A funny thing always happens on the way home from summer beauty sales—you end up with a bag of filled with products you wanted all season and just a few weeks left to use them. Sadly, we all know the story. End-of-season beauty clearouts can be the best thing that happened to your beauty bag, but only if you know which essentials to build it up with, which ones to stow away for next spring and the trendier must-haves to wear in the final stretch of summer.

We asked Lori Castagna, vice-president of merchandising and marketing for Sephora Canada, for her discerning shopping tips to navigate summer beauty sales and walk out with a strategic mix of seasonal beauty essentials and evergreen products until next year. Shop wisely, friends.

Summer beauty sale must-have: Skin care

Expert shopping tip: “Skin care never goes out of style,” says Castagna. “You will continue to use it, but for the colder, dryer weather you may want to switch to a heavier moisturizer, depending on your skin type.”

Summer beauty steal: Those everyday, seasonless staples: “Tinted moisturizers, long-wearing foundations, and luminizers,” says Castagna. “And self-tanners in order to preserve your tan into the fall months!”

Fall 2012 beauty transition: “Try a skin care kit that best suits you—it’s a great way to sample a few products to see if you want to invest into the line.”

Summer beauty sale must-have: Beauty bag essentials

Expert shopping tip: “Always invest in basics—such as foundation,
SPF moisturizers, concealer, matte bronzer (which is an all-year product not just for summer), mascara and black eyeliner,” she says.

Summer beauty steal:
“Every season buy three to four products that are on-trend shades, textures or finishes, whether that’s eye, lip or nail colour.”

Fall 2012 beauty transition:
“Add a new fragrance for fall,” Castagna advises. “Play with our Scentsa to find a new fragrance that suits you or buy rollerballs to build a collection of fragrances.”

Beauty essentials: Top picks for summer splurges and steals

For shopping tips on how to update your Fall 2012 beauty essentials, read on to the next page…
Summer beauty sale must-have: Stock up for next season

Expert shopping tip: Squirrel away these year-round beauty essentials for the coming months—especially at end-of-season discounted rates. “Powders!” says Castagna. “They tend to last the longest.” Plus toss in eye shadows, blushes and
bronzers to your beauty basket; they’ll be waiting for you once you come out of winter hibernation.

Summer beauty steal: Build up your beauty tool kit with
brushes and that nail gel system you’ve been itching it try—especially now that they’re on sale. Stock up on summery hair products and self-tanners to emerge next spring with your
beach waves and golden glow already in tact.

Fall 2012 beauty transition:
Make this your beauty resolution—September is the fashion and beauty new year, after all: “One needs to add a Clarisonic to their beauty collection,” says Castagna.

Summer beauty sale must-have: Fall 2012 staples

Expert shopping tip: The best-bang-for-your-buck beauty takeaway? “What lip, eye and face shades for summer and can also work for fall would be great to purchase during summer sales,” says Castagna.

Summer beauty steal: “A light peachy shade of blush works on most skin tones, and works all year round,” she says. Bonus? There’s no time wasted with this in-season shade.

Fall 2012 beauty transition:
“Invest in some of the trends for fall: a
crimson red lip, nouveau purples for the eyes and the
blackest black in liners and mascaras.”

Read more:
Summer beauty rescue: Best SPF lip balms

Beauty essential: The best nude nail polish
Summer beauty save: The best after-sun products