Tips for Shopping the Sephora VIB Sale

Nov 10, 2016

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Tomorrow is one of my shopping favorite days of the year.  If you are a Sephora VIB, you will qualify for 20% everything (yes, everything) at Sephora with code 20VIB.  It’s a great time to replace your foundation and blush, or stock up on skincare basics, or even splurge on a luxury product that caught your eye.

Not a VIB?  Find a friend or relative who is and ask her/him to place your order for you.  Or do what I did three years ago, sign up for Beauty Insider, buy $350 worth of stuff the night before the sale to get VIB status, then shop on discount, and return all the full price merchandise.  It’s a bit unethical, but face cream is shockingly expensive.

After the jump, my best tips for shopping the VIB sale and getting the most for your beauty dollar, and my top makeup and skincare picks to buy during the sale.

Tip #1, Sign Up for Flash Shipping. If you are a frequent Sephora customer, sign up for their flash shipping service.  For just $10 per year, you get free 2-day shipping on every order.

Tip #2, Go Through Your Makeup Bag. Make a list of all of the makeup that is past its expiration date.  Add to that list any broken powders, grimy past-their-prime brushes, separated lip glosses and nail polishes, and any product that is about to run out. These products form the foundation of your list.

snip20161110_45Tip #3, Make a List the Night Before.  Last year, I added several products to my shopping cart the night before the sale so I could snap them up the next morning. But when I woke up, my cart was cleared.  Oh, the humanity.

This year, I made a list by adding products to my “Love List.”  This way, when I log in, all I have to do is click on the shopping basket, and scroll down to my list of loved products.

The Love Button can be found on the product page under the Add to Basket Button on the right hand side.

Tip #4, Make a Budget and Stick to It.  I like to make my budget after I’ve added all the pieces I need, want, and love to my loves list.  I look at the total, usually think something on the order of “Yeah, right, that’s not happening,” and then, whittle the list down to an appropriate number.

While budgeting is important to prevent splurging, I use this sale as a way to stock up until the next sale in March.  I buy two of almost every skincare product, and pick up any expensive items I would like to try.  (They can always be returned if I don’t like them.)  So I try to remember that on things I know I will buy anyway, buying now saves me a bit of money.

Tip #5, Use Ebates and a Rewards Credit Card.  Maximize your savings by using the cash back deals at Ebates (currently at 4%, sign up here), and your rewards credit or debit card.  I’ve started using Ebates on all my online purchases–from contact lenses, to flowers, to clothes–and the cash back is starting to really add up.

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As for what I’m buying at the sale, here is the list of the skincare, makeup, and hair tools that I am picking up.

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Bobbi Brown Luxe Eye Palette ($75)

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Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara ($32)

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Air Blush Soft Glow ($42)

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Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light ($46)

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DryBar Bay Breeze Hydrating Shots ($38)

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Black Tea Age Delay Cream ($90)

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PTR Clear Acne Dots ($38)

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Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro ($45)

*image found here.

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  1. Molly says:

    There are a couple brands in Amazon that sell acne does that look identical for a LOT less. Are the PTR ones special?

    • Cait says:

      I can’t speak to acne dots specifically, but I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about buying beauty products on Amazon. Even some of the ones that have prime shipping and are “fulfilled by Amazon” have had problems with being clearly a cheap knockoff of the actual product and returns are a pain.

      • Jenn S. says:

        That’s true, but you face less of that risk with non-prestige brands. I use Nexcare 3M Hydrocolloid Acne Dots that I buy on Amazon, they’re legit. They’re also both SOLD BY and SHIPPED FROM Amazon – an important distinction.

        Most of the issues people have buying beauty products on Amazon are that they come from a 3rd Party Seller. Even if fulfilled by Amazon, it’s best to proceed with caution and check seller reviews.

        • Belle says:

          Good to know.

        • Anna says:

          If it’s sold and fulfilled by Amazon, returns are pretty simple and free if they were Prime. I bought my Dr. Jart BB cream and it was definitely different from what I buy at Sephora/Birchbox though the photo looked the same. I’m pretty sure it was the Korean version since it was also whitening. The return was pretty seamless.

  2. Alison says:

    My tip is this — don’t forget there is a 2nd bonus that comes out in early December (it depends on your level, but usually VIBs get $20 off $50 and BIs get $15 off $50). Sometimes I go overboard with the 20% sale and then don’t need anything to use my $20 on. Serious first world problems, I know.

    I either use it on one of my holy grail products (don’t waste it on trying something new because if you hate it and return it, you’ve wasted your bonus) or I’ll pick up some Christmas gifts (you can score something a little splurge-y like a great shadow palette and make your mom/sister/bestie super happy).

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