The Sephora 2021 Sale Starts Today. Here's What Experts Say Is Worth Grabbing

Get up to 30% off on makeup, hair care and skin care from Sephora's long-awaited members-only holiday savings event that only lasts through Nov. 15.
Starting Nov. 5 through Nov. 8, Rouge members get early access and 20% off savings, while VIB members get 15% off starting Nov. 9 and Insiders get 10% beginning Nov. 11 until Nov.15. Plus, all Sephora brand products are 30% off.
Starting Nov. 5 through Nov. 8, Rouge members get early access and 20% off savings, while VIB members get 15% off starting Nov. 9 and Insiders get 10% beginning Nov. 11 until Nov.15. Plus, all Sephora brand products are 30% off.

The Sephora holiday savings event is arguably one of the best annual occurrences for both beauty fanatics and “dabblers” alike. With up to 20% off store-wide, depending on your Beauty Insider status, it feels like Christmas has come early.

Here’s how the sale is broken down:

  • Rouge-level members get early access to the sale starting Nov. 5, and can enjoy 20% off through Nov. 8.

  • Starting Nov. 9, VIB members get 15% up until Nov. 15.

  • Insiders receive 10% off starting Nov. 11 until the sale’s end on Nov. 15 (it’s free to join and receive instant Insider-level status).

Plus, all sale long, Sephora brand products are 30% off regardless of your membership status. To check your status or to become a member, click here.

Now, if you have ever perused Sephora’s site or walked down those black and white aisles, you know how overwhelming their product selection can be. We reached out to beauty experts to help you determine which products are worth scooping up, so you can take advantage of most beautiful time of the year.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Picks for congested skin

Targeted acne-fighting products that will have blemishes quaking in their boots
Azadeh Shirazi, a board-certified cosmetic and medical dermatologist in San Diego, said, "We’re all guilty of picking or trying to pop our pimples. I find hydrocolloid patches a great option to help heal deep red pimples and avoid the temptation of trying to pop them. These acne healing dots are also medicated with salicylic acid to help spot treat new breakouts."

Get the Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots (original price $19).

The clarifying and herbaceous properties of the anti-acne serum from Mario Badescu is what D.C. based board-certified facial plastic surgeon Michael Somenek called "a cult-favorite, and for good reason." He said what sets this serum apart is the "non-drying gel formula that is absorbed into the skin easily. It is also lightweight and contains a soothing mix of botanicals like aloe vera, chamomile and thyme. The salicylic acid formula also helps dissolve dead skin cells and excess oil to improve the clarity of your skin."

Get the Mario Badescu Anti-Acne serum (original price $20).
These'll address clogged pores and smooth out texture
The most tenacious of bumps and textured skin can be minimized by this highly concentrated shot of niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, by Paula's Choice. New York board-certified dermatologist Debra Jaliman said it's good for "all skin types, whether it's oily, dry or combination."

Get the Paula's Choice niacinamide 20% treatment (original price $48).

Shirazi recommends the gentle yet effective 2% BHA liquid exfoliant by Paula's Choice for salicylic acid's ability to "smooth skin texture by sloughing off dead skin cells, unclogging pores and preventing breakouts." This leave-on treatment alcontains antioxidant-dense green tea extract to reduce redness and sensitivity. "It's also a great price point," Shirazi said.

Get the Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA liquid exfoliant (original price $29.50).

Picks for aging skin

Plump and firm your skin with these products that are worth the price tag
Using micro-current technology, this toning device by NuFace can help define facial contours, reduce puffiness and renew skin's elasticity. Erum Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology in Philadelphia, said a sale is the perfect time to scoop something like this up. "I have patients that really love this device. [It] can improve the textural appearance of the skin and it tones nicely," she said.

Get the NuFace Trinity facial toning device (original price $399).

When asked what single product is worth the splurge, Somenek recommended Drunk Elephant's C-firma serum because of its potent ingredient list. "The nutrients, antioxidants and fruit enzymes serve to noticeably brighten, firm and improve the effects of photo aging. When used consistently, the product will aid in the reduction of dullness and uneven texture, fine lines and wrinkles, and loss of elasticity and firmness," Somenek said.

Get the Drunk Elephant C-firma Fresh Day serum (original price $78).
Fine lines, wrinkles and volume loss, who?
Both Jaliman and Annie Gonzalez, the medical director of Bowes Dermatology in Miami, swear by the Kiehl's Micro-Dose retinol serum for its powerhouse lineup of active ingredients. "Tolerability is often the issue with retinol. That's why I like Kiehl's micro-dose anti-aging retinol serum with ceramides and peptides because it is very gentle for even the most sensitive skin types, but it is also packed with essential ingredients to support the skin barrier and promote elasticity and firmness," Gonzalez said.

