Last week, I went for a lovely dinner with la suegra and one of Rojo's aunts (have I ever mentioned my mamma-in-law is an absolute sweetheart and one of my ultimate fans??? She is, so be jealous he he he). We "casually" ended up in a Seattle mall that has an ULTA so well, I just had to go in and check it out --- the sacrifices I do to report to you chicas...
I guess many of you have already been to ULTA time and again; but I am sure some of our divas in training might have not; so here is what I thought about ULTA:
What do they sell????
What makes ULTA different? The range of brands is the most impressive I have ever seen. Unlike Sephora (which I still love); ULTA carries all your favorite drugstore brands like CG, Revlon, Rimmel, and Prestige, which is perhaps my favorite drugstore find of the last couple of years.
They also carry pretty much the same high end brands that Sephora does (imagine Urban Decay, Smashbox, Benefit) and others that I believe Sephora does not carry at all (Harajuku, Estee Lauder, etc).
PLUS.... they carry a huge selection of hair care products and tools. And, after reading Roberto Vetica's book (check my review here, and get this jewel out of your public library today), I was in serious need of some new tools. I was in awe. I really was. running around the store in high heel boots like I had been given a thousand dollar shopping spree voucher... Ajúa!
Of course, they also hav e their own brand; which I am trying this week. So far, I am quite pleased. But won't say more about it, I will review once i am done with the experimenting!
How expensive is it?
Well, pretty much all cosmetics have a set price as we know; so you will not find much difference in pricing. However, with such a huge selection of brands from thrifty to spendy, your hardly earned dinero will stretch. Example: can't afford Two Faced Shadow Insurance? Cross the aisle and get Ulta Eye Primer (which I am wearing today, review to come).
The ranges in hair appliances are also quite wow-zah. I am on the lookout for a blow dryer for my really long mane; and I can tell you they have a range from $9.00 (travel sized baby dryer for short hair) all the way to $300 for the T3 Evolution. (My search continues, being coached by the savvy Hairnista from The Hairnista Chronicles, a must read blog).
How about the people?
The ladies at ULTA were quite nice to me; but I must say in this aspect, they are not nearly as experienced as the folks at Sephora (that and it was late, so probably the last thing they wanted was me having a psycho-shopper moment while they wanted to just close for the day).
Though, on a second thought; when you are so obsessed with makeup like yours truly, you need someone that knows even more than you do. I am not easily impressed. The ULTA chicas -me thinksss- are more of a retail background than a beauty one. But they will become my BFF's, I tell you that much. They were ZERO arrogant, and I am certain they love their jobs. So there. I'll take their simplicity over other peepz' smugness any day.
Last but not least.... turns out they also have a frequent shopper program; and they run a GWP (that's gift with purchase for my divas-in-training) each season. And the GWP was pretty darn good. I will review it later this week, mmmm'kay? They also have ongoing promotions that are quite good; specially when you need to stock up on something.
So hermanas: if you are a newbie that gets too self-conscious at other places; go to ULTA. If you are more experienced, go to ULTA . If you are done with the pretentious nature of other beauty stores, go to ULTA. And if you live in Seattle, take me with you! Like it, like it, like it.