If you love buying the newest cosmetics or the tried-and-true favorites that never let you down, then you probably love shopping at Ulta. And if you’re anything like us, you also don’t want to pay out the wazoo just to look as pretty as a picture.
So if entering an Ulta store gives you a tingle all the way to your toes, then you’ve come to the right place. Find out how to save on the products you need for perfectly sculpted brows, Instagram-ready hair or a flawless complexion even the Kardashians would envy with our “ultamate” guide to saving the most at Ulta.
How to Save at Ulta
These are the best ways to save every single time you go shopping at Ulta:
1. Join Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards
The first thing you should do before shopping at any retailer you love is signing up for their free rewards program. This is where you’ll find the biggest savings and get the most freebies just for shopping. And Ulta’s is its Ultamate Rewards. The more you spend, the more points you’ll collect and the higher your tier will be, which leads to even more Ulta perks. I’m pretty sure I was a Diamond member in just the first six months and have been going strong ever since.
In other beauty shopping news, Ultamate Rewards members also earn points at the new Ulta Beauty stores inside Target. That can either be scary or a blessing that these two beloved stores are joining forces, but for us, it’s like a little piece of heaven on Earth.
2. Use an Ulta Credit Card
Going right along with the Ultamate Rewards perks, this Number Two tip, using Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards credit card, helps you rack up those precious Ultamate Rewards points even faster. You’ll earn 1 extra point for every $1 you spend using the Ultamate Rewards credit card at Ulta. That means double the points and double the rewards. And besides these exceptional perks, you’ll get 20% off your first purchase.
3. Get Ulta Free Shipping
Everyone gets free shipping on purchases over $35 while Ultamate Rewards Diamond members get free shipping with orders over $25. If you’re buying something that doesn’t meet the free shipping threshold, consider using Ulta’s free pickup option. As long as the location you choose has the product in stock, you can buy it online and pick it up in-store or using Ulta’s curbside pickup. Both options are free.
4. Use an Ulta $3.50 Coupon
Getting your hands on a $3.50 off a $15 purchase coupon is one of the easiest because it’s the most common Ulta coupon. It’s like getting 25% off a $15 purchase of qualifying products. Look on the Ulta website, the back of an Ulta catalog or on RetailMeNot’s Ulta coupon page.
5. Score an Ulta 20% off Coupon
A 20% coupon is by far the most sought-after Ulta coupon. It comes in two ways: 20% off one qualifying item (excluding prestige products) and 20% off the entire purchase (including prestige brands). The 20% coupons are available just a few times a year — usually every three months or so.
6. Get a Free Gift
Ulta carries plenty of products offering a free gift with purchase — you just have to know where to look. Check out Ulta’s product page for the brands offering a free gift with purchase. Some last as long as quantities are available, while others last longer. So before buying a product, check to see if you can get a free gift along with your purchase.
7. Shop Ulta’s Annual Sales
Ulta hosts several events throughout the year where the savings are un-freaking-believable. There are only a couple of months where Ulta isn’t throwing one of their events and where you won’t find oodles of savings.
Ulta Liter Sale
This sale coincides with The Love Your Skin event in January and again in June. You can stock up on everything to make your skin feel extra hydrated during the frigid winter (or summer) months for 50% off. Plus, you’ll get up to 60% off jumbo sizes of shampoo, conditioner and styling products.
Ulta 21 Days of Beauty
As Ulta’s signature sales event, 21 Days of Beauty, also known as the Spring Haul and Fall Haul, happens in March and September. It’s an opportunity for customers to save up to 50% on beauty products in every single category.
Ulta Gorgeous Hair Event
Ulta’s Gorgeous Hair Event happens twice a year with the Spring Gorgeous Hair Event in May and then the Fall Gorgeous Hair Event in October. These events last for three weeks and you can score different haircare deals, from flat irons and hair dryers to frizz tamers and curl enhancers.
Ulta Beauty Steals
Beauty Steals happen throughout the year and last for only about 24 hours, after which new deals pop up. Each Beauty Steal offers as much as 50% off must-have products.
8. Claim Your Ulta Birthday Gift
We already mentioned joining the Ultamate Rewards program, and tip Number 9 to saving the most at Ulta is one of the program’s perks. During your birthday month, Ulta gives its Ultamate Rewards members a free birthday gift. It varies but we’re sure you’ll love it. Plus, you’ll earn twice the points during your birthday month. Finally, a store that celebrates you all month long. Oh, and if you’re a Platinum or Diamond member, you’ll also get a $10 coupon.
9. Buy a Discounted Ulta Gift Card
We personally don’t know anyone who hasn’t run out and spent every cent of their Ulta gift card, but apparently, these people exist. In fact, countless websites dedicate their space to people hawking their unused gift cards and people searching for discounted gift cards. Look at retailers like CardCash, CardBear and Sam’s Club, to name a few, for discounts on Ulta gift cards.
10. Shop the Ulta Sale Section
Ulta has an entire section dedicated to beauty products that are on sale, both online and in stores. Merchandise regularly changes so keep checking back to find out if your favorite product is among them.
11. Find the Current Deals
All year, Ulta offers a selection of Buy One, Get One 50% off to mix and match a variety of pretty palettes, creamy lipsticks and dewy skincare products. If you don’t see products you feel like mixing and matching, just check back because the options will change.
12. Shop With Manufacturer Coupons
Ulta accepts manufacturer’s coupons, so check out your weekly ads for any cosmetic coupons you can apply to in-store purchases. The savings add up.
13. Shop In-Store Clearance
Scout out the clearance section in Ulta stores. Ask an employee when they’re doing inventory next, so you know when there might be newly marked-down products. Check the requirements on your manufacturer coupons — you can sometimes apply them to clearance merchandise.
14. Sign Up for Emails
Ulta provides deals and discounts via email. New product announcements are also available through their newsletter. It’s super easy to sign up for Ulta emails.
15. Shop Ulta’s Black Friday Ad
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the best times for scoring mad discounts and special deals on many popular beauty products and tools. Ulta’s Black Friday sale has included some of the deepest discounts you’ll find all year, including Ulta’s list of Prestige products that rarely ever have discounts.
16. Ask for Samples With Your Order
When you order online, you’ll get to select a sample when you check out. When at the cash register in stores, ask the employee for a sample. Chances are, they’ll treat you to one.
17. Check RetailMeNot for Ulta Promo Codes
Check RetailMeNot for all the latest Ulta offers and discounts before you go shopping. These can include everything from discount codes, percentage off discounts, cashback and free gifts.
18. Get an Employee Discount
Ulta employees get 25% off all retail products and 50% off all salon services, and they still earn reward points. Check into seasonal positions too if you want extra cash over the holidays.
19. Download the Ulta Beauty App
By downloading the Ulta app to your mobile device, you’re able to get personalized coupons, track your loyalty points and stay up to date on the latest products.
20. Know Ulta’s Return Policy
Ulta has a liberal return policy for all its products. You can return any product (yes, even opened items) with a receipt (or verified with your Ultamate Rewards member ID) within 60 days of its original purchase for a full refund or exchange.