There are many places where you can get your makeup. For the longest time, I was a Target and CVS girl. Since I’ve become more of an online shopper in the past few years, I have leaned more on makeup shopping online. If none of the major department stores is running a free gift with purchase special, I’ll usually check three places:
Even before I started shopping online, I loved going to the Sephora stores. It’s so bright and clean, and the sales associates are (usually) very knowledgable and friendly. The biggest benefits of shopping at Sephora are:
- Free stuff: 3 free samples with every order.
- Rewards points: Beauty Insiders get an extra sample with every $100 spent.
- Variety: Sephora carries a large variety of brands and there are exclusive Sephora items, such as OPI nail polish.
- Free shipping: Shipping is free on all orders over $50 and returns are free. Even on orders under $50, shipping is pretty cheap – just $5.95.
Some downfalls are:
- Price: I have done some comparison shopping, and after all coupon codes, Sephora’s price point is usually the highest.
- Sellouts: If something’s super popular, in my experience, it sells out at Sephora first. Just try finding the Urban Decay Naked palette. I dare you.
Ulta is very similar to Sephora, but I believe it’s a bit smaller and lesser known. I just learned about Ulta in the past few years when a store was built near my workplace. Some reasons to check out Ulta are:
- Free stuff: 3 free samples with every order (sometimes more if you’re lucky!)
- Coupon codes: If you can’t find an Ulta code for SOMETHING free, you aren’t looking hard enough. They almost always have $ off coupons you can use, even on orders as low as $10.
- Salons: I haven’t tried Ulta salons, but it gives me more confidence in their haircare advice knowing that professional stylists work there.
- Free shipping: Shipping is free on all orders over $50 and returns are free. Even on orders under $50, shipping is pretty cheap – like Sephora, it’s just $5.95.
- Rewards points: For every dollar spent, you’ll earn Ultamate rewards or Club at Ulta rewards, depending on your membership type.
Some downfalls are:
- No stacking: Unfortunately, you can only use one coupon code per purchase, so you’ll have to use your noggin as to which one works best.
- Less focus on makeup, more on other things like haircare and tools. That’s fine with me since I don’t wear much makeup and have unruly hair, but if you’re a makeup guru, you’d probably be happier at Sephora.
- Customer service: If you visit the Ulta store, there are not as many sales associates when compared to Sephora. Maybe it’s just my local stores, but it seems like Ulta is more of a self-service type of place.
Beauty.com is affiliated with Drugstore.com – a retailer I order from regularly. Beauty.com is only available online, but is a good place to look for makeup deals and freebies. A few reasons to check Beauty.com are:
- Combined checkout: If you also need some Drano (a frequent purchase in my household — stupid hair!), you can combine your Beauty.com and Drugstore.com purchases into one cart.
- Rewards: You’ll earn 5% from EVERY purchase directly in cash back, much like CVS or other drugstores. It’s always nice to see a little bonus like that!
- Free shipping: Shipping is free on orders of $25 (or sometimes $50 depending on the day). I like to wait until I see the lower cart amount to qualify, but it does help that you can combine a cart from Drugstore.com — Drano isn’t cheap!
Some downfalls are:
- Variety: There is less variety at Beauty.com when compared to Ulta and Sephora.
- Online only: This makes returns a bit trickier. I haven’t made returns to Beauty.com, simply because I didn’t want to go through the hassle.
What do you think about these points? Agree/Disagree?
Are there other retailers I should check when making makeup purchases?
Let me know in the comments!
I am not affiliated with Sephora, Ulta, or Beauty.com. All products mentioned were purchased by me with my own money and all opinions are my own.