Ulta deals are frequently fantastic, but it can be hard to know when to actually jump on Ulta’s sales on makeup, skincare, haircare, and more. Pull out your day planner and mark these dates — these are the best things to buy at Ulta.
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1. Save 20% when you buy shampoo and conditioner in the summer and after the holidays.
The biannual Jumbo Love Hair Sale is typically the time to stock up on shampoo and conditioner, but the sale has been paused in the midst of COVID-19. (Doesn’t mean it won’t be back, though!)
In the meantime, you can expect Ulta to still have sales on liter-sized, high-end shampoo and conditioner in the summer and post-holidays (July and January). That means you can save big on jumbo-sized bottles of most major professional hair care brands (think: Matrix, Redken, Bedhead, Biolage, Joico, Kenra, American Crew).
Keep an eye on our Ulta deals to learn when it’s time to buy, and we’ll help you figure out which formulas fall into each threshold and help you save.
PRO TIP: Plan to buy at the start of the seasonal sale. Ulta often sells out of products in-store.
2. Wait to buy Ulta brand makeup when you can get a free gift set just for spending $19.50.
Once every couple months, Ulta does a special promotion — spend $19.50 on Ulta-brand makeup, and get a complimentary Ulta brand piece gift set valued between $80 and$100!
Have any of those Ulta $3.50 off $15 coupons lying around? This is the time to use them.The total amount you pay is calculated before coupons and discounts, so the strategy is to use coupons to to pay less out of pocket while still getting the free gift.
In one of my bag, I got mascara, a blush set, an eyeshadow set, a sharpener, lip balm, lip liner and lipstick and more (including a $5 off coupon!). All that just for buying my usual concealer and an eyeshadow brush that I’d been “eyeing.”
PRO TIP: You can use an Ulta $3.50 coupon on a purchase that totals $15 before the coupon was applied. So you’re really getting $15 worth of product for $11.50.
3. Get drugstore brands extra cheap when you stack coupons.
You can combine $3.50 off $15 coupons with your manufacturer coupons on drugstore brands like Covergirl, Maybelline, etc. Don’t buy drugstore brands without at least two coupons! You can often find it much cheaper stacking your manufacturer coupons with a sale at drugstores like Walgreens or CVS.
RELATED: Ulta Hacks That’ll Save You Serious Cash!
4. You gotta stock up on prestige makeup from Ulta at the end of the year.
From the Monday before Black Friday through Christmas, Ulta goes bananas with sales on prestige makeup that’s otherwise hard to find discounted. You can expect to see Tarte, BareMinerals and Smashbox makeup gift sets for up to 75% off ($10 per set). And two weeks later look for 50% off Urban Decay and Lorac.
Also in December, Ulta releases a 20% off prestige coupon. You can’t use it on clearance items, but you can use it on items that are temporarily marked down or on sale.
PRO TIP: Black Friday is also a great time to buy hot tools like straighteners, curling irons and blow dryers. High-end brands like CHI are discounted at least 30%, and Hot Tools products can reach up to 50% off.
5. The Love Your Skin Event in January is the must-buy time for skincare.
ULTA’s Love Your Skin Event is 21 straight days of deals that happen each January (in 2020, it was January 2 through 25). While 2021’s Love Your Skin Event might be different, you can likely still expect to find skincare products — from cleansers to eye serums — from brands like Perricone, Dermadoctor, Proactiv, and BareMinerals on sale for half of what they regularly retail for. Buy enough to last you until next year!
Here are some examples of crazy-good 2020 Love Your Skin deals:
- Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (reg. $75): $37.50
- Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum (reg. $69): $34.50
- Dermalogica Age Smart Super Rich Repair (reg: $89): $46
- Too Faced Hangover Good in Bed Ultra-Replenishing Hydrating Serum for just $20 (normally $30)
6. Get the bulk of your makeup during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty.
Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty event features a sale on one item every day for three weeks in March and September. Look for up to 50% savings on brands like Tarte, Anastasia Beverly Hills, It Cosmetics, Urban Decay, and Smashbox. This is basically a makeup sale, but there can be up to three days out of 21 with a skincare offer like facial wipes or wrinkle cream.
Here are some examples of 21 Days of Beauty deals:
- Tarte Shape Tape Concealer regularly $27, on sale for $13.50.
- Foreo Luna Mini 2, usually $119, on sale for $60
- Grande Cosmetics GrandeBrow Brow Enhancing Serum, usually $70, on sale for $35
- Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara, usually $25, on sale for $13
- Tula Brighten Up Smoothing Primer Gel, usually $34, on sale for $17
7. Buy fragrance in April, June or December when you can get a free gift with purchase.
You can’t use your $3.50 off $15 coupons with a perfume purchase, so the best strategy for fragrance at Ulta is to wait to buy until you can at least get a free gift (a robe, a tote bag — stuff like that) with your purchase.
Another idea is to hoard all your Ultamate Rewards points and use them on fragrance, creating your own discount.