ULTA Ulta- whole store

ULTA Ulta- whole store


205 reviews

70% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$


Start your review

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I like shopping at Ulta personally. the reward program is great and they have a lot of pretty good deals! some items are just as cheap as Target and Walmart while some stuff are just a bit more, but nothing significantly different. I also like the fact that you can return the item open boxed, which is a big plus. The Ulta around my area is always clean, fully stocked, and not really busy, so i like that. i do however dont really like the way they look at me while i browse, is it because im under 18 and they just assume that all teenagers steal? SOME SA's are sort of not helpful and seem cranky, but most are quite helpful. All in all, id go there many times again.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 10/10/2008 12:04:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

I think overall Ulta is a nice store. The mix of high and low end products makes shopping convenient. And the sales (esp. BOGOF) they have on some of the low end products are really good. All the SAs I've encountered have been nice and helpful. My main complaint about Ulta is that their coupons are pretty worthless. I always read the fine print on coupons before I try to use one, and with Ulta coupons all the restrictions are ridiculous. The only thing they're good on is the low end products, which I don't necessarily feel bad buying without a discount anyway. It's the higher priced items I really want the discount on! But I digress. Sometimes the testers can be nasty, but that's not the fault of the SAs. I agree with aninmalsrbetterthanpeople that if folks weren't so inconsiderate the testers would be in better shape. The testers at Sephora don't look so hot either.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I didn't know how to rate price and packaging so they are rated as 3's.

I have never had a negative experience at Ulta. Like Sephora, every store is different in what lines they carry. I was disappointed to see that the one I am near now does not carry Milani, and Palladio - two very good inexpensive lines. However, they did carry Pop Beauty, and Boujois both of which the Sephora close to me stopped carrying!

The employees seem allright. I have never been treated poorly but I have never really been bothered while I shop either. That is good or bad depending on how much attention you require. I don't require much since I like to take my time, play and get lost in the beauty.

I have had to return a hairdryer before that I decided I just wanted a refund for. No hassle. I was given a full refund and wasn't given the evil eye.

The thing I love about Ulta is that over the years they have broadened their product lines. I remember when Ulta first came on and they had Elizabeth Arden and a handful of other unimpressive prestige cosmetics. Now, most locations carry Smashbox, Bare Escentuals, Urban Decay, Stila and Too Faced. I like shopping for my mass cosmetics and prestige in one store because I love makeup far too much to discriminate!

I am a member of Ulta Rewards and have used my benefits a few times and love the concept. I usually go when there is a coupon and make the most out of my discount.

On the downside I think they could be a little more discerning when they hire employees. I have been to Ultas before that have employees that truly look unfit to stock the mass cosmetics aisle on third shift at Kmart. Sorry if that is harsh!

All else equal, I would shop there again. I have never had a negative experience and I like that it is one stop beauty shopping. I don't like the website though and I hope they revamp it. Sephora runs circles around Ulta on that alone.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Other, Neutral

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I think for what it is, Ulta is a good store. I've never been to Sephora, so I can't compare. I do agree with the reviewer who said that with the low end products (and I hate to call them that, as some "low end" products are far superior to "high end" products that cost four or five times as much) being so expensive at Ulta, it's much cheaper to shop at Target for those brands.
I can only speak for the two Ultas that are near me and both are staffed with very professional and helpful SA's.
With the current economic climate, Ulta would do well to stop excluding the "high end" cosmetics from the coupon offers, as I am SURE that many people, myself included, can't justify spending big bucks on cosmetics with the cost of food, gas, etc, and with the fact that our economic future in this country is so uncertain. If these items were regularly included on coupon deals, in a rotating manner so that most of the "high end" products were included, I think that would entice more people to spend a little more than they usually would as they would at least feel as though they were saving something instead of just being extravagant.
I appreciate the fact that if there's something that I use as a staple, like, for instance, my Too Face Shadow Insurance or my Too Faced London Light Concealer, I can get it without any trouble.
I must say that the managers at both Ulta stores have been nothing but helpful, as have all SA's.
I can't compare cleanliness with Sephora, since I've never been there, but think about it.....if customers weren't such "pigs" and cleaned up after themselves after they used a brush or tested a product.......you get my drift. It's the same thing when you go to Kohl's to try on clothing......people actually throw items in piles on the floor instead of hanging them back on the hangers and taking them out to the return area. Slovenliness and laziness, unfortunately, are part and parcel of today's society in America, and I feel for the people who work in retail and always do my part to clean up any "mess" that I make in any store in which I shop, which USED to be the norm instead of the exception.

