An app that automatically saves your finds and helps you get back to them when you’re ready to buy.
Get carrot ›


Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Sephora’s Return Policy

We’ve all been there before. We find something online, purchase it from everybody’s favorite store, Sephora, and when it arrives, it’s the wrong shade or we’ve just lost interest. Whatever the reason may be, the product needs to be returned. The return process can be very challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with Sephora’s return policy. But don’t worry! As always, we’ve got you.

This blog will answer your burning questions about the Sephora return policy. After reading this article, you’ll be able to shop with confidence and know exactly what to do if you need to return an item.

Related: 12 Sephora Hacks to Save Money on Your Next Makeup Haul

What is the Sephora return policy?

If you’re not happy with a Sephora purchase or gift for any reason, you can usually return new or gently used products for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. If you return something 31-60 days after purchase, you’ll get an online credit (if you return it by mail) or store credit (if you return it in-store). You need proof of purchase to complete the return. Sephora monitors return activity for abuse and reserves the right to limit returns or exchanges at Sephora. They may even ask for a driver’s license or government ID to verify your identity.

Related: How to Make Money with Sephora’s Affiliate Program

How do I return a Sephora item?

All purchases and purchases of Sephora items from third-party marketplaces – like Instagram, Google, YouTube, and Facebook – can be returned for FREE (no return shipping or handling fees) to any of Sephora’s locations for quick processing. Or, if you use their pre-paid return shipping label, it’ll be processed by mail. Either way, it should take about 30 days for your return to be processed. Once it has been done, you’ll get an email confirmation.

Returns by mail

Returns by mail

Returning Item by Mail Checklist

1. Start a return order here and input your order number.

2. Include the Sephora original packing slip with your items

3. Package your returned item in the manufacturer’s product box and Sephora packaging, if available. Otherwise, pack your return in a well-padded envelope or box to prevent damage in transit

4. Print the Prepaid Return Label or request a printer-less FedEx Mobile Return Code from here

5. Drop off the package at one of the specified FedEx locations

6. You will receive an email confirmation when your return is processed.

In-store returns

In-store returns

You can return any new or gently used item from or a third-party marketplace back to a Sephora store within 60 days of purchase. Bring your Sephora original packing slip and the credit or debit card you used to place your order when you come.

Related: A Beginners Guide To Clean Beauty Products

Sephora return policy FAQs & everything you need to know

1. Are Sephora returns free?

If you bought something from and want to return it, you can get your refund as long as it’s within 30 days of purchase. If it’s after 31 days, you’ll just get an online credit. Sephora will cover the cost of return shipping, but you won’t get your original shipping charges back. There is a $50 minimum spend for free shipping, but there’s an easy way to hack that. Sephora often has free shipping promo codes, like FREESHIP, or you could simply buy $50 worth of merchandise and return what you don’t want. That way, you won’t have to pay any extra fees.

Related: 7 Pro Tips on Finding The Best Deals Online

2. Does Sephora’s store credit expire?

According to the Sephora return policy, Sephora store credit doesn’t expire. However, it can’t be redeemed for cash (unless required by law), reloaded, transferred to others, or sold, and can only be used at Sephora stores (not at or through Customer Service). One thing that’s important to note is that your Sephora store credit won’t be replaced if it’s been lost or stolen.

Related:Pick Your Poison: Pros and Cons of Buy Now, Pay Later vs Credit Cards

3. Can you return Sephora items after 30 days?

Yes, you can! However, according to the Sephora return policy, you won’t get a refund in cash. If you return your online order within 31 to 60 days of the purchase date, Sephora will refund you with store credit you can use at but not in Sephora stores. Similarly, If you take your online order back to a store within 31 to 60 days of purchase, you get a store credit that can only be used in-store.

4. How long do you have to return something to Sephora?

There’s usually a 30-day window for returning Sephora products and getting a full refund. If you return something after that 30-day mark, you’ll either get an online credit or store credit, depending on how you return the item.

5. Can I return a Sephora item that has been opened?

Sephora not only accepts used items but also opened products. One of the most common questions people ask is – if I’ve opened the item, can I still return it? The answer is yes, any used or opened items can be returned to Sephora. Sephora is great at accepting returns, both opened and unopened, so if a product isn’t working for you (even if you’ve opened it) take it back and return it.

Related:Virtual Squad Shopping: How To Collaboratively Shop Online With Friends

6. Can I return a Sephora item that has been used?

The Sephora return policy states that as long as the items are new or gently used, they can be returned. Try the product a few times, and if it’s not what you need, that’s also okay! You can just bring it back and return it. Just remember that if you are returning an item that you’ve used to Sephora, if you purchased the item within 60 days, you’ll get a full refund as per the Sephora refund policy. Beyond 60 days, it’s up to the store to decide whether or not to accept the return, but just bring your receipt to make things easy. How each store defines ‘gently used’ is up to the employees and store managers.

7. Can I return Sephora products without the receipt?

Yup, you can make a Sephora return without a receipt. Even though having your receipt makes the return process quicker and easier, one of the great things about the Sephora return policy is that they have a few ways of looking up your order. Sephora can look up your order by the credit card you used to purchase the item or your Beauty Insider Account to process your return without a receipt. Beauty Insider is Sephora’s loyalty program. If you don’t have a receipt or your Beauty Insider account linked, you need your original form of payment to get any store credit. Sephora may ask you for a driver’s license or government ID to verify your identity when making a return with no receipt. You’ll get store credit if they can’t find your credit card or the Insider Account.

