Since it seems that people liked the Sephora travel-size value post, I made a cost-per-ounce comparison for Ulta too. This was way more of a pain than the Sephora one because Ulta somehow 1. doesn’t always list product sizes, 2. lists travel-size products separately (e.g. if something comes in four different sizes, the three larger sizes are all on one product page but the travel size is listed separate), and 3. sometimes lists travel-size products under slightly different names. I didn’t realize #3 until I was halfway done, so there are probably products I missed because there was no full-size product with the exact same name so I thought they only came in travel sizes.
Some of the travel-sized size info I based on what I found on other sites (e.g. looking at ebay postings to get the size of the It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil); these entries are marked – this is just my ‘best guess’ for the travel-size product based on product sizes the company is known to produce.
Let me know if I missed/need to correct anything!
The best deal is PER-FEKT Lash Perfection gel at 37% cheaper. The LORAC bronzer mini (32% cheaper) and highlighter/bronzer duo (21% cheaper) are also good deals. It Cosmetics and Lancome both have some products cheaper and some products more expensive in the travel size. Smashbox is oddly notable for having a set of products (the Photo Finish primers) 11-24% cheaper in travel size, one product (Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35) exactly the same cost per ounce in travel and full size, and one (Photo Finish Primer Water) 95% more expensive in travel size. Benefit’s They’re Real liner is the worst travel-size purchase at 100% more expensive per ounce.
If you know what you like, buy jumbo. Please don’t buy the Pür Cosmetics Miracle Mist Hydrate & Set (321% more expensive in the travel size). Clinique has some products that are cheaper in the travel size, but in general, skincare products are pretty marked-up for travel.
(Errata: Clinique Take the Day Off travel size is 1.7 oz, not 7 oz; Google doc has been updated.)
Bath & Body
Basically, don’t buy travel sizes. Prize for least consistency goes to Vitabath – their Gelee is only 5% marked up but the Body Wash is 200% marked up. The LORAC TANtalizer Body Bronzing Spray is 19% more expensive in the travel size, which isn’t awful, but it also doesn’t come with the applicator puff that the full-size has.
Like for bath and body stuff, just don’t buy travel sizes. Unless you want the Pureology Colour Fanatic Instant Conditioning Whipped Cream, which is 60% cheaper in the travel size. Sebastian Potion 9 (21% cheaper) or Dry Clean Only (28% cheaper) are fine, too. I was compiling these numbers during the jumbo sale – the jumbo sizes are already such a good deal relative to the full-size price per ounce, and looking at the sale prices really made the travel-size markups look obscene.