my receipt and the new, unused, untouched palette and gave her a long-winded story about why I had to return it because I was feeling anxiety about the entire thing and also, some sense of guilt I was returning something. She was very nice about it and proceeded to process the return but suddenly a puzzled frown came on her face. Of course, I started getting worried that the exchange police were called and they’d be taking me out the door in cuffs for returning something but in reality, she was just having some issue returning the item.

Of course, this made me further anxious because you can use hear the people behind me getting irritated and rolling their eyes they had to wait while the sales rep figured out why she couldn’t return the item.

After about 5 minutes of fiddling, she finally had to call in the manager.


The manager wasn’t as nice and I was grilled about how I purchased the item, where I got it, and how I paid. “DID YOU PAY FOR THIS WITH A GIFT CARD? DID YOU BUY THIS ONLINE?” All that info was on the receipt but I kindly replied to all her questions and was about to offer to be stripped searched when she figured out the problem and I heard the friendly little beep from the register that things went through. THANK GAWD! BLESS BE!

Phew. Just as I started to wipe the sweat from my brow a new problem happened.

“It’s only returning you $1.56!” “DID YOU GET THIS ON SALE?” I mean, obviously, you work at Sephora, you know this is a brand new palette, you know that NOTHING on Sephora is $1.56 aside from maybe a makeup sponge but I still got that dumb question. You also see on the receipt the price I paid.

Ok, so after nearly 30 minutes we finally figured out the problem….! 30 minutes people! 30! I swear it was like I was trying to pass through the DDR checkpoint in the 80s. Shit was getting serious for a second there.

So, here’s what the problem was. Totally my fault by the way, for not reading the small print!

I had ordered both those palettes and two other items using one of the Rouge Reward Gift Cards. You know, the ones you get from redeeming points. I had redeemed 2,500 points and I got a $100 gift card. I knew things were strict with the gift cards. For example, you have to use it within three months I believe otherwise it expires. Also, you have to use the entire amount in one purchase and can’t carry any dollar amount over. What I didn’t realize is you can’t return merchandise you buy with it.

For some reason or another, I was actually able to return the item but was only offered $1.56 at the item I was returning. This is likely a computer glitch of some sort because I actually wasn’t supposed to be allowed to return it at all. In the end, after all this drama, I did decline to return and just kept it! I figure I can gift it.

The moral of the story is the read the small print but also, Sephora, you kind of suck with all the rules and regulations that come with those reward cards. This is why people love Ulta. Come on guys, you can do better!

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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  • Lori

    Good story! There is so much fine print on those reward credits. I was originally going to save mine to use during the 20% off sale but then read that it can’t be combined with any other promotions. I also get return anxiety!! Like you, I always feel like I’m doing something wrong even though I have my receipt and everything. I absolutely hate returning stuff and feel like I always end up looking suspicious because I try to force myself to look relaxed and nonchalant, LOL!

    • Isabella Muse

      OMG I was sooo disappointed I couldn’t combine it with 20% off! 🙁 Yup! That’s because sales reps make you feel that way lol! I get it, they don’t like processing returns! It’s bad for the store, but sometimes you gotta do a return ya know? It shouldn’t be such a horrible experience! I HATE returning too and rarely do it. I talk too much! I start giving a big explanation about why I need to return it and they just sit there like, “Dude shut up! I don’t need that much info!”

  • Bethanne

    Wow — I would have kept it too. That is a lousy policy and another reason I tend to give Ulta more and more of my business. They let you return things you have purchased using your reward points. Thank you for sharing your experience so that I don’t skip the fine print!

    • Isabella Muse

      I actually felt bad keeping it after all the drama that went into processing the return lol! I felt like I wasted their time (and my own) for being an idiot and not reading the fine print! my pleasure!

  • Maria

    Muse. You have the receipt. Go back to the store and exchange it for the huda purple one. It is very pretty. Explain you picked up 2 of the same shades in error. Just an idea. I have purple one and it has good reviews.

    • Isabella Muse

      I asked if I could just swap it out for another of the same and they said no.

        • Isabella Muse

          nope! I asked. I said, “Well what if I just get another shade!” and they were all nope, sorry!

          • SleepyTimeTay

            As a Sephora employee, I can say that it is one of the most frustrating things (*recently*) that Sephora has come out with. When we cash people out who ask questions about it or who want to use it, my managers really emphasize saying that you have to use it all and you cannot return what you buy with it, so be rreeeaaaalllyyy sure about what you’re buying. It’s just a poorly designed reward.

