Sephora Confirms It Can Ban You From Making Returns

Sephora has long been the mecca for our hair, skin and makeup needs, with plenty of benefits to boot. The arguably biggest perk is its flexible return policy, which allows you to return products–both new and used–within 60 days of purchase, in addition to getting an exchange for anything (in that same time frame) without a receipt.

It’s truly a godsend for anyone who just doesn’t have time to read reviews or sample the product beforehand. And although it’s assumed that most of us are respectful of the return rules, time has taught the Sephora higher-ups that there are just as many shoppers taking advantage and doing the most, like returning twice as much as they purchased.

For that reason, a service called “The Retail Equation” is being used to vet the bad seeds, so they can be banned from doing just that in the future. According to the “TRE” website, its specific purpose is to “identify the 1 percent of consumers whose behaviors mimic return fraud or abuse.”

A Wall Street Journal feature (by way of Racked), says TRE does this by tracking customer returns and behavior via driver’s license and calculating a score based on frequency of returns, cost of said return and a few other factors. Once the shopper reaches a certain number set by the retailer, a ban can be authorized.

In a statement to Racked, Sephora confirmed its participation and emphasized why it’s joined over 34,000 other stores (including Best Buy and Victoria’s Secret) to use the TRE system:

“Sephora is dedicated to providing all of our customers with an excellent shopping experience. We make every effort to accommodate returns, but a small fraction of customers take advantage of our policy, in many cases returning more than twice as much merchandise as they purchase. This limits product selection and unfairly impacts other clients. When we identify excessive return patterns, we notify those customers that we may limit future returns or exchanges if no proof of purchase is provided.”

It’s long been rumored that Sephora has always tracked customer behavior, but now they’ve got an official system backing up their practices. This is sure to ruffle a few feathers for frequent shoppers, so if you’re on the fence about whether to buy something or not, remind yourself of this not-so-secret return tracker, too.

20 Under-$20 Foundations for Coverage That Lasts

One of the biggest misconceptions regarding beauty products is that the bigger the price tag, the better the results. The drugstore wants a word with whoever spread that vicious lie. Coverage comes in many forms, but we can’t deny the security of a foundation that disguises our blemishes without making the skin look too cakey or unnatural.

Although a lot of our favorite formulas tend to cost at least $20, there’s also a slew of budget-friendly options that are just as useful. We do wish some of these had a wider shade range, but hopefully that’ll change now that inclusivity is finally becoming a vital part of the beauty industry. Check out our favorites ahead.

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Nyx Total Control Drop Foundation

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

The glass dropper allows you to closely customize exactly how much coverage you want, from sheer to full and everything in between. Available in 30 shades.

$14 at NYX

Photo: Nyx

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Almay Best Blend Forever™ Makeup

Almay Best Blend Forever Makeup

This SPF-infused formula doubles as a moisturizer, offering lightweight, buildable coverage.

$16.99 at Ulta

Photo: Almay

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Black Opal Even True Flawless Liquid Foundation

Black Opal Even True Flawless Liquid Foundation

An oil-free and fragrance-free range created with darker skin tones in mind.

$11.95 at Black Opal

Photo: Black Opal

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Burt's Bees Goodness Glows Full Coverage Liquid Makeup

Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows Full Coverage Liquid Makeup

This 98.9-percent-natural formula is made with meadowfoam seed oil, which is known for its moisturizing benefits.

$17 at Burt’s Bees

Photo: Burt’s Bees

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Col Lab Meet Your Matte Velvet Foundation

Col Lab Meet Your Matte Velvet Foundation

Get medium to full coverage atop shiny skin with this matte finish formula.

$14.99 at Sally Beauty

Photo: Sally Beauty

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation

CoverGirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation

Vitamins, antioxidants, and sun protection collide to bring you one of the most hydrating foundations out today.

$9.09 at Amazon

Photo: Covergirl

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Wet n Wild MegaCushion Foundation

Wet n Wild MegaCushion Foundation

Tap the cushion once for sheer coverage or press down on the airtight compact again to build even more.

$8.99 at Wet n Wild

Photo: Wet n Wild

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Elf Flawless Finish Foundation

Elf Flawless Finish Foundation

A matte-finish formula for covering oily skin and brightening your complexion.

$6 at Elf

Photo: Elf

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

This demi-matte formula promises more than 24 hours of coverage and lightweight wear.

