Sephora Beauty Insider Review

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When it comes to makeup and beauty products, Sephora is one of the leading businesses not just in Canada, but worldwide. They carry hundreds of brands and thousands of products catering to every whim or need you may have. From mascara to eye cream, hair tools to face masks, perfume and more, Sephora really does seem to have it all.

On top of being a popular store, Sephora also has one of the best-known loyalty programs in the retail industry: The Beauty Insider Program. It’s great that they have this program for loyal customers, but is it any good? Read my Sephora loyalty program review now to find out.

sephora beauty insider review

What is Sephora’s Beauty Insider program?

So, what exactly is Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program and how does it work?

Like other loyalty programs, Sephora’s Beauty Insider program allows you to collect points when you shop that can then be redeemed towards your purchases or at the Rewards Bazaar. Members will also receive birthday gifts during their birthday month.

There are three tiers of membership depending on your annual spending. The tiers are Insider, VIB, and Rouge.


This is the most basic tier of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program. There is no minimum annual spend required but you still get access to perks and benefits.

  • 1 point for every $1 spent
  • 3 choices for your birthday gift (choose 1)
  • Free shipping with a $50 minimum purchase
  • 10% off seasonal savings
  • Earn 2 X the points during point multiplier events
  • Access to the Rewards Bazaar: trial size products and experiences


Members will get VIB status when they spend $350 within a calendar year. This level includes a higher earn rate for points and more perks.

  • 1 point for every $1 spent
  • 4 choices for your birthday gift (choose 1)
  • Free shipping with a $35 minimum purchase
  • 15% off seasonal savings
  • Earn 3 X the points during point multiplier events
  • Exclusive gifts
  • Access to the Rewards Bazaar: trial-size products, experiences, and full-size products


Rouge is the highest tier of the Sephora Loyalty program. You can achieve this status when you spend $1,000 per calendar year. Accordingly, it has the best perks and earn rate.

  • 1 point for every $1 spent
  • 4 choices for your birthday gift (choose 1)
  • Free shipping
  • 20% off seasonal savings
  • Earn 4 X the points during point multiplier events
  • Early access to new products
  • Exclusive gifts
  • Exclusive events
  • Access to the Rewards Bazaar: trail-size products, experiences, full-size products
  • $100 reward (for 2,500 points) to be redeemed in-store or online.

Additionally, all Beauty Insiders can take advantage of point multiplier events, points for discounts events, sweepstakes, and experiences such as meet and greets and trips.

What is the value of Sephora Beauty Insider points?

Since it takes 500 points to claim $10, every Sephora Beauty Insider point has a value of $0.02 or a 2% return on every dollar spent.

Don’t forget, you can also use your Sephora loyalty program points at the Rewards Bazaar. Depending on what you’re redeeming for, the value of your Sephora Beauty Insider points could increase (or decrease). You can also increase your personal rate of return by paying with one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada

What are the Biggest Perks of Sephora’s loyalty program?

As with other rewards programs, the biggest perk here is that you are essentially getting money back when you spend it. Sure, not at a high rate but if you are planning on shopping here anyways then you may as well collect the points to use towards future purchases. After all, who doesn’t love saving money?

The birthday bonus is a nice little perk as well. They are small, but the products tend to be new, popular items that people are interested in trying out. Plus, having a choice means you can pick something you will actually use. For example, maybe you don’t like the specific shade of lipstick in one kit, but you do want to test out the hair mask in another.

It’s also very easy to redeem your points or collect your birthday gift. You can do either by visiting a store or online.

Are there any Downsides to Sephora’s loyalty program?

One real downside is how you only earn 1 point per $1 spent regardless of what tier you’re in.

There have also been complaints of birthday gifts and rewards sets running out quickly. This could very well be location-dependent (some stores are busier than others), but it does seem to happen.

Additionally, it’s important to note that once you attain VIB or Rouge status, you don’t necessarily get to stay there. You need to make that minimum annual spend every year to maintain your status.

Are there better deals out there for makeup and beauty products?

Sephora is a great one-stop-shop type destination for many brands and products. However, while this makes it easier it’s not necessarily the best deal out there, depending on how you look at it.

Shoppers Drug Mart (available in Canada only) also has a beauty section, and while they may not have quite the selection that Sephora does, they do have some of the same products at the same price. It’s also worth mentioning that they have even more beauty products online.

So, why does this matter?

PC Optimum gives you 15 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart. However, you can earn even more points if you have one of their credit cards. PC Financial has three Mastercards in the PC Financial Mastercard, PC Financial World Mastercard and the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard.

When using them to pay, you would earn a 3%, 3.5% and 4.5% return in PC Optimum points respectively. In addition, Shoppers Drug Mart has in-store promotions, bonus points events and targeted offers where you would earn additional PC Optimum points.

If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, Shoppers Drug Mart has mega redemption offers where you get even more value for your points. For example, recently you could claim 300,000 PC Optimum Points and get $400 off. That was an extra $100 off.

Since you can earn points on every purchase you make with a PC Financial credit card, it wouldn’t be hard to accumulate a lot of points fast.

The Sephora loyalty program has some great value and product, but PC Optimum is even better. That said, Sephora has a way better selection of products.

How do I join the Sephora Beauty Insider program?

If you are interested in joining the Sephora Beauty Insider program you can do that for free. There are no fees required to join. Again, your tier depends on your spend level. To join, you can visit any Sephora store and ask to join the program up at the cash registers.

Will my points expire?

Your points can expire. If your account goes unused for 12 consecutive months, you’ll lose your points. To prevent your Sephora loyalty program points from expiring, make a purchase, redeem some points or collect your birthday gift.

What happens to my points if I return my purchase?

You will lose the points you collected on the purchase you returned.

Final thoughts

If you are a regular shopper at Sephora or plan to be, then it’s definitely worth signing up. After all, Sephora’s loyalty program is free and, if nothing else, who doesn’t like a little birthday bonus? That said, PC Optimum is a better program so it’s worth buying your makeup at Shoppers Drug Mart over Sephora if they have the same products available.

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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