How to make a good decision at Sephora


It’s so easy to get confused when most brands are talking about the efficacy of marula oil, vitamin C, retinol and soothing properties of natural ingredients. Picking an effective product is not only about recognizing active ingredients. You'll need to look at strength, source, order of ingredients and competition.

On the flip side, it's almost more important to understand what main offenders (irritants) are present. Take it from me, more information doesn't always help you sort through all your options. I’ve spent countless hours comparison shopping only to be confused and exhausted by the time I get to the cash (check out the blood sugar articles for evidence of this).

Photo Credit: Getty

Photo Credit: Getty


Sometimes I watch vlogs to get pointers on hot products, but this doesn’t usually lead me to star-performers for my age group.
I have different needs than those in their 20's and 30's. To add to the confusion, I find some A-list bloggers are hired to sell crap that needs a boost in shelf-lift. That being said, there are some reliable resources out there, but there's also a lot of sugar coating going on.  For example, I often see bloggers talk about mixing product A with product B, and it will work better. I don't think that's fair. It sets out the expectation that you'll buy many products and in most cases, these items just clutter your makeup drawer.  

Another word of caution, be on guard of cosmetics/skin care reps - especially in Sephora. These ladies are paid to sell hard. They use compliments, suggestions of product combining to save money (buy theses 3, and it will stretch the other more costly products) and stories of incredible results to help to achieve their overall sales targets. I found myself caught up in this situation recently. It was uncomfortable until I decided to go to the cash and offload the rejects without judging eyes.

Photo Credit: Getty

Photo Credit: Getty

Sometimes I’ll visit, often their reviews can sway me in one direction or another but what it often comes down to is going by my gut. Let's face it; you know what works for you, you know your budget, and you likely have some sources online that you can trust already - so use them!

Here’s a quick list of gut check items that will hopefully help you avoid buying one more sh*tty product to throw into the bucket of shame.


What’s the consistency like? Is it greasy, dry, thick, gummy? Ditch it if you hate it right away.


Is it highly fragranced? Ditch it because it will irritate your skin in the long run.


Is it a pain in the ass? Ditch it because nobody has time for that sh*t


Does it sort of meet what you were hoping for? Ditch it; there are too many other options


Does it rinse clean, feel good? Ditch it because you’ll never love it.


Give yourself a time frame to see results, check receipts on the return policy, so you’re not stuck with the clunker.

Let me know if I helped you make a solid decision in the comments.