Get the Kiehl’s Micro-Dose anti-aging retinol serum with ceramides and peptides from Sephora for (originally) $60.

When New York-based board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick spoke about the wonders of Sunday Riley's Good Genes lactic acid treatment, she said, "This exfoliating serum uses lactic acid to improve dark spots and discoloration, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Because lactic acid is a larger molecule than glycolic acid, it is a particularly good option for those with sensitive skin."

Get the Sunday Riley Good Genes all-in-one lactic acid treatment (original price $85).

Skin care for the eyes

Say hi to a brighter and more lifted under-eye
Peter Thomas Roth's hydra gel patches are infused with 24K colloidal gold, caffeine and hydrolyzed collagen which may deliver a more lifted and youthful appearance under the eye. Ilyas recommended these luxurious daily doses because "they are great to deliver superficial hydration to the skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and dark circles."

Get the Peter Thomas Roth 24K gold pure luxury hydra-gel eye patches (original price $75).

Candace Marino is a medical aesthetician better known to her clientele as the L.A. Facialist. She loves the antioxidant-filled Berry Bright cream from Kora Organics "for [its] texture, benefits and packaging. The rich consistency is excellent for dry under-eyes and it features vitamin C, a known brightening ingredient to combat dark circles. The antioxidants in this product protect the skin from free radicals that can break down collagen and cause discoloration. The sustainable packaging allows for you to keep the container and refill the product with a pod of the cream, so you're reducing waste."

Get the Kora Organics Berry Bright vitamin C eye cream (original price $54).


Restorative and velvety creams to help skin's barrier
According to Lindsay Kastuk, a New York-based makeup artist, Augustinus Bader's renowned moisturizer -- simply called "The Cream" -- is "a makeup artist's holy grail luxury moisturizer." This premature aging-preventative and replenishing emollient uses a patented formula to support cellular renewal and improve moisture retention and skin barrier function.

Get the Augustinus Bader The Cream (original price $170).

Patrick Zito, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Miami, told HuffPost that "damage to the skin barrier can lead to increased sensitivity to irritants, allergens and inflammation. Most skin moisturizers focus on maintaining hydration, but a barrier cream is developed to aid in the repair of the skin. The SkinFix Triple Lipid Barrier is a cruelty-free lipid and protein complex barrier cream. For those prone to barrier disruption and dry skin, this is a product worth trying."

Get the SkinFix Triple Lipid Barrier-Peptide face cream (original price $50).
Products to hydrate and calm even the most troubled skin
Shirazi called the intense moisturizing capabilities of the Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty "a must have for winter! It's a rich cream formulated with colloidal oatmeal which relieves irritation and shea butter, which protects and maintains our skin barrier. Allantoin also helps calm and soothe the skin. I recommend applying this to damp clean skin for the ultimate hydration."

Get the First Aid Beauty ultra repair cream (original price $36).

The nourishing and plumping that the Kora Organics Turmeric moisturizer leaves behind is just one of the reasons why it's Marino's top pick, especially for people who experience dull or pigmented skin: "Turmeric is a potent antioxidant that can visibly brighten, calm, and protect the skin while the marine micro-algae provides a powerful source of proteins to the skin."

Get the Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer (original price $58).


Two ways to completely melt away the day from your face
Marino said that cleansing oils, like the nourishing seaberry offering from Fresh, is her favorite way to remove makeup or sunscreen. In fact, "I am so in love with this oil cleanser that I begin all of my facials with it. The omega rich formula gently removes makeup, dirt and debris while nourishing the skin," she said.

Get the resh Seaberry Skin Nutrition cleansing oil (original price $43).

Shirazi suggested the Farmacy Clearly Clean cleansing balm for its nourishing properties, natural source of enzymes and its ability to be used safely around the eyes. "The new formulation is fragrance-free and doesn't contain any sensitizing essential oils or polyethylene glycols, so it's a great option for all skin types," Shirazi said.

Get the Farmacy Clearly Clean meltaway cleansing balm (original price $34).

Picks for brightening and smoothing dull and uneven skin tone

Potent acid-filled treatments for a renewed, brighter complexion
Thanks to its generous concentrations of both AHAs and BHAs, the Dewtopia night treatment by Ole Henriksen is a targeted product, meant to treat any number of skin concerns. "[It] can smooth skin texture, improve elasticity and firmness, reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines," Somenek said.

