jennypenny1995

Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I've been a VIB for a few years now, and my local Sephora is within walking distance of that "other" brand. I've heard rave reviews about their rewards program, most especially about their generous giving of free product with each new level reached and not samplers.

 

Today, I headed to my Sephora store for the VIB event, got my bag loaded up, and then...went to Ulta. I was actually there to get a tube of NYX lip gloss since I've heard so much about it, but I went through the whole store out of pure curiosity.

 

The verdict? While Ulta does carry drugstore brands and their rewards are pretty lofty in comparison...Sephora has my heart. Ulta felt too "superstore-ish". No offense, but a little...below...the standard and prestige of Sephora.

So, Sephora, heed our call! Amp up our VIB rewards. Tidy up the shelves and demos in your stores (our store is a tad lacking in that dept.). And, keep up the great work! = )

AznAngelLiz

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

I love both these stores, but lately I've been on a Ulta kick. I've gotten two 20% off coupons just this month and I was able to use on prestige brands, so instead of waiting for Sephora's F&F sale in November, I got a bunch of things on my list ( and got some pretty awesome GWPs). The only thing I don't like about Ulta is their return policy, at my local store you can only return without receipt 2x a yr. That policy especially sucks when most of their drugstore makeup are sealed and can't be swatched. 

 

Obviously I love Sephora (I made Rouge when it first rolled out) but I feel like I can get a lot of the brands at different stores (Nordstrom's especially) and lately the 100, 500, VIB perks don't seem to interest me. I'm still holding out hope that Sephora will do something freaking awesome during the holidays. 

 

Sorry for the long rant, the verdict is Sephora has my heart for the long haul but other stores have my attention right now :smileyhappy:

 

 

latinadiva

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

That is interesting that you say your store only takes 2 returns without a receipt a year. I had always known Ulta's return policy to be that if you had the receipt, you would get your money back within 60 days. After 60 days you would get store credit. If you didn't have a receipt at all, you would get store credit. When was moving earlier this year, had some returns I wanted to make, but with all of the action of moving, they totally slipped my mind. It had been a while but I didn't mind getting store credit because I knew I would use it. I was then told oh woah we can't return this, we don't do returns after 90 days. Um...what? Where did 90 days come from and since when was there a time that they no longer accepted returns? They were like nooo that's always been our policy, meanwhile the signs at the register and the back of their receipts all say otherwise. I contacted corporate and was told that stores are within their rights to designate specific return policies, which defeats the purpose of having Ulta return policies all together. That is definitely one area that Sephora has Ulta BEAT.

snowshoe

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

I have never had a problem with returns at Ulta.  Then again, I always keep my receipts for a a month, because I usually know in 30 days or less if a product is going to be a keeper or going back.  

 

I can't blame them for limiting returns without receipts though--I can see where some would abuse that.

hydee77

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

[ Edited ]

Store wise I prefer Ulta because I use both drugstore and prestige cosmetics and the store is on my way home from work so it's really convenient.  Although there are two Sephoras nearby there, I only go in if they are having a VIB event or something.  Online shopping wise, I love Sephora.  I definitely do more shopping with Sephora because of the free samples and promo codes.

violalea

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

[ Edited ]

 

I have been to ULTA like 3 times. I have been to Sephora like 3.0.0 times.

So I guess you all know my answer :smileyhappy:. Yes, I love love Sephora. :smileyhappy:

starletta8

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

I have love for both of these stores. I'm top tier at both- and if Ulta had a Rouge level, I'd be that too (caveat: I'm a cheater since I often get my hair done there- easy to pile up the $$$).

 

At Ulta, I love that I get points worth actual dollar amounts, and the 21 Days of Beauty with all of the steals/GWPs is incredible.
 Some of new favorites (Lipstick Queen) are there only, and it's very convenient for me.

 

At Sephora, there are more prestige brands, and I feel a general warmth from the stores. It's an inviting place to play. I'd never swatch it up at Ulta, for example. I love the perks- but I'd like some $$ off codes, too. Samples are far better at Sephora, too.

spacesuit

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

I've only ever been to Sephora because there's one in the mall on the other side of town. I was going to agree with all the people posting how they only go to Sephora because they don't live anywhere near an Ulta, but while double-checking to make sure I found out today that one opened last month in a shopping center that's even closer than the mall! I'm excited to go check it out and make a comparison.

snowshoe

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

[ Edited ]

They both have exclusive brands. They share most of the major brands and products.  They both have makeup artists/cast members.  Returns by mail or by store are easy for both.  They both have special events in store, though it seems like Ulta has more of them.

