Sorry, Most of Those TikTok-Viral Sephora ‘Secrets’ Aren’t Legit

Sorry, Most of Those TikTok-Viral Sephora ‘Secrets’ Aren’t Legit featured image
Getty Images / Jeremy Moeller

In a now-viral TikTok video, a former Sephora employee who claimed to be fired for being late to work decided to “spill the tea on Sephora secrets they don’t want you knowing.” The video has garnered over six million views, 300,000 likes, and over 100,000 saves—but are these supposed “secrets” legitimate?

To verify the claims, we contacted Sephora, and their team addressed each point raised by the TikToker. Spoiler alert: most of the claims were debunked as “false.” Keep reading for the key insights to keep in mind the next time you shop at the popular beauty retailer.

You can get free samples of any products you want — TRUE

“You’re entitled to unlimited free samples of whatever products you want,” the makeup artist wrote in the first slide of the video, adding that goes for “even the expensive ones.” While Sephora’s website doesn’t confirm this outright, it’s pretty common knowledge among Sephora shoppers that they get two free samples with every online order. As for in-store samples, a Sephora representative confirmed that the retailer is “happy to offer samples for clients to experience our products.”

They went on to explain that depending on the product type, samples may come in different forms: some may be prepackaged as packets, others may be dispensed into sample containers, and some, such as fragrances, can be sampled in-store when packet samples or containers aren’t available.

Sephora offers refills of empty perfume bottles for half the price — FALSE

As ideal as it sounds to get your favorite fragrances for half-off, Sephora clarified there is no truth to this claim.

There are a handful of shoppers who’ve inquired about whether the retailer even offers perfume refills in its beauty community forum, but they’ve been shut down every time. “Sephora does not do refills,” a forum moderator replied to a curious shopper in 2023. “I am not sure where this information comes from, but it seems to be a question that comes up every few months.”

In March of this year, another moderator wrote in a separate thread: “The only way to get a refill is some brands release a refill bottle that is more basic to decant into the main bottle. There are no refilling stations in Sephora. Not sure why this rumor keeps getting circulated…”

You can get a free makeover if you spend $50 on products — FALSE

“It’s our policy that if you spend more than $50, you’re entitled to a free makeover,” said the creator, to which the Sephora representative said is no longer true.

While this used to be the policy, it has seemingly since been phased out. In 2023, a customer asked: “Few years ago if you book a $45 min beauty makeover it was complimentary with a $50 purchase. However, I haven’t noticed such a feature recently.” A moderator replied: “We are no longer offering complimentary makeovers with a $50 purchase. I’m sorry about that!”

You can become a Sephora product reviewer and get a $700 gift card to shop for anything on the site — FALSE

“Most people don’t know this but if you sign up to be a product reviewer at SephoraRouge.com we give you a $700 gift card to shop anything on the site,” the makeup artist said in the video. To this, the Sephora representative issued the following note of caution: “Sephora will never ask our clients to share personal information in exchange for gift cards and we have teams dedicated to protecting the integrity of our Ratings and Reviews to ensure that our reviews remain a trusted and authentic source for all.”

That said, it appears that the site recommended by the TikToker is entirely unaffiliated with the beauty retailer. Due to the virality of this TikTok post, another curious Sephora lover took to its community forum to ask if it’s legit, to which a moderator replied: “We don’t have a program that matches this description, and I would be wary of providing information to any accounts claiming that we do.”

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