The selection of hair accessories and tools is greater than in any one store NWS has shopped. The sheer number of flat irons (GHD, Ultra Chi, Helen of Troy to name a few) to choose from is even a little daunting! For clips, headbands, elastics and the like no one rivals Ulta's selection from Elle, Karina and Goody. If you mess around with faux hair (we don't) the in store selection of the Ken Paves/Jessica Simpson collab is abundant. There are brushes and combs galore - Marilyn brand are our absolute faves.
Skincare ranges from lovely bath and body care to self tanning options and an insanely long list of cleansers, moisturizers and special care options for the face. Ulta packs a punch in the self tanning department with what must be every product L'Oreal & Neutrogena have ever manufactured in the category as well as Tan Towel, Fake Bake, ModelCo, Jergen's and Australian Gold.
Skincare brands include Bliss (creators of many skin care solutions), Ahava, Cetaphil, Korres, Organix, Burt's Bees and Yes to Carrots/Cucumbers/Tomatoes.
As for cosmetic tools you can find everything from cotton swabs and pads to sponges to brushes by EcoTools and Japonesque.
The nail department offers OPI, Essie, Nail Tek, Butter London, Revlon, China Glaze as well as a gigantic selection of Sally Hansen.
Fragrance options abound! Most department and specialty store brands are handsomely represented in addition to smaller lines such as Demeter (a HUGE fave of NWS for interesting, single note fragrances) as well as candles and home diffusers.
Ulta also houses a salon in addition to this massive retail space so the hair care brands are abundant and range from Redken, Phyto, Fekkai and Ojon to TRESemme, L'Oreal and Garnier. Cuts start at $45 and color at $40 and waxing services start at $20. See the complete menu of services here.
The overall shopping experience in Ulta comes down to the selection and range of price options. The stores are not immaculately clean (typically) and due to the large amount of inventory the shelves are not always perfectly stocked.
-----Note about using testers: No matter where you shop for cosmetics and beauty products the testers will be filthy. They may not appear to be disgusting but TRUST that they are. Use the materials the stores provide to safely use testers such as cotton swabs and rounds, tissues and without fail - alcohol (for anything cream based). Do not double dip your applicator but be aware that the person before you probably did.