If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
Today is the first day of Beauty Insider Appreciation Week, which runs from September 10th through September 17th. During the event, Beauty Insiders get 2x points, VIB members get 3x points, and Rouge members get 4x points. This event usually takes place in August, but Sephora pushed it back this year to iron out the details of the Rewards Bazaar. Hopefully, nice items enter the Rewards Bazaar, so the point multipliers for this event get put to great use. It officially kicked off this morning with a private VIB Rouge event where Rouge members got first access to select holiday items and a VIB Appreciation Bag if they spent $35 at the event. Sephora may keep this event in September in the future, because the August events in years past never had advanced access to holiday items. That was an extra touch to the event this year that would disappear if the event returned to August in the future. This was the first private VIB Rouge event since August of 2015 that was actually tied to a major promotion. Although the June 2016 event brought advanced access to fall items, there was no other incentive to shop. There were not even any samples in that free bag.
The private Rouge event took place from 8:30 to 10am this morning. I did receive an invite with a link to register for the event on 08/31/16. That was 11 days for the event, which is an eternity for Sephora considering they usually announce all of their events at the last possible minute. It is not uncommon to receive less than a week of notice. Rouge members who received the email knew they could bring a guest and saw the complete version of Sample Bag One (which is the one I received at the event) pictured in the email with a disclaimer that samples may vary.
There is another sample bag, which has two products that overlap, called Sample Bag Two. Some members received that one at the Rouge event. Sephora always releases a VIB Appreciation Sample Bag at some point during Beauty Insider Appreciation week. It is only available for VIB and Rouge members, but there is a sample bag available to Beauty Insiders in November. The VIB Appreciation Sample Bag released this morning, so it is already available. Using code MYSURPRISE, VIB and Rouge members can order a bag with a $35 online purchase. This is a one time use code, so VIB members can only order one. Rouge members who attended the private event this morning can still use this code, and it gives them a chance to receive the second bag (or a repeat of the bag they received at the event if that is the one they preferred).
The picture above blends products from the two bags together, so the bag is not that stacked. I placed an online order (for the item I intended to buy in store but it was not in stock). Since I received Sample Bag 1 at the event, I ordered Sample Bag 2 using this promo code. If you’re looking to see what items are in the second bag, I cover those items in that article.
I arrived to the event at Sephora Summerlin about 10 minutes after it started. From experience, I’ve learned not to arrive on time. The greeter(s) will answer every question a person checking in has even if it is an obnoxious number leaving the people behind standing around waiting to get in. My plan worked, because there was no line by the time I arrived.
The lady at the podium asked for my name and checked me in.
She told me about the guide map for the event, which was on the table but also strategically placed in all shopping baskets.
This is the nicest card I’ve seen at a private VIB Rouge event, but it is a general checklist. I would have preferred one geared to the store. Every store gets different brand reps, so I went off on my own in search of which reps were in store.
Although I never saw the Bobbi Brown rep, I heard a man behind me say to someone else that he was with Bobbi Brown. I know the Smashbox rep at the August 2014 who applied makeup on my sister also represented YSL at the October 2014 Nordstrom Beauty Trend Show, but the Ole Henriksen rep I met at the same event actually worked for the brand. It is certainly possible he “is with” Bobbi Brown.
I think the tarte rep was a female, because I saw a lady standing around this table a lot.
I am assuming Too Faced was there, because there were a lot of Too Faced items placed on the dr. Brandt table. Although I did not have much interest in tarte or Bobbi Brown, I would have happily chatted with Too Faced or dr. Brandt. Whoever was working this table was never near it when I walked by, at least 3-4 times. And, those were the only three tables I noticed at the event. There are usually 4-6 tables, so it seems like they skimped on reps for this event.
I finally found the refreshment table while I was searching for brand reps. It is the smallest one I’ve ever seen at an event. My son is highly allergic to bananas, but they are my favorite fruit. When I am outside the house (and he is not in danger), I need bananas. Someone cut them in half (probably to save costs), but I took half a germ laden banana anyway. Nothing else interested me, because I brought my ice water and hate coffee.
Everyone congregated near the Holiday launches, so it took me a while to make my way in. By the time I hit this section, I imagine the store had been open for at least 20 minutes. Like the event to launch the fall items, there were two columns of goodies. Unlike that event, many items were gone by the time I arrived. If you look closely, the items being sold are not the items they advertised. It looks like the people who arrived first purchased a lot of the new items, and the store must not have had many. I have to hand it to the staff though. They did a great job at making these bins look full and giving us things to buy, even if they did not technically belong here.
All of the items my store sold out of and the ones they still had are available online in the Rouge only section. The items at the last event were only available online the day of the event (until a later date when they had their official launches), but we received an email notifying us that they were for that day only. We never received an email stating they were only available online the day of the event, and the items were still available in the Rouge only section the following day. Pre-Release items get pulled from the shelves after the Rouge event ends (and not returned until their official launch date), so they can only be purchased online from a Rouge account.
