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Post in Besides Beauty

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! = )

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I am in that same boat as you are! Though Ulta carries drugstore brands, more haircare products, and is nice enough to give you coupons every so often, they just don't hold a candle to our beloved Sephora! Not to mention the fact that I feel as though the sales associates at Sephora are more knowledgeable and willing to help customers than Ulta.. but that could just be a problem with my local store.

Anyways, Sephora forever!

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Sephora will always be my favorite. To me, makeup is a form of art- I love playing with different colors, mediums and textures. In the same way, going in to Sephora's store and getting to experiment, try samples, and talk with beauty advisors is always a pleasure! 9 times out of 10, the Sephora employees know their products, can recommend things they like, and can show you how to apply makeup with different techniques. I've always gotten the impression that Ulta employees are there to stock and talk to their coworkers... they never seem to like to be interrupted for questions and frankly, don't seem to enjoy makeup. I go to Ulta for drugstore brands and sometimes hair products and that is all.

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I love Sephora! Ulta to me is only good for buying things I cant find at Sephora! haha! I also agree with @mommyto4 with the fine print! if they give you a 20% off discount, it is only for drugstore brands! (which are no more than $12) I haven't really seen any "perks" like I do at sephora! and i haven't heard of them having any events!

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I love love LOVE Sephora, but I do find Ulta has the best deals and a larger variety of products. Really depends on what you are looking for.

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Not to mention their rewards have been changed in certain markets to essentially 3% back. No free products for those of us in those markets (ugh). And the points expire unless you're an upper tier elite.


Nails are a major strength at Ulta, as well as having a salon in-store.  You can't beat some of their gift with purchases- especially around the holidays.


That said, I'm more likely to rush in and out of Ulta but love to stay and play at Sephora.



Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I LOOOVE Sephora.  I have been to Ulta a couple of times but only for items I can't get at Sephora or Target.  But that is pretty rare.  I love Target for anything drugstore and I get 5% off with my RedCard all the time.  I really don't like Ulta's coupons and what they can be used on.  Too much fine print!  I also don't really care a whole lot about samples.  They are fine but I have a drawer full of them.  I love that I can go to Sephora and ask for a certain product as a sample as opposed to whatever they have in a little foil pack anywhere else.  I have run into a couple of bad seeds at one Sephora, mostly just snotty but I understand that these are just people.  They are just not good representations of the company I love, and every store has them.  Sephora is absolutely fun to shop at and I can't imagine what they would do that would make me quit shopping with them. 

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I like Ulta for hair & Nails. Their perks & sales are really just for Drugstore brands. Prestige brands (brands that are also sold at Sephora) are usually excluded. 

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Prestige is good but feeling pampered and feeling like the store occasionally adds a treat to your bag is also a great feeling, while stacking up points. I spend so much money on makeup, it's crazy! EVERY two weeks I buy something new. It saddens me that no matter how much I spend at Sephora, I get a crummy sample of something WHEN I reach another point level. Ulta always has deals like 5X  on Tarte, Urban Decay, Stila, Too Faced, so fourth. So, if you spend $25, that's 100pnts right there. If you're a loyalty member, like me, you get 1.25the pNTS PLUS the boat 5X the points. Some days I accumulate 400-600+ points in one transaction. I JUST purchased a Chi flat iron and only paid $4.00 out of pocket because ulta allows you to use your points on ANYTHING.