            But, Sephora is now offering a reward for a free Perk Facial and waive the $75 purchase requirement. THAT I think is worth it. Your skin feels amazeballs after!

          • Isabella Muse

            thanks Sleepy!!!!! I’ll looking into the perk facial! ;-D And sorry 🙁 I know I whine and piss from a consumer place but I realize being in retail can be really crummy at times! I do appreciate all you do as a sales rep! <3!

  • Agona

    I have been trying to get one of those gift cards for ages. But every time I check the Rewards Bazaar, they never have them. I don’t check them right at 9am PST (12am EST) because I have a job…so that may be why. But wow, glad I know now. They probably don’t want scammers to turn points into cash but still, they should at least give you store credit so you can exchange it for something else!

    • Isabella Muse

      I have a job too and managed to score one around 6pm one night on a Tuesday. typically they go live tuesday/thursday and most of the day they are available which is shocking! ;-D

      • Agona

        Man, I have some bad luck then! I always assumed it was because I couldn’t check right when they dropped!! Good to know–thanks!!

        • Isabella Muse

          No problem! As long as you check tuesday/thursday they are there pretty much all day! At first they were hard to get but now they seem to have them throughout the day! get one on your lunch via your phone or something 😀

      • Agona

        Muse, I reread my comment and realized it might’ve come off sounding condescending, which I hope you know I totally didn’t mean for it to come off that way (if it did!!)

        • Isabella Muse

          omg don’t worry about it! not at all! I was just saying, I’m at work too but I totally scored it one evening (two actually) 😀 Like I said when they first started doing this I was unable to get one but now I guess it sort of died off and seems easy enough to get it ;-D <3!

  • Claudia

    Wow! In they past at Ulta if I bought an item and had partially used points and had to pay the remaining difference and then returned said item it has refunded everything. Now you have me wondering if Nordstrom does the same with the notes.

    • Thea

      How are you all so lucky? Ulta only ecer refunds me the cash I paid in part, and ai never get my points back.

  • Denise

    And this is why I’m just a plain ole BI at Sephora, after a decade of VIB. I love ULTA!

  • Shannon

    What!!! That’s crazy. You should at least be able to exchange for item if equal value or receive a merchandise credit.

      • kimkats

        Take it back, sans receipt, say it was a gift and you already have one, but would love to exchange it for another shade. Maybe that would work??

        • Isabella Muse

          I don’t want to do that and get on that stupid Retail Equation list. I rarely return but I still don’t wanna rock the boat and return without a receipt and suddenly I’m on the Retail Equation list and banned from doing so! Rolling eyes! I thought I’d just gift it to a friend! I know someone who LOVES green eyeshadow ;D

  • Susan K

    Yeah I had similar return hassle there recently too. Had my receipt blah blah but they couldnt find the purchase on my Sephora account. All kinds of questions, furrowed brows, manager came over and she couldnt figure out why the system wouldnt take my return. She ended up calling up someone at corporate and they had to process it over phone. The whole issue ended up being that I had used paypal. Really, so what? I use paypal everywhere and its never a hassle to return anything. It just goes right back on the cc thats connected to pp ac. The whole thing took 40 minutes! The manager kindly gave me 10% off that days purchase to compensate for the aggravation. And I learned my lesson. No more paypal for Sephora purchases!

    • Isabella Muse

      omg paypal is horrible! I’ve learned so many lessons about NOT using paypal to pay for anything online because it is a BIG hassle to get things returned in store when using it! Sorry you had to go through that! Yup! me too! I was legit in there 30 minutes!

      • Jodi J

        I use PayPal for all my online purchases, Sephora and Ulta included. I’ve never had a problem returning anything from either store, not that I do it a lot. I guess I was lucky.

    • Violet

      I accidentally bought 2 of the same thing online too. When I casually mentioned to the SA that I couldn’t remember if I used my cc or PayPal, she gave me a deer in the headlights stare and said that she hoped it wasn’t PayPal; they always have problems processing PayPal returns. WTH? I’ve never had problem returning things to Ulta if I used PayPal. Well, anyway, it turned out that I used cc, so drama averted.

