Sephora vs. ULTA Beauty: Which store does makeup better?


KENNESAW, Ga. — Sephora and ULTA Beauty are two different stores that have one common goal: to sell products and to enhance beauty.

The stores’ customers can’t make up their minds about which store is better.

Sephora and ULTA have been battling for years to stay relevant in society and to try and stay one step ahead of each other. Both stores have their own uniqueness, but each store caters to a different woman.

Makeup essentials every user needs (Photo by: Ciara Hodges)

The makeup industry has always been at odds on what store is better.

Some believe ULTA is for beginners and Sephora is for advanced makeup junkies. There isn’t substantial evidence to really prove this theory. That’s why people base their ideas off word-of-mouth and experience.


Sephora was founded in 1969 in France and is now owned by Louis Vuitton Moёt Hennessy. Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey is a luxury brand and gained control of Sephora in 1997. Sephora’s headquarters are located in Paris, France.

After getting a little background knowledge on Sephora, consumers would obviously think Sephora is for high-end and advanced makeup users.

You can’t get much more exclusive than Louis Vuitton. Sephora clients definitely have that element of fancy, and they truly experience that every time they make a purchase.

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Some of the brands Sephora offers are Dior, Kat Von D, Yves Saint Laurent and Make Up For Ever.

Yves Saint Laurent is very expensive, so the woman who wears this makeup doesn’t really have to worry about a price tag. Sephora clients definitely prefer quality over quantity.

Former Sephora product consultant Kirstin Diemer thinks Sephora is geared toward advanced makeup users, but it also caters to beginners.

“I got interested in makeup because it allowed me to change the way I looked using colors and contours,” Diemer says.

Diemer says she enjoyed the products that Sephora had to offer because it was a better selection and had something for everyone.


ULTA Beauty was founded in 1990 and is the largest beauty retailer in the United States. ULTA has coined the phrase “All things beauty. All in one place.”

ULTA has cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, haircare and full service salons in every location.

Since ULTA has everything all in one place, clients can come and shop for the latest beauty trends and get a facial or a new hairstyle all at once.

ULTA has provided the atmosphere to find everything under one roof. Clients enjoy being pampered and shopping at ULTA helps.

Some might say that ULTA’s products aren’t all that great. Even though ULTA offers everything, sometimes quantity overrules quality.

Montgomery Newcity, aspiring makeup artist and hairstylist, doesn’t like shopping at ULTA.

“ULTA’s makeup isn’t that good,” Newcity says. “It doesn’t last long, and it looks cakey.”

ULTA carries brands like IT Cosmetics, PÜR, Fiona Stiles, NYX Cosmetics and Juice Beauty.

Some of ULTA’s products are on the cheaper end which help if you aren’t a makeup junkie.

Former ULTA beauty manager Justin Sprague enjoyed his time working at ULTA. He’s been doing makeup for about five years. While at ULTA, his clients would range from advanced users to beginners.

“I prefer Sephora, but being a makeup artist, ULTA Beauty products are a little easier on the wallet,” Sprague says.

Makeup Trend

The makeup world is always coming up with a new trend. And once a trend takes off, there’s no stopping it.

The latest makeup trend is highlighting. Everyone is doing it. Whether it’s a simple highlight or a lot of highlight.

Highlighting complements every skin tone and truly adds a beautiful glow. Both Sprague and Newcity agree that highlighting is in.

“Highlight! Everyone is highlighting everything,” Sprague says.

“Highlight or ‘glow’ is the current trend, and I am a huge fan,” Newcity says. “It is definitely eye-catching.”

Sephora versus ULTA Beauty

We’ll never know which store really surpasses the other. They are both doing great as far as business goes.

Both stores attract different clientele, which keeps them thriving.

No matter whether you’re a first time makeup user or advanced, you’ll be sure to find the products you love at either store.


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