This is my overview and review of the Sephora VIB Rouge private, closed-door event for Holiday Preview. It is the first private event for VIB Rouge members this year and is likely the last if the pattern from last year repeats. The event took place at all Sephora locations on Saturday, September 14th from 8:30am-10am. This event gave Rouge members first access to the holiday launches. Is going worth your time? Every event is different. Some stores provide the bare minimum while others go all out, so no two experiences will be the same. I recommend reading Inside a Sephora VIB Rouge Event for those who have never attended who are trying to decide if this event is worth their time.
I have one timeline where I list all major: Promotions, Sales, Deals, GWP, Promo Codes, and Events. Those who want to see an overall idea of what to expect this year should stop by. See where the 2019 Sephora VIB Rouge Private (Closed Door) Event Holiday Preview lines up with others on the calendar. You can also visit my Sephora retailer page to see active and upcoming offers of all types.
Sephora VIB Rouge Private (Closed Door) Event Holiday Preview 2019
Closed-Door Events usually run around a theme. This one is a holiday preview. Yes, buying items for new holiday launches more than three months before the holiday seems a little silly. Brands seem to get the launches out earlier each year for those who like to shop early. Those like me, who like to shop late, need to get on it, because everyone else will buy out some of the earlier launches if we wait too long.
Rouge members get a gift just for attending. Those who spend at least $75 in store get a limited edition beauty bag. It looks cute, but cheap from the promo. I think it looks even more cheap in person. No samples are advertised with this bag, but some stores will place samples they have on hand in the bags. Most stores will not. As regular Sephora shoppers know, stores do not carry a lot of prepackaged samples, because employees make samples from testers for customers who are brave. Some samples, like perfumes, are hygienic, so I would consider those. This bag is not available online, but anyone shopping online can use a promo code Sephora advertises or any of the ones I highlight on my Sephora Deals Page.
There is more to the event than the opportunity to purchase gift sets early. All closed-door events have brand representatives (each store had different brand reps) to go over their products. This could mean special GWP opportunities given directly from the brand reps, mini makeovers using products from the represented brands, and more.
I did not see an option to add a guest when I registered, but I probably will not bring one anyway. Unless, I am able to offer something of value, like a discount, I prefer not to bother people. Those who do bring a friend can let me know if your friend gets the gift for attending and the bag if they spend over $75. My sister spent hundreds at the August 2014 VIB Rouge Event, and they refused to give her a bag (even though it did not say the bag was for Rouge only). That is another reason I am reluctant to bring people. If you happen to be at my store while I am, feel free to say hello.
Inventory for these events always varies. My store usually has all the items in the preview email with no bonuses that aren’t advertised. That means I knew exactly what to expect. I would not have expected to see a special unicorn not already pictured, but anything is possible.
If your store does not carry a brand you see in these preview photos, it is highly unlikely it will have the item at the event. Some stores will not get their shipments on time or will only get a few products to sell for the event and may run out quickly. In these scenarios, fret not.
Rouge members who are unable to attend the event or attend the event but want more items can usually get access to the products from the online link. Online access opened up the day after the event this year. It usually opens the day of the event. Of course, Sephora opens access to lower tiers when time passes, so they only stay in the Rouge Exclusive category for a short period after the event.
The items are already pre-loaded, so you can see prices and sizes. I am definitely getting the Sephora Favorites: The Next Big Thing. Both of the full-size products are things I want to try, and it is refreshing to see new samples.
I usually avoid tarte and Too Faced Holiday Palettes. Those are two brands I love, but the holiday palettes usually miss.
Sephora VIB Rouge Private (Closed Door) Event Holiday Preview 2019 Review
I arrived at the store a little over 20 minutes after it opened. Getting there on time would be easier if the event was later or there was a Sephora near my house.
There was someone at the door checking phone numbers to make sure the person arriving RSVPd. The store was never very busy the whole time I was there, so this was likely done for inventory.
She gave me one of the baskets they pre-filled for everyone coming through the door.