  • Christina

    Oh goodness! Sorry you had to go through all that. I haven’t redeemed any of my points for the gift cards, but I didn’t know the rules of it either. Knowing that, it makes the offering that less tempting to redeem. Maybe I’ll just keep hoarding the points for one of those mega sets or something like that, if I can even snag one.

    Regarding returns, I have absolutely no problem returning items I don’t like. Hey, I do my research and try to read reviews, but we all know most of the reviews aren’t all that honest and swatches have filters added to make everything look much more pigmented and vibrant than they really are. If I get something and it just doesn’t work out the way I expected, back it goes! It’s my hard earned money, here! Plus, returns are built into the price of the products, so I’m going to take advantage of it if I need to. What I don’t do, however, is return a product after using it a few times and loving it, then getting bored with after a few weeks. That’s just not right in my book. LOL!

    By the way, did you end up picking up any Surratt at Sephora will it was on deep discount?

    • Isabella Muse

      oh no worries! but yeah, be careful with those reward gcs! trhey are kinda of crummy! AMEN! Too true! too true! Can’t even trust book reviews on amazon lately! ha you know people totally do that or get a case of FOMO, order stuff, and have to return it because it’s something they can’t afford. I feel like saying STOP! think! Don’t just buy! No, I was actually good and didn’t. Did you? I was like, eh, I really don’t need it!

      • Christina

        I totally bought a bunch of blushes. Haha! They are soooooo good. They’re made using the slurry technique from Japan, so they’re right up your alley. No self control! (hangs head in shame)

  • Carol G

    Well obviously I agree with what everyone here is saying. Anymore there are so many restrictions that it’s killing the thrill of shopping. Seriously. Again, here we are jumping through hoops to purchase makeup. Ridiculous. I agree with the commentor who said this is why they are only a BI at Sephora. Same here. I just shop at Ulta. Their rewards cannot be beat. I left Sephora last year. And they should have let you exchange the same product for a different color. That’s shitty on their part.

    • Bethanne

      Same here. Only an Ulta shopper these days with occasional makeup purchases from Nordstrom. I’m Diamond level at Ulta and love their rewards and gift with purchase promos. I never have issues when I make the rare return. Sephora has called in an army of people when I tried to return a Perricone item. So, yeah. I’m done there.

      • Isabella Muse

        about the army of people….tell me about it. Not only Sephora but one time I returned an article of clothing and everyone and their mom was at the counter for the return. I mean it was like she was calling people on the intercom! “Mary please come to the front for returns” Mary comes over and has to call Jane over too and Bob has to take a look at the receipt. Legit four people returned one item!

        • Bethanne

          Muse, totally agree. It’s embarrassing and totally uncalled for. I refuse to spend my money where my business isn’t appreciated.

          • Isabella Muse

            Ya know, I dunno if maybe people don’t know what they are doing or they intentionally want to embarrass me for doing a return! I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and say, “well maybe they don’t know how to process a return” but in reality, I think they just want to humiliate people that return items!

  • Grace

    “Sephora, you kind of suck with all the rules and regulations that come with those reward cards. This is why people love Ulta. Come on guys, you can do better!”

    ALL.OF.THIS!!! Took the words right out of my mouth! 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      It’s sad because a lot of my $$ goes to Sephora but I don’t feel like I get anything back for it!

  • Michelle Luna

    Wowwww yeah I would rather just try to sell it on poshmark at that point. I didn’t know about rouge gift cards (hadn’t even heard of them) but it’s pretty lame that they come with so many restrictions. Expires in 3 months and no carryover of balance? I don’t think there’s a single other store in America that has gift cards that expire anymore! And that you can’t keep a balance means they’re not actually gift cards but really rather just coupons! Coupons are one-time-use-only deals, so that’s what these wannabe rouge cards are. Lame. Yeah, gonna start looking into Ulta more…

  • Hollie

    Sephora’s fine print gets me every time! I also had a $100 GC from Sephora rewards and I tried to use it during the last sale. I went to the Boston store, which is about 45 min away from me. The 3 stores in my area do not carry as many of the higher end brands like this one. I figured I could get some of my Xmas shopping done here plus, I could swatch products that I’m interested in that I don’t want to buy just to return. When I went to check out and use my VIb and the GC, the girl said I can’t use both at the same time. I asked why considering they were MY points that I spent MY money on to get the GC. The manager came over and said “ It’s in the fine print” that you can’t use them together. I then had to transfer money from my savings to my debit card, while in line to make sure I had enough money to pay for everything. The people behind me were not happy. I hate “Fine Print”

    • Isabella Muse

      I was so disappointed to learn that I couldn’t use the GC during the sale! I feel your pain! I was hoarding away three of them and I was all YAY look at me $300 reward cards plus 20% off and I get to checkout at and I realize derp can’t use ’em! damn……………! I’m so sorry that happened to you in store 🙁 what a disappointment!

