What Not to Buy at Sephora
With its supreme sampling program and lifetime return policy, it's no wonder Sephora is one of the most popular and profitable chain stores-beauty or otherwise-in the world. Although we're huge fans of the one-stop beauty shop and many of the brands it carries, we found certain items you can snag elsewhere for significantly less-reminding that it always pays to comparison shop and to rethink whether a product is splurge-worthy or not. Following are four.
1. Makeup Brushes
Most makeup artists we've talked to swear by "a good makeup brush," and we found just that for a fraction of Sephora's price. The most affordable foundation brush we could find at the behemoth beauty store is $25-a great brush from the brand's in-house collection. However, we spotted other foundation brushes that work just as well for a quarter of the price, like Eco Tools Bamboo Foundation brush ($6 at Walgreens). Looking for good deals on entire brush sets? One of our editors recommends skipping the beauty store and aisle altogether and snagging super-affordable art brushes at your local arts and crafts store!
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We're of the mindset that you don't have to spend a lot to get your hands on a solid pair of tweezers. The most affordable regular-sized slant tweezers we could find at Sephora is $15 (a stylish pair featuring a floral pattern from Tweezerman). However, you can find an equally effective-albeit less cute-tool from Revlon ($3 at Walgreens)-which costs a fraction!
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3. Lip Balm
Unless you're a die-hard fan of YSL's or Fresh's ultra-luxe lip balms (which retail for $30 and $22.50, respectively), you're better off snagging a solid lip balm at your local drugstore. We searched Sephora for a bargain SPF lip protector and found the most affordable to be an $8.50 tube from Supergoop. Meanwhile, a quick walk down the cosmetic aisle at Walmart reveals lip balms as low as $2.95, including one of our favorites-Eos Lemon Drop lip balm with SPF 15!
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4. Hair Dryers
For the most part we found high-end hair styling tools priced the same at Sephora as at other online and brick-and-mortar retailers. However, we did spot a couple that are much better deals-like the T3 Featherweight Journey Travel Dryer, which retails for $130 at Sephora but only $117 at QVC.com. Plus, the QVC version comes with a towel and handy travel bag.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.
Photo: Flickr Michael Saechang
What Not to Buy at Sephora