Ulta worker says customers use non-tester makeup, put it back on shelves

Brett Hondow/ShutterStock @11ashvhb5d0/TikTok (Licensed)

‘That’s why i always take stuff from the back’: Ulta worker says customers use non-tester makeup, put it back on shelves

'Try working at target, the amount of makeup i had to defect.'


Melody Heald


Posted on Nov 27, 2023   Updated on Nov 27, 2023, 2:47 pm CST

A canon event is a pivotal moment in a person’s life. An Ulta Beauty worker shared she experienced one while on the job.

TikTok user Ash (@11ashvhb5d0) posted about her “1st ulta [canon] event” on Nov. 13, and the post has so far garnered 124,000 views. In it, Ash holds an Extreme Shine Volume Lipgloss by Essence. The gloss is clear, and the wand is supposed to be white. However, this tube’s wand is purple, implying it was opened and used by someone with purple lipstick on.

“Just experienced my 1st ulta [canon] event,” Ash said in the text overlay. “Customers opening & using makeup thats not a tester & putting it back.”

“Didnt even try & hide it,” she added in the caption of the video.

In Ulta, most beauty products have one tester item that customers can use to see if they like a product before purchasing it. It is more common for prestige cosmetic brands, like Benefit Cosmetics and Nars Cosmetics, to have testers at their stands. So it’s likely that Essence didn’t have a tester of the Extreme Shine Volume Lipgloss, which retails for only $3.99, at its stand. However, most reasonable customers would agree that using new products that someone is going to eventually purchase is a huge no-no.

@11ashvhb5d0 didnt even try & hide it🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ #ulta #retail ♬ Heaven Sent – Tevomxntana

Customers shared that this is why they try to choose items from the back, and workers reflected on their similar experiences in the comments section.

“Try working at target, the amount of makeup i had to defect,” @karamizzle said in the top comment on the video.

“People open boxes, use stuff, and put it back all the time,” a TikToker who said they are a Sephora worker, added.

“Thats why i always take stuff from the back,” @isaendedflops said.

“I dig to the very back if items don’t have a seal I don’t trust people people are NASTY,” another agreed.

Another customer said they outright avoid products that don’t have a seal. “Like [just] steal it at that point,” another urged.

While Ulta has reportedly been dealing with theft in its stores, it remains in good health. The company recently reported strong sales growth.

The Daily Dot reached out to Ash via TikTok comment as well as to Ulta via email.

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*First Published: Nov 27, 2023, 10:30 pm CST