Twitter user @fatinamxo took to social media to call Ulta out for the alleged behavior. “I was a former employee at Ulta, and whenever a customer would return a product, we were told by managers to repackage / reseal the item and put it back on the shelf,” she wrote on January 9, adding that her store would resell “everything,” including makeup, haircare, skin products, and perfume.
Her Twitter thread included photos of the alleged repackaged products, and she explained that employees were instructed to “clean” products with q-tips. “They even put back a USED liquid lipstick, the manager said she would ‘clean it with alcohol,'” @fantinamxo described. “I contacted corporate and I was surprised to hear her say: ‘Well when it comes to mascaras we definitely want to be hygienic.’ I immediately cut her off and said, ‘What about lipsticks? And foundation?’ They are reselling everything that they can clean up and make ‘new’ again.”
The plot thickened when other Ulta employees contacted @fantinamxo with stories of their own. “Girl, I work at Ulta too,” one of them wrote. “They do the same sh*t, so I would just destroy the makeup once the customer returned it so they would have no choice but to damage it.” Another person described an incident where a blowdryer was allegedly utilized to make an eyebrow pomade look unused.
At the end of her thread, @fantinamxo posted a message to all beauty lovers: “This should be a warning,” she said. “Check your makeup before purchasing it.”
Ulta Beauty has been responding to the claims on Twitter. In one tweet, the company said: “The health and safety of our guests is a top priority for Ulta Beauty. We are looking into these claims as the actions described are inconsistent with our practices and values.” The brand issued a similar statement to People, saying: “The health and safety of our guests is a top priority for Ulta Beauty and we take these matters very seriously. Ulta Beauty’s practices do not allow the resale of any items that have been opened and/or used. The actions described appear to be inconsistent with our practices and we are currently looking into this matter.”
Teen Vogue has reached out to Ulta Beauty for further comment.