Ulta Ulta- whole store

Filtered by skin tone : Fair age: 30-35
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2.8

19 reviews

68% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

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on 3/24/2017 9:15:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Didn't realize we could rate entire stores. Ulta would get a solid 2.5 for me...

Here's the thing. People are more and more beginning to favor ulta, especially over sephora as the sephora perks suck and when they are nice they go OOS insanely quickly (I agree). Ulta perks result in cash... Which is always good. Also Ulta is slowly but surely beginning to carry more brands.

I have been spending a good part of 2 years trying to force myself to favor ulta more. Also I am soon moving to a place with no sephora and ulta being the only game in town. I am not a happy camper :/

So ulta to me is mediocre at best. Itemized reason why they continue to irritate me :
No 1 is the biggest and rest in no particular order

1- they can't keep sh*t in stock. My most recent pet peeve was the 21 day sale where all I wanted the whole 21 days was a buxom lip cream. OOS before 8am??! Are you serious? People on fb slammed them with complaints and everyone received the same annoying generic response. Not even an attempt to make it right. This isn't sour grapes bc ulta is forever not having in stock the one thing I need. It seems to happen almost every last time. Whether it's my lotion I use (soap and glory), razor heads, body wash, lipstick. It doesn't matter. More than half the time when I arrive there they don't have the onnnne item I went in there for. Without fail
(Doubly annoying bc in the end I wind up having to go to sephora or whichever other store instead anyway)

2- you have to activate their rewards. If you're not diligently opening every last ulta email. You will miss the days the stack rewards. Honestly if I am entitled to a reward benefit bc of my membership status-- then just activate it on your end. Why do I have to stalk your emails? I consistently miss these

3- cashiers never inform you or seem to be aware when things are gratis. When I redeemed my birthday coupon I was supposedly also entitled to a UD eyeshadow last year. No one told me. I had no idea.. This always happens. A few months back they were giving away mini Becca opal highlights. Went in and the SA insisted they didn't have them and had no idea what I was talking about. As did the manager. Finally they LOOKED. Lo and behold a large box of Becca opal highlighters in their possession to hand out. Why is it so hard to give free highlighters to customers that you were sent gratis to do such?

4- the coupons suck. Im not mad that they are only for drugstore items. But when it's $3 off $15 and they price their drugstore stuff $2-$3 more than the actual drugstore they certainly are not fooling me.

5- rewards expire every 3 mos. It is incredibly difficult for me to spend any amount of money there over 3 mos. I guess it'd be easy if you use the brow service and salon, but just buying items I can only spend so much there. Especially when they are consistently out of stock of the item I came in for.

6- zero control over their inventory. Lotions regularly have giant fingerprints in them. My gwen stefani palette was swatched blatantly. I had to go back and exhange it. Of course this speaks lower of the customers than the staff but seriously. When sephora carried soap and glory I didn't have to open 4 of them to find one that didn't have finger smudges up in it.

Maybe ultas vary greatly by location. But I live by 3 in central jersey, there's a Staten Island one also guilty of the same nonsense. And the website doesn't seem much different-- also always has what I want OOS. So hopefully the one im moving by now is way better.

Otherwise I'll be ordering from sephora A TON online

12 of 14 people found this helpful.



Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Sigh... where to even start with Ulta. I have such a love/hate relationship with this store. On one hand, they carry a lot of stuff I love and sometimes the points do add up and you can get some really good deals. But on the other hand... good luck actually finding anything to buy because everything is always out of stock! There's always a truck coming on thursday, but I have seen some brands be out of stock for 3 months on end. They claim its the ordering system's fault, that it's automated and doesn't always order enough product. Okay... fair enough... but to that I say- FIX THE ORDERING SYSTEM! Just from these reviews there are clearly lots of customers who are driven to buy elsewhere by the consistently bare shelves, and a smart business would at least try to fix that. And can I please crucify whoever made the brilliant decision to only order maybe 3 of each color for high-demand collections like NYX Wicked Lippies and Macarons?! Yes, I DO love missing out on these just because some higher-up doesn't think more than 3 people per town want teal lipstick. (Hint: WE ALL WANT TEAL LIPSTICK)

8 out of 10 times I leave empty-handed and angry because everything I came in too buy was either sold out or else the one item left in the color I want has been opened(and btw if you do this, please go die in a dumpster fire). I know the employees can't be everywhere at once, but for how much they stalk you all over the store waiting for you to steal something you'd think they could do just a *wee* better job making sure people don't rip open sealed products.

