I've been told shopping at Sephora isn’t like going to other stores. They call each store a stage and the employees are called cast members, who wear costumes - not uniforms. And no one knows the ins and outs of your beloved beauty product shop than the people who work there, so here are some insider secrets revealed to “Byrdie” magazine by five former employees.
- You can get a free mini facial in any store - Skincare consultants are required to learn how to give “skincare expresses” - which are quick facials done right there on the floor in the skincare department - done with cleanser, toner, treatment, and moisturizer. So pick products you want to try and ask for a skincare express.
- Same thing goes for hairstyling - You can also score a free hairstyling sesh because cast members are trained on various dry-styling hair trends every few months.
- Employees won't judge you for doing your nails without buying anything - Turns out, lots of people do their nails in the nail studio to test out new colors and no one cares if you don’t buy anything.
- But they will judge you for double-dipping in tester products - So please don’t try on a lip gloss or mascara without using a tester wand and then, whatever you do, don’t double-dip in anything. Sample things that come in a pump container or ask if there are any pre-packaged samples instead of trying a product in a jar or pot.
- The limit on free samples varies by store - Rules about samples are different in every store, so ask, but be cool if they tell you the limit is three. Some stores are more lenient, others limit customers who come in every single day to three freebies a week.
- Sephora Collection makes dupes for tons of pricy cult products - And employees say their in-store line is just as good as the products twice the price.
- Most stores keep a trustworthy list of cruelty-free brands - Know what you’re buying is really cruelty-free by asking a cast member at the Beauty Studio, the spot where they do the mini makeovers.
- There are usually free gifts on Saturdays - That’s the day the stores host brand events and there’s often a free gift with purchase.
- You can get a full-face makeover for free… if you're clever - Sephora cast members are trained to give 15-minute “single-feature” makeovers - like just your eyes or just your lips - for free, but if you’re nice to your consultant, she might do your whole face.
- You can return almost anything - The store has a very lenient return policy, they’ll take back pretty much anything that’s not more than half used.