Wow I didn't know there was so much hate for Ulta!
I haven't had any bad experiences with the customer service. Sometimes they're not so cheery, but that's like any other store. As far as the makeup selection, I like that they have a combination of high end and drug store products so I can compare and decide what I want. They carry NYX (but very limited choices, not sure if NYX or Ulta is to blame). I've noticed in the past month or so that the supplies have been depleted, but I noticed the same for Walgreens and CVS so it could be the brands themselves and not the store.
As far as testers go, ya, they don't have them, but again, it's probably the brand and not the store. Have you ever seen a Revlon or L'oreal tester ANYWHERE? And have you NOT seen testers for UD or Cargo?
The only beef I have is the hair salon. It's overpriced. Highlights and and a trim should not cost $150.
As far as the return policy, I've never had a problem with it. I return what I want when I want used or unused. Once I lost the receipt and one of the ladies that worked there told me I can call corporate and have them Email the receipt to the store so I can return my stuff and I did.
Overall, my Ulta experiences have been great. Oh, and AWESOME sales!
There are no Ultas very close to my house, but there are 3 within about 30-40 minutes of where I live. Every time I have been in the area of one and stopped by, I've been consistently disappointed. Not only does their rewards program suck, which wouldn't bother me if it was a great store otherwise, but no matter which of the three I visit, they always seem to be out of anything that catches my eye. Also, a lot of their testers seem to be missing or broken. I wouldn't complain so much about this if I hadn't experienced this lovely bit of customer service after I needed to return a foundation that was the wrong color and ended up breaking me out: Me: Hi, I need to return this foundation. It's the wrong color and it ended up breaking me out. Salesperson: You know, we have testers for a reason. Me: Yes, but the tester for this particular shade of foundation was missing, so I guessed based on the two colors on either side of it, plus it broke me out. Her: Sigh. I need the receipt, plus your driver's license, and you need to fill out your name, address, phone number, etc etc in this book. You are also only allowed 3 returns per year, and yes WE DO TRACK THEM, so be sure you want something before you buy it next time. Me: ........
I filled out the information and got my money back, but I don't appreciate being treated like a criminal for trying an item and not liking it/it being the wrong shade/it breaking me out, especially when I have the receipt! That was my first and last purchase at an Ulta, and though I do occasionaly pop in to browse if I'm near one, but that experience has made me wary of ever buying anything there again, not to mention they're always out of everything anyway. I have a Sephora 5 minutes away from my house and will continue to shop there instead, since they appreciate my business and I don't have to make a special trip anyway.
I'll never forget the most horrible haircut I ever got - at an Ulta "salon" (ha!). I had made an appointment well in advance, showed up on time, and had to wait in a chair for 45 minutes. Then the stylist basically ripped through my hair in less than 5 minutes, pulling the whole time, and didn't even have time to blow dry my hair! Told me I couldn't request that!!!!! (Basically, an $8 Supercuts haircut, with extra rudeness, for $50!!) Then when I went out to pay at the counter, the saleswoman asked really loudly if I wanted to leave a tip, and the stylist just happened to be walking past at that moment. What a ripoff - I paid well over $50 for worse service than a Supercuts. SKIP the Salon - I was appalled! I haven't been back in an Ulta since.
I love this store!! One-stop shopping for higher end products and also drugstore products. Everytime I am there, they have sales on the drugstore items. Usually, cheaper than CVS, Target, or Walgreens. Will continue to go here.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ulta! I live about 10-15 minutes from one and I go there as often as possible. IMO they have everything you could ever want like hair tools, accesories, and products, makeup, fragrance, mens products, accesories, nail stuff. I really like that they have "drug store" makeup and high end makeup all in one store. They ALWAYS have sales on their drugstore things so you dont even have to buy from cvs, target etc. There are just so many options when shopping at ulta, i love it and will continue to go there.
I dunno why everyone has had such huge problems with Ulta. Ulta is my favorite store to buy beauty needs! I like that they don't clean out your wallet like Sephora does. Everyone else must have terrible SA's and luck because the Ultas I've been to have been wonderful and it is my absolute favorite place to go to shop for makeup and beauty supplies. I like that they carry lower end and higher end products so you can pick up a lot of your staples in one place. And the coupons are great. And the sales are amazing. So... there you have it. My thoughts on Ulta.