This isn't just my local store either, this is every store I've been to from TX to OK to WI. The ones in WI were better, the one near my house in TX is tolerable(though often chronically out of stock too), but the one in central OK where I used to live is a nightmare. The shelves look like a pipe bomb just went off, most items are opened, and the employees don't even TRY to disguise the fact that they're watching your hands the whole time. One time the manager followed me all over the store and then said to the cashier- as I was standing RIGHT there getting ready to pay- that she didn't see me take anything but she's going to check the cameras later anyway. Just... seriously?

They mark up the drugstore items too- Maybelline lipstick is $6 at Walmart and almost $8 here- and they seem to make up the rules for the sales as they go along. There have been lots of times when I try to buy prestige polish on one of their BOGO sales but when I get to the register, mysteriously none of the brands I want are included in the sale even though they're literally listed right there on the sign. "Oh, uh- you can't mix brands" Sigh... okay, whatever.

Its a rare occasion when they don't put up a fight over items that ring up wrong either. Display tag says $4.99, it rings up $6.99, and they will stand there and argue with me until I drag them over to the display and show them the price. Then it's always "Oh, okay". No apology, just a begrudging price correction and an "omg, go away" attitude.

Don't even get me started on the salon either. I've gotten 2 haircuts there by 2 different stylists, and both times my hair came out uneven, too short, and completely different than what I asked for. I don't cut my hair very often and I don't usually have lot of money to spend when I do, so a $45 salon haircut is a major splurge. I should NOT have to go home and fix it myself >:[

Sigh... I dunno. I keep going there mainly for NYX, but this store just frustrates me to no end.

15 of 15 people found this helpful.


on 2/6/2015 7:28:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Other, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

Edit: I totally hear what you guys are saying. I have issues with them too. Sometimes I feel like we're a tight-knit family where the siblings get along but we don't like our parents. LOL. I've actually had to edit this post since I wrote it because the policies changed. I still really like most of the staff, and the store, but corporate needs to fix a lot of shit.

I work(ed) at a high-grossing Ulta and I have to say my experience is very different. (AND I only work there because I LOVED SHOPPING at the store!! And my reviews not deleted, but I think I make good points so hear me out.)

It's not perfect, we could each do with thousands more hours to make the store better, but it doesn't exist in the budget for the stores. Could they do it in theory? Probably, which is what sucks. But that's retail. But everyone who works in my store is so nice and friendly and educated. We do know a lot about products but some requests are ridiculous. 'No, I haven't tried every single type of hair gel for YOUR hair type, I don't even use gel.' It's frustrating when you try to learn about as many products as possible but the customers want a million details that you can't offer. And new products come out constantly.

The return policy has changed since I've been there and that frustrates me too. As long as it's on their account, we can look it up. However the store associate should be nice about it. At least they were when I was there. As a matter of fact the store employees are still really nice when I go in and shop (even at different stores) but again the problem is corporate and the rules they make. As far as internet returns, the slip that comes in the box does not say the price paid for the items, that's why we need the email confirmation to show the price paid, or people return for more than they paid. This is another thing that corporate should change so that the bar code could be scanned and pull up the price paid, since there are coupons and sales all the time. It wouldn't be fair to return an item at full price if full price wasn't what was paid. It's not about disagreeing, it's just how it works. YES I agree it could be better, and they should show the price paid on the packing slip, but until then, it's only fair to show and receive the same amount of money back.

Also, the customers are pretty bad at times. We try to never assume people are stealing unless it's seen, but we find so many empty boxes and used products - it upsets us too. Nyx started having testers and started shrink wrapping lipsticks, so less people use them. I think that's great. As a customer, I also hate it when people open all the products!!! Remember, I shop here too!!

