Your Basket is Empty
Sign in to see items you may have added previously.
See samples, rewards and promotions in .

Item Added to Basket

Free Shipping!

You're only $50.00 away from Free Shipping.

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'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.

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I really like Sephora, I always enjoy going there and always walk out with something Smiley Happy. 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.

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Love Sephora!

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.

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 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.


Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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.


Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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.  

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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.

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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.


Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict


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 Smiley Happy. Yes, I love love Sephora. Smiley Happy