  • Kelly

    Wowwwww. That is some serious lame sauce! Seriously, how ridiculous. You should at least be able to exchange something if it is unopened.

  • Michele

    I have no anxiety about returning items. It’s the necessary evil of retail. However, I dislike managers and sales staff that treat the customer badly due to the return. Boo to Sephora.

    • Isabella Muse

      I always feel anxious because I always feel like a complete criminal when I return 🙁

  • kimkats

    OMG – that is so crazy!! If it takes the manager that long to figure it out, it’s WAY too complicated!! I wouldn’t even try for one of those cards as much hassle as they seem to be (not to mention I’m not Rouge…) But what a PITA!!

    Hey Muse – I’ll give you $2.00 for. Cash on the nail! 😀 What a load of crap to do that, too much fine print!

  • Kimmyyy

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who gets anxiety in these situations. I buy a lot of things and subsequently end up making some returns, which I should be allowed to do. If stores don’t like returns, they should have a no return policy. I’m not going to let myself feel bad for following a store’s rules. However, I still hate making returns because, like you, I always feel like I’m treated like a criminal. I get it if I come in without a receipt and it looks suspicious, but I ALWAYS have my receipt. I used to be a manager at a retail chain and never gave anyone crap about returning anything unless it didn’t follow store policy, and I was always polite about it because I get it. I mean, it didn’t hurt me to let someone return something if it followed policy, so I’ve never understood why retail workers act like it’s a big deal when someone tries to return anything. It’s not even that big of a hassle to process a return. I think some people just enjoy being a pain in the ass or they assume the worst when someone returns something.
    As for Sephora specifically, I wish they would stop being so strict with their rules. I wish I could use a percentage off coupon and also a free item(s) coupon. I mean, Victoria’s Secret lets you use tons of coupons… Why can’t Sephora? UHG.

    • Isabella Muse

      amen on all of this! I don’t get the attitude…! I always chalk it up as it’s a New York thing! But people act like it’s raining fire outside when you say, “Hi I have a return!” OMG it becomes such a production to get the item exchanged/returned. I rarely do it but when I do 99% of the time it’s so dramatic! ;-D

      • Kimmyyy

        Nope, not just NY! I live in Texas and it’s just as prevelant here too. I’ve actually bitched out a few random store employees in the past for treating me like crap for returning something within the stores guidelines and heard other people behind me in line agreeing with me. It’s just bad business. If I have a store that I frequent that makes me feel bad more than once about exercising my right to return something, within the guidelines of their own store policy, I just stop shopping there. Buh-bye! I’ll take my business elsewhere. I buy a hell of a lot more than the tiny bit I return.

        • Isabella Muse

          I’m totally a mush and wouldn’t tell anyone off but yup, I spend a HELL of a lot more than one return!

  • Jujubes

    Wow, that’s an eye opener and sorry you had to experience that. Such a silly rule in my opinion, you have to spend so much just to get that gift card and it’s silly to be offered next to nothing for something that’s not even used. I wish ULTA was in Canada too, because I’d love to buy from them rather than from Sephora. The rewards program from Sephora is not good, anything 750 points and up is sold out so quickly. I just redeemed mine and I literally had to set my alarm at 11:59am on Tuesdays and Thursdays and be completely ready on my app to redeem. It is stressful! 😛

      • Kimmyyy

        Ummmmm, if I haven’t already, I may end up on this list! I buy so much online and return things I don’t like, which I SHOULD be allowed to do if it follows the store guidelines.
        On this same subject, if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, I’ve heard a lot of talk about people being penalized for making “too many” Amazon returns. People have had their Prime suddenly and permanently revoked for it. Hopefully that never happens to me because I pay for Prime so that I can buy and return as I please and can buy without worrying I’ll be stuck with some cheap crap that doesn’t match the reviews.

        • Isabella Muse

          as long as you return WITH a receipt you won’t be put on the list 🙂 or at least that’s my understanding! I’ve heard the same about Amazon :-/

    • Isabella Muse

      yeah! It’s actually sort of a ban on people that do too many returns without receipts! Not sure how you get on it but I’m not taking any chances!