8. I earned Beauty Insider points on my purchase, but I need to return the order. Do I get to keep my earned points?

Unfortunately, no. If you receive a refund for your Sephora return, any Beauty Insider points earned from the original purchase will be taken away.

9. What is Sephora Return Policy Abuse?

Even if we love to try new products, that doesn’t always mean the feeling is mutual. There’s an unspoken set of rules when returning items to Sephora – if you take back too many things too often, they might flag you and not let you make any more returns, but that’s super rare. You can get banned from Sephora for a span of time for abusing the return policy. The policy itself states that Sephora monitors return activity for abuse and reserves the right to limit returns if they feel like you’re abusing the policy. As long as you’re returning items like a normal person and not abusing the policy, you’ll be fine. Some shoppers report being banned from the policy after emailing customers to let them know they were abusing the policy, so this is just something to keep in mind for those new to the Sephora return policy.

Related: Online Shopping Safety Tips: 9 Ways To Protect Yourself from Cyber Threats!

10. I bought something from Sephora’s online store – can I return it in-store?

Yup, it’s possible! You can return your online order to a Sephora store in its original packaging. Just remember to bring your original packing slip and the credit card you used to make the purchase.

11. I bought something from Sephora’s offline store – can I return it online or by mail?

Sadly, you can’t return a purchase made at a Sephora store by mail — you have to take it back to a Sephora store. If you return the item within 30 days, Sephora will refund you using the original form of payment. For Instacart orders, the refund will go to any credit card.

12. Is there a Sephora exchange policy?

There indeed does happen to be a Sephora exchange policy! If you got the wrong color of lipstick or powder and you want to switch it out for something else, you can exchange merchandise by bringing it into the store in the original packaging with your receipt or packing slip within 60 days of the purchase date. If you bought it online, that’d mean an extra trip to the store because they don’t do exchanges through the mail.

Related: The Most Iconic 70s Makeup Looks

13. What is Sephora’s holiday return policy?

Most holiday return policies follow a similar structure. They start between October 1st and November 1st and last until the end of the year, freezing the return window clock and giving shoppers until January to make returns. However, Sephora’s policy is much less forgiving during the holidays. Sephora’s holiday return policy is only active for purchases made within a 16-day window: October 31st to November 15th. Purchases made during this time period have until January 1st to be eligible to return for store credit. Essentially, this just adds 15 days to the 60-day policy. There is no extension of the ‘return-for-refund’ policy and no extension for purchases made after November 15th. We have yet to see another retailer with a less appealing holiday return policy.

Tips For Avoiding Returns

In the world of online shopping, avoiding returns is a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers. Let’s explore some valuable tips that can help you make informed choices and reduce the likelihood of returning products.

1. Understand The Return Policy

Familiarize yourself with the retailer’s return policy, including the return window, conditions, and any associated fees. Some items may be non-returnable, so be aware of these restrictions. By being well-informed about the return guidelines and nuances, you can strategically make purchasing decisions, reducing the chances of acquiring items that you might later regret and wish to return.

2. Read Customers Review

Look for reviews from previous buyers to get insights into the product’s quality, fit, and performance. Pay attention to reviews from customers with similar preferences or needs. Give special attention to reviews from customers whose preferences, body types, or needs mirror yours. Their experiences can serve as a more tailored guide, helping you anticipate how well the product might align with your expectations.

3. Try Virtual Try Ons

For items like eyewear or clothing, explore retailers offering virtual try-on experiences to visualize how the product will look on you. By getting this realistic glimpse beforehand, you’re better equipped to make better decisions, significantly reducing the potential mismatch between expectations and reality and subsequently minimizing the need for returns.

4. Utilize Carrot

Carrot is an essential tool for every shopper. Its bookmarking feature lets you save products for later consideration, ensuring thoughtful purchases. With price comparison, you can get the best value for an item, while the price drop alerts notify you of potential savings, ensuring satisfaction with your spending. The deal hop feature highlights top deals and alternatives, guiding you to items that best match your budget, further reducing the impulse to return.

Related: Impulsive Buyer’s Guide To Slow Shopping

Perfect Your Purchases And Minimize Your Returns With Carrot

Carrot is a powerful ally for those who wish to minimize returns. Its bookmarking function allows you to save intriguing items, ensuring that potential purchases are well-considered and not merely impulsive. The personalized recommendations serve as a guiding hand, introducing you to products that resonate with your preferences, substantially reducing returns.

The best part? No more overpaying, as Carrot’s price comparison and price drop alerts ensure you’re always in the loop about the most competitive rates and timely discounts. Moreover, the unique “deal hop” feature stands out by effortlessly guiding users to the best prices available and in cases where a product might be out of budget, suggesting affordable, high-quality alternatives. With Carrot, the journey of shopping is refined, making returns a rare concern for you.

Shop Sephora On A Budget With Carrot!

Shop Sephora, and Save Big with Carrot! Unlock exclusive coupons, stay updated on price drops, and never lose a great find with our handy bookmarking feature. Start your savings journey today!