$12.99 at L’Oréal

Photo: L’Oréal

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Maybelline Fit Me Dewy and Smooth Foundation

Maybelline Fit Me Dewy and Smooth Foundation

Fragrance-free and dermatologically tested, this SPF-infused formula is a must-try for anyone with sensitive skin.

$7.99 at Maybelline

Photo: Maybelline

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Models Own Pro-Foundation Stick

Models Own Pro-Foundation Stick

This easy-to-use stick also doubles as a primer, so you don’t have to worry about creating a smooth base beforehand.

$13.83 at Models Own

Photo: Models Own

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

The oil-free foundation is infused with hyaluronic acid so you don’t have to worry about staying moisturized underneath.

$14.44 at Neutrogena

Photo: Neutrogena

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | No7 Stay Perfect Foundation

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation

Although this foundation is meant for medium to full coverage, the transfer-proof formula doesn’t feel too heavy or cakey.

$15.99 at Target

Photo: No7

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Physician's Formula The Healthy Foundation

Physician’s Formula The Healthy Foundation

This one’s infused with an exclusive Brightening Complex, hyaluronic acid for moisture, and plenty of vitamins. What more could you want from a light-coverage formula?

$14.95 at Physician’s Formula

Photo: Physician’s Formula

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Revlon ColorStay Foundation

Revlon ColorStay Foundation

Made specifically for oily or combination skin, this 24-hour-wear foundation promises to leave behind a shine-free finish.

$11.43 at Rite Aid

Photo: Revlon

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation

This lightweight light-coverage foundation promises to stay put for up to a whopping 25 hours.

$7.99 at CVS

Photo: Rimmel

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Sephora Collection 10 HR Wear Perfection Foundation

Sephora Collection 10 HR Wear Perfection Foundation

Available in 37 shades and free of parabens, Sephora’s house foundation disguises blemishes for 10 hours and is buildable, according to your favorite kind of coverage.

$20 at Sephora

Photo: Sephora

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

Although this vegan formula is available in an impressive number of shades, you can also mix different colors to find your perfect match.

$6.90 at The Ordinary 

Photo: The Ordinary

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

This foundation underwent testing under seven different photo lighting conditions to ensure that it actually delivers filter-friendly coverage.

$5.99 at Wet n Wild

Photo: Wet n Wild

STYLECASTER | Best Under $20 Foundations | Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Filter Foundation

Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Filter Foundation

The built-in blender makes this silky formula a dream to apply on the skin.

$13.49 at Amazon

Photo: Revlon

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Ava Phillippe Cut Her Hair into the Cutest, Shoulder-Grazing Bob

Ava Phillippe and her mom, Reese Withrespoon, don’t look so much alike anymore. The 18-year-old—who is constantly battling comparisons to her lookalike, superstar mom—recently took a pair of scissors to her signature, wavy blonde hair and hacked off a few inches. The result? A crazy-chic, shoulder-grazing bob that we need to replicate immediately.

The up-and-coming model debuted her new ‘do at the European premiere of her mom’s film, “A Wrinkle in Time,” in London, England on Tuesday. Phillippe, who’s the daughter of actor Ryan Phillippe, turned heads on the red (more like, blue) carpet in a heart-printed Valentino dress and Stella McCartney shoes. But as good as Phillippe’s outfit was, it was her hair that caught the beauty community’s attention.

Ava Phillippe

Photo: Getty Images

Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon

Photo: Getty Images

While posing arm-in-arm with her mom, Phillippe showed off her just-cut bob, which she wore sleek, stick-straight, and tucked behind one ear. In fact, Phillippe’s bob was so fresh that she didn’t have it a few hours before hitting the red carpet. According to her Instagram, the haircut was a spontaneous decision.

“Spontaneously chopped!” Phillippe captioned an Instagram story, thanking The Chapel, a salon in London, for her new ‘do.

Ava Phillippe

Photo: Instagram

Though Phillippe and Witherspoon still look like carbon copies of each other (hey, they are blood-related, after all), at least now we have one key feature to tell them apart. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to chop off our hair too, à la Ava Phillippe.

You Can Now Track Your Period Using Fitbit

Tracking your period can be, to put it simply, stressful. When you’re late, there’s fear of pregnancy, and when you’re trying to get pregnant, it can be hard to figure out when you’re ovulating. And although there’s a sea of apps out there that can help you track your period, Fitbit is rolling out a new Versa smartwatch ($199) in May that includes “female health tracking,” along with the traditional exercise tracking.

