ULTA Ulta- whole store

Filtered by skin tone : Fair age: 36-43
ULTA Ulta- whole store

3.1

8 reviews

62% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

INGREDIENTS


Start your review


on 2/15/2013 12:18:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

There are two Ultas where I live; one gets a five-star and one gets ONE star. Guess which one is closest to my house? Yes, the one that is the most hideous. I go out of my way (and almost 20 miles) to go to the GOOD Ulta store. It's staffed by very young but very NICE gals who let me shop, don't ride my a$$, and are nothing but great every time I go in.

I have had an ongoing issue with the manager of the closer store. She is short, and has thin hair plastered to her skull in blonde, black, and pink tones. I only give this description in case she frequents the MUA boards and might perhaps recognize herself here. I can only pray.
Whenever I go into the "bad Ulta", this manager treats me like a shoplifter with a communicable disease. My first experience with her, I had to return an online order and she treated it as a return with no receipt and tried to force me to take store credit; um, no thanks. Open your eyes and read the papers in front of you! Halfway through our transaction she took a personal phone call and left another employee to 'finish it up'. That poor girl messed the entire transaction up and I had to wait for Hello Kitty Hair to drop her personal phone call. Several times I have been fruitlessly searching for something, and had to find someone to help---and there was HKH, putting on makeup directly from the high-end makeup testers! Dipping the brushes back into the testers, putting on her face, back in the testers: I was so grossed out. She did not even wash the brushes when she put them back on the end of the counter! She looked up to see me watching her and got a really snotty, snobby tone in her voice when she asked me if I was finding everything (as she kind of looked me up and down as she always does).

I once went in to see if I could find some curl styling cream, praying that she not be the one to accost---er, help--me. Sure enough she ignored me while I cruised the cheap side of the store (Cover Girl, Revlon) but as soon as I hit the Pureology section, she was on me like flies on poop. As she walked toward me hurriedly to ask me if I needed help (eyeing my hands and purse as she did so) I told her what I was searching for, knowing she would be clueless since her hair is so thin and straight. Mine is thick and curly and dry and looked a mess that day due to some crazy wind, I hoped that the state of it would show someone what I needed. Miss Kitty started leading me all over the hair care area, showing me stuff that would work on HER hair. I told her several times, I need some curly hair styling cream--she wasn't listening. So I found the Deva Curl area and she cooed, "Oh they have great shampoo!" But I'm looking for a styling cream. "Oh they have great hair gel!" But---I need a styling cream. As I found the bottle of cream MYSELF, she chirped, "Oh that's great styling cream!" YOU THINK??? Then---she said--"I have thick curly hair myself, that's great stuff!" I told her, I will get this and hope that it works. She said--brace yourself---"Well it can't look any worse!"
Really? I can see your SCALP, your hair is so thin and fine!! Maybe she is trying to 'relate' but I almost fell over when she said this to me. It took all I had not to react.
She also offered to carry the cream to the front for me--when has anyone at Ulta tried to 'babysit' what you picked up so that you don't shoplift it? This isn't the jewelry counter at Wal-mart! I'm probably old enough to be this twit's mother and she acts like I'm some kind of felon. (I have redeemed SEVERAL 1000 point rewards, obviously spending quite a bit of money in there)
Maybe all the times I've filled out surveys and specifically mentioned this woman's behavior, she's figured out that I tattle on her and she's annoyed? She never has a name badge on so I don't know what her name is, and I truly don't want to ask her because her entire demeanor is such that it seems like her lip is curling as she talks to me. I am not a confrontational person but I finally hit my saturation point with her and started talking to her like Mrs. Thurston Howell III when she approaches me. (Then I find someone else to help me if I need it) If she seems to be hovering while I browse, I no longer pay any attention to her. If she's watching me, she's not talking on the phone or putting on makeup from the testers and contaminating them.

Sigh.

16 of 18 people found this helpful.



Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

Love the stores, hate the website.


The Love for the Stores:
You can test out products before buying. The range is comparable to Sephora plus has drugstore brands which is a big plus. Rewards system is neat: I've redeemed enough to get three $100 shopping trips on their tab. They do offer frequent coupons, though be warned that many of the coupons will not work on the "prestige" brands, i.e., the really good stuff. At least Sephora offers specials on most of their products.


The best thing is the returns policy: they will accept opened cosmetics for refund/exchange, so I can shop without fear of being stuck with the wrong color/shade/product.


The Hate for the Website:
It takes FOREVER to get an order from the Ulta website delivered. I don't understand it: other online companies I've ordered from also use UPS for their standard shipping, and their deliveries get here fairly promptly. It's now going on almost two weeks, and I still don't see my order. It's as though Ulta sends stuff by the slowest possible shipping category.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 8/2/2012 6:39:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

my ulta store is located in the Asheville Mall in North Carolina. I would like to say they have hired the best staff there. only one girl i really did not like. the ladies at the benefit and lancombe counters are simply terrific! the salespeople try very hard when i come thru with a question. The displays have usually in decent condition. but that is more of a customer issue. when i go in the mornings they look great, mid day on a weekend..not so much.


on 5/8/2012 7:42:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I, too, am an Ulta Fan and have only good things to say about their stores. I live in Illinois and their staff is always friendly and helpful, the store clean, the shelves well stocked. I frequent several Ulta Stores in my area and they get an A across the board.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Gosh, what happened to my Ulta? I have always had a great experience with the SA's although I agree that sometimes there is too much interuption which causes me to completely lose my train of thought and inevitably I forget something. Their loss. But, overall, I have had positive experiences. I have also had great success with their blushes and eyeshadows.

