Ulta—it's been called one of the most "un-Amazonable" of all retailers thanks to a hands-on shopping environment that encourages women to test out new beauty products amid a great cross-section of brands.
Here are a few things you might not have known about the beauty retailer…and how you can save some money on your next trip there!
Join the loyalty program
You can join the "Ultamate Rewards" loyalty program for access to coupons and special offers. Plus, you'll earn one point for every dollar spent once you sign up. Points can be redeemed for discounts. For example, with 100 points you'll earn $3 off most purchases. You'll also get a free gift on your birthday for signing up!
You can get free samples at checkout
When you're a member of the loyalty program, the cashier who rings you up can see which brands you often buy. Then they will offer free samples of a product you like as a "thank you" and to encourage repeat business.
You can try before you buy
Maybe you're used to being at the beauty counter in a traditional mall environment and trying out the wares. But at Ulta, everything is there for you to try from $2 lipsticks to $200 blow dryers that are plugged in and ready to go.
You'll find a great product mix
One of the big appeals of Ulta is that gathers a lot of far-flung brands under one roof.
Ulta's 10,000-square-foot stores are divided into two distinct halves, with high-end brands like Lancôme and Clinique on one side and mass-market brands like CoverGirl and Maybelline on the other. So there's no need to go to the drug store for the cheap stuff or to a specialty store for the more expensive stuff!
Ulta wants to be where you are—not at the mall
The chain is known for skipping the big malls and favoring locations like strip malls instead. That means easier parking so you can be in and out and on your way.
Ulta is closing in on 1,000 stores
While much of retail is suffering, Ulta is closing in on 1,000 stores. After opening 40 new stores over the summer, the company aims to have 970 stores in total open by the end of the year.
Each store has a hair salon
Every Ulta location offers a by-appointment-only hair salon. Select locations also have have facial stations and "brow bars" for eyebrow waxing—the latter typically located smack dab in the middle of the store.
Read more: Is your makeup expired? Here's how to tell