Ulta Ulta- whole store

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3.0

206 reviews

69% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.2

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

10 of 11 people found this helpful.



Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I'm done shopping at Ulta. I feel like crap every time I shop there. I just want to look around and buy what I want without feeling like I'm being followed or be asked "can I help you" every 3 seconds. I'm not trying to steal your precious makeup, I'm a polite normal person and I just want to have a pleasant shopping experience just once when I'm there. I'm sick of the valley girl put on accents and the eye rolling. Is it so wrong to just shop normally like you would at any other store? Am I doing something wrong when I go to Ulta? This is the only store I get treated weird in. Sorry, your not getting anymore of my money.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

There are a lot of pro's and con's with shoping at Ulta.
Pro's-
Drugstore & High End products- Clinic, Bare Minerals, Too Faced, It Cosmetics, Stila, Lancome, Urban Decay, Tarte, Becca (finally in my store), drugstore- Makeup Revolution, L'Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, Physician's Formula, Ulta brand products, etc. etc. etc.

Awesome sales such as BOGO, online offers, special offers emailed coupons to get a deluxe sample for any purchase or brand deluxe samples for same brand purchases, $3.50/$5/20% off coupons that can be used and combined with MF coupons on specific items or at times any item.

Ulta Member Reward points for all purchases, special offers to 2x/3x/4x/5x points on specific purchase during a given time. Earn and redeem them toward a future purchase before they expire. Platinum members get bonus offers, sometimes free shipping on Platinum Perk offers, and Platinum perk steals at awesome prices.

Stores have testers now on even drugstore brands, and most prestige brands.

Innovative & new products to see and test out in the store. You don't have to be stocked across the counter for assistance or experience mental pressure just because your curious about an item.

Clearance section- on discontinued, & out of season items

Special gifts sets that are free on certain purchases during certain times of the year.

Free gift & coupon to spend for your birthday.

Con's-
Need more constant well trained staff. I've had a few unpleasant experiences, but it changes. Though I appreciate most of the staff I use to feel turned off with incredibly young associates assisting me with anti aging products. Let me tell them about sagging and wrinkles because I'm past forty, not the other way around. I'm happy to see they are making room for mature women who are wonderfully presented on the staff.

Sometimes I feel the staff is hard to keep because they are pressured by cooperate to push sales, & manage store responsibilities than what is reasonable to expect from any human.

Not all brands listed in advertisements are at all locations.

They don't have 6 hr beauty steals in stores, only online.

Some products are only offered online.

To remain Platinum you must spend $400 now to keep status every year, when it use to be $300 so your points don't expire. But they have offered better deals for Platinum members lately.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 9/7/2016 11:27:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Now that I live in the suburbs and there is no convenient Sephora around - I go to Ulta about once every 4-6 weeks. Also I have a tween/teen daughter so we are there more often for her and her friends. I have not used the hair or skin care salons - but for cosmetics and beauty tools it's fine. Lines are super long around the holidays.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

This is the place I go when I am sad lol I LOVE Ulta! They have a great selection of products and an amazing point program! I can't say enough good things about this store, it's just freaking awesome! I love getting points on items I buy for my family (body wash, shampoo, etc)


on 8/3/2016 5:12:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

Totally agree with the comment below in regards to the whole coupon thing. I also had a 5 off ulta brand stuff and a 3.50 off coupon and I bought plenty of stuff that qualified both of them but the chick at the register would only let me use one. Come on ulta, like your not making enough money. This is why my scores are way low for this place.


on 5/18/2016 4:01:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

For its $3.50 coupon, Ulta has raised the minimum purchase a whopping $5. You now have to buy $15 worth of items instead of $10.

Their original coupon was the one thing that made me shop at Ulta in the first place. Their prices are much higher than Target and Walmart but the $3.50 off $10+ would bring me in there. When they had 40% off sales, I would stack it with the brand coupons and the Ulta coupon and get some great deals for makeup and skin care. I became a regular customer because of this.

The 50% increase for the coupon's minimum purchase takes away the niche they had and the reason for me to shop there anymore. Bad move, Ulta.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 4/1/2016 5:08:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Customer service is hit or miss. I would really love it if the cashiers would tell me I have points about to expire. But most of the time, when I am at the cash register, I feel like I am in a drugstore, except that my local Walgreens has friendlier and more helpful cashiers. I blame it on Ulta corporate culture. Any company with great customer service trains employees to be customer-oriented. Oh well, there are plenty of other places for me to spend my hard-earned money.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 9/5/2015 7:18:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I usually shop at Sephora.
I recently placed an order online at Ulta's website.I picked up a few fragrances, and as we all know they aren't cheap. I chose the fragrances pack for my free sample.The picture that depicted the free fragrances samples showed five miniature bottles. You know the tiny kind with the little sprayer?
When my package arrived I was surprised to see that only two of the five fragrances they sent were bottled. The remaining four were the folding-paper type that you could get in a magazine.
They were free, and I'm glad that they sent them. But they need to go ahead and show online what they actually look like.
I would have picked the skin care sampler had I known.


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.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.

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