For some, working at a beauty store seems like a dream come true. You get to sell beauty products, help customers find the shades that look the best on them, and of course, you get an employee discount so you can enjoy the products yourself. It doesn't sound like anything could ever be bad about that kind of job, right?
One popular store is Ulta Beauty, which is a pretty unique concept since it's both a store that sells makeup and hair products and it's also a hair salon. As of January 2017, there are almost 1,000 locations (the number is 974). There are a lot of current and former employees who have shared their stories of working at the store. While some of them love the job and couldn't say anything bad about it, a lot of employees say that there are some things that are less than perfect. They don't love the rules (either written or unspoken) that they have to follow. Wondering what those rules are? We rounded them up for you. Read on to find out 15 rules Ulta Beauty employees have to follow. From what employees do during their shifts to what breaks employees get to what they have to look like in terms of their makeup, this list is pretty interesting!
15 The Employees Feel Like They Can't Speak Up, And When They Do They Get Penalized For It
One girl told HR that her manager was treating her badly and then didn't get scheduled for any more shifts after that.
It seems like some people get penalized when they complain about something that they don't like what's happening at their store...
or if they're being bullied or something by a coworker or manager.
This is definitely something that sucks to hear, but it's also easy to see this happening in a lot of different companies and industries. Sometimes people just don't want to hear that something is wrong, so even if you have the best intentions and you really do want a chill and polite atmosphere to work in, you'll be told that you're the one causing problems. It's just the way that it goes and it's truly unfortunate.
14 They're Encouraged To Sell Makeup That's Already Been Used By Someone Else
According to a story on Businessinsider.com that was published recently, employees of Ulta Beauty say that the store is actually selling makeup that has already been used. Yes. Really.
Someone who used to work for the store started tweeting about this so, of course, that got people talking for sure. She tweeted, "makeup lovers should know what's going on behind closed doors." Of course, this sounds pretty gross since absolutely no one wants to buy beauty products that someone else already put on their face. That's actually the worst thing that could happen at a beauty store. The company gave the website a statement and said they definitely don't do this, so it's unclear whether this is true or not, but this is what the former employee is saying.
13 They Don't Get A Break During Their Super Long Shifts
Another employee shared that they have a 4-6 hour shift with no breaks.
Someone else said that there are no lunch breaks. As they said on Indeed.com,
"I've never worked for a company that did not give a lunch break when an employee worked a 7.5-hour shift."
As she continued, "Even worse, when you were allotted a lunch, it was only 30 minutes - which meant either you very thoughtfully packed a lunch you could inhale quickly if you also wanted even five minutes to catch your breath, or you were going to be late getting back, and penalized in a very black and white way." That definitely doesn't sound like the best thing ever. In fact, it sounds like a pretty tough, stressful situation. Lunch breaks are something that everyone deserves.
12 If You've Worked There For A Long Time, You Still May Not Even Be Able To Do Makeup Application
One person shared on Indeed.com that only a few beauty advisors, which is the title that they are given, can do makeup on customers, but not all of them can. It seems like that was a rule that was created.
While this rule does make sense since doing makeup on a customer probably involves some training and technique and knowing what you're doing, it also makes sense that employees would be frustrated. This is especially true if you get this job because you're super interested in the hair and beauty industry and maybe you even want to become a makeup artist. You would definitely think that this would be a great stepping stone toward this career. But then again, people can always get another job if they don't like the rules.
11 They Have To Wear A Ton Of Makeup, More Than The Employees Want To
It seems pretty logical that if you work for a store like Ulta Beauty, you would be told to wear makeup during your shifts. It looks kind of weird if you show up with a completely bare face and if you act like you hate makeup. But then again, if you're super against beauty products you probably wouldn't be a good fit for the company and wouldn't be hired in the first place...
Some employees have complained on Indeed.com about
being told to wear even more makeup once they came into the store and already had a ton on.
How much makeup is a lot of makeup, though? It seems totally subjective. So this might be a confusing thing to follow since you wouldn't feel that comfortable wearing way too much makeup. Hmmm.
10 There's Basically No Training For New Employees
People have said on Indeed.com that employees don't really get trained once they get hired by this company. It's impossible to know if that happens across the board and absolutely zero employees get trained no matter what store they're working in and no matter what state. It seems like maybe some stores do more training than others. Again, this is totally impossible to really know.
It's just interesting to hear since people have said this about working at some other stores. It's kind of a tricky thing since some people seem to love training and they want more, whereas others would be happy with less and wouldn't want to sit there for hours watching videos or hearing from a manager. It's really hard to believe that no one is trained, so maybe this only happens sometimes.
9 Many Employees Feel There's Absolutely No Room To Grow Within The Company
It definitely doesn't sound like employees were able to get raises or promotions and there was just no room to grow.As one girl said on Indeed.com, "Absolutely no room for growth. They tell you one thing then tell you another. They hire multiple people with very little availability and then give you no hours.
This isn’t a job if you’re trying to live."
