Ulta Ulta- whole store


201 reviews

70% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$$


on 10/9/2008 6:42:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

The only things that keep me coming back to Ulta are selection and the occasional BOGO. If L'Oreal makes 12 different pigment colors, Ulta has them all, and sometimes a BOGO at that. They have 7 or 8 varieties of the Montagne Jeunesse masks-- those $1.79 packets that look so cheap but work so well but are so hard to find. Sephora may be out of stock on BE shadows, but Ulta will have them, and they're just across the street. The problem is that selection is the only thing this company has going for it.

As far as coupon/sale restrictions, blaming customers for a lack of understanding just doesn't cut it, and frankly, it's insulting. You won't win customers over by blaming all your problems on them. The restrictions are the same ones on every department store promo/coupon/offer everywhere:

*NOT GOOD ON THE GOOD STUFF, but we're not going to give you a straight answer on what the good stuff is so that you'll come in thinking you're going to get a tiny break on something decent. When you get in the store, we'll tell you that pretty much anything you really want is off limits. Because you don't want to think you wasted your gas, or let people know you were snookered by another vague coupon, you'll pick up a lot of cheap, useless junk that you'll just throw away anyhow.*

With their recent Ulta bucks promotion, you couldn't even use those on the bad stuff-- red ticket clearance was off limits! It's just amazing that they would rather keep their shelves clogged with stuff that doesn't sell than let people buy it with a couple of miserable $5 coupons-- oops, that might generate customer good will, and we can't have that! Not to mention that they could be using that shelf space for something that sells. BTW, if there's no discounting on prestige cosmetics, why do I find them in the clearance section all the time in the first place? Are you trying to discombobulate my pretty little female mind? Because it's not working. I actually asked a SA to clarify the restrictions on the U bucks when I was there yesterday, just to see what would happen. She said I could use them on red ticket clearance even though the bucks clearly stated that you couldn't. So why should you expect customers to understand these coupons when even your employees don't?

I understand cosmetic companies engage in price fixing, and that Ulta may be in a bind with the coupons. The problem is I JUST DON'T CARE. If the coupons confuse people, if people don't like them, that's Ulta's problem, not mine. Find a promotion that people can get excited about. Don't keep shoving the same junk down my throat telling me how generous you are and how stupid and ungrateful I am. The rewards program is just useless and does not make me want to buy more. The reward coupons expire before I can use them, and the free items are so cheap and junky that they're only a slap in the face to anyone who may have spent enough money to get them in the first place. A travel size pack of brand X Q-Tips as a reward for $200 worth of business is insulting.

There are different SAs in there every time I go in. There is one stylist in the salon I've seen more than once, but I refuse to put my hair in the hands of people who are treated
like crap. I don't want an unhappy, resentful person anywhere near my head with chemicals and scissors. Also, not that I would ever let one of them do my makeup either in such nasty moods, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't feel like I was obligated to purchase anything. If it isn't really free it shouldn't be advertised as free, and I don't see what the big deal is about not helping other customers while you're doing someone's makeup-- it's not like they'd be helping customers under any other circumstance. The prime directive at Ulta is to patronize and annoy.

Rickisyed's 06/18/07 review says a lot about how this company treats its people and for how the SAs act as a result. I'm treated as persona non grata, or worse, a shoplifter. Yesterday I had an item that had been mistagged, and I was all but accused of having switched the tags on the item, even though the rest of the items had identical tags on them-- and it was OBVIOUS that the tags had been applied directly from a pricing gun. They were loud and nasty about it, and as someone on the autism spectrum, it is very hard for me to stand up for myself in a real time situation. I am still very upset about this-- crying upset. I will go back for the mask packets because I can't find them anywhere else, but as soon as I find another source I'm done.

I am sick of being treated like a substandard human and a criminal. Sephora may not have drugstore brands, but they are always good to me in there and they don't try to buy me off with cheap, meaningless promos after stripping me of my dignity. What's sad is that Ulta could have been a really good store. I honestly loved going in there the first time because there was so much stuff... but it just costs too much.

27 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

on 9/27/2008 12:25:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I used to work for Sephora and when Ulta opened up a couple miles from where I live I assumed it would be comparable to Sephora in terms of customer service, employee knowledge, store cleanliness etc. Boy was I wrong!!! I have had nothing but problems from the first time I visited the store. I picked out a few things and asked to SA if the items I had picked were part of the sale going that was going on, she told me they were and after some time browsing around I finally got into the looong line (there is always a long line) only to be told there was no sale on my items. After a prolonged debate that eventually got the SA involved and me the discount, I left thinking that all stores have glitches during opening and I'd go back after things had calmed down and more training had hopefully been done.
But no. Time and time again I have gone in only to be dissapointed by the service or lack thereof. The cashiers have no clue what is or is not on sale and absolutely no problem arguing with you. I now only go in if I am after a product that is on sale and I have my catalogue with me marked with the sale prices or BOGO info and even then I end up having to have a manager called up to the cash stand. I'd rather just pay the shipping and have Sephora get my hard earned dollars.