  • kjh

    Oy vay, Jesus! Really can’t say I’m surprised. I take a GC/merch credit in the are case I return, so as to avoid being on the return SL, and confirmed my assumption that the $100 could not be used during the sale. So managed not to mangle that one. I’ve never had to return on a PP, but good to know that’s likely a disaster. Zoeva? Return to Germany? Intercontinental and intergalactic cluster f***. But the thing about big S is that THEY WILL get you in some way or other. Guaran…effin…teed.

  • Angie Clementine

    Thank you for this cautionary tale. I had no idea there were so many restrictions around those reward cards. What a PITA.

    I guess I can’t blame retailers for being strict about returns, because there is a small percentage of customers who take advantage of a lax return policy, and some stores lose a lot of money that way. Still, the store employees shouldn’t be rude to every customer who makes a return, especially the ones who are following the official policy, as the majority of us are not trying to rip them off.

  • Jules

    WOW!! How frustrating!! And what an absolutely STUPID decision on the part of Sephora! I mean, Ulta is majorly cutting into their market share for a reason! I can’t believe their system doesn’t flag customers like you… If you have 3 of those rewards cards, then you’ve spent THOUSANDS with them over the past year!! From a business perspective, they should have your account flagged as high value (as if being Rouge isn’t enough!!), and roll out the red carpet. What kind of idiot company would be so ridiculously cheap over 1 item for a customer who buys hundreds???? Not that ANY customer should be treated as you were!

    Anyway. I’m glad you have this blog as a means to call them out! I hope they take notice and realize their policies are a losing strategy.

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL aw thanks Jules you are totally making me feel more special than I really am ;D I sure hope so too! I love Sephora but I truly believe they can do better!

      • Jules

        Ok had to follow up with a totally opposite experience… Just got my Black Friday order from Ulta. Ordered a $20 promo Morphe brush set. Got a duplicate foundation brush instead of a contour brush. Called to see what I could do, since they sold out of the set, AND THEY SENT ME AN EGIFT CARD FOR $20!!!! Without even arguing or haggling! I’m not even Platinum there!! Now THAT is customer service!

    • Jujubes

      I second that, especially given how many times I bought from Sephora based on Isabella’s reviews here and the sales news. To risk bad publicity like this is not very smart nowadays especially when they got pretty stiff competition from ULTA.

  • Courtney

    Yep. That’s why Ulta is better than Sephora these days. Sorry you’re dealing with that bs!

  • Brenda

    I use to tell everyone to buy me gifts from Sephora because I could always return what I didn’t like and get something I did like. Well…about a year ago, they started this new thing that if you don’t have a receipt, no only can you not exchange it for anything, you get put on a “list” where you then can’t return ANYTHING for the next 12 months. I have not and will not buy anything from Sephora again. I even cancelled my monthly box subscription.

  • Danielle

    “It was like trying to pass through the DDR checkpoint in the 80s.” Oh, my poor little Muse! (I feel for you, though I lol’ed at the DDR reference.) Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL I can’t begin to tell you how much it pleases me you got that joke 😉 Everyone else might be shaking their head saying, “what’s the DDR?” Hehe ;-D thank you for reading it!

  • Tracie

    That is some crap! We have earned the reward with our purchases. Sephora can’t do anything right!! I had two of those $100 rewards and just knew I was going to use them during the 20% off, NOPE. If Ulta carried more high end brands, I’d never spend one cent in Sephora. I made Diamond at Ulta surprisingly (hahaha not really), but Sephora offers no incentives for shopping with them.

  • Ashley

    I applaud you for being able to get that gift card in the first place. But that all ties into how Sephora’s rewards program is truly a joke. They give you very little for your loyalty, and what they do give comes in a straight jacket of limitations. My purchases at Sephora have lately come down to simple basics and timeless tried and true favorites, this being a replenishment of fragrances, hair products and makeup that I ultimately can’t get at Ulta. And I’m only buying during a sale, saving my money and stocking up with a coupon code. Basically, my visits to Sephora aren’t what they used to be. You shouldnt feel bad though, because the gift card should work the same as store credit or an actual prepaid gift card. I mean, if they have the nerve to be stank after one has to spend $2000 racking up the points to qualify AND THEN be lucky enough to be up at 3 am to grab one of the only five available off the site when they secretly drop, then they will continue to lose business. And If I were you, I’d pursue this with an angry phone call to HQ until they gave me another gift card just to shut me up.

