Money Saving Tips

10 Ulta Shopping Tips You Need to Know

Ulta Beauty Cosmetics
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Ulta Beauty is the store where you know you’ll find the perfect nail varnish color, the most fashionable makeup palettes, and the dreamiest fragrances. It’s fully stocked with budget brand products, and it also stocks the big names, so finding what you want is almost certain. Use our Ulta shopping tips to help you get more of the things you love for less!

1. Know That There Are Crazy-Cool Sales ALL YEAR

Check the Website

So far, we haven’t discovered a time when there isn’t something in the sale category on Ulta’s website. We suggest that you do this bit of shopping online because even if the store you visit has all the sale items in stock, you’re bound to miss a few goodies simply because there’s so much of it.

At the time of writing, for example, there are no fewer than 1165 Makeup offers at sale prices and an amazing 829 skincare offers. Start browsing the website and you will see how Ulta neatly splits the sale items into categories to help you find what you need at a good price.

Watch Out for Ulta’s Big Events

Seasonally, you can enjoy Ulta’s “events”. If they keep running events like 21 Days of Beauty and their hair and skincare events, you can cash in on even more offers. Get the app or sign up for Ulta’s email newsletters to stay informed about sales and special offers.

2. Buy More to Save More on All Your Favorite Things

Ulta Beauty Package

Again, this is a category you want to shop online, even if it’s only to keep you from losing your head and coming home with a lifetime supply of makeup, soaps, and hair-care products. There’s a dazzling array of buy more save more offers, so go in knowing what you want and don’t let yourself get too distracted. Offers include:

  • Buy one and get 50% off the second one
  • Buy two get one free
  • Buy a certain number for a reduced price: eg., four for $10.

It’s probably a good idea knowing the brand before you commit, but Ulta’s super-cool returns policy keeps you out of danger. Seriously, they’ll let you have store credit or money back even if it’s your mistake and there was nothing wrong with the product itself.

All you have to do to get your money back on returns is to make your move within 60 days, still have the receipt, and not have used more than 20% of the product. It sure makes online shopping a lot safer – and if you go overboard with impulse buys in-store, you’ll know how to solve the problem.

3. Ulta Shopping Tips? Let’s Not Forget Free Gifts with Purchase

Ulta Free Gift

You can expect to find up to 50 free with purchase offers at Ulta at any given time. Some of them are only available to online shoppers, so start your search there. Free gifts with purchase offers get their own page on the Ulta website. Simply browse through to see if there’s anything you like.

4. Get 20 Percent Ulta Discount Coupons – Here’s How Easy It Is!

Here’s How Easy It Is!

While you might find yourself on a treasure hunt of note for certain coupons, getting your Ulta discount coupon is super-simple. Right now, you can get $5 off your $15 purchase. All you need to do is go online, grab the promo code, print the coupon to use in store, or simply display it on your phone.

But There Is a Catch

If you thought you’d be getting your favorite perfume for 20% less, think again. All fragrances are excluded, and there’s a long list of brands that don’t qualify for discounts, coupons, or promo codes.

Use the Right Coupon in the Right Place and Sorry, No Stacking

When it comes to which coupons Ulta accepts, things can get a little delicate. Coupons for the online store won’t necessarily be valid at physical stores or the other way around. As for trying your hand at stacking coupons, Ulta isn’t the place to do it – store terms clearly state that you can use only one coupon at a time.

5. Get Inspired Specials By Checking the Weekly Ad

There’s no surprise that Ulta’s weekly ad is quite the beauty catalogue. It’s a great way to keep up with the latest beauty trends, and an even better place to spot must-have specials.

Check out the featured product listings carefully so you don’t miss any of those sweet offers. Of course, not everything is on special, but if you’re keeping an eye on what is, you can get a 50% price reduction on certain items. You might also get some extra free samples or free gifts.

6. Online Shoppers Watch Out for Free Shipping Offers

Free shipping for online shoppers? Yes, please! That’s an absolute saving you can’t ignore. But will you get it though? That depends on how much you buy and when you buy it. Free shipping offers come and go, and they’re usually linked to a purchase value.

Ulta’s terms of service say that when you do get a free shipping offer, it only applies to regular shipping – no the faster (and more expensive) shipping alternatives. Fair enough!

7. The Store Card That Breaks Down Discount Barriers

Ultamate Rewards Credit Card

At a glance, it might seem that Ulta must surely have specials on everything sooner or later. However, there is a list of items they rarely if ever discount. It includes all fragrances and a lot of the big-name brands. You can see the full list on their website. The good news is that you can still get your prized items for less if you have an Ulta card.

Spend Reward Points Strategically

Ulta store card benefits are structured according to the Ulta card type that you choose and the amount you spend at Ulta.

So, here’s your strategy. Earn rewards points and use Ulta shopping hacks to ONLY buy special offers on products you need. Start saving your Ultamate Rewards Points and then splurge away on your favorites that you can’t grab at discounted prices.

Ulta Card Types and Perks

As a frugal shopper, you might be cringing at the thought of yet another credit card to manage – but there’s a straightforward loyalty card available too. If you ever shop at Ulta, consider getting that card. It’s free money. It doesn’t have all the perks of the Ulta credit cards, but you do get points.

On top of that, you get a free birthday gift with any Ulta card membership. If you have either of the two Ulta credit card options, you also get a $10 voucher. However, the biggest advantage of the credit-linked options is the fact that points never expire, so you can save up for as long as you like.

Having said that, beware of credit card APR – you have to offset that against benefits if you maintain a balance.

8. You Seriously Still Need to Shop Around

With such a variety of goodies to browse through, it could be easy to get carried away when shopping at Ulta. But if you’re serious about saving money on your beauty buys, it still pays to comparison shop. Ulta is not the cheapest on everything, and they don’t price match, so be sure you’re happy with the price you’re paying before you go through the checkout.

9. You Want Discounts? Sign Up for Newsletters. Get the App!

Woman Searching for Ulta Beauty Discounts

If you sporadically spend in stores like Ulta, plan your beauty product shopping by seasons and get access to the app and an active newsletter membership over the period when you’re likeliest to buy.

10. Impulse Buy Alert!

Know the Danger

While some people may be most tempted by chocolate, beauty products are the big temptation for others. It’s not a small budget item in the everyday life of an American woman. Back in 2017, the NY Times cited an average spend on beauty products of $313 per month – and with so many awesome products to choose from, who can blame us?

It’s quite possible to go into a store looking for mascara and to come out with an artsy collection of eye pencils, that shade of nail polish that totally caught your eye, and a hot-pink lip-gloss that wouldn’t ordinarily be “you,” but seemed like a good idea at the time. And oops! Guess what? Still no mascara!

Beware of Browsing

While you’re shopping at Ulta, you’ll be very tempted to “just look around”. Beware! It’s at times like this that you end up giving in to impulse buys on things you might never use.

If you do decide to browse, be super-alert – and stick to your budget if you do decide to take home a few extras.

Of all our Ulta shopping tips, this could be the one that will save you the most!

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Ulta Shopping Tips

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

1 Comment

  • Hi Irina,

    You have done some great research in compiling this list. With festive season just around the corner, it is amazing to get these discounts from leading stores. Christmas is one time of the year when we go all out with our shopping spree. We all save money to spend during this time of the year.

    Thanks for sharing this post, have a great day.

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