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! = )

Candy357

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

ry22

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Same hear. The nearest Ulta is like 25 minutes away, while a Sephora in JCPenny is under 15 minutes away. Dangerous, right? :smileywink:

 

I was considering going to Ulta for some OPI polish because I miss the Sephora by OPI stuff, but I'm going to hold off because I've hear some good things about Sephora X.

Kimmie2013

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Ulta Ulta Ulta and here is why:

 

As a Platinum Rewards member (you are qualified after spending $350+ in one calendar year), you get bonus points that are better than getting a 20% off coupon for an entire purchase.

 

In late August 2013, I got a bonus point offer at 10x the base point plus they had an additional bonus point offer of 3x for Platinum members.  I bought three Clarisonic Mia 2 for each of my sisters for their birthday.  Each cost $149, for a total of $447.  I earned 1940 points each, for a total of 5,820 points.

 

For each 2000 points, that's $125 in rewards.  The 5,820 points is equivalent to $333 in rewards for future purchases. 

 

At the end, I paid $114 for all three Mia 2 devices ($38 each or 25% of the original price).

 

Another way to look at it, I got each of my sisters a nice gift and I got myself a total of $333 towards future purchases. 

 

Also, every Wednesday, between 10am-2pm Central Time, there is an extra bonus gift offer for ANY purchases at or above $35.  Today's free gift set was a Benefit 6pc set that included deluxe samples of Noelle Fragrance, 2 Hello Flawless Foundation, Cha Cha Tint, Bad Girl Mascara and a cosmetic bag.  In the past weeks, they have given out gift sets from Urban Decay, StiVectin and Bare Minerals.

 

I did sign up for Sephora's rewards program online and I am monitoring it for any specials, but I have not made a purchase since their rewards aren't that great compared to Ulta's rewards system.

 

I spent $447 at Ulta and I got $333 towards future purchases.  If I were to spend $500 at Sephora, I would qualify for a complimentary 3 pc Bobbi Brown To Go kit.

 

Hmmm, 3 pc Bobbi Brown kit or get $333+ for future purchases?   

DTalksAll

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Why do I feel like the rewards are different depending on your location? Also my Ulta always excludes everything that's high end from their sales. I don't really buy anything that's drugstore, and Ulta doesn't carry any brands that I can't find at Sephora. At least when Sephora has a sale there aren't any exclusions. 

vanillammm

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Three or four times a year they have a 20% off promo/coupon that only has 1 or 2 exclusions, and includes most items in the store, including prestige items. I wait for those coupons (just got one last week!) and then I make a big purchase. (I go through my sephora loves list and see what I can get at Ulta and take off of my sephora list). Like I have stated in a similar post, at Ulta I have received over $600 in free money to spend on ANYTHING in the store in the last 12 months. 

Much richer rewards program.

 

mafan

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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It's really annoying, I seem to have stopped getting email from Ulta so I didn't get that coupon (or anything else recently).  At least Sephora seems to have finally sorted out my email and I have this great group to check for updates, too!

kittichick

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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I just got one too! Saved $50, which was pretty cool. It's the first time I've seen one of those so I jumped on it.

 

I too am stuck with the Club at Ulta program - and I didn't even get my rewards certificate this quarter! I'm going to have to give them a call since I'm supposed to get the top one. Their site says eventually every area will switch to the good one. Still waiting for that.

 

Even still, I get SO much free stuff at Ulta with their GWPs that don't require a code. Granted, I often buy things I wouldn't have because of those, but I've found a bunch of products that I really like that way.

 

And my Ulta is actually really good about returns! It's funny; I've always heard about how bad Ulta's customer service is so I was dreading going in the first time. But they were really pretty awesome. The only greeting I get at the door is a "Hi, welcome!" but that's all I want at first. It's been my experience that if I look like I need help, someone will come help me. Meanwhile, my nearest Sephora... well, it sucks. I hate to say it, because I love Sephora and the one near where I used to live was awesome, but this store's service is terrible. Most staff give me a weird judged feeling and they always give me a total hassle whenever I return something.

 

Both Ulta and Sephora have brands that I like that the other doesn't (e.g. Ulta has Ahava, Sephora has Laura Mercier). The Sephora store brand is much better than Ulta's though. It seems like the Sephora brand is "prestige" quality and Ulta's is drug store quality.

 

I'm more drawn to Sephora, though. I love their Favorites collections soooo very much. And I love Beauty Talk! (I spend a lot more time reading than making my own posts.) The swatches, the advice, the helping me feel less like I have A Problem with all my beauty purchases...

DTalksAll

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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You see, my Ulta (or my area) doesn't offer the points system. I'm on the "The Club at Ulta" which sucks. I only have a limited choice on freebies that vary depending on which level you're at, but most of them are Ulta brand things which suck. And to reach those levels I have to spend a certain amount quarterly. 

My sephora points roll over yearly... 

annonymous1

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I agree with you! the 20% off excludes ALL prestige brands, including essie & OPI (which is the main reason i even go there) the only 20% off is the drugstore items

Kimmie2013

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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That's so weird.  I just used a 20% coupon code that applied to my Lorac Pro palette and Clarisonic brush heads, but I did it online.  I even put Urban Decay, Benefit, Too Faced and Bare Minerals products in my cart just to see if the 20% off would apply and it did on all of them.  I didn't buy them all though.  I normally use the $3.50 off $10 purchase on lip moisturizers and makeup wipes, so for me, it's worth it. 

bratknits

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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My last one worked on OPI when I ordered online.

CzaCee

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

oh my goodness. Ulta has some sick rewards program. too badI can't purchase online coz it won't accept my credit card! :smileysad: So yea, pretty much I'm stuck with Sephora. Is there Ulta in Canada? lol.

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