JY O'Reilly

Dumpster Diving For Beauty Products: Is It Legal And Safe?

Sure, it’s always nice to get a great deal on beauty products, and what’s a better deal than 100% off? “Dumpster Diving” — the art of sourcing still-usable items from the trash — is nothing new, but there are growing reports from beauty bloggers and YouTubers claiming to score free lipsticks, nail polishes, eye shadows, and other items by sorting through the items that Ulta, Sephora, and others throw out. Is this legal, and if so, is it safe? [More]

Ashley MacKinnon

Is Sephora Killing The Department Store Beauty Counter?

While mall staples and department stores continue to close their doors this year, one subset within the retail industry is enjoying higher sales and decent foot traffic: beauty products. But it’s not the traditional makeup counter inside your local department store that’s become a hot spot for customers, it’s the tech-heavy, try-before-you-buy beauty-specific stores like Sephora and Ulta.  [More]

Mike Mozart

Why Is The Beauty Chain Ulta Growing While The Rest Of Retail Shrinks?

In the last few years, Ulta stores have sprouted in strip malls across the country. The chain plans to open 100 new stores this year. How are they expanding when brick-and-mortar retail in general seems doomed? The company credits its variety of price points, ability to quietly upsell customers to prestige brands, and its salon. [More]


Women Uninterested In New Clothes Or Gadgets, Buying Lots Of High-End Makeup

America’s female shoppers just aren’t as interested as they used to be in most of the stuff available in malls: spending on almost everything is down. There’s one area of retail that’s growing that you might not have expected, though: sales of high-end cosmetics are climbing, which include makeup and skin care. Why is that? Blame YouTube. [More]

Mike Mozart

Ulta Has A Great Return Policy, Except For Keeping My Sales Tax

Vee made a small purchase from the cosmetics store Ulta, and needed to return it. That happens. Where things got confusing, though, is that she didn’t receive a refund of the sales tax she had paid. When she questioned this, a store representative’s response was that “the website does not state that we do not give the taxes back when making a return.” What? [More]

Shoplifting Suspect Wearing ‘Won’t Be Caught’ T-Shirt Remains At Large

Shoplifting Suspect Wearing ‘Won’t Be Caught’ T-Shirt Remains At Large

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida want to make sure that the prediction made on a woman’s t-shirt doesn’t come true. The message in huge white letters on her black t-shirt was clear: “Won’t Be Caught,” it said. Unfortunately, she was caught on camera while allegedly scooping up almost $1,500 worth of perfume and cologne bottle at an Ulta store in Tampa. [More]

No hair iron for you!

Ulta Has Secret Limits On Clearance Items, Won’t Sell Me 27 Hair Straighteners

Courtney was on a mission. It’s her job to find things for people at low prices, and then buy them in large quantities. For example, one day she learned that beauty chain Ulta had Big Chi Digital Hair Irons, which usually cost $169.99, on clearance for $49.99. Score! One of her clients wanted these, and there were twenty-seven of them in stock. Now, “Clearance” should mean that the store is trying to clear out stock, and should be happy if someone comes along and scoops up everything on the shelf. Right? Not at Ulta. They’d rather not sell items at all than sell them to Courtney by the cartful. [More]

Ulta District Manager Apologizes For "No Writing Anything Down" Policy

Ulta District Manager Apologizes For "No Writing Anything Down" Policy

Last week, Daynah wrote about how she was forced to stop writing anything down during a recent shopping trip to the cosmetics store Ulta. At the time, Daynah grudgingly gave in because she really wanted to make a purchase (she tests products for consumers). But once she left the store, she took the fight back to Ulta.

Ulta Manager: "Take Your Pen To Your Car, You're Not Allowed To Write Anything Down"

Ulta Manager: "Take Your Pen To Your Car, You're Not Allowed To Write Anything Down"

In a world where smartphones can shoot video, snap photos, record audio, scan barcodes, and let you make price comparisons via text message, it’s almost funny to run into a paranoid manager like the one at an Ulta makeup store in Seattle. Well, funny except for that petty tyrant part where she tells you that you’ll have to take your old-school pen and papers out to the car and come back empty handed before she’ll sell you any makeup.