10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

on 9/26/2008 11:28:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have to say it's such a shame that so many reviewers are putting Ulta down for reasons they don't even understand, but that's ok...now that I am an employee there, I understand why and I'm going to share with you the reasons. I've been working at Ulta for almost 2 years now. My fellow friend Monkeyss reviewed as well. I work at the number 5th ranked Ulta of the entire country (Ulta's only in the US for now). Harlem & Irving if you want to visit a great Ulta that greets and engages.

Firstly, Ulta is one of my favorite stores and it's fun to work there. I've always loved Ulta and been a loyal customer and always was excited to shop there. The advantage Ulta has over Sephora is that we carry low-end products, we have a professional salon that offers great services and always have specials, we carry a great range of professional hair products, we have tons of samples that you can ask for and we have a lot more beauty events and vendors from professional lines that store visit and help guests.

I work in the Prestige dept. which is the high-end makeup and skincare. For those who say Ulta's SA's have no knowledge, that is so not true. Not everyone that works at Ulta knows about makeup and skincare, only those in the Prestige dept. get the trainings for those specific areas. I am constantly getting trained on the lines and have more responsibilites to take care of. So, if you need to know about anything in Prestige, ask for a Prestige associate or manager to help you out. I make my best effort to assist guests needs and make sure they leave with the products they are just looking for and then I give free samples and gifts. I don't know about other stores, but when an SA has no idea what to suggest, they bring the customer to me or anyone else in my dept., they don't just say "I don't know" and blow off the customer.

We offer a very generous rewards program that's totally free. It's the Ulta club card you can sign up for, you just get the ads in the mail, coupons, and for every dollar you spend, you get 1 point. Those points add up and each 50.00 hits a higher level. Every 3-4 months we mail out rewards certificates letting you know what level you are at and what you can pick out as a free gift of thanks. If you are a level 6, you can get like a free fragrance, if you dont want anything from level 6's list, you can mix and match levels...for example you can get 6 things from level 1, or 3 things from level 2, anything that adds up to 6. I think the highest level i've seen from a customer was 24...imagine what she got!

We offer amazing sales and have friends and family events that only club members can get the best deals that you can actually use the 20% off coupon on ANYTHING in the store.

Things I get annoyed about from customers:

For the coupons, customers don't appreciate enough, i swear! It's not up to Ulta to restrict the coupon deals...it's up to the companies...if the companies say yes, you can take money off then we would, but no Ulta's restricted to do that..so stop blaming us.

Monkeyss makes a great point on the whole us busy doing projects thing..i totally agree. We have a project to get done but tons of customers ask for help we never have time to finish...it gets overwhelming.

Complaining about things that aren't our fault, but theirs...for example not reading the coupon and just automatically assuming you get to use it on anything, I was never one of those customers..i did what I was supposed to do read the print before jumping the gun.

When I'm doing makeovers on a customer, some automatically assume it's a free service, you won't get a free makover service ANYWHERE..even if they say its "complimentary" they expect you to buy something. Customers have to understand, if we are taking 30-45 mins of our time to beautify you, to assist you, you need to purchase at least a few products in our dept, not other depts. because there are other guests shopping that may need help and we are losing a sale if you aren't purchasing anything. Understand, we don't make commission at all, we just have goals we need to make and if we don't make those goals, it hurts the company. I personally think it's just plain rude to get your makeup done and have the associate consult you and you leave without buying anything I've had those customers who were sneaky and came in with the intentions of not buying anything and pretending they would and leave. Then they woud try to come back a few wks later to another associate and do the same to them.

Yes we have to watch you if you seem suspicious, it's our job if there's no security guards to help us, at our ulta we dont have security watching..once in a while our loss prevention chief comes and helps out and checks on inventory and stuff so we have to double our job and watch customers as well. For me, that's not my top concern, my concern is to make the guest leave happy and have the products that they need and hopefully make a memorable good experience for them. We don't want to accuse anyone of stealing, but to be honest Ulta deals with a lot of shoplifters so don't be surprised if in fragrance and prestige you are being watched. People do the craziest things to commit theft...it's so sad.

Other than that, we are pushed to be friendly and helpful at our Ulta. I have been to tons of other Ulta's and some Ulta's were friendlier than others, so I can see what people are talking about. I think our Ulta for sure is super friendly and I'm not saying that just because I work there, we are number 5 after all =)

on 9/25/2008 12:38:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I have been working at an Ulta in Chicago for over a year now, and I shopped at Ulta a decent amount before I started working there. I always loved Ulta! There are sooo many great sales and coupons!

EVERYONE SHOULD BE A CLUB MEMBER! There is no good reason to not be! It isn't a credit card, you just get rewards for shopping and coupons! And it's 100% FREE. But seriously people, you NEED to READ the fine print on the coupons! There are exclusions! I'm sick of customers taking it out on me when I can't honor their coupon. I'm not just saying this because I work for the company, I had one before I worked there and the perks rocked.

