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Ulta v. Sephora v. Nordstrom

Welcome to Tuesday people! Usually this is where I would say today's TAG Tuesday is blah blah blah but not this week, and not for the two weeks to follow. I've been getting a lot of questions from friends and people who read my blog about where I like to shop for makeup and honestly there's not one specific store that meets all of my needs. So I thought it would be fun and help you guys out if I gave you my pro's and con's, along with a few tips on shopping at each of my three favorite makeup stores. Today we are going to stick with Ulta, next week is going to be Sephora, and the last week is going to be Nordstrom. 

This statement is one of the truest things I've read in a long time. I'd rather stay at home, eat pizza with my best friend then venture off to Ulta to get new makeup, than go on some stuffy date with a guy I probably don't even like that much. 

As I walk into Ulta the people that work there are always so friendly and willing to help, but are never breathing down your neck as if you are going to steal everything from the Tarte shelves. Usually before I go into the store I do two things. I check the Ulta app, which is one of my favorite apps on my phone and really user friendly, for new product launches and coupons. Then I try to make a list of things I know I want to check out before I make my way to the check-out so I don't miss anything. 

One thing I love about Ulta, that really stands out from their competitors is the fact that they house high-end and more budget-friendly makeup in their store. I like that I can pick up things from Too Faced, Tarte, and Anastasia Beverly Hills, then walk to the other side of the store to grab things from L'Oreal, Rimmel London and Maybelline. I also like that at Ulta, their high-street makeup is usually buy one get one 50 percent off for some or even all of the brands. While you can find all of the high-street brands at Target, the items are never buy one get one 50 percent off. So for me, it's well worth my drive to the nearest Ulta if I am running low on something or want to try a new product. 

Ulta has a pretty good return policy, typical 60 days to return products or items that don't seem to be working out for you. The only thing I don't like is that you have to have you original receipt and the original packaging for the product. After about three days I throw away receipts and packaging, but if a certain foundation starts to smell like paint in ten days  then Ulta typically won't except it back. (Note: Sephora doesn't need a receipt or original packaging.)

Another thing I love about Ulta more than Sephora or Nordstrom is they give out coupons! I'm all about saving money, especially on makeup, which can get expensive quickly. Usually every two weeks or so there will either be a $3.50 off $10 coupon or a 20 percent off one item coupon. The only thing about these coupons I don't like is that you cannot use them together, because sometimes the date you can use them overlap by a day, and that you cannot use them on prestige products like Urban Decay, Smashbox, and Tarte. Every once in a great while there will be the golden ticket of coupons that will say 20 percent off one item and it will be good for anything in the store, including prestige items. This is the time when you buy the new Naked palette you've been looking at for the past six months. 

Each of these three stores have some sort of rewards program, but I really think Ulta has the most customer friendly one. Ulta Rewards is free to sign up for and you instantly start earning one point for each dollar you spend. You can get double or triple points on certain items, or days. After you spend $400 in a calendar year you are considered Platinum, which is like having a Gold Card at Starbucks, and you earn double points, and points never expire. Trying to spend $400 on makeup in one year can seem daunting, but think about all of the thing you have to buy at Christmas, I bet your mom would love the new Philosophy bath set, and your best friend would obsess over the Tarte Christmas package, then you have to treat yourself to something! That's almost $150 right there. You're basically half-way there. These points then turn into cash that you can redeem upon checkout to use to take money off of your total, and can be used on anything in the store. 

The last thing I really love about Ulta is their Semi-Annual Sale called The 21 Days of Beauty. These sales usually happen in March and in September and are exactly as the name says, they are 21 days of items going on sale each day. For a full review on this past March sale click here! I love that they send an ad out about a week before the event starts, I can go through it, pick what days I'm going to get the best deals and make my way to the store. This past semi-sale I spent almost $200, which is a lot of money, but for what I bought, which was almost all prestige brands, I would have spent over $400 if everything was full price. The 21 Days of Beauty is the time when I like to stock up on mascara, lipstick, and get a new palette, which is what I end up spending the most money on when they aren't on sale. 

Out of Sephora, Nordstrom, and Ulta, I think Ulta is the most convenient and has most of what I want or need. I think they could definitely have more brands, but that's any store. Everyone can't carry everything otherwise there would be no competition!

Now I want to hear from you! Do you like shopping at Ulta? What do you love about it? Or are you more of a Sephora or Nordstrom type person? Let me know in the comments. Also, like this post if you think buying makeup for a date is easier than going on the actual date. 



Currently Listening Too: "Livin A Lie" by Figs Vision