Since 2015, buyers have been asking Fitbit to either sync up with a period tracker app like Clueor develop their own app to sync up with other devices. Verge reports that a menstrual tracker has been on Fitbit’s “top five” recommendations for quite some time. It makes sense: A woman’s period is a major component of her health, so why not add it to a watch that tracks wellness? According to Fitbit’s press release, the new watch or app “is designed to help you learn more about your menstrual cycle—and your body—so you can better understand how it affects other aspects of your health and fitness.”

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Among the laundry list of features like tracking, two-day-ahead push notifications, and analysis of symptoms like cramps, sleeping, sex, and acne, the two most innovative additions are community support and access to doctors’ insight. With the former, users can opt to join a forum that focuses on “periods, birth control, trying to conceive, pregnancy, and perimenopause and menopause to ask questions, swap tips, or share advice.”

With the latter, users can access medical expertise via “judgement-free content developed with Fitbit advisors Katharine White, MD, MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University, and Larry Tiglao, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Stanford Healthcare’s Los Olivos Women’s Medical Group in Los Gatos, CA.”

In an interview with Yahoo Finance!, White explained why she thinks this app important for women. “Female health tracking will empower women with a greater understanding of their menstrual cycles in conjunction with their physical and mental health, as they start to recognize what are normal trends over time versus what could be an issue to share with their doctor.” The more information you log, the more the algorithms start to “learn,” which means it can better predict patterns and predictions about your period, health, and symptoms.

Plus, if Fitbit’s survey is right and 80 percent of respondents really didn’t know how many phases are in menstrual cycle, an app like this might be beneficial in simply helping to educate more women about the ins and outs of their cycle. At the very least, it’s good to know producers are taking women’s needs into account (not to mention taking periods seriously) seeing as we are major consumers in the wellness space—and most others.

MAC Cosmetics Accused of Copying Blogger’s Shimmer Setting Spray

In 2016, ‘all about that glow’ is exactly what Joelle Phillips was thinking when she DIY-ed a shimmer setting spray with the help of MAC products and posted it to her Instagram. After her invention went viral, she was warned to take down the photo in fear of larger companies stealing her idea (two years too early, but a warning to be heeded, indeed).

In 2017, just one week after posting another viral post–this time a video of her creating the mist — Phillips came out with her own line of shimmer setting sprays, aptly titled Omglo. This time around, instead of mixing MAC pigment in with MAC Fix+Finishing spray, she told Revelist she now sources all her own materials while still mixing them in her house.  

Fast forward to last month, and TrendMood1 posts about MAC Cosmetics latest product: shimmer Fix+ shades in Matte, Gold Lite and Pink Lite. Before you rebuttal saying shimmer sprays can’t be owned by one woman (Phillips, that is), Revelist pointed out that MAC collaborated on the sprays with makeup artist, Jun Jun.

The collaboration by itself wouldn’t be a big deal, except that MAC is denying credit where credit is due. The brand could have easily partnered with Phillips, another budding MUA, rather than than Jun Jun, who already has over 300K followers. While we appreciate MAC working with an artist of color, Phillips is right when she says black women are usually an “afterthought.”

When Revelist asked Phillips if she was upset by MAC stealing her idea, she responded perfectly. “It would have been nice to have been reached out to by MAC. I would have gladly taken up the opportunity because I really feel like black women, especially in the beauty community, are always the last to be heard.”

But Phillips isn’t letting MAC get her hopes down because she has something they don’t and that’s shade range. The setting sprays put forth by MAC barely scratch the surface, while Phillips formulated her’s specifically for black women.

She said, “Now, my products are for everyone, but I have shades specifically for women of color. I created them for us. The shades I’ve seen aren’t going to fit anybody past J.Lo. I would never be offended by that.”

She also has an incredible group of people standing behind her. There were tons of comments on TrendMood1’s post calling out MAC for “playing catch up” and copying a woman of color. People even tagged Omglo and told people to make their way over there for “more shades” that are “vegan and affordable.”

It’s no surprise a black woman came up with something first, then a conglomerate came along and claimed it as their own. But if the big brands aren’t going to pay attention to all women— or cosmetic wearers in general— it’s a good thing black women are taking matters into their own hands and making the beauty lines themselves.