Sephora has taken over my phone this week. My FYP on TikTok has been suspiciously full of BeautyTok micro-influencers raving about the on-sale skin-care and makeup that I need to buy at Sephora’s Savings Event. My best friend texted me to say that Sephora emailed her a congratulatory message about reaching VIB status. The hype, therefore, has reached a crescendo for Sephora’s semiannual sitewide sale, which is finally open to all Sephora members today.
Sephora’s sale began on Friday exclusively for Rouge members (people who spend upward of $1,000 per year), who get 20 percent off their entire purchase. Now, the sale is open to VIB members (who spend at least $350 per year) with a 15 percent discount and to Beauty Insiders (anyone with a Sephora account) with 10 percent off. And if you’re lacking in both status and a Sephora account, no worries! You can still take 30 percent off the entire Sephora Collection of beauty and personal-care products until April 24 — no account required.
In my FYP’s defense, this is arguably one of the best beauty sales of the year — with lots of discounts on some of our time-tested favorites, but we’re here to help you sort through what’s actually good and what’s just hype. Use code SAVENOW at checkout to see the discount that applies to your tier. (There’s free shipping available for Beauty Insiders and up with stackable code FREESHIP.) We’ve applied the 15 percent VIB discount to all of the products below.
Strategist writer Rio Viera-Newton says that the GrandeLash serum was instrumental in helping her grow out her “traumatized” lashes within four weeks.
Strategist writer Rachael Griffiths says that this eye-bag-concealing powder was the best thing she purchased last year. A light dusting is all you need to look “well rested and glow-y,” while a full bake “pretty much stands in for a setting spray to keep my makeup from moving or creasing.”
And for a skin-care treatment to banish dark circles, Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright+ eye cream also helps under-eye concealer stay put longer, according to Rio. It was recently reformulated to include real gold for even more brightening, and it’s now fragrance free.
Our best overall blow-dryer brush has multiple heat settings, works on a variety of hair types, and uses ionic technology to help seal the hair cuticle (for less frizz and more shine).
Strategist writer Ambar Pardilla says that Farmacy’s Deep Sweep toner visibly shrunk the size of her pores and cleared stubborn blackheads after only a month of use. It’s “almost as though the toner is blotting my skin for me,” she writes.
Tower 28’s lip gloss comes in 12 shades — including one clear and one shimmer finish — and has a nonsticky-but-still-glossy feel. “It’s somehow significantly less sticky than other glosses, and my hair never gets stuck to my lips when I’m wearing it,” says Strategist writer Arielle Avila.
The Dermaflash simulates the in-office procedure of 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 almost shorts weather, and if you’ve got hyperpigmentation you’d like to lighten, Rio says that the Topicals Faded body mist was “incredibly effective” in fading her eczema scars.
For the K-beauty lover: A refreshing green-tea–infused set of a moisturizer, face mask, and serum (in both travel and full size) from Innisfree.
Touchland’s hand-sanitizer mist doesn’t leave behind any tacky film or dried-out cuticles, says Addy Bello, the registered nurse and content creator behind @skincareinscrubs. The Glow Mist edition contains two botanically derived anti-aging ingredients that the brand says will boost collagen production and detoxify your skin.
This waterproof, retractable eyeliner is available in 18 colors in shimmer, matte, and glitter finishes.
Tembe likes this liquid lipstick, writing that the shade Always Red is “an opaque true red” that “looks good on absolutely everyone.” If that’s too bright for your taste, there are more than 70 other shades to choose from.
If you’re looking for a night cream that won’t make you break you, we like First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair moisturizer. It’s paraben-free and noncomedogenic, “meaning it’s safe for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin,” says dermatologist Georgina Ferzli, and it “feels almost whipped and fluffy when going on.”
In our guide to the best cream blushes, we found Rare Beauty’s to be the most buildable. It’s available in matte and radiant finishes and ten (still in-stock as of this post) shades “creamier than Glossier.”
One makeup artist told us that this is the “holy grail of foundations for all skin types” and “creates a radiant glow without a greasy finish.”
It’s a good time to buy splurgy skin-care tools like the NūFace, which sends microcurrents through the skin to help tone and sculpt facial muscles over time. It’s a favorite of dermatologist Corey Hartman, who says he has “yet to see anything surpass the efficacy and design of NūFace Trinity.”
We dubbed this the best less expensive vitamin-C serum, since it contains a similar formula to our No. 1 pick at half the cost. It contains L-ascorbic acid as well as pumpkin-ferment extract and pomegranate enzyme, which attack dead surface-skin cells and help to exfoliate, explains dermatologist Deanne Mraz Robinson.
For something even cheaper that targets hyperpigmentation, Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst noticed results within a few months with this serum. In addition to 15 percent vitamin C, it contains turmeric and salicylic acid (less than one percent) to help prevent breakouts.
Strategist managing editor Kelsie Schrader is a fan of Verb’s hydrating conditioner, which she says made her curls shinier and softer after a single wash.
With notes of cannabis leaf, lemon peel, and rhubarb, “it’s one of those instantly recognizable scents that doesn’t smell like anything else,” says Tembe.
Our best overall humidifier is this surprisingly attractive model from Canopy. Strategist senior editor Crystal Martin says, “It pushes out the right amount of humidity to keep my nose and eyes moisturized at night, and I can easily keep it clean.”
Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens has been using hair towels for about ten years and says that after trying the Crown Affair towel, she “never looked back.” She especially likes the towel’s waffle texture, which she says both “looks and feels nicer” than other hair towels she has tried.
This deodorant from Kosas contains shikimic acid, a natural deodorizer that helps to fight acne, as well as a combo of AHAs like lactic and mandelic acids to help with brighten and exfoliate.
Take everything off with Clinique’s makeup remover, which works on waterproof mascara “without irritating the eyes” or leaving a “greasy residue,” one makeup artist told us.
“It thickens your brows and makes them more even,” drag queen Alaska Thunderfuck told us of this brow gel. “Now, I will never be seen without this product on my eyebrows. It lasts the whole day, and I even sleep in it.”
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.