Ulta is a great store to find most brands. My complaint is you constantly get bugged when your trying to shop and want look at something. Also, their coupon policy is really stupid. Only one coupon at a time. Other than that I can pretty much find what I am looking for. I just want to be left alone when I shop. If I need something I will surely ask.
I can't figure out why people on MUA don't like Ulta! I LOVE Ulta! They have a great selection of high end cosmetics and tons of drugstore brands as well! They tend to have great deals (like buy one get one 1/2 off) and they have an excellent rewards program. They also have a great salon & brow bar. Call me crazy...
Let me start by saying that I do not like being watched. I am an Aspie(Google it), and it makes me very uncomfortable to be observed. It is one of my biggest pet peeves to be stared at, especially when I'm trying to shop. Lately they've gotten better about it, but employees at my local Ulta used to follow people around the store & watch their every move like they're common criminals or something. I don't shoplift, and I really didn't appreciate being treated like a thief when all I'm trying to do is test some fscking lip gloss. I understand all about loss prevention, but be DISCREET or else you'll just run off the honest customers too. Example- One time about 6 years ago, the manager followed me around the store, literally standing about 8 feet away from me the whole time, with her eyes peeled. I wanted to say, "Can I help you, fatass?" but I'm a polite person so I held my tongue & ignored her. As I was paying for my items, I actually heard her say to another SA, "Well I didn't see her take anything, but maybe we got her on camera". I've never been so insulted in my life. I didn't set foot in that store for about 2 years after that. I actually wrote a complaint to the head office & got a level 5 gift certificate out of it, and believe me it was sweet redeeming it to the very same stupid fat bitch who thought I was stealing. That experience has stuck with me ever since and has really colored my impression of the store. I've gotten into the habit of always having my hands in clear view everytime I go in there, lest I get stalked some more. Like I said, lately they've gotten better, I will admit. I guess they had enough angry customers file complaints about being treated like thieves, lol...
The product selection in okay- they don't carry Kat Von D or Jane, which sucks. They carry almost the same low-end brands that Wal-Mart does, only they charge more. They really don't have much that I can't find at elsewhere for about $1 less per item. For example- my Cover Girl powder is around $5 at WM, at Ulta it's $5.99. Half the stock is always sold out, and its almost a guarantee that they won't have the one color that *I* want in any given item. The testers are health hazards, and most of the products have been opened & tested.
As for the salon- it flat-out SUCKS. I have gotten better haircuts at Fantastic Sam's. Hell, I do a better job by myself with sewing scissors & a hand-mirror. The first haircut I got there was in 2004, and when I got home I noticed that one side was shorter than the other. I got it cut again about a month ago after the HerStyler debacle(don't get me started on that damn thing!)- and when I got home I noticed that one side was shorter than the other, AGAIN. *sigh* For 50 damn dollars you'd think you'd get your money's worth right? Not only did I have to fix it myself when I got home, the idiot stylist re-fried my ends. The only reason I cut it to begin with was because it was really damaged from bleaching & using a shitty flatiron, so it really pissed me off to have this moron ruin my hair all over again. I had her cut it off to about where the damage ended, and then she started 'texturizing it', which translated to hacking random chunks out of it which I just found bizarre & unnecessary. After half-assing the blowdrying part(it was still damp when she was done), the ditzy bitch started spraying all kinds of gunk in it, babbling on about how I should always use 'protectant!'. Once my hair was crispy & loaded down with 8 pounds of styling shit, she then proceeded to flatiron it WHILE IT WAS STILL WET. I heard my hair sizzling, and expressed my concern over her scorching my hair, and she reassured me that the 'protectant!'(which was basically hairspray) would prevent damage. By the time she had wreaked her havoc, my hair looked and felt like a tumbleweed, and sure enough- my ends were burnt all over again. Dumb bitch. And it was the salon MANAGER that did my hair so I didn't even have anyone to complain to! Never again. The salon at Ulta is an effing JOKE, at least the one in Norman, OK is. I will go get my hair done at Supercuts for $12 from now on. Ugh.
