It’s no secret that beauty costs money. Let’s be downright honest here. It’s expensive. So, how do you make it worth it? Is there a payoff?
Can I just say, the payoff is feeling great and looking like a million bucks. However, beauty stores tend to have some sort of loyalty reward program to reel you in.
Hook. Line. Sinker.
Here are my reviews/thoughts on the few bigger beauty stores where I shop.
The nearest Ulta is about 40 minutes and another country away, but it doesn’t stop me from heading out there to shop.
Ulta has a reward system called Ultamate Rewards. There are 3 membership levels: Member (free, earn 1 pt/US$1), Platinum (US$450, earn 1.25 pt/US$1) & Diamond (US$1,200, earn 1.5 pt/US$1). I am currently at the Member level because I only started actually shopping there 3 months ago, and the dollar exchange hasn’t been favourable for Canadians (which means I pay more). All levels receive a free birthday gift as well as 2x the points in your birthday month. The Platinum & Diamond levels also receive a US$10 birthday coupon and points never expire. If you’re Platinum, you will also receive free shipping on orders of US$25 or more and will also receive a US$25 beauty service reward card every year.
The nice thing about Ulta is that they sell both drugstore and high-end brands. So, you can get everything you need at one store. That also means I’m in there for a good few hours, at best. There are also a few items I love that are exclusive to Ulta, so it’s worth it.
The thing I love about Ultamate Rewards is that your points equal a dollar amount so you can use it towards any purchase.
The thing I’m not loving about this is that the website is not consistent between the US site and the CAN site, so I have to shop the US side if I want to get my rewards. Twist my arm, I might as well stop by Chick-fil-A while I’m out there.
I have a love/hate relationship with Sephora. I feel like we’ve parted ways so many times, but I’m constantly lured back in by it’s Sephora-ness.
Samples. Beauty Offers. Exclusive Products.
Sephora’s reward system is called Beauty Insider. There are also 3 membership levels: Insider (free), VIB (C$350), Rouge (C$1,000). I am currently a VIB. All levels receive a birthday gift, have access to the Rewards Bazaar as well as the Beauty Insider Community. The VIB & Rouge levels also receive monthly gifts and free custom makeovers (1x for VIB). The Rouge level also gets you free shipping on all your orders, a private hotline and invitations to exclusive events.
In my opinion, Sephora has the worst rewards program. Although you can rack up points quickly and there are lots of sales and bonuses (like the Spring Bonus, check out my wish list), your points can only be used in the Rewards Bazaar. Products are launched in the Bazaar every Tuesday and Thursday 9am-5pm (PT) and they go so fast, it’s unreal. I have an alarm set on my phone and by the time I tap on the Rewards Bazaar tab, everything good is already sold out. Every. Time. My points just keep racking up, unused. Pointless, in my opinion. How ironic. Yet, I keep going back cause it calls me.
I am true and true Canadian. So, I wouldn’t be true to my heritage if I didn’t include a Canadian company.
Shopper’s Drug Mart, anyone? Sorry, I mean Beauty Boutique.
Alright, if we’re going to be hands down open here, the Beauty Boutique is my impulsive spending place. There’s one just around the corner. I could walk there, even if I was stranded at home with no car.
They have just recently switched over their rewards program. It used to be Optimum Rewards, but has since changed to PC Optimum.
Now, I love the PC rewards program. I use it for my groceries, gas, everything. One year, I was able to pay for 90% of Christmas with my PC Points. So, the fact that they joined up with the Beauty Boutique just sets me over the top.
In my opinion, the Beauty Boutique is not quite as established as Sephora or Ulta, but it’s coming along quite nicely. They have great deals and a well-established reward system. It’s a bit different from the other reward systems as it doesn’t have tiers built-in. It is free to join and you can earn 15 pts/C$1 or more, depending on the store you’re shopping at or card you use (PC Mastercards earn more). 10,000 points is equal to $10. There are always opportunities to earn bonus points – I just usually flip through the flyer to see what’s happening.
There you have it. My 3 favourite beauty stores and their reward programs. My favourite would definitely be Sephora, if they switched their bazaar over to dollar value rewards. I probably would spend all my money there.
What is your favourite reward program? Do you buy things based on rewards? Comment below.