Someone else said, "At my Ulta there was zero room for advancement even when you are trying. The GM would talk to you about it, but then you could go another 3-6 months without any talk of it again. Raises are few and far between and being paid less than $10 an hour and only receiving 20 hours a week is less than adequate when trying to advance and make a career. I was told no other positions were available when that was not the truth."
8 No Matter How Hard You Work Or How Much You Sell, You Won't Be Compensated For It
According to some employees, they are told that they can get tips and commission working at the store, especially if they're working in the hair salon. Makes sense. Apparently, actually getting tips and commission is another story and they're pretty hard to get, so it's not really the best way to guarantee your income.
It definitely sounds like more of a part-time gig than a full-time on, since not a lot of hours are given to each person when shifts are scheduled, and since tips and commission aren't that common. That's totally cool if someone wants to only work part-time, but it sounds like most employees aren't thrilled with the hours that they're given and would want more. That's why they get so frustrated and are sharing this stuff online.
7 Employees Feel Like Being Personable And Friendly To Customers Is Frowned Upon
You would think that if you worked in a retail store, you would be talking to customers all the time. After all, that seems like the whole point, right? That seems to be even truer if you work at a beauty store and hair salon. You would definitely expect to bond with other women over products and hairstyles and anything else.
It seems like employees aren't allowed to talk to customers, though, at least according to what someone posted on Indeed.com:
"We were discouraged from taking time with customers and tasks were the main focus."
Hmmm. If that's the case, that really sucks, because chatting with customers would make the shift much more fun, and of course, it's always better as a customer when you can have a rapport going. But that's just one rule that employees seem to have to follow.
6 Management Hardly Cares About How Good Of An Employee You Are, Just That You Get A Lot Of Credit Card Sign Ups
When you work at Ulta Beauty, it seems like you work the cash register most of the time, and that means that you have to get customers to sign up for credit cards and loyalty cards. This is a rule that everyone has to follow, which is logical since this kind of thing happens in a lot of retail stores.
People don't love this, though, and have said it pretty publicly online. One girl shared,
"All management cares about is how many stupid loyalty and credit card sign ups you get.
You can be amazing at customer service and selling, but if you're not reaching the store's quota on signing people up for the dumb cards, you're a failure. Definitely the most unorganized, stressful, messiest job I've ever had in my life."
5 Their Everyday Tasks Are Way Less Than Glamorous
What do you think that you do during your shift if you work at this store? You would probably expect to start off on the register and then eventually work your way up. That doesn't seem to be what happens, at least according to former or current employees who have shared their stories on Indeed.com
Many have said that they had to work the register or stock products... and that was literally all that they were allowed to do. There was nothing more interesting that they could do, and they didn't get the chance to learn more about working at the store or advance their skills. That definitely seems like a shame since, let's face it, everyone wants to feel like they're doing well at their job and getting somewhere and learning as much as they can.
4 They Have To Be Okay With Working Long And Grueling Shifts
One employee shared on Indeed.com that she was given 2-3 days of work a week and that meant a working week of five hours total.
That's not the best news for someone who wants to make some cash from working at their job, right?! Shifts aren't that long (more on that next) so it wouldn't be 2-3 full days of work, either. It would just be a few hours each day. It sounds like, at least according to what people are saying online, if you want to work just a little bit every week then this is the perfect job for you. But if you want more hours than that, you might need to get another job as well or find something more full-time. It definitely doesn't sound like it's full-time.
3 There's Little To No Communication Between Management And Employees
Something that is pretty common across the board at Ulta stores is that employees don't feel there is a lot of communication going on.
They say that their managers don't talk to them and don't explain things, and there's also a feeling that coworkers aren't that nice to each other, either.
Communication is basically the most important thing no matter what you're talking about. It matters a ton in your personal life since if you don't have good communication with your family and boyfriend and best friends, you'll just argue all the time and have a ton of unnecessary conflict. The same thing is true about your work life. Having no communication is never going to be a good thing at your job... and that's an understatement.
2 They Have To Work Major Holidays, No Matter What
One girl shared on Indeed.com that she had to work holidays, so she didn't love that.
Sure, it's definitely true that if you work in retail, you probably have to work holidays sometimes. After all, if a store is going to stay open on a holiday, that means that people have to be there to work there. It's only logical. It seems like the reason that people are so upset is that they not only had to work holidays but if they took a day off and scheduled it ahead of time, they would be told that they still had to come in once that day arrived. It would be totally last minute and that would be pretty upsetting to them. It's easy to see why that wouldn't be the most fun thing ever.
1 There's A Point System, And You Lose Points If You're Sick
Sick days are a tricky thing. Some companies are cool with when someone is super sick and would be too contagious to come into the office, but others refuse to believe someone unless they have a doctor's note.
At Ulta, it seems like there is a point system, and that means that taking a sick day is a horrible idea. One girl shared on Indeed.com,
"You can never be sick. They work off of a point system, and you gain a point for evening calling in sick. After 8 you are fired...
ridiculous, wants you to work when you have no voice so you can get others sick." It's hard to know if that's a thing that happens in every store or if this just happened to this one employee. But either way, it's hard not to sympathize with her for sure.