Get the Olehenriksen Dewtopia 20% acid treatment (original price $55).

Marino said she’s been using the Ren renewal mask “for over a decade whenever I’m in a pinch and my skin needs an extra boost of radiance. This is great to use two or three times a week to exfoliate dead cells and improve texture and tone.” The fruit derived acids such as glycolic and lactic along with a papaya-based enzyme are said to help increase the firmness and tightness of the skin.

Get the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal mask (original price $58).
Powerful pink products that target dark spots and leave skin baby soft
Drunk Elephant's Babyfacial resurfacing mask made its way on both Garshick's and Gonzalez’s lists for its reputation for leaving behind a noticeable glow. "[It] offers a combination of exfoliating acids to help brighten the skin, while smoothing out the skin surface and texture. It incorporates 25% AHA and 2% BHA, including glycolic acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, citric acid and salicylic acid, together helping with discoloration as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Because it packs a punch, it should only be used once per week," Garshick told HuffPost.

Get the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (original price $80).

Garshick also touted the dark-spot-treating benefits of the Glow Recipe guava serum, which contains five different kinds of vitamin C to ward off free-radical damage. "Guava extract and seed oil deliver powerful antioxidant benefits and brightens the skin, while tranexamic acid is known to improve discoloration and reduce dark spots. This blend works to improve hyperpigmentation, while also reducing dullness and improving overall appearance of the skin," said Garshick.

Get the Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot serum (original price $45).

Lip care

Hydrating and plumping lip treatments that are so much more than balms
Don't let the mouthwatering scents fool you: The lip masks from Laneige give your pout some serious hydration, according to Garshick. "I always tell my patients 'Don’t forget about your lips,' and this sleeping mask is a great option to give the lips the boost of hydration they need, especially this time of year. It combines a moisture wrap technology and a berry mix complex to boost moisture and deliver antioxidant benefits, so your lips are softer, smoother and healthier when you wake up," Garshick said.

Get the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask (original price $22).

Marino called the lip recovery mask by Fresh "a game-changer for dry or dehydrated lips. [This] lip mask's texture is rich and nourishing feeling, and not sticky at all. When applied at night, it repairs and heals the skin as you sleep so you wake up with plump and supple lips."

Get the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Recovery Lip Mask (original price $26).

Sun protection

The protection of a broad spectrum sunscreen without the stereotypical feel
The Glowscreen by Supergoop is the most luminous way to shield your skin from the sun and prevent premature aging. It's even in Marino's daily product lineup. "I wear this SPF every single day as my last step of skincare and first step of makeup.The formula is hydrating and contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to keep the skin hydrated and balanced. SPF 40 is obviously protective enough for the sun and environmental stressors, however it also helps prevent blue light damage to the skin," Marino said.

Get the Supergoop Glowscreen (original price $36).

"I recommend my patients applying sunscreen in two layers," Gonzalez said. For this reason, she recommends Shiseido's oil-free sunscreen because it has a lightweight texture that easily blends in and "protects your skin with broad-spectrum coverage against both UVA and UVB." It also contains peony root extract to help minimize the appearance of pores.

Get the Shiseido Urban Environment oil-free UV protector (original price $35).
Innovative sun protection with an easy application
For another layer of added protection, Gonzalez likes It Cosmetic's CC cream, which is a full coverage and hydrating cream with an SPF of 50. It also contains collagen and peptides for increasing elasticity and firmer looking skin, as well as hyaluronic acid to help skin retain moisture throughout the day.

Get the It Cosmetics CC cream with SPF 50+ (original price $39.50).

"Finding different formulas that you can mix and match and some that are amenable for reapplication or touch-ups is key," Gonzalez said. For this, she recommended the Supergoop (Re)setting mineral powder, which is ideal for on-the-go sunscreen application throughout the day. This sunscreen powder can help reduce unwanted shine and contains ceramides and olive glycerides to help lock in hydration to the skin.

Get the Supergoop Re(setting) mineral powder (original price $30).

Makeup picks

Versatile beauty tools to blend, bounce and apply makeup flawlessly
Cara Lovello, a New York-based celebrity makeup artist, uses the Sephora 55 pro foundation brush because of its all-in-one functionality. "[It's] amazing at blending out foundation, contour [and] concealer and can be used for all your powder products as well. You can literally do your entire face with this one brush and get a flawless airbrush finish," Lovello said.

