Ulta Ulta- whole store

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3.3

28 reviews

82% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$

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

Age: 36-43

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.

15 of 15 people found this helpful.


on 2/6/2015 9:30:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Had the exact same experience as reviewer swimblock. Tried to return an online purchase with the packing slip, was told I needed the original shipping confirmation email. I didn't even have the email anymore. It was a while later until I got back there, by this time it was over 60 days and I could only get store credit. Before I went back, I read the instructions on website for returning online purchases to store. It does say the packing slip can't be used, that you need the email, and it tells you how to bring it up through your Ulta account. So, I give them half a pass. On one hand, it was my error for not reading the return policy beforehand. On the other hand, they should make returns easy like other stores and not make us jump through hoops. Why not print the pricing information on the packing slip? I usually have to ask for my free gift with purchase if there is one, and I'm usually not informed if I have points reward dollars available and asked if I would like to use them toward purchase. The Ulta's near me are all clean and well organized. For the most part, the staff is pleasant and moderately helpful, though not very knowledgeable overall.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on 1/15/2015 10:22:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Other, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Ulta is somewhat of a necessary evil for me, since they're the only store in my area (that I know of) that carries certain products and brands (like NYX). My two biggest pet peeves: 1) many of the employees are frequently apathetic. It depends on who is there on any given day. And they are very serious about watching you, I can attest! And 2) (this is my biggest pet peeve) the testers are often missing -- or several perfectly good items, even several of one kind (like one particular color of lipstick or eyeshadow), have been tested by customers, rendering them useless for purchase. I realize this latter pet peeve is not necessarily the store's fault, but I would expect them to monitor this situation and ensure that testers are always available, even if that means compensating for theft of testers (yuck) by ordering extra stock. And speaking of ordering stock, rarely do I find what I came to purchase. They are ALWAYS out of stock on things and telling me that their "truck is coming on Thursday." When I return on Friday, I always find that what I want STILL hasn't been received, and it goes on and on this way forever. :-(

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 1/15/2015 2:42:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I love Ulta...and I shop there a lot. My only beef with Ulta is that when I go in there I'm usually harassed by sales associates asking me if I'm "finding everything OK" 4,000 times, which equals "we think you might be stealing". This ticks me off because I don't steal, sometimes it takes me a while to browse and I spend quite a bit of money there every year! Also, I give the cashier my club card every time I check out but I have yet to discover what the rewards of this is...I've had it for a few years now and never gotten anything free or discounted because of it, soooo...

5 of 5 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: 18 & Under

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I love ulta ! They have a wide variety of products and brands . My ulta has everything seperated into sections making it easy to find what your looking for. The SA are very nice and helpful! They ask if you need help but they also give you space. They always accept my coupons, answer any questions i have , and inform me of any deals. Ultas a great store. I guess it just depends on the people who work there that decide whether your trip will be a happy one .


on 5/7/2012 9:22:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

WOW...Not surprised at all at the wrath. The Lake Grove store has to be the absolute worst on Long Island. Managers are rude, ignorant, and basically lack interpersonal skills. I now know why everyone prefers Sephora. The sales associates and managers at Lake Grove make up the rules as they go. Store policies seem to change on a whim, though they are clearly explicated on plaques on their counters. Someone needs to give that store a lesson in how you treat and talk to customers. Beauty supply stores are a dime a dozen ULTA folks. Wake up and start training your staff. Your staff at Lake Grove is awful and an embarrassment to your company.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 8/10/2011 1:07:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I'm always surprised by all the negative reviews of Ulta I read online. Although I've never been to an Ulta except my local one, I've only really had positive experiences there. That's the short version of the review: give your local Ulta a shot, some of them are quite nice, though perhaps few judging from other reviews. Oh, but don't bother with the Salon.

The longer version:

I live in a really rural area and so my nearest Sephora is 90 miles away. No joke. I was a Sephora junkie, but I hated the crazy drive. When an Ulta opened up 15 miles from me, I had no idea what an Ulta was, thinking they were like a Bath and Body works. Imagine my surprise when I found out they sold beauty products, even some high end stuff! I do not have a Nordstrom, I do not have a MAC store, I do not have anything that isn't a two hour drive and finally I could get HE makeup and not pay crazy online shipping?