6 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 10/9/2008 8:47:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I've been shopping at Ulta for . . . gosh, I don't know. Six years? This is mostly because I have an Ulta 5 minutes away from my house, and a Sephora 40 minutes away. Which do you think I choose?
I've read some of the latest reviews, and here aree my responses to the points I can remember, plus a few of my own:

1. In all my time shopping at Ulta, an SA has never, EVER given me a free sample of anything. Unless you count the free spritzes of perfume I help myself to . . .

2. I noticed a lot of people discussing the points program and how you can receive free items once you reach a certain number of points. Maybe the Ulta in my area is different, but here once you reach I think 100 points, you get $4 off your purchase, $8 at 200, etc. Personally, I think the rewards program is great but would be more impressed if Ulta simply lowered the cost of it's low-end products. I'm not paying $8 for eye makeup remover if I can get it for $5 at Target.

3. The coupons are also a great benefit, and though I wish it applied to the products I actually buy, I understand that this is in no way Ulta's decision. I don't like customers who complain about "confusing coupons" because it isn't that difficult to read the fine print.

4. The SAs seem fairly average to me. Like another reviewer mentioned, my Ulta always has a slow line, which pisses me off because I commonly see SAs just standing around or chit-chatting with coworkers while putting products out.

5. I was taken aback by the reviewer who works at Ulta and expects customers to buy several products from her department if she gives them a "complimentary" makeover. If you're not working on commission, then why expect customers to begrudgingly spend about $30 on products they don't particularly want? I've never gotten my makeup done at Ulta, but at department store counters I only buy products if the SA has done a truly incredible job and I feel I have to have a particular product she used. I feel like it's the SA's job to make me need a product; I shouldn't feel as if I HAVE to buy something just to be nice.

6. Probably my biggest problem with Ulta is that their makeup testers are completely grimy, mushed, unhygienic, and so disgusting I don't even want to test products on my hand, let alone my face. I think this is a big problem. SAs should really be dis-infecting lipsticks, making sure that compacts aren't falling apart, lipglosses aren't leaking, etc. (Edit: I also understand that this is a poor reflection of the customers at a particular store. On the other hand, I'm sure that Sephora and department store makeup counters don't have customers that are magically neater and more considerate, yet I've found that these places are generally tidier and have more hygienic testers. My main concern at Ulta is that if I want to try a lipstick at MAC, for instance, there is always an SA that disinfects a tester right there before my eyes, and I know that what I'm swiping on my lips is at least somewhat clean. Nothing along these lines has ever happened to me at Ulta.)

7. I'd also say that the selection of high-end brands can't even begin to compare to Sephora's. Maybe it's a sign that I'm at the store too often, but I feel completely bored with every product there, and I can't say any of the makeup brands they carry really stands out as an awesome brand for me; I find myself going to department stores quite often because I don't think Ulta's range of brands covers my needs. I've particularly noticed that they carry brands that cater to the young teenage crowd, such as Pop Beauty and Too Faced, or the older crowd, such as Elizabeth Arden and Studio Gear, with very little in between. I'm looking for more universal brands like Clinique, Dior, MAC, etc. Their perfume department is especially limited. Not only this, but they often only carry products for a short time. Examples of this include Too Faced's lip balms and Bourjois' lip stains.

8. All in all, however, I've purchased many products from the store. I do really like their wide range of salon hair brands, with new names being added every year. I think that Ulta pales in comparison to Sephora, but then again, I'd probably be living in a cardboard box if I lived 5 minutes away from a Sephora.

10 of 12 people found this 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 of 12 people found this 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!!!

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