Sephora Vs. Ulta Beauty

Sephora Vs. Ulta Beauty

By Selma Komisky

These beauty stores are like the cliché, “tomato – toe-mah-toe”! Sephora and Ulta Beauty are equally and beautifully displayed cosmetics stores. However, they are the two largest top rival beauty retailers in the industry. So here is an in depth look at the two stores. Choose the right fit for you or enjoy the benefits of both!


Has been around since 1969 when Dominique Mandonnaud opened his first cosmetic store in France. I think what set his store apart, was that his philosophy was to allow customers to touch and try on the products. That was the catalyst that set off Sephora’s business. Owned now by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, it has become the leading chain of perfume and cosmetics store in France and become a powerful beauty presence in countries all around the world. Also, a smaller version of the store can now can be found inside JCPenney’s stores as well as the in Abi Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates off the mainland on an island in the Persian Gulf.

As I entered the huge store, my first impression was that everything was very appealing to the eye with catchy music playing for your shopping pleasure. You’re instantly drawn to the aroma of different scents of fragrances as well as a barrage of cosmetics!

Some good finds are:

Sephora Fragrances
The store offers a wide variety of fashion scents for men and women from Burberry, to Dolce Galbana, to Chanel. Check out their Sephora Fragrance IQ to help to find a scent that works for you and receive three samples of scent matches.

Sephora Cosmetics
Having one of the largest varieties of high end cosmetics to choose, the store offers Bobbi Brown, Lancôme, MAC, and Smashbox to name a few.

Sephora Make-up Artists
Always there to assist you, make-up artists can give mini makeovers that are free with availability and walk-ins are always welcome. Additionally, you can book a appointment with a beauty expert to transform your look and learn expert techniques which is the premium service at 45min (complimentary with a $50 minimum purchase).You can also have a personal beauty advisor 90 minute consultation which includes a custom makeover and shopping session (Complimentary with $125 minimum purchase).

Sephora Skincare IQ
This is a color matching service where you find your precise foundation shade and consult with skincare experts to help evaluate what products are best for you.

Sephora Return Policy
This policy guarantees if you are not completely satisfied with their products, they can be returned or exchanged within 60-90 days of purchase.

Sephora Birthday Club
When you join you can receive a gift on your birthday. I went and received two very nice Nars lipsticks!

Sephora Beauty Insiders
Insiders will enjoy complimentary beauty classes in store covering everything from learning a skincare routine to creating a smoky eye look. The classes are held on Sundays covering new topics offered each week as well popular trends and techniques that are most requested.

Sephora Specials
These change weekly and can be found online at:

Sephora Beauty Rewards Card
Join in store or online and every purchase you get points toward free stuff at the store.

Ulta Beauty

Opening their first store 25 years ago, Ulta Beauty was founded by Osco Drug veterans Terry Hanson, Dick George, Rick Weber and in 2013, Mary Dillon as CEO. Ulta Beauty offers one-stop shopping, value, service and delivers a unique and uplifting guest experience. Although Ulta Beauty stores are only in the U.S., shoppers from all over the world can enjoy an array of products on their online store! Although similar to Sephora, Ulta Beauty offers different beauty services that Sephora does not, making it entirely unique experience.

Good finds include:

Hair Salon
Cut, color, and style your hair with master and junior designers (A.K.A. Stylists). Their prices for a haircut range anywhere from $38-$55 and new guests get 25% off their first hair service. You can book your appointment online at a store location near you.

Ulta Skincare Bar
Ulta skin therapists are Dermalogica trained professionals that are licensed skin therapists. They offer a free face one-on-one analysis to evaluate your skin type and make recommendations that help you determine what types of products are best for your individual skin type. Skin treatment prices vary for microdermabrasion, etc.

My suggestion is to try one of six twenty minute Quick Skin Fixes all for just $25. This repairs skin in a snap! You have a choice of exfoliation, age repair, eye rescue, skin soothing, blackhead relief, or moisture boost. Also, they offer a Clear Skin Teen Treatment to banish breakouts and help clear up skin for $25 to name a few.

Brows by Benefit
Benefit has over 1,400 brow bars worldwide. They are a brow bar that offers waxing with trained aestheticians, tweezing, tinting, and grooming/shaping to give a perfect arch.

A-Z Perfume List
This list available online and I found it to be very helpful when shopping. It saves time to see if a particular fragrance is available.

Ulta Beauty Return Policy
If you are not completely satisfied with a product for any reason you may return it to your local Ulta Beauty store for an exchange or refund within 60 days.

Ulta Beauty Happy Birthday Gorgeous
Sign up and receive a gift and earn double reward points all month. (For each dollar you spend, you earn a point). Join their Ultimate Rewards to start redeeming points

Visit Sephora at: and check out Ulta Beauty at:

* This article is not a paid promotion for Sephora or Ulta Beauty.