What to Buy at Sephora’s Holiday Beauty Insider Sale: The Best Clean Skincare, Makeup, Beauty Tools and More!

It's the biggest Sephora sale of the year.
Sephora Beauty Insider VIB Holiday Sale 2018

No need to wait until Black Friday—Sephora's annual holiday sale has started early this year!

Just about everything in the store is up for grabs at 15 to 20 percent off, which is an even bigger discount than the spring sale.

As usual, I've gathered all the info you need to know, including sale dates, coupon codes, and of course, my top product recommendations.

For my favourite clean beauty buys that are truly worth the investment (whether you're shopping for yourself or someone else), read on!

Sephora Holiday Beauty Insider Sale

Sephora Beauty Insider VIB Holiday Sale 2018

What to buy at Sephora's holiday beauty insider sale.

How to Qualify to Shop:

  • To get 20 percent off: You must be a Rouge or VIB member. To qualify for Rouge, you need to have spent $1,000 in one calendar year. To qualify for VIB, you need to have spent $350 in one calendar year.
  • To get 15 percent off: You must be a member of the Beauty Insider program. Sign up here (it's free!).

Sale Dates and Coupon Codes:

  • November 2-5: Rouge members can shop the sale with the coupon code ROUGEBONUS for 20 percent off.
  • November 9-12: VIB members can shop the sale with the coupon code VIBBONUS for 20 percent off.
  • November 16-19: Beauty Insiders can shop the sale with the coupon code BIBONUS for 15 percent off.

Sale Restrictions/Exclusions:

  • No more than one Dyson product per transaction.
  • No more than three Drunk Elephant products per transaction.
  • No more than three Tatcha products per transaction.
  • Gift cards, Flash shipping, PLAY! by Sephora subscriptions and customizable sets are excluded from the sale.

Sephora Sale Picks

Please note: Products marked "🇨🇦" are only available in Canada; and products marked "🇺🇸" are only available in the US.

Best Cleansers, Makeup Removers and Face Wipes:

A sulfate-free cleanser is a MUST. The ones from Indie Lee, Caudalie, Drunk Elephant, First Aid Beauty, Consonant🇨🇦, Youth to the People, Korres🇺🇸 and Go-To🇺🇸 should be suitable for almost everyone. If you're quite dry and sensitive, go for the creamy, nourishing face washes from Dr Roebuck's🇺🇸 and Naturally Serious🇺🇸. If you're more oily, you could use Tata Harper, Boscia or Juice Beauty🇨🇦. For makeup remover, I love Caudalie, and for face wipes, Consonant🇨🇦 is the best.

Best Exfoliators:

Acids are my exfoliating method of choice—especially BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), which also deep-clean pores. Sephora's best BHA options are from CaudalieJuice Beauty🇨🇦, First Aid Beauty and B. Kamins🇨🇦. For AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), there are some good choices from Go-To🇺🇸 and First Aid Beauty. And for a little bit of both, there are several new AHA-BHA blends! I've tried Omorovicza, HerbivoreTata HarperB. Kamins🇨🇦 and Consonant🇨🇦; there's also Moon Juice, Farmacy, Tarte🇺🇸 and Drunk Elephant. For a gentler alternative, consider the enzyme exfoliants from Tatcha and Naturally Serious🇺🇸.

Best Toners and Mists:

Toners aren't a necessity, but can be useful to calm your skin after cleansing, to remove cleanser residue, or to refresh your skin when you don't have time for a full cleanse. My favourites are from Indie Lee, Herbivore and Dr Roebuck's🇺🇸. Mists are awesome for layering, or to give your makeup a more natural, lived-in look—try Herbivore, Tata HarperCaudalie, BIOeffect🇺🇸Omorovicza and Dr Roebuck's🇺🇸.

Best Serums and Essences:

Lightweight serums and essences are the best way to pack in more moisture underneath your creams and oils. For serums, I always recommend Consonant🇨🇦, my Holy Grail, but Drunk Elephant, Caudalie, REN and Naturally Serious🇺🇸 are also good bets. My top essence picks are Omorovicza, SK-II and Tatcha.

Best Moisturizers, Eye Creams and Face Oils:

Silicone-free moisturizers used to be few and far between, but there are finally some awesome formulas from LXMIDr Roebuck's🇺🇸 and Omorovicza. You can also use those around the eyes, but if you're specifically looking for an eye cream, I suggest Indie Lee, Biossance, Drunk Elephant and Dr Roebuck's🇺🇸. Alternatively, try an oil—I like Indie Lee and Biossance (squalane oil); Kopari and Skinny & Co.🇨🇦 (coconut oil); LXMI (shea butter); and Drunk Elephant (marula oil).

