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Fabulous Finds

Ulta vs. Sephora, Which is Better?
Alyssa Powell/Business Insider


Sephora began in 1970 and had a very wide assortment of all types of beauty products. Today, the company has over 2,800 stores across the United States. It belongs to the branch of companies such as Louis Vuitton and Hennessy. 

Sephora inside a department store in Brookfield, Wisconsin. (Credit: Angela Peterson/ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Over the course of the company’s timeline, Sephora has continued to carry all the new popular items, as well as carrying many exclusive beauty lines owned by celebrities such as Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez. Sephora tends to carry newer brands and seems more upscale and expensive than the products that are carried at Ulta. At Sephora, the staff gives you beauty advice, telling you about their personal opinions and what you should buy, rather than motivating the Sephora line products.  

Sephora offers a program called ‘Beauty Insider’ that offers members one point for every $1 spent. Points can later be used to purchase items or get deals throughout the store. They also offer a free birthday gift, free shipping, and many other discounts throughout the year.  

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Sephora makes it their goal to use sustainable and planet friendly materials in their products. Their operations are powered by renewable energy. Sephora uses digital innovation and advertises in areas across the web. They also have a mobile app you can download to create an account and purchase things digitally, still gaining points with every purchase.  

Sephora’s wide, unmatched variety of brands, innovation, special beauty advice, and their interactive stores and website make Sephora a very popular choice and many people’s pick if they had to choose between the two.  


Ulta started in Chicago in 1990. It began as just five stores outside the cities and offered products at numerous costs. Ulta Beauty is now the largest cosmetic retailer in the United States, with over 1,400 stores across the country.

Ulta has a very wide range of products, from drugstore to high-end. In the store, they have salons where you can get your hair done, facials, makeup done, and even ear piercing. There are professionals who work there and do all these services for a reasonable cost. Ulta products are affordable to almost everyone, due to their lower mean cost of items in their store.

Ulta beauty department store in the United States. (Credit: Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images)

Ulta offers a program called the Ultamate Rewards Program where customers can earn different amounts of points for every dollar they spend. You can also get 2x points during your birthday month. There are several levels of the rewards program, each giving you a different number of points.  

Ulta also has something called Conscious Beauty which is their promise and word that they only use clean products and ingredients in all their cosmetics. They are aiming to have half of their products become sustainable by 2025.  

Ulta offers a virtual try-on program which allows customers to try on different shades of makeup virtually to see what shades match their complexion and skin tone. You can also take surveys and get products recommended to you and your skin type through their mobile app.  

Sephora vs. Ulta 

The store best for you depends on your budget, the services you’re looking for, and the products you want to purchase. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option and less expensive products, Ulta may be the better choice for you. If you are wanting higher-end, trendier products, Sephora will be the way to go.  

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About the Contributor
Kaelynn Vail
Kaelynn Vail, Staff Writer
Kaelynn Vail is a sophomore at Roswell, and this is her first year as a staff writer for The Sting. When she is not writing, Kaelynn enjoys running, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and traveling.

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