This or That: Sephora vs Ulta


We all have preferred retail locations we like to purchase from. Today, let’s look at the pros and cons of Sephora and Ulta, and I’ll tell you which one I personally prefer and why. 

DISCLAIMER: All opinions stated in this post are based off of my own personal experiences with each of the stores mentioned and my own shopping preferences. As always, if our opinions differ, that’s totally okay. This post is meant for the sole purpose of conversation.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get into it.

Sephora Pros and Cons:


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Sephora is one of those stores that I can spend hours in and feel like I’ve missed something when I leave. There is such an abundance of products in there to swatch, feel and smell, it can be a little overwhelming. Their selection of high end and luxury products is definitely a pro. If you’re looking to seriously ball out on the expensive stuff, Sephora has what you’re looking for. Their house brand, the Sephora Collection, is also really great, and is priced much more affordably in comparison to the majority of products that they sell. A big pro with Sephora is that they have about a zillion locations, both stand alone stores as well as stores inside of JC Penny, so it’s super accessible if you’re like me and prefer to purchase makeup in-store so you can see and swatch things before you drop your coins. Their return policy is pretty good as well, but I’ve heard recently that it will be changing. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Now that we’ve discussed the positives, let’s get into a few things that I personally don’t really enjoy about shopping at Sephora. First of all, their rewards program leaves much to be desired. I’m not into the fact that you can’t use your points towards purchasing items. Yes, you can use them to get certain point perks, but if you don’t like any of the deluxe samples that are the point perk you qualify for, it’s a wrap. Another thing about Sephora that I’m not really into is that they don’t do many sales. They’ve recently added those steal deals on certain products once a week, but as a whole, the only major sale they have is the VIB Sale twice a year. And finally, my biggest gripe with Sephora is how I’ve been treated when in store. I find that the salespeople will either hound me by pushing me to buy products that I didn’t come in for, or they totally ignore me because I’m there in my bare face and not dressed to the nines. Again, this has been my own personal experience, so I would never attempt to say that this goes for ALL Sephora locations.

Ulta Pros and Cons:


Ulta Beauty is like a hybrid of your favorite department store makeup counter and your local drugstore makeup section. Ulta sells both high end AND drugstore/more affordable brands, so you can get your Tarte and your L’Oreal in one stop. That’s a definite pro for me. Another thing I absolutely love about Ulta is their rewards program. The points you earn convert into dollars. For example, I have over 700 rewards points, and that comes out to over $20 that I can use towards my purchases. They are always having events where you can earn two times the points on certain products or on everything, depending on the active promotion. It’s also easy to advance in the rewards program since they have all of those points driven promotions. Ulta also is always having sales and coupons you can use to save some coins. The staff at the Ulta I frequent the most often are always super helpful without pressing me to purchase anything other than what I came in for.

For me, finding a con with Ulta based on my personal experiences is a little more difficult. If I had to choose something, I’d have to say that it stinks that they don’t do a subscription box like Sephora does (although the Sephora Play box doesn’t appeal to me). I think it would be awesome if they had, like, a Boxycharm-style situation where you’d get four or five full sized products a month. Another con (sort of) is their house brand, Ulta Collection. I’ve found that their makeup products are very hit or miss for me. I haven’t found many hits personally, but that’s just me.

When it comes to shopping in-store, I most definitely prefer Ulta over Sephora. I like that I can go to one place and get higher end products in the same place as my drugstore faves. The rewards program at Ulta is top notch, and so is the customer service.

Which place do you prefer to shop in-store for your beauty needs? Leave a comment below or on Instagram (@theregulargirlreviews) and let me know.


4 thoughts on “This or That: Sephora vs Ulta

  1. alattestyle says:

    I only use Sephora, mainly because I don’t use drug store products anyway for the most part. Also they have associates who have experience is cosmetics and matching you to what you need. They also have more variety of high end products as well.


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