Best Sunscreens:

There are just a few SPFs that meet my safety criteria, with sufficient levels of zinc oxide and no hormone-disrupting filters. The sunscreens I recommend most are from Drunk Elephant and Juice Beauty🇨🇦; also consider MDSolarSciences🇺🇸 and Supergoop!🇺🇸, although they contain silicones. Mineral SPF powders like ILIA🇺🇸 and Supergoop!🇺🇸 are handy to top up your protection throughout the day.

Best Skincare Treatments:

Niacinamide is the one treatment ingredient I recommend for all skin, as it'll help with everything from wrinkles to acne to pigmentation... try it from Skin Inc Supplement Bar. If you're looking for vitamin C, Drunk Elephant and Philosophy🇺🇸 have L-ascorbic acid (the most powerful form of C), while Youth to the People, Skin Inc Supplement Bar, Dr. Dennis Gross SkincareDermadoctor🇺🇸 and Dermalogica🇨🇦 offer vitamin C derivatives, which are gentler and more stable. For retinol, I'd go with Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare or Dermalogica🇨🇦.

Best Face Masks and Peels:

There are so many great face masks out right now! For brightening and exfoliating, I love Herbivore, Tata Harper and Omorovicza. If you're acne-prone, Indie Lee and Dermalogica🇨🇦 sell fantastic clay-based masks. For hydration, I always love SK-II sheet masks, and Naturally Serious🇺🇸 also ticks off my boxes. If you're looking to do a weekly peel, try BiossanceOmorovicza or Drunk Elephant🇺🇸.

Best Lip Balms, Tinted Lip Balms and Lip Treatments:

There are three ingredients I SWEAR by for healing chapped lips: lanolin, shea butter and squalane oil. Find them in the products from Lano🇨🇦, LXMI, L'OccitaneIndie Lee and Biossance. For a hint of colour, Tata Harper, Lano🇨🇦, Lilah B., Captain Blankenship🇨🇦 and Dior all make lovely tinted balms.

Best Clean Makeup:

My all-time favourite foundation/concealer is from RMS Beauty, and they've just added TONS more shades—there are now 16 to choose from! If you prefer a liquid texture, bareMinerals is a good choice for foundation and tinted moisturizer. I also love REN for primer; ILIA for powder; Antonym for powder blush; Tata Harper and RMS Beauty for cream blush; and RMS Beauty for highlighter.

Best Beauty Tools:

Which beauty tools actually make a difference? Definitely the Foreo cleansing brush to thoroughly remove dirt and makeup without irritating your skin. If you're concerned about sagging and loss of firmness, the NuFace microcurrent device does work; you just need to be consistent with treatments. Some intriguing new gadgets are the BeautyBio🇺🇸 and Nurse Jamie🇺🇸 microneedling tools, and the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare🇺🇸 LED mask (which, unlike other lights, can be worn while watching TV or working on the computer!). Lightstim🇺🇸 is also a decent red light device. For facial massage, try the rollers and Gua Sha tools from Kora Organics🇺🇸 and Mount Lai.

Best Body Moisturizers, Body Washes and Body Scrubs:

I'm always extra-careful about the ingredients in my body creams and oils, since the larger surface area means you absorb more product. The cleanest ones I've found are from Dr Roebuck's🇺🇸, Lavanila, REN and Kopari. For hands and feet, I love the creams and salves from Lano🇨🇦; and for body wash, I think Dr Roebuck's🇺🇸 has a nice formula. The best body scrubs are from HerbivoreKopari and Tata Harper🇨🇦.

Best Beauty Supplements:

In case you missed it, Sephora now has a department for "inner beauty." The Vital Proteins🇺🇸 collagen peptides and marine collagen are my top picks; they're great for a protein boost and may help your skin, hair and nail health! Other supplements that I think could be helpful (and look good ingredients-wise) are the RMS Beauty digestive enzymes and HUM Nutrition🇺🇸 vitamin D.

Best Clean Beauty Gifts:

Looking for some gift ideas for your fellow clean beauty lovers? There are several well-priced skincare sets from Drunk Elephant, Omorovicza, Biossance, Herbivore and Caudalie that anyone would be happy to receive. And you can never go wrong with silk accessories from Slip, candles from Voluspa, hand creams from Lano🇨🇦, or a facial massage kit from Mount Lai.

Are you shopping the Sephora holiday sale?
Which products are on your wish list?

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