 

I like Ulta's rewards as they can be redeemed for cash off your purchase.  I've been on several $100 shopping sprees on the house courtesy of Ulta.  Plus, it's a lot faster to earn points at Ulta than Sephora.  Ulta has drugstore brands, but Ulta also has an awesome return policy.  So I'll go to Ulta if I want to try out a drugstore brand because I can return it without hassle if it doesn't work out.  And it is convenient to pick up hair and body products at the same time as I get my makeup--saves me a trip or tow.

 

On the down side, Ulta's points expire whereas Sephora's do not.  The coupons that Ulta sends out are a joke as almost all of them can't be used towards non-drugstore brands--there's only one or two a year that can be applied to the prestige brands.  Orders from Ulta's website can take up to two weeks to arrive (I kid you not!).  

 

I'd say they're a little like apples and oranges. Or like green apples and red apples.

 

luckyme502

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

If you are a platinum points member your rewards never expire, and if you have earned several $100 shopping sprees, you should be at platinum level.  I order things from Ulta online all the time and they usually arrive in two or three days.  

divagirl90

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

From my experience, Ulta does send 20% off coupons, but some people can't use them on "prestige" cosmetics but others can. And some people (like me) don't get those coupons at all.

 

I live more than 1 hour away from Sephora and Ulta so most of my shopping is done online. I choose to buy more products from Sephora.com because it's easier to return items if I'm not satisfied with them. Yeah, I have to wait 2 weeks for my return to be processed by mail, but I have never had a problem returning anything to Sephora and that keeps me coming back.

 

I like that I can choose my own samples at Sephora. I've gotten samples from Ulta that I have thrown in the trash because I can't use them on my skin or hair type. I do love that Ulta has way more GWPs, but if there is a color face product in the GWP, sometimes there's not an option for darker women. But overall, I think that some of their GWP are better than Sephora's. For example, Gucci Premiere is on my wish list. I could buy it from Ulta and get a nicer GWP.

 

I do think that Ulta's point perk program is a good idea because I would rather have money off than a small sample. But I don't shop there enough to earn enough points to get $125 off, or to even make Platinum. Platinum members get those 5x and 10x point offers. The only bonus offer that I have been offered is 2x.

 

syritt

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I love Sephora. Obviously. I've made Rouge this year. Haha. I love the return policy (though I very rarely use it), the fact that I can go in and try out so many items, and the fact that I can get samples from the stores to try out things I'm not sure of. They also carry many "high-end" products I like and use. Also the Sephora brand items tend to be very good overall. Great sometimes, less good others, but generally worth the money. The detractor can sometimes be the sales associates, but this seems to depend on the store, etc. The main thing that keeps me at Sephora really though is the community. THANK YOU BT!!!! You guys are amazing and really make my day every time I come on here.

 

I'm not huge on Ulta. Their rewards program is good, but they have less products I'm interested in. They also have much worse customer service in and out of stores, from my experience. They have a lot of  non-brand GWP offers but it tends to be things like their own brand of makeup (which I really don't like).

 

The only thing that's been pulling me away from Sephora a bit recently has been some remarkable department store experiences. The way I get treated in Nordstrom and Barney's makes me feel so special and so valued that it makes me wonder if it would be better spending my money with a company that makes me feel just so beautiful. I hope Sephora can really step up in the in-store experience, so I don't keep feeling like other companies are doing a better job competing for my money.

Candy357

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

Love Sephora!

1930sbella

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I really like Sephora, I always enjoy going there and always walk out with something :smileyhappy:. In the end though I would choose Ulta. Like a lot of other people said its rewards program and every day deals are waaaay better. Thats just my opinion. I enjoyed reading other peoples thoughts.

marydiva

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

I'll always be a Sephora girl. I'm sorry. But I'm a little spoiled in the makeup department and for me, high end is the only way to go. Ulta isn't as personalized or helpful in terms of service & Sephora has better return policies. Furthermore, if I'm investing in a rewards program, I'd rather have quality over quantity. I don't want cheap little drugstore lip glosses from Ulta. I'd much rather have the occasional high end sample that I'm more likely to repurchase.

