Image of the Ulta Beauty Logo
Ulta Beauty Logo; image courtesy of Ulta Beauty via Wikimedia Commons,

For many women, Ulta Beauty is a haven of brand new quality makeup and beauty products. The key words in that sentence are ‘brand new,’ because naturally, that’s what any sensible person would expect when making a purchase at a store that doesn’t advertise itself as a second hand or thrift store. Unfortunately for Ulta Beauty, a recent lawsuit claims the Chicago-based retailer resold “used makeup as new to unsuspecting consumers.”

This isn’t the first time Ulta Beauty has been accused of reselling used cosmetics. In fact, rumors of the retailer reselling cosmetics first began circulation earlier this year on January 9 when “Twitter user @fatinamxo, who claimed to be a former Ulta employee, posted several messages about her experiences with reselling used products.” Shortly after her social media posts, Twitter lit up “with posts from others who claimed to be Ulta employees, with some supporting her contention and others rejecting it.

Image of Cosmetic Products
Cosmetic Products; image courtesy of
kinkate via Pixabay,

The recent lawsuit against Ulta was filed by Kimberley Laura Smith-Brown “last month in a federal court in Chicago,” and is seeking class-action status. She decided to file the suit shortly after purchasing “dozens of cosmetic items, including eyeliner, mascara and, most recently, lip balm, at an Ulta store over the past six months” and learning about the reports of the cosmetic retailer’s “alleged practice of reselling used makeup.”

In the lawsuit, Smith-Brown alleges:

“Every customer who has purchased cosmetics at Ulta since this practice began was put at risk of unwittingly purchasing used, unsanitary cosmetics and this risk reduces the desirability and value of all cosmetics sold by Ulta.”

At the moment Smith-Brown is “seeking to form a class that would extend to everyone who purchased cosmetics from Ulta Beauty retail locations since every sale is tainted with the possibility that the customer is purchasing used, dirty cosmetics,” according to the lawsuit. Additionally, the suit is requesting “undisclosed damages and other relief.”

Ulta Beauty pushed back against the allegations, though, and in an email last week a spokeswoman  for the retailer said:

“We are aware of the lawsuit and intend to vigorously defend against the allegations. Our policies, training, and procedures are aimed at selling only the highest-quality new products in our stores and online. The health and safety of Ulta Beauty guests is a top priority, and we strive to consistently deliver an optimal experience every time they shop with us.”

But what is Ulta Beauty? Well, for those who don’t know, Ulta Beauty is one of the largest beauty retailers in the country and was founded in 1990. It specializes in selling everything from cosmetics and skin care products to fragrances and hair care products. Currently, the company has 1,058 retail locations across the U.S. and a website. In 2016 it “had a net income of about $410 million on sales of nearly $4.9 billion,” according to a recent annual report.


Lawsuit alleges Ulta resold used cosmetics as new

Ulta Beauty accused of repackaging and reselling used makeup

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