The main reason I kept coming back to Ulta as a customer is because of the awesome sales! There are tons of buy one get one free types of sales all the time. Also, I have compared prices between Ulta, Walgreens and Kmart and Ulta definitely prevails at having the lowest prices, at least in my area.

As far as people saying that the SA's aren't friendly, I can kind of see what you are saying. Ulta doesn't exactly pay generously, giving us no incentive to really learn about products (at least in my case). We are actually pushed to be friendly to customers and say hello to everyone, but that isn't inforced strongly enough. Also, we are often given tasks to do that need to be finished, and if 32083458 customers ask us for help, we never finish our project.

If you are strictly looking for high end cosmetics and skincare, that's when Sephora may be a better place for you, but Ulta is a better concept of a store. Ulta has high end products on one side of the store and low end on the other, making it extremely convenient to find eveything beauty that you need! There's even a salon and salon products in the back! And most of the stores are remodeled and look amazing now! Only thing that sucks is the aisles are kinda cramped :/

Between the perks and the sales, Ulta is definitely a worth while place to shop IMO.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I've been to the South Bend store twice. Their customer service isn't the best but help is there if you need it. I wouldn't ask them for recommendations or advice, after all that is what MUA is here for. I only shop there when I have coupons and I've found some great deals there. I'm not a makeup junkie but I've gotten Paul Mitchell shampoo, hair products, and facial stuff cheaper than Walmart.

on 9/8/2008 4:44:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I've never been to an Ulta until about a couple months ago -- now I can easily say it's my favorite store ever! I've been buying Ulta's brand of make up lately since I think it holds its own with the more expensive brands. The store, the location I go to anyhow, is HUGE! Love the fact that they have a salon. There is always some coupon deal going on, which I love, since the products in the store tend to be a little high in price. There are a lot of restrictions with the coupons (can't get discount on bare escentuals eyeshadows, which I LOVE!), however, in my experience, it lowers your total a lot! Sephora sells a bit more brands (I've noticed benefit, make up forever), but I typically don't buy those brands anyhow.
Overall, I would recommend this store to anyone who wants a deal on high end make up products and to DEFINITELY check out Ulta's line of make up -- you'll be surprised!!!

on 9/7/2008 4:52:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Too many coupon restrictions. If you're going to send out a store coupon then make sure it covers all your products. This is horribly annoying. Never fails that when I get to the register my coupon doesn't cover the product I'm buying. I also find it difficult to test makeup. There aren't any applicators available(at least at the stores near me).
Other than that, I like the mix of high and lower end products. And I do like the reward program where you can get a free gift depending on how much you've spent. I've never made it past level 2 but my best friend got 2 points over the highest level they have! She got some great free stuff.

on 9/6/2008 10:09:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

When I saw that there was on option to review Ulta as a store, I clicked on the link, and the first review I see is from a fellow Memphian. Well, I've visted both Ulta and Sephora a number of times, more so Sephora. Ulta is just a really strange place, while I like the selection of products from drugstore brands to higher end, the SAs are just plain unfriendly. I blame management, because if they are not teaching them any better, then they won't do better. I've never ordered from the site but based on my experience in the store, I will not. What I can't understand is that when I go into the store, there are hardly any customers, yet, none of the SAs even look up to greet you. And when you can interrupt one while they are having one of their conversations with their co-workers, they look at you like you have two heads. They don't know the products. At least at Sephora, they educate the SAs. Although, they do have very good sales, I buy the things I'm familiar with, I can't rely on the SAs to help with my purchasing decisions.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 7/31/2008 10:06:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Normally, I wouldn't review a whole store but I've add such good experience with this place I'd like to give them a little credit. We have a Sephora and Ulta in Memphis and I prefer Ulta. Sephora is trendy and well stocked but often disorganized and messy. Plus most of the SAs do their makeup like Boy George. The Ulta is always very bright, clean, and well laid out. The SAs are friendly and helpful with out being pushy and are just lovely ladies in general. I like that Ulta has nice, more expensive lines, urban, glamorous lines, and afforable drug stores lines as well. They really have almost everthing thing beauty product wise I could ever want. I prefer their reward system to Sephora's. Just wanted to give a little love to a wonderful store!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

This review is regarding the Ulta website. It's slow, error messages pop up every few seconds, and my 'shopping cart' kept changing (things were disppearing for no reason). I spent nearly two hours working on my order and finally got it as close to correct as possible...(still showing the wrong mascara color, oh well) I received two seperate emails confirming my order and letting me know my debit card transaction was processed. I was given a UPS tracking #. This happened in May. Still no package. Customer service (phone) is beyond rude and condescending. I was sent an email survey regarding my 'experience' w/ Ulta. CS informed me that those emails are only sent after a package is mailed, then tried to tell me my debit card must be no good. These b*tches will not refund my dc or send my order. I've been robbed.

7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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