Corrina777

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

Well, Sephora is way more convenient for me and the staff at my local store are amazing. I understand the Ulta points thing and see how that could be a great perk, but I live in a region that hasn't converted to this loyalty program. My region still does the quarterly bonus gift, which isn't all that great, IMO. So right now it's not worth it for me to go out of my way to visit Ulta. But I'm perfectly happy with Sephora, so it doesn't really matter. 

spedteacher74

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

What perks am I missing out on at Ulta?  Other than a $3 reward or such, I don't see how its better?  Sephora always has free promo codes for online purchases.  They often have sample bags that are much better than Ulta.  The 20% off coupon can't be applied to high end products.  I must not be "in the know" cause I have always felt Sephora's rewards were better.

lilyyy

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

I do NOT like Ulta promos. The coupons they send out do not work on "prestige brands" which are the only things I buy. When Sephora has a discount, there are zero exclusions. No misreading the fine print only to be disappointed at the register.

mberteig

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I shop at both stores, but I prefer Sephora.  At my local Ulta, it is next to impossible to get any help when you need it.  The Ulta coupons have so many exclusions, I can never use them for anything I actually want to buy!  I feel Ulta brand cosmetics are of poor quality.  That is not true about Sephora brand cosmetics.  I shop at Ulta for Nyx and drugstore items mostly, that's pretty much it, but I do like to go in there and browse around from time to time...

bratknits

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Ulta, the perks are better and they're upfront about what they are.

dolceloure

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

(0) Hearts

I love both stores and shop at them with about equal frequency.

 

I love the in-store experience at Sephora, like trying products and requesting samples and such. And they do carry several brands I love that Ulta doesn't carry, like Kat Von D. Also love that all of the rewards from Sephora are going to be the high end brands, which I won't necessarily receive at Ulta. Also, I love that we have BT here, so there's a sense of bonding with other beauty-obsessed consumers. :smileywink:

 

As far as Ulta goes, the in-store experience isn't nearly as exciting (like Jennypenny said, there's a bit of a superstore feel, lol) but I whenever I want to get a drugstore brand/cheaper items like everyday beauty tools (shampoo, conditioner, qtips, cotton balls, razors, etc) I always go here. Plus for non-designer brands, there's always a $3.50 off coupon I can apply to my purchase to save a little extra. They also have awesome rewards and gifts with purchases. I have almost 500 points saved up from Ulta (and as a platinum member, I earn 1.25x points per $ spent) and that equals $17.50 off any purchase...which I prefer to what Sephora usually offers at the 500 point level.

 

Soooo for me, my own conclusion is that I love Sephora and it'll always be my #1, but I love Ulta too and will not hesitate to spend there from time to time.

 

 

glossyguru

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I've actually never been to an Ulta? Is that weird? There's none near me, and Sephora is just way more convenient. But I love Sephora <3

Advanced
You must be signed in to add attachments
Conversation Stats
  • 154 replies
  • 29768 views
  • 130 hearts
  • 110 in conversation
    • kalex
    • runy
    • connieconcon
    • obnurse86
    • DTalksAll
    • fashionforlife18
    • mberteig
    • sephoramusthave
    • lovelykatya
    • hydee77
    • sephoralovex
    • marydiva
    • brigitte4000
    • beauty4cutie
    • waterbaby1981
    • annonymous1
    • lilyyy
    • pinktorridora
    • jennypenny1995
    • ry22
    • lylysa
    • dolceloure
    • mafan
    • roxystar4
    • missjr
    • nightknight
    • crayzeeRN
    • latinadiva
    • BeautyJunkie325
    • dollface131313
    • Graceann
    • syritt
    • spedteacher74
    • onomotopoeia9
    • KSkogs
    • divagirl90
    • JenBlush
    • rikkie
    • serioustree
    • mommyto4
    • garnett
    • ali25ma
    • starletta8
    • violalea
    • bananachoox3
    • midnightangel
    • Katty2323
    • valentinamia
    • KayyLynn
    • AznAngelLiz
    • nebel
    • 1930sbella
    • Candy357
    • AlwaysGlamorous
    • Panda168
    • buzzbee3
    • nomnomloot
    • kittichick
    • vanillammm
    • annekevdb
    • infinitise
    • CzaCee
    • mkupgk
    • inmm
    • jaceykr89
    • glossyguru
    • PickyPlease
    • MadisonComplex
    • AmyRai
    • evno
    • jls2013
    • bad823
    • snowshoe
    • BamaCaliGirl
    • laurabt
    • BeeBeeJ
    • Genie1000
    • notcreative
    • BellaKroll
    • bratknits
    • Zpsid91
    • heatherbee
    • lovebird411
    • Londonlover101
    • LindaDD
    • Corrina777
    • lecia1167
    • Blackwhiskey
    • spacesuit
    • Kimmie2013
    • jaha8005
    • EllieyJelly
    • luckyme502
    • sp2001
    • eriles
    • denisers
    • Jessicaclara
    • dejena
    • quotidianus
    • starsandbucks
    • BrennaBombshell
    • heartsmyface
    • andyhtrieu
    • CuriousCannibal
    • forevermakeup94
    • EvangelineDamon
    • LolaPie
    • SaturnnFoxx
    • comeoneileen88
    • Tirah
Photos3
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 9.16.56 PM.png
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 9.18.27 PM.png
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 9.23.40 PM.png