Get the Sephora 55 pro foundation brush (original price $30).

Los Angeles-based makeup artist Melissa Hurkman described her love for the smaller version of the well-loved Beauty Blender. "Everyone knows how incredible this sponge is. It's a little smaller than the original Beauty Blender sponge which makes it so perfect for blending out blushes [and] under-eye products and works amazingly for baking as well," Hurkman said.

Get the Beauty Blender Beauty Blusher sponge (original price $16).
Neutral eyeshadow palettes that you can use every day
Hurkman called the collection of richly pigmented matte shades from Makeup By Mario "a perfect staple product to have on hand to create any kind of eye look. I use this on every client even if it's just one shade to use as a transition." The universally flattering palette contains shades inspired by all skin tones.

Get the Makeup By Mario Master Mattes eyeshadow palette (original price $48).

"The Natasha Denona Biba neutral eyeshadow palette is a splurge that's worth the money," Kastuk said. This palette covers a vast shade range and offers different finishes from mattes, metallics and shimmers. Denona's eyeshadows are known for their pigmentation and blendability, so it's a great option for makeup users at all levels.

Get the Natasha Denona Biba All Neutral eyeshadow palette (original price $129).
Blurring and perfecting makeup by one of the masters in cosmetics
Micro-fine powder technology, nourishing almond oil and luminous light-reflecting pearls help make the Airbrush Flawless Finish setting powder by Charlotte Tilbury a stand-out product for Hurkman. "This powder is so unique because you can keep reapplying it throughout the day and it will not get cakey or thick-looking on the skin," Hurkman explained.

Get the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish setting powder (original price $45).

For a quick complexion boost and a luminous addition to foundation, Hurkman suggested the Hollywood Flawless Filter by Charlotte Tilbury, which uses flower extracts and glossy oils to hydrate and brighten the skin. "I love to use this on people who want their makeup to look radiant and hydrated," she explained. "You can mix a little bit of this with a liquid foundation to enhance the glow without making you look overly shiny throughout the day."

Get the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (original price $44).
A concealer that won't crease and an eyeliner that won't budge
The creamy texture and nearly imperceptible appearance of Makeup Forever's HD Self-Setting concealer is a go-to for Hurkman "because it stays all day and doesn't dry out the under eyes or other places you apply. It is self-setting so technically you don't need to use a powder after." The chlorella in this formula can reduce the appearance of dark circles, and hyaluronic spheres keep the skin looking fresh. "It's a medium- to full-coverage concealer so it's perfect for a natural makeup look and versatile enough to achieve a glam look as well," Hurkman added.

Get the Makeup Forever Ultra HD Self-Setting concealer (original price $28).

"One/Size truly understood the assignment of creating the longest-wearing pencil liners. These do not move or transfer and that is a hard thing to find with pencil eyeliner," Hurkman said of the Point Made 24-hour gel eyeliner. This eyeliner has a silky texture that can glide on for a precise look or be smudged out for a smoky end result.

Get the One/Size Point Made 24-hour gel eyeliner (original price $19).

Hair care

Hydrate, define and volumize your tresses with these hair stylist favorites
Ona Diaz-Santin is an international hair stylist and educator as well as the founder of 5 Salon & Spa in Fort Lee, New Jersey. She recommended the Bumble and Bumble Curl 3-in-1 conditioner because of its healthy and nourishing approach to enhancing and defining curls of all levels of tightness. "I like the versatility of the 3-in-1. It can be left in, rinsed out or you can co-wash with it," Diaz-Santin said.

Get the Bumble and Bumble Curl 3-in-1 Conditioner (original price $34).

Diaz-Santin called the fortifying and deeply hydrating capabilities of Briogeo's Don't Despair, Repair deep conditioning mask "worth every penny." Key ingredients include moisturizing rose hip oil, mineral rich algae extract and B vitamins for healthier-feeling hair. "It's not only super moisturizing, but also strengthens your damaged strands, leaving your hair feeling refreshed and new," Diaz-Santin said.

Get the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair deep conditioning mask (original price $38).

If you are hoping to add a little bounce and fullness to your hair, Diaz-Santin uses the Bumble and Bumble thickening spray because it "allows you to style your hair as usual without leaving your hair feeling stiff or too heavy, which tends to be very common with volumizing products. The formula is also super lightweight and the hold is incredible."

Get the Bumble and Bumble Thickening spray (original price $30).

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