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL you’re too cute “I’ll pursue this until they give me another gift to just shut me up”

  • Leslea Witter

    I had a similar experience at Lane Bryant over a top I tried to return! I missed the 60 day return, and they wanted to give me $6.00 for a $30.00 top! I said never mind, I’ll keep it! Long story short, I thought the top was too tight, but when I tried it on when I got home, it fit fine! I love it!

  • Holly DiFava

    Thanks for sharing this, Sephora DOES suck lately! You would think with all of their increasing competition they would be offering their customers more, but nope! Go online and order, you only get 2 free samples now; it used to be three. Last year’s holiday deal was $15 off $50, this year it’s $15 off $75, and don’t even get me STARTED on their lack of gifts with purchase (go, Ulta!) or the fact their reward points now EXPIRE-so now you have to trade them in earlier for the same samples, just in a size smaller than the years before! What a joke! Maybe it’s been a long time coming, but Sephora is really on the downslide.

    • Isabella Muse

      My pleasure! It’s a shame they can’t get it together with their reward system! 🙁

  • Brandy

    I had a weird situation happen to me at Sephora in JC Penney last year. I bought one of those perfume sampler kits where you get a voucher for a full size perfume. Two weeks later I go to redeem the perfume I want and the voucher won’t work. Thank God I was prepared since stuff like this happens to me a lot, and I made sure I kept the receipt. The manager interrogated me a bit and did some voodoo magic to the computer which allowed me to get my perfume. I’m hesitant to buy one of those kits again.

  • Mariele

    Just sos ya knows, I worked retail for a time and I gave exactly zero ‘fs about people returning things. A customer’s a customer a customer. I didn’t care if they had one item or 500 I had to scan individually. If they’re in the store, they got an equal amount of respect and attention. A store policy for returns entitles you to be able to access those returns so… don’t feel anxious! It’s really no big deal. I can assure you anyone making a return didn’t even register for me because I was so overwhelmed with everything I had to do that wasn’t related to that purchase… it was just the next thing to ring up. The only problem was when I had to remember how to ring up certain returns. 🙂

    I regularly return things because I am a penny pincher and if something isn’t 100% right for me, that money can be better used elsewhere.

  • casey23

    I am living outside the States, so when I finally had the chance to visit, OF COURSE I went to all the Sephora’s nearby (and also on my way, the trip consisted of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and finally NY). I’ve been reading lots of blogs by now to know that Sephora in the States have a return policy. I was very excited in my first trip (and also having my husband right next to my ear saying constantly “do you really need that?” YEAH I DO!) and I accidentally bought a wrong shade of lipstick! I noticed it when we were having lunch, so I just went back to the store, with my receipt, and told the girl behind the counter that I just bought the wrong shade and I wanted to change it with the right one. She wasn’t very nice, a bit judgy, asking me where did I get it (from your store, da!!), when did I get it (I just gave you the receipt, you can see all the info from there), why do I want to change it (I just told you!!!), did I opened and/or used it (I do believe the return policy also does consist used product but whatever..!)… It took about 10 minutes of my time to convince her that I didn’t stole it and I didn’t use it and I just want to get the right shade and get out of there! I am so glad (but also sad) people living in States also get that kind of treatment because I really thought it was against me, or maybe me looking like a tourist or something…
    I read somewhere this year that Sephora apparently changed (revised) its return police, this gift card thingy maybe happened after their revision. I was not able to see an Ulta during my last trip, but I will definitely give them a go the next time I there!

  • Jodi J

    It’s ridiculous that they put restrictions on gift cards. I’m an Ulta girl at heart.

  • Brittany

    I think you’re being too hard on yourself! You had the receipt! I understand not refunding because the gift card is from the points but not an even exchange for the same palette but a different color?! That must have been upsetting. Sephora is a big company and should be able to handle legitimate returns. I also understand the return anxiety but Sephora can do better!

  • Abcdef

    The restrictions on this gift card remind me of the warnings on all those prescription drugs. “This will cure your heartburn!…but it might cause weight gain, drowsiness, insomnia, double vision, a tail growing out of your butt, and 528 other side effects.”

  • Randi Macdonald

    FYI, you could have also returned without a receipt and received a store credit.