As far as "find in store", I agree. You can actually search some prestige items to see if your local store has it. If it's not an option online, call and ask. If we don't get back to your right away, it's because the calls go up to the register and as you know, the cashiers are usually extremely busy with a line, but they do get someone to look for the product for you. I've had people complain that I can't find a simple product on BLACK FRIDAY on the phone, even though I left to check a few times and it was busy as hell. Give a little credit to the other side, people aren't lazy, they're probably just very busy, or new.

As far as truck, we have NO control over what comes, it's from the warehouse, we just put it out and hope the right products come. And it's a lot. Often we do get most things in they just sell fast or the company doesn't want to release lot (like the Wicked or Macarron, those were limited edition). We come in at 5am to unload truck and 6am the days we don't get truck to finish putting it out. Because guess what? If we do it when the store is open, we don't get far because people always ask us for help, which is understandable, but this is why we have to get most of it done during off-hours. Personally, I love it. I love making the store nice and neat. Stocking doesn't make me feel low class, I take pride in it.

If you learn what the coupons are eligible for, it's really easy. (Hint: It's only drugstore brands, the large post card coupons that come out a few times a year are for (most) Prestige brands, but the flyer ones never are.) I like the points system overall, and I like that now will refund the points that you used if you return an item. The gifts with purchase change so often, you sometimes have to remind the staff. Sometimes we forget or run out. It happens.

I liked shopping here before I worked at one of the stores. The sales and coupons are awesome. I always get such great deals. It doesn't pay a lot as a job, the hours aren't enough and we could always use more help to get the store clean and organized, but I think over all it's a place I would continue to shop at, working there or not.

UPDATE: We since had gotten new management at my store and it improved SO MUCH. We had more hours for truck and stocking and organizing and they were much better with customer service. I then moved and after a few months decided to work at the one in my new location. I liked the job and knew what I was doing and wanted the discount back lol. This one is super clean and neat, the staff is amazing. They were even more intensive in training and guidelines which I found helpful. I've been to so many Ulta's from even before working for them (from NY to CA!) and the biggest complaint I had as a customer was some were messy, had long lines and were understaffed. Sometimes products I wanted were out, but would come back in on stock days. But stores some are pristine, the staff is warm and welcoming and I love the selection overall.

I actually really did like working for them because I loved my coworkers but there are things that frustrate me and it's definitely upper management things. So bothers me when the employees get a lot of flack when really it's not them that's causing it most of the time.

9 of 13 people found this helpful.


on 1/9/2014 12:11:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I'm going to try to keep this brief. This is for both locations that I have visited.

Customer Service Fails:
-Treating me like a criminal because I tried to use a coupon from my phone, not printed.
-Treating me like a criminal for trying to return an item, with receipt, in a reasonable amount of time. Seriously, I am a grown woman in my 30's, and do not appreciate their attitudes at all.
-Continuing to push products on me when I am clearly working off a list and politely, smilingly, asking to be left alone. On its own this wouldn't bother me, I know it's their job.
-Refusing me my GWP, then stating they don't have any. If you didn't have it, why did you say at first that you wouldn't give it to me?
-Constantly being out of stock on 7/10 items (avg.) I'm looking for.

Win(s):
-Carrying a few brands that I'd otherwise have to get online
-Mixing drugstore w/mid-range in one location.

12 of 14 people found this helpful.


on 12/15/2013 9:02:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Agree with previous post -- ULTA always seems to be out of stock in what I am looking for. I have sometimes even gone in 3 times during a 2 week span and the item is still not in stock, despite having had their weekly shipment. I also hate that the coupons now cover fewer and fewer items.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I used to be an avid fan of Ulta. Until one day I stopped by the York PA location...
I was looking for Ojon oil. A SA at another Ulta had recommended it for her 100% beautiful Hispanic/Puerto Rican ringlets. So I decided to head to York and ask the manager where to find. She was small talking and I told her about the SA who had GREAT results. This manager wrinkled her semi middle aged face as if I said something so beneath her and that she was disgusted.

Maybe she dislikes or knows the SA but I think something more sinister was the root cause.
I do not want the manager of a store I spend over 2 grand at a year to be a nasty racist. Or smug.