It had a Sephora Keychain, a 0.03oz Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream foil, a 0.03oz primera Alpine Berry Water Cream foil, and a 0.03oz Algenist Genius Ultimate Aging Cream foil.
As I stated above, every store is different. Some will have samples. Others won’t. Your samples, if you received any, could be different from mine. Everyone probably got this keychain though, because Sephora advertised that we would get a gift just for going.
There is usually a refreshment table. In Years past, it included fruit, water, coffee, and pastries. Last year, it was only water. This year, I did not notice a table at all.
The new items are always right in the front of the store, so customers can grab the new things they want before moving on.
There were a lot of really great items in these Holiday releases. If I had a larger budget, I would have purchased more than the Sephora Favorites: The Next Big Thing, which I already decided I wanted before I arrived.
Both of the items that would not focus on the original photo are items I really want. I decided to take a close up for those who want them as much as I do to get a closer look.
I wanted to spend as close to the $75 as possible, because my stockpiles are large and the 20% off sale is just around the corner. My plan was to see if any of the reps could convince me I needed something. That usually happens.
I never saw the Sunday Riley rep the whole time I was there, which is a shame. As I was there sans makeup, I could have gone for a facial.
That machine does not look easily portable, and I am guessing they give facials with it often given this promo card on the table. If they’re free, I’m in someday. Assuming these are the 750-point perk facials I see advertised, I am out.
I noticed something that looked different in the birthday display. Sephora has been changing the Rouge gift a bit this year, but that is always online only. Before I could get closer for a peek, someone stopped me. My mind wandered, and I forgot to go back over there. It looks like it is the ad for the 250-points. If that is true, that has been around since last year.
I just took a picture of that because I like it, but it was around the time I found, Marissa, the First Aid Beauty rep. We talked for a few minutes, and she had a lot of great product suggestions. The only one that I could have used any time soon (due to my sheer volume of backups) would have been the Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner. It sounds and feels amazing, so I will grab it in the 20% off sale. If I grabbed it today, I would have been short on the $75 minimum to get the bag or over if I grabbed something else. I also needed to purchase $49 in FAB to get its GWP. There just wasn’t $49 in products I needed right now.
I saw the Laura Mercier rep, but she was talking with someone every time I walked by. Since there was only one thing I knew I was getting today and one thing I knew I would get at some point, I headed to the register with both items.
Those items were the Sephora Favorites: The Next Big Thing, which I mentioned above, and the Urban Decay Naked Honey Eyeshadow Palette. At $88, I had enough to get the free bag. That is the main reason I went in, and boy is the bag pure crap.
I love the ideaa of the bag. It looks sleek, despite the polka dots. The Sephora logo is small, so it is not gaudy. The material feels as cheap as it looks, so I will rip or snag this the first time I use it.
Was the VIB Rouge 2019 Holiday Preview Event worth my time?
The red lining is lovely. If the bag was reversed inside out, I would have preferred it. Nevertheless, I woke up early, drove far, and spent $88 (I could have spent less later) for a cheap bag and a key chain. Other than the chat with the First Aid Beauty rep, the event was not really worth my time this round. My mind could change if I use the bag and it holds up. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy with the items I purchased and will provide separate reviews on both. It’s just that I would rather wait to review them later to get a better deal. People who know they are going to buy will do it anyway without my review. Reviews only help people on the fence. The fence is easier to climb for me and them when there is a deal.
What are your thoughts on the 2019 Sephora VIB Rouge Private (Closed Door) Event Holiday Preview? Let me know below. Sephora does not inform any Beauty Insider of all promotions. It does list a great deal of them on its Beauty Offers page, but I list some it does not on my Sephora Deals Page. Between the ones it lists and the ones I list, you can catch most of them. Subscribe to emails to get targeted offers. If you’re spending over $25 online, there is always a promo code that you can apply. Most major events run on a set schedule, which is why I track them. 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.
Disclosure: Affiliate Links