With all the beauty launches and new brands that pop up seemingly every day, it’s easy for your wallet to feel the strain. Instead of just skipping them all and scrolling through Instagram feeling totally bummed, there are a handful of Ulta hacks that can save you real money at the retail chain. This way, you can stock up on items you use every day, like eyebrow pencils and concealer, and have a few dollars left to test out that glitter shadow you’ve had your eye on sans guilt.
As with all store hacks, deals change from location to location. Ulta’s website is a surprising treasure trove of tips if you dig long enough. (Hey, what else are you going to do at midnight when you can’t sleep?) And then there’s everyone’s favorite black hole of more beauty tips than you can possibly read: Reddit. We rounded up some of our favorite Ulta hacks to get you started.
Pay Attention to Any Gifts With Purchase
Even if it’s not advertised, there’s often a free product with a purchase, especially if you buy more than one. Check out Ulta’s website for an entire list of all the ones happening, both in-store and online. Just today, there are more than 60 options, including a free CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser with a $15 CeraVe purchase, plus a free TIGI Beach Bag Essentials Kit (with travel-size shampoo and conditioner) with a $15 TIGI purchase.
Download the App
If you’re already planning to drop some money on makeup, or are looking for your next favorite thing, open Ulta’s app and easily see all the newest launches, including the Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Foundation we told you all about. There are also coupon codes, like that $3.50 off $15. (My mom is all over that one.)
Grab Your Birthday Gift
Just like Sephora Rewards, if you sign up for Ulta’s emails, you’ll grab a birthday freebie, which are often full-sized products. You can’t beat that.
Take Advantage of Easy Returns
Of course, you shouldn’t abuse any return policy (makeup often can’t be resold and has to be thrown out), but if something really isn’t working for you, Ulta gives you 60 days you return it as long as you have the receipt—no questions asked. Even after 60 days, you’ll still get store credit.
Look for Discounted Gift Cards
One Reddit user spotted Ulta gift cards at Sam’s Club for 13 percent off! Just always check that specific store’s return policy just in case there’s an issue with the Ulta card because Ulta won’t be able to help.
Save Your Rewards Points
You get one point for every dollar you spend, and 1.25 points for each dollar if you spend $450 in the year (Platinum, baby!). And make sure to keep an eye out for point multipliers. For example, last month, cruelty-free makeup had a 5x multiplier, meaning you got five times the points just by shopping that category. Redeem those points for money off any purchase. And now you can use points on services too, like in the Ulta Salon or at the Benefit Brow Bar. (Just bring cash for the tip.)
Don’t Miss 21 Days of Beauty
There’s no better month for Ulta deals than the 21 Days of Beauty sale. Save up for the bi-annual event and stock up during this time—and think about spending some points, as well. All three weeks have multiple sales a day, including up to 50 percent off cult-favorite products, as well as access to new exclusive drops from brands including Kylie Cosmetics, Too Faced, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Peter Thomas Roth. Happy shopping.