We all know that Sephora is a great place to find makeup and beauty products from a wide range of indie, luxury, and popular brands. What you might not know is that Sephora also offers plenty of opportunities for customers to stop in for freebies and free samples. Most of these samples can be obtained with no purchase required; you just need to ask to get them.
It's really pretty easy to get free stuff from Sephora—the secret is knowing what they have available that's free for the taking. Read on to learn about how to snag free Sephora samples, free makeovers, free beauty services, free classes, and more.
The "Beauty Insider" Program
If free samples and product gifts are a top priority for you, then we have one simple piece of advice: Become a Sephora "Beauty Insider". This rewards program is free to join, and when you sign up, you'll have access to the following perks:
- The ability to rack up points with each purchase, which can be applied for discounts on products, classes, and services (The more points you earn, the better the perks you'll access through the Beauty Insider program.)
- 10% off purchases during Sephora Seasonal Savings Events (two events per year)
- A free Birthday Gift (more on that later)
- Free standard shipping
There are a few other levels to the Beauty Insider program that will get you more points, discounts, free products, and more. You'll have to spend a certain amount each year to become a VIB or Rogue member.
Sephora "Birthday Gifts"
One of the most exciting benefits of the Beauty Insider program comes in the form of an annual Birthday Gift. Every year during your birthday month, you can visit your local Sephora to get a free birthday gift, with no purchase required.
These birthday gifts are different each year. In 2023, options include:
- Ilia Makeup birthday gift set includes a tube of Limitless Lash mascara in shade After Midnight (black) and a multi-stick in shade At Last (mauve rose.)
- Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Skincare birthday gift features a Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops mini and Watermelon Glow Pore Tight Toner mini.
- The Dior fragrance birthday gift set includes two perfume minis, one of Miss Dior Eau de parfum and the other of Sauvage Eau de parfum.
- If you'd rather add to your Beauty Insider points you can receive 250 bonus points instead of a birthday gift set.
- If you're a VIB+Rouge member you can get a special birthday gift just for you! It's a Farmacy Clean Skincare birthday gift set that includes a Green Clean makeup removing cleansing balm mini, Honey Halo ultra-hydrating ceramide moisturizer mini, and a Honey Potion plus ceramide hydration mask mini. You don't have to choose this set, you can choose any of the birthday sets not matter what your Beauty Insider status.
To redeem your Birthday Gift, you'll simply need to provide your Beauty Insider card, phone number, or address to the cashier when checking out. You can pick up your birthday gift two weeks before or after your birthday or any time during your birthday month. Keep in mind that substitutions may occur. The free birthday gifts are usually kept behind the counter, so you'll need to ask for yours. They're available at Sephora and at Sephora counters inside Kohl's stores, while supplies last. You can also get your free birthday gift online, but you'll need to make a purchase along with it. You can't redeem it at kohls.com.
Sephora's Free Samples In-Store and Online
Believe it or not, you can walk out of Sephora with a bag full of free samples without making any kind of purchase. Here are some tips for how to get those free samples:
- Don't be afraid to ask an associate for a sample. Explain that you want to try a certain product at home to see if you like it before you make a purchase. Keep in mind that you can get a sample of just about any product that Sephora carries. This includes makeup, skincare, and fragrances.
- Sephora associates are much more likely to take the time to help you if they think you'll make a purchase today or sometime in the future. Pick up a few products and put them in your basket, and you're more likely to be offered help.
- There are often free samples behind the counter. Don't be afraid to ask for one when you check out; in fact, if you make a purchase, the sales associate may offer you a sample without being asked.
Sephora also has free events that you can attend to get free samples. In the past, they've given away free samples of eyeliner, lipstick, mascara, and eyeshadow during these events.
Each time you order online at Sephora, you'll also get free beauty samples. You can pick two free samples each time you order, which may include fragrance, skincare, and/or makeup items. Sometimes, during certain promotional events, you can get even more free samples.
If you're a member of the Beauty Insider program, you'll be able to rack up points each time you make a purchase. These points can be redeemed for deluxe samples, special collectibles, and curated product sets.
Sephora's Free Makeovers
If you visit a Sephora store in-person, you can take advantage of one of the company's most underrated but valuable offerings, in which a Sephora beauty expert will give you a free 15- to 20-minute makeover with no purchase required and no appointment necessary.
Here are the free "express makeovers" and tutorials that you can choose from:
- Mini Facials
- Flawless Foundation
- Smoky Eye
- Polished Brows
- Everyday Eye
- Essential Eyeliner
- Treat & Conceal
- Blush & Bronze
- Perfect Lips
- False Lash Application
Longer full-face makeovers are also available, but they require a minimum purchase unless you've reached the Rouge level of the Beauty Insider program (1000 points accumulated). For Rouge members, these makeovers are free.
If Sephora stores aren't open, you'll still be able to get expert advice as a Beauty Insider member. A Sephora rep tells us that "in lieu of in-store services, we are happy to offer a robust library of techniques and tips to our clients via our digital services. We encourage our clients to take advantage of our Virtual Artist feature in our app to virtually try on different products and looks, see swatches, and more."
Free "Shade Finder" Foundation Matching
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of foundation shades available and don't know how to find your perfect hue, we have good news for you: You can use Sephora's digital Shade Finder program to determine which formula and tint suits your needs.
According to the Sephora rep, "clients can use use our Shade Finder to lookup many foundation brands and find the closest match with any of our formulas, and our YouTube library has recommendations for clients of all ages and skin tones.”
Free Beauty Classes at Sephora
If you're a Beauty Insider at Sephora, you can attend free beauty classes that will teach you how to apply makeup and take care of your skin. Here's a list of classes that they regularly offer:
- Contouring & Highlighting
- Color Eye Makeup
- Day-to-Night Smoky Eye
- Flawless Foundation
- Skincare Basics
- Party-Ready Smoky Eye
- False Lashes
- Teen Makeup
- No-Makeup Makeup
- Brow Shaping
- Perfect Lips
- Correct and Conceal
- Age-Defying Skincare
- Winged Eyeliner