With its French origins and luxury-brand offerings, one might assume Sephora would come out on top of Americans’ favorite place to shop for cosmetics. But that isn’t the case when running against its competitor, Ulta.

Similar to when CivicScience last checked consumer sentiment, Ulta currently holds the greater favorability rating than Sephora among Americans 13 years and older. Ulta’s rating dropped one percentage point while Sephora’s dropped four in the last two years.

Ulta has frequently been reported as a lower-tier version of Sephora — offering “budget” brands and items consumers could pick up at a drugstore — but higher income doesn’t necessarily correlate with Sephora favorability. In fact, the more money you make the more likely you are to shop at either store. 

Consumers making over $100K are shopping at both stores more than lower earners. Where the pull towards luxury becomes apparent is among those making over $150K: these earners are still more likely to shop either store but have a greater concentration of people unfavorable toward Ulta.

While increasing income correlates with shopping at Ulta and Sephora, increasing age does not. The older a consumer gets the less likely they are to head to either Ulta or Sephora for beauty needs.

Further polling is required to truly understand why this is the case but an easy hypothesis is skincare needs. Do beauty chains like Ulta and Sephora really meet the needs of aging beauty? But what we do know is that the 55 and older crowd visit big-box stores for cosmetics more than any other type of retailer.

In June, big-box stores were the most frequented place for beauty products, so Ulta’s recent friendship with Target paints a rosy picture for future sales. Target favorables were already more into Ulta than they were Sephora, but when the analysis is flipped, we see that there are slightly more Target lovers within Sephora fans than among Ulta fans.

So not only will Ulta be tapping a wellspring of already favorable consumers by partnering with Target, but it is also going to get in front of a number of Sephora customers.