My sense is that Ulta stores are a bit hit or miss depending on the management at each one. I've never had any serious problems at any of them, but the service can vary from being non-existent to very pushy. That said, if you are in Chicago do check out the new Ulta store on State Street, near Macys. This particular store is great & is becoming one of my favorite places to shop for cosmetics, particularly since its so easy for me to make a quick stop there on my way home from work. It has a huge product selection on 4 (yup, 4) floors, & actually helpful service when you need it.
The best thing - the second floor has an awesome display of all the d/s cosmetic lines by product area i.e. a lip bar, a powder bar etc together with testers of every single product so you can check the foundation color before you buy or if you want a bubblegum pink lip gloss you can see all the options easily. I don't think all Ultas have this, but I hope that they do in the future. It means no more color mistakes & a lot fewer returns for me. Ulta has good sales & coupons every week so I always check what's on offer online before I head there & go with a list otherwise its really tempting to splurge on things I don't really need.
I rather enjoy the store. I used to do makeovers years ago in a salon- hair cut- color -makeup the works.. i THINK that the people that work in salons and cosmetic counters have not been trained to treat people right. They need to get trained at Starbucks LOL.. but over all the products are a good price -the sales are wonderful -with that in mind get your info here go there.
I have visited my "local" ULTA twice since it has opened. I put local in quotes since I have to travel 1/2 hour to get to it. I haven't had a negative experience, however, I usually go in knowing what I want from the reviews on MUA. I don't let anyone assist me and just tell them I am "looking". I work as a cosmetic SA part-time, so pretty much know what will and will not work for me and how to fend off overeager SA's. I enjoy the whole store and really like the ULTA line of cosmetics, especially the eyeshadows which are well pigmented and very silky. I like that high and low end brands are all in the same store but seperated. I like that I can get MU, skincare, haircare, perfume and body products all in one place. You can spend alot or a little there, depending on your budget and mood and if you really need it, get a haircut, brow wax and color (although most ppl don't recommend the ULTA salon services). It's not a Sephora (that's an hour away for me), but it definitely has more of interest to me than the comsetics department I work in (tho' I do ♥ working there), with only 7 lines. continued >>
I've never encountered any major problems shopping at Ulta or online at Ulta.com. I will say that their sales associates at the two locations I frequent never know much about most beauty brands. Or release dates for particular collections. It is fustrating when I know more than the people paid to work there. To note, though, these Ultas have only recently opened. Maybe they needed employees asap, and lacked on the training. And then when I get to the front to checkout with my purchases, the girls usually pay more attention to eachother than the guests. But then again, they look like they are still in high school, so I'll cut them some slack. I remember how I was working at 16 in a retail environment...lol... This is only my experience, not casting dark clouds over other Ulta stores. I will say, Ulta has some killer deals on d/s makeup as well as OPI nail polishes at times. I recently hit up a B2G1 OPI sale, used a $5 Ulta coupon, and snagged 3 OPIs for $11...not bad.
Horrible customer service! I will never shop there again. They do not stand behind their products. I had a defective hair tool that I tried to return WITH a receipt two days after purchasing and they would not let me exchange it or get a refund. Manager actually was laughing at me and was BEYOND RUDE!!! Never again.
I am surprised by all the negative reviews. I have to say that my experiences are almost always positive. I've had a few neutral visits, but not a negative one. I have shopped at 5 Ulta's at various times over the last few years, and I have liked them all. My experience is that most of the associates are very helpful and more than willing to assist me and other customers. Sometimes they don't know alot about the particular product I am discussing, but I expect that given the breadth of their stocked lines and item range. Again, I have to say that Ulta is fantastic and I enjoy shopping high, mid and low end products there.
I am very surprised that there a so many negative reviews of Ulta. The closest Sephora is about 30 minutes away and in a very busy mall so I try to avoid, but the few times I have been there, I have a good experience but they do not have the inventory or selection that ulta does.
The Ulta in my neighborhood (Midwest City, OK) is fairly new and is always clean and the SA's are very helpful. I am a single parent with a beautiful, but very curious and talkative 4 year old and the girls in there always make time to talk and fuss over her. And her answer her 40 or 50 questions. And if you have children, you know that doesn't happen everywhere and that goes along way with me.
I always get my points and have never had any problems with returns or coupons..
Reading these reviews reminded me of the ONE time I've been in an Ulta and that one time was a negative experience. I'll admit I don't have much to base my review on, so I can't say too much about the products or prices or anything. But I'll share my story: I went into one last year to buy a new flat iron, and I was explicitly looking for an FHI. I already had a CHI and was somewhat dissatisfied with it--I wanted one with tourmaline plates this time around. So, I go in and ask the woman where the FHIs are and she gives me this perplexed/condescending look and says "well they're over there...but why would you want an FHI? CHIs are so much better". I told her I already had one and wanted an FHI. She still pushes the CHIs on me and shows me this huge display in the center of the store, talking nonstop about CHIs although I'm clearly not interested and repeatedly ask about FHIs. Now this was right after Christmas and obviously they had anticipated selling more CHIs and hadn't, so now they were trying to pass off all their extra merchandise...on me. It was just generally kind of annoying. I also remember no one being at the register when I went up and finding it hard to get a sales associate's attention. Meh. Glad I have a Sephora by me so I don't have to deal with them ever again.
I went to my local Ulta on the defensive after reading bad reviews here on MA. I was pleasantly surprised though. It was clean and the SA's were friendly. I feel like I walked out of there with some great deals because I got to use my 20% off coupon, and I got the buy two get two free promotion of Ulta products, AND I received two free mini lamps with my $20 Ulta products purchase. Yeah, Ulta rocks my socks off right now!!
I am very, very disappointed with Ulta.com. Ordered over the summer and did not receive the free samples. I let it go. Recently ordered Smashbox products thru them because they advertised free gift with purchase. Received purchase and no free gift. When I contacted them I got a snotty response about "while supplies last" yet the promotion is still up on the website. I would very strongly warn everyone about ordering from them on line. They just lost me as a customer.