Shopping the Sephora Clearance Rack: 7/18/14 Edition + Coupon Codes!

Earlier in the month I made my first post in what will be an ongoing series wherein I continually scour the Sephora clearance section and bring you my picks for the best deals, as well as any current coupon codes and my tips & tricks for the getting the best bang for your buck at Sephora. You can read more about the idea in the previously linked post if you’re curious as to how this feature came to be, but for now let’s just jump right into the sales!

Sephora Summer Crushes

First up is the Summer Crushes set, currently discounted to $40 from an original price of $45. Now, I personally adore sample sets like these – it gives product lovers like me a way to dabble with a ton of shiny new items without having to buy full sizes and risking disappointment or wasted cash. This set in particular is summer-themed, and it includes miniature versions of beachy items like LAVANILA Vanilla Coconut perfume, Bumble & bumble Surf Spray, and a myriad of items meant for both sun protection (lip balm, SPF serum, etc) as well as recovery items if you pushed the sun-worshipping a bit too far and got burned (restorative treatments for your hair, soothing masks for your skin, and so on). You can see the product details and sizes in the actual listing, but if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, this might be a set that you’ll want to grab before it’s gone.

Ready for the rest of my picks & tips? Hit the read more button!

Carnivale Brush Set

Next on the list is the Carnavàle Brush Clutch, dropped from an original price of $48 down to $25. This set features an interesting pink-and-cork clutch as well as “pink paint splattered” brushes that fit nicely inside. You get a powder brush, stippling brush, shadow brush, smudge brush, and eyeliner brush in this set, which is a pretty good start for most people. I’m personally not crazy about this set’s look, but if they’re on the same level of quality as the Sephora+PANTONE brush set that I snagged last month, $25 is a hell of a steal for that many brushes.

Coach Poppy Blossom Set

If you really, really love Coach’s Poppy fragrance line, you might want to check out the Coach Poppy Blossom Gift Duo, down to $75 from an original price point of $95. This set is pretty simple, just two bottles Coach Poppy Blossom in two different sizes in a cute box. You get a 3.4 oz size and a 1 oz size, and if you already know that you love this scent and plan on using it long-term, this isn’t a bad way to stock up as those two would normally retail for a total of $110 if you were to buy the bottles individually. Poppy Blossom is also a limited edition, but it looks like it’s not quite at the end of the line yet as only this set is discounted, not the normal bottles. I’m personally a big fan of the original Coach Poppy and the now-rarer Coach Poppy Flower – Poppy Flower in particular is one of my go-to spring/summer fragrances. I definitely want to try the other Poppy incarnations (Blossom, Freesia Blossom and Citrine) eventually, to see if they’re as awesome as the two that I already own and love.

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Moonshadow Baked Palette

Now, I totally have a palette problem – I already own more than I could possibly need, and I’ve been known to buy particularly pretty palettes even if they’re obviously meant for warm-toned girls (I’m a cool-toned olive lady myself). So whenever I see a cute palette like the Moonshadow Baked Palette – In The Tropics pop up in the sale section, it’s soooo hard for me to resist, haha! I might actually give in to this one, because at $15 (down from $27), it’s affordable and I am so loving those purples. Actually, every single color on there is gorgeous and it has mostly 5-star reviews… definitely tempting, no?

IT Palette - Color Spectrum

While the IT Palette – Color Spectrum is less to my personal tastes than the aforementioned Moonshadow one (I just don’t see myself ever using the bright blues and greens, personally), if you like the vibrant assortment of colors and textures, for $19 (discounted from $32) this isn’t a bad purchase. This palette also has generally positive reviews, so definitely something to consider if you tend to move through a wide range of colors in your eyeshadow usage!

Sephora Collection Travel Manicure Set

Last on this particular installation of the feature is the Sephora Collection Travel Manicure Kit. If, like me, you’re constantly misplacing your basic silver nail implements, it might be a good idea to get this bright-pink set – at least that way they’ll be harder to miss when you’ve accidentally set your file or clippers or whatever somewhere random. The little clutch meant to carry all the items is cute, as well. It has widely varying reviews, but at $11 for six items, as long as it’s doing its job competently (ie not tearing up my nails like a lot of cheap clippers do) I’m willing to take a chance!

Now that we’ve looked at my personal picks, let’s go over some basic things to keep in mind when shopping Sephora’s sale products:

  • Limited-edition items – whether they’re individual products, sets, or palettes – will almost always end up on sale within a few months, assuming of course that they don’t sell out. So if you see a gorgeous Tarte or Too Faced set or are lusting after one of their Sephora + PANTONE Color of the Year products and can be patient, the object of your desire will most likely turn up in the clearance pages soon enough.
  • Sephora updates the sale section very, very often. You’ll see new items on almost a day to day basis if you check frequently enough. They do tend to discount high-demand, non-limited items every so often; I usually see Peter Thomas Roth and Tarte items do a sort of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance at least a few times per month. These items tend to sell out REALLY fast – like, within a day at most usually – so when you see a non-discontinued brand or item pop up in the sale pages, make your purchase decision sooner rather than later. Do note, however, that most of these items are nearing their sell-by date – they won’t be expired when they get to you or anything, but you should plan on using them when you get them rather than putting them into a backlog.
  • If an item you’ve been waffling over disappears from the sale section, don’t despair – keep checking back. I’ve seen items go out of stock and then reappear, still discounted.
  • Definitely read the reviews before making any buys! Some items are discounted because Sephora just overestimated how much stock they’d realistically move of that certain product, but others languish for ages as nobody buys them because they’re simply not very good items. While you can always go out on a limb and then fall back on their excellent return policy, IMO if you’ve got like twenty people in a row claiming that a nail polish set, for example, arrived dried out and nigh unusable, I personally wouldn’t even bother.
  • I personally recommend ALWAYS using eBates if you’re going to buy online from Sephora. They’re reliable and usually pay 4-8% cash back on your entire order; I’ve even seen it go as high as 12% in the holiday season!  They also do a great job of keeping current coupon codes and promotions on their Sephora page. There’s really no downside here, to be honest.
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Lastly, here are the current promo codes for

  • LIPMINI will give your choice of a miniature-sized version of either Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Peony, NARS Lip Gloss in Priscilla, or Sephora Collection Color Reveal Lip Balm in Unique Pink. This requires a $25 purchase to work.
  • FLAWLESS will add a GWP-size of Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide; you can select one of three shades and, like above, you must purchase at least $25 of product to be able to use this code.
  • BLACKOIL will give you a “deluxe sample” of Josie Maran’s Argan Black Oil Mascara. Requires a $25 purchase or it won’t activate.
  • BRONZED will let you pick between samples of bareMinerals Faux Tan, St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan, or Vita Liberata 2-3 Week Tan. As above, you need a $25 minimum purchase for this code to work.
  • SCENTSET lets you pick between the “Forever Icons”  (Prada Candy, Thierry Mugler Angel, Acqua di Gio, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Chloe, and Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana) and the “Niche Originals” (Tocca Simone, Clean Skin, Tokyomilk Dark Tainted Love, NEST Midnight Fleur, Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine, and Replica Beach Walk) sample sets. Requires $25 purchase.
  • And as always, there are a ton of GWP bags/purses/gloss sets/etc that come with specific fragrance purchases. You can see those codes here.

I hope that you enjoyed this week’s picks and if you’ve purchased any of these items, please do let me know your thoughts so I can decide whether or not I should splurge, myself!

Affiliate links are present in this post; THANK YOU if you use any of them! See the site disclaimer for more info if you’re curious about what this means.

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