Monday, October 19th, 2009, Inc.

When the Sephora Friends & Family Sale starts (20% off – use code FF2009 at checkout), I always get an influx of questions about what people should buy. To me, there are three categories of products to consider whenever a decent sale rolls around in the beauty world. Otherwise, it’s really a matter of what your budget is like, what you need, and what you want. There are so many amazing beauty products that I think are worth checking out, but I couldn’t even begin to compile a list for you, since it definitely matters what you’re looking for! So here are some of my suggestions on how to whittle your lists down…

More expensive purchases that you’ve otherwise held off on make great buys during big sales.  I know that I often delay pricier purchases until I’m really sure I want/need it.  If you’ve been drooling over something for the past six months, this is an item you might want to consider splurging on.  For me, if I lose interest by the next week, I know I made the right move by using what little patience I have waiting.

Products like the Clarisonic fall right into this category of sale possibilities.  It’s a product that’s been well-received by many beauty addicts, but it’s also one of the pricier purchases you might make this year.  (I do recommend the Mia for those on a tighter budget — performs just as well as the full-size version.)

And it doesn’t have to be that pricey–just pricier than you feel comfortable paying on a regular basis–like Guerlain Rouge G Lipsticks. They’re overpriced, though fabulous, and with 20% off, it brings the price down to a more palatable $36.  It’s all about you and what you consider a splurge — for me, a splurge is Rouge G.  For others, it may be an Urban Decay Lipstick at $22!

I always like to use beauty sales to stock-up on my favorite makeup and skincare staples.  For me, that means Philosophy shower gels and pricier skincare like Kate Somerville.  Don’t forget about things you use often and go through within the year, like cleansers, makeup removers, mascara, etc.  These are always good purchases, because you know you’ll use them and aren’t just buying them because there’s a sale.

The third category of products are all of the gifts and value sets that various brands put together for the holiday giving/receiving season.  I like these because they usually represent a better value than if you purchased the included pieces individually, so then when you save 20%, you’re really saving even more.  Totally love that!   Plus, as a beauty addict, my stash is only going to grow, so I don’t necessarily need full sizes of everything–sometimes the gift set size is perfect.  I love being able to try multiple products for the same price as one or two full size products!

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

20 thoughts on “Buying Guide for Sephora’s Friends & Family Sale

  1. fantastic post! I totally agree. things you’ve been holding off on, things you’ll def use, & gift sets are the way to go when coming up with your list. it feels like Christmas! well it will when the package arrives :)

    thank you! :)

  2. Chrissy

    This post really helped, thanks Christine!

  3. Thanks for the suggestion! Whats all the buzz about Clarisonic? What is it? I’ve seen people on forums mention it a lot before

    Oh, and a must have gift set, is the Urban Decay Book of Shadows II! Just purchased it for the FnF sale! So excited to get it

    • I love it, personally! I’ve reviewed the original as well as the Mia, which is cheaper and slightly “smaller” (weighs the same, if not more), and it’s just as good as the original :)

  4. This is very helpful! Thanks for posting this Christine!

  5. Paige

    I’m all about the 3rd category. I really would love to get one or two of the Sephora Favorites sets.

  6. Christine B

    Just wanted to let everyone know Bing is doing 10% cash back for Sephora so you can get even more back off your order if you want to use that too. It should work.

  7. Lorna

    i am loving the gift sets right now. it’s a great way to get samplings of products to determine if you really want to get solo items in a brand.

  8. Call me crazy, but… that UD Primer set is now $65. I could have SWORN just yesterday it was $60… hmm.

  9. Proximity

    In the gift and gift set category that set of Tarte glosses is a great buy. I got the “purse your lips” set last year (same gloss formula, which I really like). I split up the set, saving a few for myself, and giving most of them to friends as little gift extras.
    Everyone loved them, and I still love mine. They’re tiny, but like you said, most of us never use up a whole lipgloss anyhow.

  10. I’ve been lemming a UD pallete for EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR. I’m so getting one. Along with online specials and expensive moisturizers.

    Great post.