We love freebies, especially those you can get any time of year (not just during your birthday month, though those are great, too). Ulta is testing out free sample vending machines in select stores across the U.S. at which Ultamate Rewards members (their free loyalty program) can choose one complimentary sample a week. No-hassle, self-service Ulta free samples? And we thought Ulta free gifts with purchase were the holy grail!
Right now you can only find an Ulta free samples vending machine in 10 stores across five states in the U.S. (California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas). But that number is expected to grow as the retailer receives customer and store feedback on the experience.
We're diving into everything you should know about these brand, spankin' new machines. But for all the latest on free stuff and the best sales, text HACKS to 57299.
Ulta free samples vending machines started popping up in stores in Nov. 2023.
We first spotted one of these self-service kiosks the first week of Nov. 2023 at an Ulta store in Austin, TX. The retailer is testing out the vending machines in an effort to expand their in-store sample program. We like that you can just walk up to one of these machines and choose your sample, without having to interact with an employee (lovely as they might be) or feel shy about asking for a freebie.
The vending machines also disperse free Rael period care products (super helpful when you're in a jam). However, these products are limited, so be kind and don't attempt to grab a month's supply.
The vending machines only work for Ultamate Rewards members — here's how.
So, first things first, you do need to be an Ultamate Rewards member in order to get the goods from one of these Ulta free samples machines. However their loyalty program is completely free to join.
As long as you know the phone number associated with your Ultamate Rewards account, here's what you do next.
Head to the Ulta free samples kiosk (or vending machine — whichever you want to call it, you do you) and do the following:
Hit 'Tap to Vend.'
Choose one sample from the array on the screen, then tap 'Get Free Sample.'
Collect your sample from the drop box at the bottom of the machine.
The whole process took us just 30 seconds to complete.
Receive one free sample from the machine each week, which is considered Sunday through Saturday.
You can visit the kiosk once a week, with a week being considered Sunday through Saturday. So, let's say you pop into Ulta on a Saturday evening and get a free sample, technically you're eligible for another the very next day on Sunday because the "week" has changed over.
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Expect to choose from four different free samples, which swap out monthly.
Each of these Ulta free samples is considered travel-size and the selection will switch out every month. During our visit, we chose Too Faced's Better Than Sex Foreplay Mascara Primer, but there were a total of four options available at the time of our November visit. These included:
Travel-size products can cost anywhere from $7 - $16, which means you could collect up to $64 in free product from these machines monthly.
Since the samples in the Ulta vending machines are considered travel-size, we decided to take a look at their value estimation. Ulta sells a travel-size Too Faced Better Than Sex Foreplay Mascara Primer, 0.13 oz., for $16 a tube. That's the exact same size we received as our free sample when we hit up the machine on our first visit.
With that in mind, if you stop in at Ulta once a week to grab a free sample, you're likely looking at up to $64 in free product each month.
Admittedly, not all travel-sizes cost as much as that mascara primer. But they do tend to run at least $7 a pop, depending on the product.
Currently, the Ulta free sample kiosks are only available in 10 stores across five states.
Simply put: these machines are pretty cool and as word spreads, we expect there to be high demand for Ulta to add them to more stores. For right now, however, these free sample machines are only available in 10 stores nationwide. Here's where you can find them:
9844 Chapman Ave Garden Grove, CA 92841
2250 Bridgepointe Pkwy San Mateo, CA 94404
4860 Big Island Dr Jacksonville, FL 32246
425 Washington St, Ste 5 Woburn, MA 01801
383 North Central Ave Hartsdale, NY 10530
76 Rockland Plaza, Space 26 Nanuet, NY 10954
5207 Brodie Ln, Ste 180 Austin, TX 78745
2314 West University Dr Denton, TX 76201
3000 S Hulen St, Ste 130 Fort Worth, TX 76109
16637 Coit Rd Dallas, TX 75248