I am white but I have noticed Ulta does NOT cater to other ethnicities. I will not support this behavior. Sephora was the FIRST to carry ethnic products before some of them are now "mainstream".

Ulta's overall attitude is turning into a Wal-Mart of beauty. Trashy. I cut back ALOT simply because this encounter stuck with me so much I refuse to shop at Ulta.

8 of 11 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I love my nearest Ulta -- never had any bad experiences with SAs or the overall store. The SAs never badger me or try to sell a product (which is almost always the case with Sephora); because of this reason alone I will continue shopping there. I absolutely DETEST when a sales associate won't leave me alone. I'm usually the type that knows what I want when I go in there or I just want to browse to check out all the new products or plan future purchases. If I need help I'll ask for it! Anyway, my particular store is always clean and well-organized. Prices could be better (high-end stuff is on par with Sephora, but drugstore tends to be slightly higher than, say, Walmart or CVS. However, they always have some sort of BOGO or deal, so that works out if you wanna stock up your favorites from a particular brand. I also love that they carry brands like NYX, which aren't readily available. All in all, a wonderful store -- truly a girl's playground!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I generally love going to Ulta because of their selection and deals with a loyalty card. I do agree though with the others--cleanliness and sanitation could be better, especially when it comes to the tester products. I don't really test out the products because of this and I tend to buy the same essentials time and time again so a test product isn't necessary (or the item is cheap enough for me to bypass the test altogether and just take a risk).

Customer service hasn't been a problem for me. The people at the store near me are friendly and will ask if I need any help finding something. I've never had an issue with getting their coupons/booklets in the mail.


on 12/23/2010 3:18:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

I shop at Ulta about once a month when I have a coupon and need some basics, like my cleanser or makeup wedges. I can understand why some people dislike the restrictions on the coupons, but I rarely buy from the "prestige" side of the store anyway, so it's really not too big of a deal to me.


As far as the SAs, I have had a mixed bag of experiences in this regard. I have come across some very nice ones, as well as some very rude ones. When I went in to purchase the PTR Unwrinkle Peel Pads, the SA at the register gave me 20% off of them without my even asking, even though I had no coupon with me and that item would have normally been restricted. That was a wonderful surprise! Although, at that same store, I had a really bad experience with another SA who basically insulted my face in what I can only assume was an attempt to push skincare products. So, much like life, some people are nice and some are not.


I like the way the stores are set up, the variety of products offered, and I also have always found Ulta to be clean and well-kept. I have returned items there with no issue whatsoever. Overall, I like the store and will continue to shop there.


on 6/4/2010 12:52:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Since an Ulta opened roughly two years ago in my area, I have been going there pretty much exclusively to buy whatever I need beauty-wise (with the exception of Target and health food stores). It has been a great store in meeting most of my needs.
Let me preface this by saying that I pretty much like to be left to my own devices when I am shopping for makeup or anything else. Stores like Sephora intimidate me to no end with the staff walking around, so I prefer Ulta's environment. For the most part, the sales associates have not bothered me or been exceptionally pushy, except on a couple of occasions. I have only been to one store in my area, so I don't know if experiences will differ. When I have needed help with finding something, the staff have been obliging.
I really like the coupons they offer. It does save me money when I am buying the basics (I usually stick to the drugstore end of the store), and it is probably the one thing that keeps me coming back. I can understand the frustration that others have about not being able to use them on the higher-end brands, so that is something to be wary of.
The major point of frustration for me has been the store website. I find it most frustrating to just check my information and update things such as my address. For whatever reason, it just seems incredibly hard to do. I have never ordered anything online because of this. Awhile back, I wanted to learn more about the rewards program connected to the Club Card, and asked a sales associate how you could check up on the points you had accumulated. The answer: There was no way to check your status on the website, but you had to call someone to do it for you. Really? Why so difficult? In the end, it is no great loss for me, since I do not spend a significant amount of money to probably even qualify for any gifts anyway. If you are someone who does accumulate a lot of points though, you may or may not like this aspect, depending.
In summary, I will wind up frequenting the store solely for the coupon deals and the selection of brands that are difficult to find elsewhere, such as NYX.


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