It’s a great time to be a Sephora Insider: Holiday savings for members started up last Friday and are running through November 15. The first few days are exclusively for VIB Rouge members (people who spend upward of $1,000 a year), who get 20 percent off their entire purchase. Then, starting November 9, the sale opens to VIB members (people who spend at least $350 a year) and Beauty Insiders, who get 15 and 10 percent off their purchase, respectively. To take advantage of the sale, use the code YAYHOLIDAY at checkout. And possibly the best part: You can use the code as many times you like. There’s free shipping when you use the code FREESHIP, no minimum required. This is arguably one of the best beauty sales of the year, with lots of discounts on some of our time-tested favorites, making it a good time to restock your staples or get a head start on holiday shopping for your beauty-obsessed loved ones. Note that we’ve applied the 15 percent VIB discount to all of the products below, so if you’re a VIB Rogue member or Beauty Insider, your price will differ slightly.
To ensure hair stays healthy, we recommend this hair mask from Briogeo, which Rio has said is a solid dupe for the more-expensive Christophe Robin masks. According to Rio, it’s ridiculously moisturizing without being heavy and leaves her hair bouncy, soft, and tangle-free.
Paula’s Choice AHA/BHA serum has been one of the breakout skin-care stars of the year. Long loved by beauty editors and skin-care Twitter, it is often credited for giving its users an otherworldly glow. It uses gentle but powerful chemical exfoliants to resurface the skin, which means more even skin tone, brighter skin tone (a.k.a. the glow), and less acne. Even better, this comes in a gift set, so you’ll also get an accompanying peel, which will take your entire routine to another level.
Topicals is another breakout skin-care star of the year. It exploded on the scene in summer 2020 and quickly became a must-have in skin-care routines everywhere thanks to its skin-inclusive ethos, cute packaging, and highly effective products. The products were so effective that they were often sold out and hard to find. But now you can snag them at Sephora. Opt for the fan-favorite Faded Serum or pick up the Faded Body Mist, which Rio recently said was incredibly effective at fading her eczema scars.
This eye cream from Ole Henriksen is a favorite of both dermatologists and Rio, who says her dark circles have become “less corpselike, more French” after four months of continued use. An added bonus, it layers nicely under makeup.
Sephora’s also discounting its in-house brand Sephora Collection, offering 30 percent off without a code. That includes this eyeliner pencil, which makeup artist Janice Kinjo told us comes in an array of great colors and lasts a long, long time.
Another Sephora Collection favorite: this liquid lipstick. To say I’m obsessed with it is an understatement. It’s my go-to red because it’s both classic and exciting. It also looks good on virtually everyone, thanks to its slightly cool, blue base. It’s also a favorite of the Cut’s beauty director, Kathleen Hou, who says it’s basically “Ruby Woo in liquid form.”
We’d be remiss not to mention this advent calendar, because, well, tis the season. This one, from Benefit, came recommended by Strategist writer Chloe Anello, who noted that it includes some of Benefit’s biggest hits, like the brand’s Hoola Matte Bronzer along with minis of its much-loved mascaras.
SPF is essential, even in the winter months. We’ve written about this one from Supergoop a bunch. It doubles as a makeup primer and is a good option for oily skin. Plus it dries clear, so you don’t have to worry about a white, pasty cast.
It’s a good time to buy splurgy skin-care tools like the NuFace, which sends soft microcurrents through the skin that increase the body’s cellular energy. This helps to tone and sculpt facial muscles over time. It’s a favorite of dermatologist Dr. Corey Hartman, who says he’s “yet to see anything surpass the efficacy and design of NuFACE Trinity” in terms of defining and contouring the face.
Also on the expensive skin-care device front — the Dermaflash is on sale. It simulates an in-office procedure called dermaplaning which removes all the peach fuzz on your face. This physical-exfoliation process also removes dead skin, revealing a brighter, hair-free glow. It’s a favorite of this writer in particular; I use it about once a month (or whenever the mood strikes if I forget to do it) and always get compliments on my skin a few days later.
Tower28 makes some of my favorite beauty products, which give skin that sunkissed, back-from-vacation glow and are also formulated for sensitive skin. I’m a fan of the brand’s cream blushes in particular: They come in an array of hues that work on a wide variety of skin tones. They’re also a makeup artist and makeup enthusiast favorite. Teen Vogue director of development Mi-Anne Chan says it’s “everything you want a cream blush to be.”
I also stan the brand’s lip gloss, which has a nonsticky-but-still-glossy feel. I keep the clear in heavy rotation but also like the nude shade Cashew, which gives my lips the slightly pink tinge I’ve been searching for since I saw Christina Milian’s glossy lips in “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.”
Dyson recently released a new colorway of its cult-favorite blow-dryer, which is beloved by curly-haired people everywhere, including myself. It reduces the potential for heat damage thanks to its ultrafast dry time, and it’s impressively quiet too. We suspect that this limited-edition hue will go quickly — so if you’re thinking of grabbing this, or the beloved Airwrap, don’t dillydally.
[Editor’s note: This blow-dryer is currently sold out, but it’s already sold out and come back in stock once during the sale. So keep an eye out and buy it quickly if you see it come back in stock.]
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.