I was so excited that a new Ulta was opening 5 minutes from my apartment. Even went with hubby for my birthday. The store is such a let down.
I rarely find good sales (buy two get two free?!?!? I don't have room in the apartment for two of the same thing, let alone four!), and if I do they are always out of the item I want! Their sales people are lousy, and I'm sick of the whole 'S card' thing. Ulta and Sephora are as comparable as a drugstore and Macy's. Ulta does sell some expensive lines, but the selection and expertise pales in comparison to Sephora. I go to Ulta for drugstore type cosmetics only, especially when it comes to their draconian return policy- Sephora I can buy on a whim, Ulta no.
If you are forced to shop there be sure to hand over your Sephora card and let the drama ensue...
Overall, ok for staples if you catch a good sale, but not worth the trip if you are from out of town. When venturing in always be sure to bring a fully charged iPod and headphones.
Yesterday was my last shopping experience at this store. The sales associates and managers alike are just rude and ignorant. I guess if you pay peanuts you get monkeys to work for you.
At the cashier to pay no acknowledgment of a real person standing in front of her, no hello , no go to hell, no nothing a drone perhaps. As the drone proceeded to scan my items she knocked my eye shadow off the counter, of course it was broken, no problem until she TOLD me to go get another. Well I did but that was the last one of that color, the drone then says do you WANT it? well no it is broken. So I pay with no thank you no nothing again monkeys working for peanuts. I get to my car look in the bag and there in my bag and on my receipt, the broken eyeshadow. Now I have to go back into this wonderful store to have the broken eyeshadow taken off my charge, only been about 2 minutes since this drone checked my out now she is even more rude/ ignorant she says you said you wanted it , WHY would I want this broken into a million pieces eyeshadow.I ask her to please just take the shadow off my charge, now she wants ,drivers licence, address, phone number, I was here two minutes ago here is the receipt please remove this from my charge, you made the mistake now I need to jump thru hoops, please get a manager I ask . So here comes another drone monkey , no hello let me fix this problem for you, I am sorry, again nothing, this drone starts with the 20 questions like I am some sort of criminal, well now I get really pissed, ask this drone to just take everything I had purchased off and I would not shop there again. I had to get and just loud enough for her to be able to manage my request. No customer service, no people skills what so ever. Like everyone else my money spends anywhere and that is where I will be spending it anywhere BUT ULTA !!!
I live in the sticks. The nearest Sephora is an hour away, so when an Ulta opened nearby recently, I thought I'd give it a try. I've been in the store three times now and they'd need to improve a number of things before I'd go back.
Pros: good selection of drugstore makeup lines, some premium lines. Good selection of haircare products. Good sales.
Cons: regular prices very high. Testers missing, often out of stock on products. SAs hopeless. I suppose you shouldn't even call them SAs since I've never seen them actually help customers - overheard one today tell a customer who asked what shade of eyeshadow would look best on her, "it's all personal choice - whatever you think looks best." Honestly, the cashier at my local Walgreens would do better than that.
I would guess the company is trying to cut costs by not hiring enough SAs and not training the ones they have. Until that changes, it looks like I'll continue schlepping to Sephora.
I am neither in love nor hate with Ulta. I do like having so many beauty products in one place, and not just high-end ones. However, I agree with other posters that the stores often seem to be out of product. To me, Ulta is best if you need to restock a bunch of beauty products at one time and you can just go in there and get them all quickly without running through a whole Target (every Target near me has horribly stocked beauty sections that are always half empty), having some independent beauty-supply owner give you the hawk-eye the whole time like you're a shoplifter, or driving 30 minutes to Sephora (which are few & far between in my area) and dealing with mall parking.
Ulta is not touchy-feely, but that's fine with me since I don't like people talking to me when I shop. I have never had a problem with the discount coupons because I use them to stock up on drugstore-type products, not to buy expensive stuff.
In short, I'm glad they exist as one more option for getting product.