Ever pass by a Sephora store and think, holy moly what a jungle that is?! And then walk in just to walk slowly back out just the way you came in…
There are colors, and people and products and music and brands coming at you from right to left, a worker that asks you what you need and you don’t know what to answer… ahh!!! Yup, Sephora can be overwhelming! If that sounds familiar then I am putting this post out for you.
Recently, I had a friend post on Facebook that she had an overwhelming experience at Sephora so she walked out without getting anything and a couple of people also replied agreeing with her. This inspired me to write this post as even experienced beauty people find Sephora too much sometimes.
So let’s get into it!!
Figure out your level of comfort with makeup/beauty in general
Knowing where you personally stand with makeup/beauty products will help determine if you are ready for Sephora or how you should start.
If you are a beginner at makeup entirely, I suggest playing with some drugstore products first. They have great options at the drug store and you will get to learn what you like / don’t like. Plus, it is A LOT more budget friendly. It will also allow you to make purchasing mistakes without blowing the bank. Even if Sephora has a great return policy, it is a lot easier to accept that you don’t like a product you paid a small price for than a $50 foundation that you think should work because it’s that expensive.
If you have experience with drug store products or a newbie and you are ready to graduate to Sephora, just take the plunge! Pick the item that you aren’t satisfied with from the drugstore or something you want to get into (like a primer) and go with that in mind.
Which brings me to my other suggestion: go with a specific product in mind
When you walk in the store, you will be hit with an overwhelming OMG LOOK AT ALL THESE PRODUCTS, WHERE DO I START?? Don’t worry, that is normal, sometimes I still do that when I go in “just to browse” and end up wondering the store not really looking at anything specific.
Go in looking for one particular product such as new mascara, eye shadow, or maybe a new foundation. Try to avoid going in with the idea you want to do redo your whole face right away, that will be WAY too overwhelming and way too expensive. Tackle one thing at a time.
This gives you a focus when you walk in, so then you concentrate on one product at a time. Plus it gives you an excuse to make a second trip to get another item sooner rather than later hehehe.
Set a price point BEFORE you go
It is VERY easy, and I repeat, VERY easy to go over budget at Sephora. If you are looking for a new foundation let’s say, you can go from $19 all the way up to $90. So go in with how much you are willing to spend, this will help you with the brands you should be looking at. But remember, pricier doesn’t mean better.
A suggestion would be to look at the Sephora website www.sephora.ca for an idea of range of prices so you don’t get caught in a shell shocked surprise. I say that the mid-range is usually around $40-$50 for a foundation. Obviously that range changes depending on the product you are looking for.
Research the brands: Do you want cruelty free? Do you care?
This may sound weird but with the range of brands that Sephora holds, you may not know which brand you would want… This is especially true if you want a cruelty-free company since not all cosmetic companies are. If you care, then research them before. You can find a list of brands on the Sephora website and then do a search for that company on Google or straight on the PETA website.
Know your skin type
Is your skin dry? Combination? Oily? Try to know this before you walk in, not every product is great for each skin type and some are specifically make for oily skins or dry skins.
Bring someone with you who is experienced with Sephora or utilize the Sephora consultants
Myself, I didn’t step into a Sephora until 2 years ago and I brought backup with me, Sheena and Missy… I knew nothing, and they helped me out tons! That is a safe bet, but if you don’t have someone with you, then use the Sephora consultants. They are knowledgeable and aren’t paid by commission.
If you have done your homework and know your skin type, your price point, what product you are looking for and what brands you are willing to consider because they are cruelty free, this will help the consultant a ton. They will probably ask you all these questions, except for the cruelty-free thing, that I have never been asked about. But since you know you want to go with brands that are and so if they suggest a few products then you can probably eliminate the ones that you know aren’t.
Also, if you aren’t sure how to use a certain product, ask the Sephora consultant, they are there to help. They can even show you by applying the product to your face.
Also, Sephora can colour match you
Yup, a mistake we ALL make and continue to make is getting the wrong colour of foundation or concealer. Sephora consultants have a little machine called the Colour IQ where they can find your skin colour and it suggests foundations that could potentially match your skin tone. NOT EVERY BRAND HAS A RANGE OF COLOUR THAT MATCHES YOU. It doesn’t mean that you find a foundation that it has a colour that matches you, that is a myth. There are some brands that even if I like them, I can’t use because I cannot find a perfect match. Sure you can play with bronzers and other tricks to make it match but if you are a beginner, I suggest going for one that actually matches your neck. Yes your NECK not your face or hands.
The Sephora consultants could also colour match you with products by trying things on your face. Or suggest something that would work for you. This goes for foundations or any other product, like eye shadow, if you aren’t sure if it would work for your skin ton, just ask!
Not ready to commit? Ask for a sample!
Sephora doesn’t put this on a billboard but they do give samples of products for you to try before you buy the whole thing and these are free. This is very useful especially when starting and the samples are usually big enough to try the products enough times to see if you like it or not.
Look for starter sets
Some companies, I am thinking like bareMinerals and Smashbox, have starter kits that you can pick up to try a few products from the line. These are a great way to start getting into a range of products, they are smaller size and allow you to try more than one thing. Just make sure that you pick the right colour for you as some of these tend to not have the full range of the colours available.
Watch youtube / read blogs
I have learned a lot about applying makeup and different products by watching tutorials on YouTube. There is a ton of “beauty gurus” out there that are very knowledgeable and can help you out. And then you can try their tutorials in front of your own mirror and if you end up looking like the Joker, then you are in the safety of your house!
Say yes to sign up for the Beauty Insider program
Finally, when you go to the cash register and they as you for your BI card, and you don’t have one, sign up for it! You get points by dollar you spend and can redeem them for small “point perks”. Why not? It’s free. Plus, you get a gift on your birthday month!
I guess I should also mention to try to avoid the temptation of the products in the cash waiting line. Yes, they are small, cute, and less expensive but I suggestion avoid those until you understand the value of each item because sometimes you end up paying me for a small product size/prize then if you had gotten the bigger version. Some are value sized, some are not.
Well that’s it! I hope that you enjoyed this post. Once you become a Sephora expert, remember to never ignore the drug store, they have amazing things and you don’t always need to spend a ton of cash on a product to get a fantastic result. More expensive doesn’t mean better!
Remember to breathe and take it one item at a time!