The Drunk Elephant AHA Moment set really tempted me. It includes a: 0.27oz B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel, a 0.27oz C-Firma Day Serum, and a 1 oz T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. This is a brand I want to explore, but this set is $96. I’d have to think about it, even though I know it is a good deal.
I like that my store finally has a display case of the point perks available. While the ones near the register make a lot of sense, it is hard to really look at them until it is your turn in line. At that point, I feel I am holding up the line if I take too long to decide. As someone who often purchases 100 to 500 point perks, I appreciate that.
It took me a while, but I finally located the item I was looking for on the shelves. Hiding at the very bottom of the Endless Eye Looks Section, I came across the display for the Sephora Favorites Extravagant Eyes.
The actual sets were out of stock, and there was an employee who was kind enough to check the back for me after another checked the in store iPads and showed me that the item was not listed as in stock within that store. It never surprises me how many employees have no idea what I am referring to when I ask for a Sephora Favorites set. Of the four employees I talked to, only one knew what it was. Sadly, I got the impression one had no clue what a Favorites set even was. They are seriously the bets thing Sephora sells, so they should teach employees about those sets before anything else.
I am actually glad it was out-of-stock, because I wanted to buy it on the spot. After swatching the items (I did not think to get a picture of the swatches sadly), I decided I will not purchase this. As expected, the NARS shadow is gorgeous. Although I do not use my Dual Intensity Palette often, I do love what it does. The Milk and Laura Mercier cream shadows are way too close in color. Cream shadows are not my thing, because they crease too often. Getting them in sets does allow me to use them without getting upset that I paid too much for an ineffective product. I also never really apply lashes, even though I convinced myself I would give these a try. They were not out for me to take a closer look. If you loves lashes and cream shadows, this kit is perfect for you.
I did get the impression that Sephora overstaffed the event. Even though I went in without a stitch of makeup (in case I decided to partake in a mini makeover or another service), I no less than seven employees offered help. If I go into the store without makeup on outside an event, I am lucky to get a single person to ask. As someone who prefers to get help only when I needed, I actually like being ignored.
My guess is they wanted their top-tier clients to feel overly waited upon, so they had all hands on deck. If anyone wanted doting, they were ready. It seemed like the staff did more makeovers than the brand reps, because the Beauty Studio was busy the entire time.
Since the item I went in to purchase was out-of-stock, and I decided to pass (at least for now) on the holiday items, I was scrambling trying to find something to purchase. These little Benefit sets are cute, and I’ve enjoyed their new brow launch so far. The problem is these samples are everywhere. I cannot see paying for samples when I keep getting them for free.
I ultimately decided to get the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. It is something I’ve wanted to try for a while. This $38 purchase gave me 152 points.
I knew this did not have the pure white appearance most translucent setting powders have, because I’ve seen this used in YouTube videos. It surprised me how ivory it is when I swatched it on the back of my hand.
It went on my hand in a really powdery way, but it blended in beautifully. Once I use this, I will edit in a review and picture.
As mentioned above, I was randomly given Sample Bag 1. It includes: a 0.84oz Sephora Waterproof eye makeup remover, a 0.1oz Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Total V contouring serum, a 0.007oz Kat Von D tattoo liner in Mad Max Brown, a 0.135oz Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara, a 0.25oz dr. brandt microdermabrasion, a 0.07oz Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black, single use Estee Lauder foils of: Rouge Mat Lipsticks in 10 Killin’ It and 07 Abt Last Night with Lip Flip Shade Transformers in 01 Turn Up and 02 Turn Down, and 0.03oz Clinique foils: of dramatically different moisturizing cream, dramatically different moisturizing lotion +, and dramatically different moisturizing gel.
I really want most of the items I received in the sample bag, so I think it is a good one. The bag itself is a little on the small side. It is about the size of an Ipsy bag. This is a vinyl bag with a polyester interior. While I do like the design, I cannot see myself keeping this.
While it is obvious that Sephora scaled back for this event, it was still worth my time. I will use most of the samples, and I’ve wanted the Laura Mercier powder for some time. Without the event, I still would not have it. The event really is what you make of it. If you go in and take advantage of some services and accept help, you could get slightly pampered. It would be nice to see the Vegas stores do something a little extra like stores in some other cities sometimes do. I always feel like my store does the bare minimum and read about other stores that go above and beyond. Complaining too much could result in losing the events again, and I would rather have a lackluster event than none at all.
Events vary from store to store, so each experience is different. Sephora does not inform a single Beauty Insider of all deal details. Certain offers are targeted and others have different purchase minimums based on the code. Remember to check New Offers and/or Recycled Offers before placing an online order. If you’re spending over $25, you can add a promo code to any order. See all Sephora articles. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal When Shopping Sephora. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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