Bottom line, Ulta is the dollar store of makeup stores. Not the good dollar store either(which would be Dollar Tree), but Dollar General, where you can get the same stuff as anywhere else, but where they round the prices UP & everything ends up costing more. Sephora is about 30 miles away & Ulta is only 2 or 3, so I said that yes, I'll repurchase only because it's much closer than Sephora. But still, I only go there when I have a coupon or if they're having a huge sale, or if I need something that I absolutely cannot find anywhere else. Like the Essence brand, or certain nail polishes.
Overall I like the variety of products that are offered in Ulta and I think that they do have great sales that are very comparable if not better than drugstore sales. And I also really love the rewards program and the coupons they send out so frequently---it really helps to get me in the store. I've only had experience in one Ulta near me, but I do have to complain about all the "computer issues" they experience when I go there. Many times when I have shopped at Ulta, the coupons did not work and took the workers forever to manually input them (which is not the workers' fault). There were also numerous problems with the registers so only one would be open when there was a huge line and a huge crowd in the store. I probably sound really impatient, but for the amount of people shopping in the store (think the line was halfway back the store) there should have been more registers open. I don't know if just this particular Ulta has these "issues," but they are a bit annoying. I also don't like how the SAs of my Ulta will come up and ask you if you want a makeover or want your eyebrows waxed. I know they're just doing their jobs, but to me I'd rather ask for help if I need it. However, my little gripes do not keep me from shopping there. They have good deals and offer a lot of products. I prefer it to Sephora because I don't shop too many high end products and Ulta carries what I need with great deals.
I was very surprised to see so many negative reviews. I love Ulta (Tampa,FL location) and every few weeks make the 20 minute drive there. It is very convenient to shop there as they carry high and low end products. The SA at my location are helpful without asking 400 times if I need help finding anything. I have noticed on occasion a SA watching me but I'm not stealing and they are just doing their job, so I have no problem with this. I do use their rewards card but have not tried the coupons so I have not run into problems with them. I will def continue shopping here and I hope to never have the issues some of the other reviewers mentioned.
I love this store! Its about 45mins away from my home. The customer service is great, but I learned that the younger women sales associates tend be snooty. Their supplies have been down, not sure why though.
The SAs, for the most part, aren't very helpful and kinda snotty when you ask for help. But what's really janky about Ulta is the way they track "points": 1) If you don't have your card, they "can't" look it up, unlike Sephora where they can look it up on the computer via email. 2) The SAs "don't" have the number of points on your account even when you have your card or magazine-based coupon. You need to call or check online (is this just happening at my local store?) What kind of S&^t is that? Tracking makeup points isn't at the top of my priority list...so not having that available for the customer when she/he is RIGHT THERE AT THE COUNTER is just stupid! And, I'm tired of just $3.50 off of non-high end products. I can go to CVS for better deals. Ulta needs to step up its game!!
The only reason anyone should go to Ulta is because of their coupons. I think that's the only reason they stay in business because otherwise they sell the drugstore makeup for 1 to sometimes 4 dollars higher I've noticed and the girls that work there are like the girls who work at the MAC counters and stores. Who is hiring these snobs?! Not to mention, I hate buying makeup from these people when they look terrible, fried hair and caked on makeup faces. Every time I've gone into Ulta I've been glared at, and it's not just paranoia because it only happens there and at MAC.
I really dislike Ulta, which is unfortunate because they carry both prestige makeup as well as drugstore brands. They have good sales, but horrible customer service. I've had run into big issues with them (including extremely rude SAs that were loudly calling other customers horrible names) and when I emailed corporate, I got no response. It's really too bad, because I have one down the street from my house and would have love nothing better than to shop there, but my experience with them is far from ideal.
Ulta is just "meh" for me. Any products sold at Ulta I can get at either Sephora, CVS or from offline. The customer service is poor and they are a little snooty (with no reason to be, it's basically a drugstore/salon, seriously). Sometimes they have good sales but, Ulta is barely on my radar. I live about 3 miles from a Sephora and less than 1 mile from a CVS so you already know which ones I'd have to pick if I need some beauty items. Plus they are super nice at my local Sephora.