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Buying Guide for Sephora’s Friends & Family Sale, 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!

Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Long Wear Gel Eye Liner in Indigo, Cocoa

Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Long Wear Gel Eye Liner ($8.99) is SK’s answer for longwearing, smudge-proof, budge-proof gel liner. It’s available in three shades: Cocoa (deep brown), Ebony (deep black), and Indigo (deep blue). I haven’t seen Ebony yet, but I did get a chance to play with Cocoa and Indigo.

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NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencil in Hot Red, Hera

NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencil ($3.50 each) is available in thirty different shades, as listed on the brand’s website, from browns to pinks to reds. I recently tested out two shades: Hot Red and Hera. Hot Red is a vibrant shade of orange-based tomato red, while Hera is a shimmery pink raspberry color.

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