My experiences at the store have been, for the vast majority, positive. I've never been stalked by the staff (ok, maybe once or twice when I spent like two hours in the high end makeup, but for the most part no), and although the SAs aren't particularly knowledgeable about the products and sometimes hard to track down, I have found the sales and the return policy quite generous. I've never had trouble returning anything, even when it was opened, used, or without a receipt. The SAs encourage you to take something home, try it out, and promise that you can always return it, a promise they make good on. Once a close girlfriend of mine went on a crazy nail polish spree and seriously bought like $300 worth in one sitting. She ended up returning half of it, plus we were kinda in our swimsuits and all wet cuz we rushed there from the lake (long story), so the manager was glaring at us. But in the end she didn't say a single negative word, was polite and promptly rang up the return, even though we were keeping the store open a few minutes past close. (I know.. we're jerks. But it was a beauty emergency!!)

What they have in stock varies greatly. Sometimes they're out of the items I want, other times they have crazy good stuff that is sold out everywhere else. I got a NAKED palette when nowhere else had them. I think this is in part because they are located in such a rural area--- they don't restock as often as other stores because of a smaller customer base, but they also don't run out of certain things as quickly.

The SAs are a mixed bag, although I've had more good than bad experiences. There's one woman who's a total snob about HE stuff, and one manager that makes you feel bad about returning stuff by giving you the evil eye, but she doesn't say anything. The younger SAs are often nice and helpful and much more knowledgeable... I mean it's not like Sephora, where they know everything about the products, but at least they know what they do and do not carry.

Oh, and what everyone is saying about the samples that are out is true. They're absolutely ruined. But I talked to an SA about it and she said it was the crazy amounts of teenage girls that were coming in to play with the samples without ever intending to buy them... and I don't blame the staff for not being able to keep up. Apparently, only managers are allowed to put out samples and ring up returns. But they do have nice little counters set up where you can try stuff out with makeup sponges, Q-tips, tissues, makeup remover, all the works. Apparently not all Ultas have this but mine does.

A major plus is that they carry brands I don't see anywhere else. NYX, Palladio, and recently nail polishes from Butter London! I've seen people pay crazy international shipping for the Butter London polishes, so nice to be able to find them in a store.

The salon is a different story. I got a cut from the salon manager and although it wasn't awful, it was a standard boring textbook cut I could have done myself, and kind of uneven. I had to wait 10 minutes before the appointment started, even though I was on time, because she needed to go have a cigarette break right when I arrived... ok whatever... but the truly terrible thing happened when I went back a few days later to have my bangs fixed. The counter lady told me a bang trim would be $20... wtf??? and when I told her that was kind of unreasonable considering I had been in there only a few days ago and I was coming back to get my cut fixed, she sighed, said fine, she'd see what she could do, and finally got another stylist to fix my bangs all the while telling me that she's have to take the money for the bang trim out of the money my original stylist got for my cut. Wow... way to make me feel guilty and like crap.

12 of 13 people found this helpful.


Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I will start by saying i am biased because I work at ULTA.


I find it horrible that so many people have had such bad experiences at their local store and it tarnishes the reputation of other stores that are clean,well stocked,and have friendly staff. I completely understand some of the complaints from the customer point of view as i was a customer for years before being an employee. However some people really should sit back and look at the situation from a retail employee point of view. The first situation is the "following around" thing, I know it is annoying and in some rare occasions it might even be embarrassing if they are extremely obvious ( in which case it is normal to be mad , i would be) however the reason is shoplifting, we as employees have been told to keep and eye out for certain things prestige cosmetics and fragrances are our biggest losses, we may not think you are stealing but we must watch everyone in those areas. I know from personal experience it may also be that you are one of the few people in the store and I am just bored so I tend to check on you more. Another big complaint seems to be coupons. Look people, coupons are a gift not a right, quit complaining about some coupons. Read the fine print, on ALL coupons not just the ones from ULTA. I know it sucks that they cannot be used on prestige 99% of the time but if your patient and your that picky about them wait till those 2-3 times a year when you get the one that is good on pretty much the whole store. Coupons are great dont get me wrong but it kills me how people have begun to think they are entitled to them. That is something I have believed in long before I began working for the company. Next is the "snotty/rude/b!tchy" employees, you get good service and you get bad service everywhere I thankfully have the pleasure of working with a great group of ladies, there are some that are not always pleasant but everyone has bad days(not that that should excuse them from being polite to a customer).
I wish more stores had friendlier employees like mine because that seems to be the major complaint , i have witnessed this myself, but I have had the same problem at Sephora and pretty much any retail store for that matter some people are very helpful and friendly others are not.
I could go on for days about the multiple complaints that people have made but might see differently if they knew how things worked and what we can and cannot do as employees but I think my biggest message to people is dont boycott the whole company because you had a bad experience with one employee there are plenty of us that are friendly and willing to help.

(I gave neutral scores since i am biased)

9 of 12 people found this helpful.


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