Hey everyone! A couple days ago I attended the latest Sephora event, held for Rouge members only.
If you don’t already know, VIB Rouge is the highest tier in the membership hierarchy at Sephora. To achieve VIB Rouge status, you have to spend $1000 CAD in one calendar year at Sephora. I’ve been Rouge for about a year now, and I am renewed through till the end of 2019… That’s right, I’ve already spent enough for it to be renewed for the next year too. Oopsies?
A couple times a year Sephora hosts exclusive events for VIB Rouge members only. These events are usually an opportunity to preview and purchase items before they go on sale to the general public. Additionally, they sometimes have contests going on, free bites and drinks, and complimentary mini makeovers and mini facials available to you. Before this Exclusive Soiree event, I had already been to three of these events.
If you are a VIB Rouge, when an event is coming up, Sephora will e-mail you to let you know that one is approaching and that you need to RSVP if you would like to attend. RSVPs are not open right away when they send this e-mail, they tell you a time and date when they do open. However, it is usually very quick after you receive the e-mail, sometimes the day before or on the same day as the RSVPs open, so make sure that you are on top of your e-mails from Sephora! As soon as the RSVPs open, it is imperative that you RSVP immediately. They only have so much room at these events so you need to make sure that you reserve your spot. Additionally, you can bring one friend to this event, regardless of their Sephora rank, but so long as they are a Beauty Insider.
This event started at 7 pm, so I made sure to get to the mall for around 6:30 to see what the line-up situation was. There was only one person in line at that point, so I did some shopping at other stores. When I went back, there was still only one person in line, but there were a bunch of other women all sitting around in a sitting area just outside Sephora. I decided to just line up, and all of a sudden everyone quickly jumped in line behind me. I guess I scared them, hah!
When we were checked in, there are usually drinks and bites by the front door. I was a bit disappointed this time, because there were only Godiva chocolates and bottles of water. Previous events have had way better stuff than this (biscotti, cake pops, sparkling elderflower water), but ultimately I don’t care. It just slightly affects the overall experience.
After I got in, I talked to a cast member immediately, asking if there were any new items to preview etc. Usually in these events you get a sneak preview of items to be launched in the near future. In fact, that is usually the purpose of these events! Well guess what, THERE WERE NO NEW ITEMS. I was SO disappointed. I mean what is the freaking point of coming to a private event where there is nothing new offered.
They tried to sell it to me as a private shopping event. No, I’m sorry, that does not work. It doesn’t make sense, because Sephora is never as busy as it is when these events are happening! The store is easily at capacity during these events, so it makes no sense for it to be labelled as an exclusive shopping event. Because who prefers to shop at a store when it is busier than usual..? Doesn’t make sense.
This event especially feels like a missed opportunity since I know for a fact that so many new items are launching in the next two weeks. ABH Soft Glam is supposed to launch on March 6th. Are you telling me you really don’t have that in the back? Why not give us access to it? I don’t get it.
Honestly, I should have known that this wasn’t a preview, because they totally omitted it from the invite e-mail, but up until now every single event has involved some sort of preview or another. So I was just expecting more of the same.
Anyways, the store was freaking busy. Here are some more photos.
The only remaining benefit of this “exclusive event”, other than the two Godiva chocolates I got (gee thanks), was that they always offer a deluxe sample bag that includes a makeup bag with a $50 purchase. So, since this event was a total bust in terms of new products, I decided to purchase a few things I had been wanting for the last little bit so that I could at least get the sample bag. These have usually been pretty good in the past.
The items that I purchased were the Tarte Aquacealer Concealer in “Light Neutral”, which was a repurchase for me, and the Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick in “Champagne Flash”. I am totally obsessed with these Hourglass cream highlighters. I now own three shades, and a review will be coming at you soon. Anyways, with these two purchases I easily made it over the $50 minimum for the sample bag.
This event’s bag was stylized after the classic black and white striped Sephora pattern with a red lips zipper pull. The bag feels well made, as they usually do. Here are the items that I received:
Milk Makeup Ubame Mascara
What it is:
“A lash-loving, buildable, 74 percent natural mascara formula that won’t flake and stays put all day.”
0.25 oz, worth $19.60 CAD
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In One Lactic Acid Treatment
What it is:
“A clarifying, line smoothing lactic acid treatment.”
0.17 oz, worth $22.95 CAD
bareMinerals Gen Nude Patent Lip Lacquer
What it is:
“A high-shine liquid lipstick that offers full-coverage color and a lacquer-like finish in one swipe.” (This sample is annoying because it doesn’t tell me what shade I got! What if I want to buy it after??)
0.03 oz, worth $3.29 CAD
Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR™ Anti-Wrinkle Eye Treatment
What it is:
“An antioxidant-rich age defying eye serum with a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells, vitamin C, and a certified organic botanical juice base.”
0.25 oz, worth $31 CAD
Clarins Wrinkle Control Firming Day Cream
What it is:
“Age-defying day cream that visibly firms, lifts, and fights wrinkles.”
0.1 oz, worth $8.80 CAD
Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer
What it is:
“A professional balm that minimizes the appearance of pores.”
0.1 oz, worth $5.60 CAD
Laura Mercier Eye Basics “Wheat”
What it is:
“A water-resistant eyelid primer that camouflages imperfections and discolorations, while it enhances the durability of eye makeup.”
0.1 oz, worth $18.89 CAD
Total Value of the Swag Bag = $110.13 CAD + bag
Well, at least this swag bag was good! I don’t think previous sample bags have been worth this much, so I suppose that is a conciliation. But I still would have preferred to have early access to some new items!
Overall, I did leave feeling like this event was a waste of my time. I know I might sound entitled in this post, complaining about all the things we didn’t get, but that’s not where I’m coming from. My point is, the events are definitely going downhill. The first Sephora VIB Rouge event that I went to last year was amazing! They had a contest, a selfie station, great drinks and bites, new items to preview, and the sample bag! Now just to have two chocolates and a sample bag.. like come on. What a marked difference.
Clearly, the perks of being a Rouge member are becoming less valuable, which is really too bad. But ultimately, the VIB program is complimentary. They don’t have to give us free things for purchasing products, we are getting products in return for our money! But, if they are going to offer a program like this, you would think that they wouldn’t let it go downhill.
Oh well. I’m just disappointed. But it’s not going to stop me from shopping at Sephora. If I lived in the US, I would maybe consider switching to Ulta, but I don’t so it’s not nearly as easy. Sephora has almost no competition in Canada. But I certainly will consider taking more of my business to Shopper’s Drug Mart, a drug store in Canada. My local Shopper’s now carries Urban Decay, Stila, Smashbox, Origins, some Benefit products, Clinique, Shiseido etc. So they provide quite a few high end brands and their points program actually gives you money back! I currently have $70 CAD in points just waiting to be redeemed.
Well that’s it everyone! Have you been to any of these exclusive Sephora events? What do you think? Do they matter to you? Comment down below!