You're walking through the mall and you see this bright, beautiful storefront beckoning you. Or, maybe, this is the reason you go to the mall all together. You love looking glam and you'd die if you weren't up to date on the newest beauty trends. That's why Sephora is your go-to happy place. But you also know that it costs you a pretty penny. Looking good isn't that easy, you know. Luckily, if you know how to navigate, you can save some green while getting all the shades of eyeshadow, lipstick, foundation and more.
There's probably no more beautiful combination of words in the English language than "free sample." If you mention to the associate helping you out in the store that you like a product, but you just can't make the commitment to buy it yet, they may break out a free sample for you. And sometimes, a little sample can go a long way.
But speaking of free samples, while the ones that associates are willing to give you are great, the ones lying out on the counter may not be so amazing. You know those eyeshadows, foundations and lipsticks you can dip your fingers in? When these samples were tested, 20% of them were found to contain mold, bacteria, yeast, or even fecal matter. We'll pass on that, thanks.
They say nothing in life is free, but this is pretty close. Small makeup charges at certain Sephora locations - it would help you to call ahead - can be done for free. These include getting false eyelashes applied, applying lipstick, or helping to conceal acne. Yes, you have to bring your own false eyelashes and lipstick, but it doesn't hurt to have someone who knows what they're doing help you out.
Need a little help mastering that smoky eye? The people working at Sephora are there to help you. If you ask, the associates can show you how to use any of the makeup, or create a look. You can ask them to do "half a face" for you, so that after they're done it's your job to recreate the look and get the hang of it yourself.
When you really like a certain product, it doesn't go unnoticed. Sephora expects brands to keep on innovating and creating, so when you buy something, you're helping fuel new trends. Brands are expected to "to give them something new every three months," but we know you'll be back long before that.
Every Sephora is divided into three sections: skincare, fragrance and color. If you stop someone and ask them to find you your favorite fruity scent and they don't know what you're talking about off the top of their heads, don't blame them. Each section has experts, and you might have accidentally just caught a skincare expert travelling through her fellow associate's little world.
Sometimes, Sephora will slap the advertisement "new" on a product just to entice you, and you'll suddenly realize you need one in every color. But don't be so quick to the draw. “Many women may want to try something that others haven't tried yet so they can have an edge," says Lars Perner, the University of Southern California's assistant professor of clinical marketing. Most of the time, the only thing particularly new about the products is a slight change to the formula. Wait to see the reviews before you buy them.
It's not Disneyland, but employees at Sephora call themselves "cast members." The managers are their directors. The sales floor is the stage. The show? Finding you the best makeup they can possibly offer. When they view their job like that, how are you not going to get good service?
Your sales associate, er, cast member - isn't indecisive. They're just instructed not to recommend you one specific brand. This is for a few reasons. Just because what works for them might not work for you, so they want to give you a number of options to try out for yourself. They're also trying not to skew the sales in one particular direction.
When you're shopping those intimidating aisles, remember that the new products are usually placed on the top of the shelves. That way, you can see what's up and coming with the most convenience. Remember what we said about maybe holding off on new products, though. Toward the bottom of the shelf, things tend to be cheaper.
You know by now that marketers play off the emotions that colors evoke. So black packaging is trying to tell you that the product is bold and sexy. Purples and pinks play to a more feminine audience. Blues and silvers give a clean, modern vibe. What crowd is your favorite makeup playing to?
Yeah, it's really stressful trying to find out the right shade of makeup. But at Sephora, they have Color IQ, and yes, it's as cool as it sounds. It takes a picture of your skin, and then matches it with the corresponding color for every product in their inventory. Sign us up.
Keep your receipt. If you're trying a new product, you can never be too sure how it's going to react with your body. Sephora welcomes returns on most any product, even if it's used. And if you don't have your receipt, they allow you to return items as well when you have a valid ID. A receipt just makes things a little simpler.