Now, for my "issues" with Ulta. I recently noticed that they no longer have testers for the drugstore brands. Except Ulta's. According to the SA, the cosmetic companies (Revlon, NYX, etc.) no longer want to provide testers which I find difficult to believe since the testers can't possibly break their fat wallets. I never buy perfume at Ulta becuase they don't give samples like Sephora and since I try to be a fair customer I always purchase perfume at Sephora. Soooo, now I have absolutely no reason to go to Ulta. Honestly, even when they did have testers, half of them were missing or products were not fully stocked as others have pointed out. I can't help but wonder if Ulta decided to remove other testers in hopes of steering customers to their brand. Sell a bunch of brands until your brand is doing okay and then stifle the competition since they are at your mercy in your store. Crappy. In addition, they never have proper testing supplies available such as q-tips, tissues, etc or anywhere to toss garbage. Crappy and unhygenic. I actually had a SA pull the display brush to test a foundation on my face, a brush that had been fondled and sneezed on and goodness knows what. Finally, they don't give samples of cosmetics like Sephora does. To be fair, I have never had a problem returning anything but I don't at Sephora or Dillard's either. I regularly exercise my right to return even though it is a pain and I absolutely do not shop anywhere where returns are not accepted with no problem.

11 of 12 people found this helpful.


on 4/27/2011 10:45:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Wow. After reading all of the comments about the Ulta experience in general, I really had to chime in. I want to preface this by saying that this is only MY opinion based on my needs and preferences--I know that there are a lot of you out there that love this store and have no problem giving them your business. Unfortunately, I am not one of them.

I live in Central NJ and live about 25 miles away from the nearest Sephora, so I rarely get an opportunity to shop there. When I found out an Ulta was opening up in the Princeton area I was thrilled as my impression at the time was that Ulta was basically a clone of the Sephora shopping experience. I quickly learned that it wasn't after experiencing the following:

1. I've never had a problem with a SA being rude, but boy are they persistent. During one store visit they interrupted me three times in 15 minutes, and it got to the point where I had to keep out of the common areas of the store to be left alone. Ironically enough, when I wandered into the "prestige" skin care section, a sales rep from one of the skin care lines was there doing some kind of product promotion. When she looked up and saw me (let's just say I wasn't looking too photogenic that day) I could see in her eyes that apparently I wasn't the right "demographic" for the product and and I was ignored. So much for wanting to "help" me.
2. Speaking of "prestige," when I made my first couple of purchases at Ulta I requested samples and they were given to me. The next time I asked for a sample I was told that I was only entitled to them if I purchased a "prestige" brand. That's a little freakin' ridiculous. Sephora has always given me samples regardless of the brand I've purchased, and I can name examples of other stores as well. Ulta needs to get off their high horse with their whole "prestige" attitude when it comes to makeup assistance, coupons, samples, etc. because frankly, I can probably get the same "prestige" product at a much better price at an online retailer, eBay, or a brick-and-mortar store. Get a clue, Ulta: asking for samples is not a big deal, I'm not saying I should just walk in off the street and ask for them without buying something, but if you had given me a sample that day, perhaps I would have come in and bought the product during a later visit. Gee, isn't that what samples are for, to generate more purchases? And then perhaps more customers will interested in purchasing more of those "prestige" brands that you have such an attitude about. Everyone wins! (Pardon my snark.)
3. Here's another clue, Ulta: when you mark an item as "clearance" and throw it into a bin with a whole bunch of other stuff that may be cracked, smeared, or leaky, it truly needs to be a "clearance" level price. Please walk the few steps over to Walmart or Target to learn what a realistic idea of a "clearance" price means, because yours isn't it.
4. Speaking of the above, plus CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid, etc., as many of you have already mentioned, if you wear drugstore makeup you'll pay much less at those types of stores, and the discount stores have great sales and coupons also. Some drugstores even have no-questions-asked return policies on makeup now, even if you've tested it. Same goes for the bath/body/personal care products--Burt's Bees, Bodycology, Watkins, Badger, etc., all can be found cheaper elsewhere.
5. I had a brow wax at the Ulta salon that had me bent back over a shampoo sink, then after the wax was removed, there was just a little tweezing here and there, no shaping or trimming. Thankfully I had a half-off coupon for this because this service normally costs a whopping $20. Granted, the stylist did a great job and was extremely professional, but in my neck of the woods $20 gets you a brow wax done in a private room on a TABLE, with tweezing and shaping. I certainly wasn't expecting a day spa experience, but if I want to be bent over a shampoo sink to get waxed I can go to a nail salon and pay $8.

I can see why someone would want to shop here if they truly enjoy the convenience of having so many varied brands and price points of beauty items in one store, or if they have an "I-want-this-NOW!" item (like Urban Decay's Naked) that they don't want to wait to order online. (No disrespect meant--I've been there! :) ) Otherwise, I just can't fathom any reason to shop there. Let's face it, we all the know the markup on beauty products and I would rather spend money with a company that values my business and gives me a pleasant, uncomplicated shopping experience. In my opinion, Ulta doesn't provide it, which is why I take my business elsewhere.

EDIT: I recently went back to Ulta (a coupon lured me in) and I'm pleased to say that the overalll vibe of my local store has improved. I had a much more pleasant shopping experience and I was even able to find a few goodies in the clearance bin! I still prefer Sephora but I'm glad that Ulta & I are on better terms now :)

2 of 3 people found this helpful.


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 of 35 people found this helpful.


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.


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