Sephora vs Ulta – we have a tendency to break down main variations between the two beauty stores, from their rewards programs to shipping prices

  • As two one-stop outlets for all issues magnificence, Sephora and Ulta are sometimes in contrast.
  • The shops are literally fairly comparable and each is nice locations to replenish on all of the make-up, skin-care, and hair-care merchandise you want.
  • Questioning the place you must go on your subsequent magnificence haul? We break down all the pieces it’s worthwhile to learn about each shop, from membership packages to delivery prices.

If you happen to’re an avid shopper of all issues magnificence, you have most likely been to a Sephora or an Ulta – possibly even each. As one-stop outlets for all issues magnificence, from make-up to skincare to hair care and all the pieces in between, many individuals examine the 2 shops.

Sephora has a status for promoting extra luxurious magnificence manufacturers, whereas Ulta has lengthy been thought-about as a retailer of drugstore manufacturers. The fact is that these two shops aren’t so totally different. With aggressive rewards packages, sturdy choices of merchandise and types, magnificence providers, suggestions, and extra, each shop supply nice buying experiences.

Questioning the place you must go to get what? We have coated the membership packages, rewards, product, and model choices, methods to buy, and learn how to determine which is greatest to you.

Keep reading for a complete breakdown of what you possibly can look forward to finding at Sephora and Ulta.

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Disclosure: This put-up is delivered to you by the Insider Picks workforce. We spotlight services and products you would possibly discover fascinating. If you happen to purchase them, we get a small share of the income from the sale from our commerce companions. We regularly obtain merchandise freed from cost from producers to check. This doesn’t drive our resolution as to whether or not a product is featured or beneficial. We function independently from our promoting gross sales workforce. We welcome your suggestions. Electronic mail us at

Brands and product choice

Each shop carries a variety of merchandise throughout all value ranges, and there’s a lot of overlap between the 2 with regards to model choice. Usually, Sephora shares extra high-end manufacturers and Ulta extra drugstore choices.

Sephora: Sephora carries a whole bunch of manufacturers, together with its personal label. Sephora Assortment, the shop’s in-house line, provides reasonably priced magnificence merchandise beginning as little as $1. The shop additionally shares a number of mid-tier manufacturers, in addition to high-end ones like Dior, La Mer, and Chanel. Fenty Magnificence, Huda Magnificence, and Charlotte Tilbury are a few of Sephora’s standout manufacturers you possibly can’t discover at Ulta.

Ulta: Ulta Magnificence Assortment is the shop’s in-house label providing reasonably priced magnificence merchandise — costs begin under $1 for sheet masks — with all the pieces from skincare to magnificence instruments. Like Sephora, you’ll find loads of mid-tier manufacturers, however, what stands out about Ulta is its curation of funds magnificence manufacturers. NYX, e.l.f. Cosmetics and L’Oréal are a number of the drugstore manufacturers you possibly can’t discover at Sephora.


Each shop supply membership packages that reward consumers for spending with factors packages, grant them particular entry to promotions, and extra.

Sephora: Magnificence Insider is Sephora’s membership program. There are three ranges of membership: Magnificence Insider, VIB, and VIB Rouge. Any shopper can grow to be a Magnificence Insider since there isn’t any minimal spending essentially. To grow to be a VIB member, you will need to spend $350 a yr and grow to be a VIB Rouge member that quantity goes as much as $1,000 a yr.

Ulta: Final Rewards is Ulta’s membership for loyal consumers. There are three tiers of membership: member, platinum member, and diamond member. There is no such thing as a minimum spend required to grow to be a daily member. It’s essential to spend $450 a yr to grow to be a platinum member and $1,200 to grow to be a diamond member.

Rewards packages

Each Magnificence Insider and Final Rewards packages supply nice perks to consumers, whether or not you are spending numerous cash on the retailer every year or none in any respect. Sephora provides its members extra promotions, whereas Ulta provides extra birthday perks, however in the end each package rewards consumers very equally.

Sephora: There are various advantages of turning into a Magnificence Insider. One of the notable is the factors system, which turns your spending into factors that you may redeem on the Rewards Baazar in change for merchandise. Here is a rundown of the rewards you get, at each membership tier:

Insider: 1 level for each $1 you spend, 2 free birthday presents
VIB: 1.25 factors for each $1 you spend, 4 free birthday presents, celebratory tier reward (500 factors or 2 free makeovers)
VIB Rouge: 1.5 factors for each $1 you spend, 4 free birthday presents, celebratory tier reward (750 factors or 4 free makeovers), free commonplace delivery, entry to unique occasions

Ulta: Ultimate Rewards members get numerous advantages that make future buying hauls extra reasonably priced. In contrast to Sephora, the place factors are redeemed as merchandise, at Ulta factors are redeemed as money reductions on future functions. Here is a breakdown of the rewards at each degree:

Member: 1 level for each $1 you spend, free birthday reward, double factors throughout your birthday month
Platinum: 1.25 factors for each $1 you spend, free birthday reward, double factors throughout your birthday month, $10 birthday coupon, factors by no means expire
Diamond: 1.5 factors for each $1 you spend, free birthday reward, double factors throughout your birthday month, $10 birthday coupon, factors by no means expire, on a regular basis free delivery on orders of $25 or extra, annual $25 magnificence service reward card.

Methods to buy

Each Sephora and Ulta have good, well-organized shops the place you’ll find (and be tempted by) 1000’s of merchandise on show. Each additionally supplies fairly comparable on-line buying experiences as effectively, although Ulta provides an extremely handy in-store pickup choice.

Sephora: Sephora’s delivery providing is fairly commonplace. If you happen to spend $50 or extra, you are eligible without spending a dime, commonplace three-day delivery. For orders lower than $50, this similar delivery price $5.95. To get two- or one-day delivery, you will pay $10.95 or $16.95, respectively. If you happen to store on-line at Sephora usually, it might be price it so that you can enroll in its flash delivery program. It prices simply $15 a yr and provides you free delivery for the complete yr, no minimums required.

Ulta: Ulta’s delivery charges and insurance policies are fairly commonplace too. No matter how a lot you spend on your order, commonplace delivery prices $5.95 (3-8 enterprise days), expedited delivery prices $9.95 (3-4 enterprise days), and premium delivery prices $16.95 (2-3 enterprise days).

If you wish to keep away from delivery prices and reside near an Ulta retailer location, use Ulta’s in-store pickup service. All you must do is select “Purchase On-line & Decide Up in Retailer” as your buy choice. When your order’s prepared, you will get an email from Ulta — simply head over to the chosen retailer with that email affirmation and an ID, and also you’re good to go.

So, where should you go?

In truth, it is as much as you. You possibly can’t go fallacious buying at Sephora or Ulta. For a lot of consumers, it is a matter of what they know. For instance, I grew up going to an area of Sephora and received a Magnificence Insider card at the moment. It is nonetheless priced it for me to buy there as I’ve collected factors through the years and it is proved to be a model I can actually believe. If you happen to grow up going to an Ulta as an alternative, you’d most likely say the identical about that model.

One other consider selecting the place to buy is what you need to purchase. If e.l.f. Cosmetics is your favorite model, go to Ulta — Sephora would not inventory the model. If you happen to love Charlotte Tilbury, you will need to go to Sephora, as Ulta would not have it. Fortunately, each Sephora and Ulta inventory quite a lot of common magnificence manufacturers like Nars, Clinique, and Too Confronted, amongst others — so if that is what you want, you are set wherever you go.

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