Ulta Beauty accused of reselling used makeup products

TODAY Photo

(WAVY/TODAY) — A Twitter user who said she used to work for Ulta Beauty posted a series of tweets alleging that her managers at the retailer instructed her to clean used makeup products so they could be repackaged and sold again.

TODAY reports the woman, known on Twitter as @fatinamxo, described how employees used Q-tips to make used foundations look new again. She also said one manager would clean a used lipstick with alcohol before putting it back on shelves.

The woman claimed to be sharing her stories because she thought “makeup lovers should know what’s going on behind closed doors.”

Her post appears to have struck a nerve online, with many other social media users claiming to be current or former Ulta employees sharing similar stories, and warning potential customers.

“I was in management at Ulta for 3 years and yes, it happened routinely at my store,” one woman wrote.

Other who say they’ve worked for the retail store claimed entirely different experiences. “I’ve worked for Ulta for years and not once have we done this at my store,” another woman wrote.

Ulta Beauty reached out to many of the Twitter users for more information. The company told TODAY in a statement that used products are supposed to be thrown away, not resold.

“We do not allow the resale of used or damaged products,” an Ulta Beauty spokesperson told TODAY. “Our store associates are trained to catalogue and then properly dispose of any used or damaged items. If associates have concerns that this or any Ulta Beauty policy is not being followed, they can anonymously report it through our third-party hotline. Our policies, training and procedures are aimed at ensuring that only the highest-quality products are sold in our stores and online.

“We take any concern of this nature very seriously and if we find that there is any deviation from our policies, we will take appropriate actions to ensure we continue providing a consistently high quality product,” the statement continued. “The health and safety of Ulta Beauty guests is a top priority and we strive to deliver an optimal experience every time they shop with us.”

This situation is a good reminder to customers to be vigilant when buying makeup in stores. TODAY reminds customers to make sure the items look clean and unused, and when possible, buy products that are sealed. Customers should also be careful with makeup testers in stores. Last November, a woman filed suit against Sephora, claiming that a lipstick sample she used there gave her oral herpes.

Rossen Reports investigation uncovered that many makeup samples contain harmful bacteria.