This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
For many, Sephora is a beauty wonderland that can make even a non-makeup wearer feel the urge to buy the brightest lipstick in stock.
The store, which is owned by LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), has over 1,900 locations in 29 different countries. It is also currently the leading perfume and cosmetics chain in France.
Though prices range from affordable to super high end, it’s easy to walk in expecting to spend $20 on one item and find yourself at the counter with a $450 bill and a million sample-sized products that you know you don’t really need.
As one of the most successful beauty chains in the world, it comes as no surprise that Sephora is dedicated to best serving its loyal customer base. With everything from free gifts to a top-notch rewards program and dozens of deals and promotions, there are ways to shop smart at Sephora that won’t leave you with four different bronzers and $4 left in your bank account.
We rounded up the top 10 tricks you can use before you enter makeup heaven, and trust us–these will help you save big time.
Sign up to be a Sephora Beauty Insider
Sephora’s rewards program is one of the few retail rewards programs that’s worth the occasional pesky email.
There are three levels to the program, with benefits ranging from exclusive free make-up classes, free unlimited makeovers, handpicked products and flash 2-day shipping online.
Each dollar you spend will earn you a point, which you can redeem for sample and full-sized gifts that are valued at different point amounts.
Check “Beauty Deals” for current promotions
Sephora’s Beauty Deals section will give you access to special online codes you can use for discounts.
They’ll also list current and upcoming deals and promotions both in-store and online. A must-look at before you shop!
Remember that products are organized with price in mind
In simplest terms, products on the outside aisles will be cheaper than those further inside the aisles, and products at eye-level will be more expensive (and aesthetically pleasing) than those on lower levels.
Look to see if items you already bought are now discounted
Sephora will honor a price adjustment if an item you purchased within the last two weeks has been dropped to a discounted price.
Keep your eyes peeled for newly discounted items and always save your receipts.
Sign up for a free beauty class
Many people aren’t aware that Sephora offers several weekly beauty training classes for free.
From everything to perfecting your brows to nailing a natural look, beauty experts will show you the ropes without even making you buy any of the products you use.
You’ll save yourself so much time and frustration (and money!) by not having to test hundreds of different products to find out what works best for you.
Indulge in a free 15-minute makeover
Much like the free beauty classes, this in-store feature will help you figure out exactly what products you like best.
You’ll have a customized one-on-one experience in which you can (quickly, of course) explain what type of product you want and what your budget is so that your beauty expert can help you find what you need.
Don’t be fooled by sample-size products
Sample-sized products may appear to be more manageable, and because of how small they are, most people assume they’re much cheaper.
Though they will be lower in price than larger sizes of the same product, they’re nowhere near as cheap as they should be for the amount you’re getting.
Some sample sizes will only be $5-10 cheaper than a full size of the same product and you’re only getting a tiny fraction of the full size.
Engage on social media
Sephora will post deals, promotions and free events on its different social media outlets.
By “liking” them on Facebook or following them on Twitter, you can catch wind of a sweet deal that you might have otherwise missed.
Cash in on Sephora’s liberal return policy
One of the best in retail, Sephora’s return policy allows for any item to be returned to the store within 60 days of purchase so long as the product is in decent condition.
Don’t feel weird about returning that bronzer!
Take all of the free samples that you can
Customers are entitled to three free samples per department–all you have to do is ask!
Sephora’s samples are usually pretty generous, and they’re a great way to get product for free as well as test something out before you invest.
That way you really know whether or not a product will react well with your skin or if it’s worth the extra few bucks.
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