Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Ulta: What's with all the hate?

I don't spend nearly enough time in big box stores. It's practically un-American of me. I mean, really—no big box stores? What's next? Refusing to eat processed foods? Not watching the Super Bowl? Communes? Where will it end?

But the other day I had to go to Petco to buy turtle food for my son's pet turtle, Toby-Wan Kenobi. Naturally I took advantage of my Petco's location next door to an Ulta. And I had so much fun.

There are plenty of nay-sayers out there, but really, my Ulta is nice—not overly crowded, well-lit, well-stocked, fairly clean. There was even a helpful sales associate (OK, he was wearing a man-bun. Nobody's perfect.)

Here's why I had such fun:

My Ulta offered me a first look at Lipstick Queen's glorious artwork for the Seven Deadly Sins glosses.

as well as a glimpse of a promising looking palette from Pür, a line that's new to me:

OK, the display palette is a bit beaten up, and the gloss is missing. Points off for that.

Here it is from the Ulta website.

I was fascinated with this palette because I was starting to think about what I would pack for my week in Florida, when my checked bag is supposed to be under 50 pounds. I really try, but my toiletries weigh a ton. Whereas if I could pack this palette and maybe three more things, my makeup would be DONE.

And I love those eye shadow shades.

But I don't need them. So I didn't buy them. Boo.

What else? How about too-young-for-me glitter nail polishes--on sale, yet.

Then there are the new products. I had a chance to check out the the Hello Kitty collection from OPI.

And my first in-real-life glimpse of the Tony Moly line of cute Korean skin care products.

Imagine that you're at a meeting and your hands feel dry, and you pull out a plastic banana of hand creme.

John T. Malloy is cringing at the thought. GOOD.

Speaking of dressing for success, Ulta offers sound advice

Best of all, the new Garnier micellar waters were on sale, with a buy two, get one 40 percent off deal.

13.5 oz. for $8.99 when my last bottle of Bioderma cost $30? Yes, please.

What didn't I care for? Well, I hate the regular, non-seasonal OPI display. I defy anyone to be able to see these colors with all that light behind the bottles.

And I guess the store is a bit grubby.

I guess someone needs to mop. But who am I to complain, with my out-of-focus photos?

Honestly, I was so dazzled by that glittery nail polish, I didn't notice the floor until I was editing the photographs.

So tell me, my fellow Americans--am I unusually lucky? How is shopping at Ulta for you?


  1. I've never been inside an Ulta, but at Sephora they practically call the FBI if you try to take a photo, so I say good on Ulta for not interfering with your bloggerly duties.

    1. I know, right? I kept expecting them to tell me to cut it out, whereas Man Bun acted extremely agreeable.

  2. I like Ulta. The display samples are generally a huge mess but I don't find it as overwhelming and claustrophobic as Sephora and the lighting is way better. (Why is the lighting so shitty in Sephora??) Plus, I like that I can get drugstore and high end stuff in the same store.

    1. I agree about the lighting. And I find it handy that I can buy my crazy clown glitter nail polish, the 100 percent acetone nail polish remover I'll need to remove it, and a new package of cotton pads (because I'll use about 30 trying to get that shit off my nails) all in the same place.

  3. Our Ulta is awesome...and the only option since we live in Podunk and the nearest Sephora is 6 hours away. It also happens to be nearly next door to Petco. What's up with that? However...I avoid Ulta like the plague because it is extremely bad for my budget. And I've committed myself to using up what I have (or at least through it's expiration date). Because Hi. There's no more room (or $$s) for fun new stuff right now.

  4. My Ulta is down and dirty. No sales help. Long lines but empty store.
    Not good.

  5. I am a platinum customer, I spend a LOT of money at Ulta. I go to multiple stores and everyone of them acts like they are doing me a favor by taking my money. I am DONE. I will find somewhere that appreciates my business.


Gentle Readers:

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xxx, Poppy.