A Former Employee Has Accused Ulta of Re-Selling Used Products [Updated]

A lengthy Twitter thread details the beauty retailer's rumored unsanitary practices.
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A lengthy Twitter thread details the beauty retailer's rumored unsanitary practices.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

There's a reason we covet vintage clothes, shoes and accessories, but certainly not makeup. The thought of using someone else's foundation stick or tube of lipstick — even if it's something they touched for under a second — is deeply unsettling, not to mention unsanitary and unhealthy. So when a former Ulta employee took to Twitter on Wednesday night to accuse the retailer of re-selling products that had been used and returned to the store, a collective shudder went down the spines of the men and women whose skin, hair, nails and face rely on the beauty behemoth. 

"So 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," wrote Twitter user Fatinamxo. She then goes on to give explicit details about their alleged restocking practices; i.e. used lipsticks were supposedly made "new" again with alcohol; eye shadow palettes were re-birthed as untouched after a night of being left out to dry and foundation sticks got a second chance with some dandy Q-tip tricks. 

While this former Ulta employee was only making claims about one store location, upon seeing the thread, other Ulta employees from across the country came forward with similar allegations. Fatinamxo has since posted the messages anonymously (see below) on her Twitter, proving that his could be a widespread Ulta practice. 

Fashionista has reached out to Ulta for comment and will update this post as any additional information becomes available.

UPDATE, Thursday Jan. 11, 5:29 p.m.: A spokesperson from Ulta has issued the following statement in response to Fashionista's request for comment: 

"Every day, we aim to offer the best guest experience. This includes efforts to safeguard the integrity of products we sell. We take seriously our responsibility to provide safe, high quality products. The actions described are inconsistent with our practices and while we continue to investigate, we want to emphasize that we do not allow the resale of any opened or used items in our stores."

UPDATE, Tuesday Feb. 13, 8:07 a.m.: According to WWD, Ulta shopper Kimberly Laura Smith-Brown is suing the company over its alleged re-selling practices. WWD reports that she "is looking to recover any amounts she, and all other shoppers, paid to Ulta, and asked the court to certify a class of any Ulta shopper with similar claims," in response to the allegations made by former Ulta employees via Twitter in January. An Ulta spokesperson told WWD that the company will "vigorously defend against the allegations."

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