Target x Ulta Partnership

Did you know about the Target x Ulta Partnership? I’ve been a little out of touch, so I didn’t until a disappointing experience with Target in February.

I’d been wanting to try one of the Stila Convertible Colors for YEARS. Like, 5+, but I had a trouble pulling trigger on the $25 cream blush compact. I noticed that Target is carrying some prestige brands, but didn’t think much of it. I saw a Target Circle offer for 50% off some Stila products, and this was on the list! Score.

Maybe not

My order arrived, and this was the condition of the product when I unboxed it:

Read more

Why Ulta Lost My Business

Why Ulta Lost My Business After Fifteen Years and Thousands of Dollars Spent

After a decade and a half and thousands of dollars spent, Ulta lost my business. For years, Ulta impressed me with its unique combination of products. Having drugstore, prestige, and salon all in one place is great! It was convenient and felt like a more inclusive place to shop. It wasn’t intimidating to my younger self the same way Sephora and beauty counters were.

I’ve been a member of their Ultamate Rewards program since 2008. Unfortunately, though, Ulta lost my business due to a critical security issue. You should reconsider whether you do business with them, as well.

Weird Activity

Like many, my beauty spending tapered off in 2020. I wasn’t going through product at the same rate. Add that to the amount of uncertainty in the world, I was being judicious and cautious with nonessential spending. I expected my rewards tiers at both Sephora and Ulta to lapse. So, imagine my surprise when I got an email from Ulta suggesting I had more points than I expected.


Read more

Bi-Weekly WTF :: Vol 11 – Premier Loyalty – Recurring VIBR or Ulta Diamond

For a couple years in a row now, I have managed to achieve both Sephora VIB status as well as Ulta’s Platinum status. I didn’t achieve these reward tiers only through spending on myself, though. In addition to my own personal spending, I:

  • Buy gifts for others
  • Buy blog giveaway items
  • Extend my account perks to friends (VIB sales, Platinum perks) who pay me back

Continuously Achieving Premier Loyalty tiers

I can see how easy it would be to hit the premier loyalty tiers; even though I think the Dyson hair dryer is a bit frivolous, but purchase that and exclusively use prestige product and I’m sure it is as easy as that. I’m struggling, though, to comprehend how individual people are spending enough to maintain the über premier loyalty tiers year after year.

I think it would be easier to achieve at Ulta since Ulta offers more services (Brow Bar, Dermalogica skin services, nails, hair). On top of that, their product range is broader, including drugstore, more  bath/personal care, and hair care.

The Bottom Line

So, in short, I’m curious – if any of you are multi-year VIB Rouge members, what does a year of Sephora purchases look like for you? Is it a lot of Drunk Elephant and Sunday Riley? Fragrance? Every palette that launches? Or are you buying gifts and offering up your perks and making orders on behalf of friends?

Ulta just launched Diamond this year but if you expect to achieve Diamond year-over-year, what will your purchases look like?

Ultamate Rewards – New Reward Tier

I don’t know if there was a promotional communiqué regarding the new reward tier available at Ulta but I saw it mentioned in an e-mail last month.

Previously, their base tier was open to everyone and included point earning (redeemable for $ off), a free birthday gift, and double points during your birth month.


If you spent $400 in a year, you’d achieve Platinum. For the 2018 reward year, however, Ulta has increased that threshhold by fifty bucks to $450.

New Reward Tier – Diamond

The new reward tier is unlocked with a $1200 annual spend with Ulta. That exceeds Sephora’s VIB Rouge tier by $200 per year.

At first, I thought their new credit card may accelerate that achievement, but since the tiers are based on dollars-spent, not points-earned, it doesn’t seem like it will.

Diamond Perks

Perks new or exclusive to the Diamond tier include:

Read more

Worth it? Ulta Brow Tint

Ulta Brow TintUlta Brow Tint, $10

When I learned that my favorite brow product, Gimme Brow, had been recalled/discontinued, I was upset. I seem to end up getting attached to products that end up facing discontinuation just a year or two later. I set out to research replacements because like mascara and unlike lipstick, I do my brows daily.


Glossier’s Boy Brow product looks attractive, and I intend to someday try it. That said, that day doesn’t happen to fall in the first quarter of 2018. Instead, I was surprised to find that Ulta Brow Tint, an unassuming brow product in their house line, has incredible reviews… and is only $10 a tube.

Supply Run

I needed to resupply on dry shampoo last month, which is ‘permitted’ by my ‘rules.’ Likewise, resupplying on a brow product is within the rules as long as I’m not getting crazy experimental. Since my previous product is not available for purchase, trying something new is fair. And, better yet, it costs less.

Better-better yet:

  • The whole line, including Ulta Brow Tint was buy one, get one free
  • I had Ulta coupons
  • I had a gift card

…so I didn’t spend out-of-pocket.

Shade Range

Ulta Brow Tint comes in six shades and, as a result, beats the pants off the color options of most other brands offering similar products.

Read more

Worth it? Reusable Makeup Removing Cloths

love those Swisspers cotton pads that are a lot like the Shiseido ones. They’re both really nice (although the Shiseido are on the expensive side), but I invested in some reusable makeup removing cloths that have all but replaced them.

Waste Not

In the last year or so I’ve been gradually pursuing the idea of less.

  • Less makeup.
  • Less clothing (now possible since I have a lovely little apartment-sized washer and dryer).
  • Less waste.

I won’t pretend I’m living some virtuous low-waste fantasy. I’m totally not, and I’m not even trying to strive for that. I am, however, trying to make gradual, reasonable cuts to certain single-use items I buy. Fortunately, nice reusable makeup removing cloths don’t feel like a sacrifice or burden.

My Reusable Makeup Removing Cloths

There are so many options out there that it is hard to know where to start. When I first started shopping, I saw Makeup Eraser at Nordstrom and Sephora but $20 for one single cloth was a bit rich for

a) my blood and

b) something that I wasn’t sure of yet. I still haven’t bothered trying them because what I’ve gone with is (comparatively) inexpensive and fantastic!

SephoraSephora Black Magic Reusable Makeup Removing Cloths

Read more