Ulta is Judging You

She is not impressed with you, young lady.

She is not impressed with you, young lady.

Last night after work, I went to Ulta. They keep sending me coupons and putting circulars in the Sunday paper, and I needed some new conditioner, and while I was at it, why not some shampoo?

While I’ve only been in Sephora once, I don’t find Ulta as intimidating. Maybe it’s because the interior isn’t as bright as Sephora, and the employees were nice approachable smocks rather than those weird black outfits at Sephora that make feel like I’m an unwitting part of a new show on Bravo.

But here is why you do not want to go shopping with me: I am convinced everyone in the store is judging me. That when they ask if I need help, they are really thinking, “Poodles! Look at that girl’s hair!” Or that maybe as soon as I walk in, they automatically scan my Ulta Club card and know everything about me, like that I go four or five months in-between haircuts, or don’t wear perfume everyday, or that I pick my skin sometimes. And worst of all, that I am only at Reward Level 1, entitling me to my choice of a Q-tip or a cotton swab.

I also felt like a nerd wandering around the “professional” salon stuff. I had some really fancy salon shampoo that made my hair feel awesome, but the Biolage or whatever it was called was rather expensive, even for someone trying to let herself indulge. So I found myself in the “semi pro” hair products aisle. Ahh, that’s better, I thought. This is like the Will Ferrell of hair products. I can handle this.

But I am also convinced that, should I wander around too long without picking up anything to buy, they assume I am a shoplifter. Yes sir, I must have a box of Smashbox cosmetics in my coat. I am not to be trusted.

In reality, these people probably just want to help if they can. And if they can’t, they want to file their nails until quitting time. Or plot ways to sell me a subscription to InStyle magazine, since “Would you like your 2 free issues sent to your house?” isn’t working too well. No, I want to say. I want them sent to your mom’s house. Actually, I already subscribe, but they don’t know that.

In the end, I left with some lotion to go with my shampoo and conditioner that will purportedly make my hair silky soft and smooth and sexy and sensuous. I started to get one of those little perfume rollerballs, but when she rang it up as $34, I didn’t care that “it comes with a necklace.” I said no thanks, signed for my $20 worth of stuff, and hauled out.

Despite all this, I do enjoy some aspects of going there, or I wouldn’t bother ever going. They have some amazing body washes and lotions and such. But I just can’t seem to shut off all the head noise and just effin’ shop.

Too bad I didn’t have a sassy gay male to shop with me. They can fix everything, right? Then we’d leave the store with our bags, laughing and smiling as we walked out into the sunshine to the strains of K.T. Tunstall.

Are you neurotic when you shop? And do you roam the aisles alone, or use the buddy system?


Filed under Neurosis

3 responses to “Ulta is Judging You

  1. cate3710

    I have similar “are they judging me?” anxiety about small boutique-type clothing stores. Using the buddy system would probably help with this, but I do a lot of my shopping on my lunch break, when there are no buddies available. Boo.

  2. AGreenEyeDevil

    I’m a solo shopper and just tune out, or leave, if the atmosphere is not pleasant/professional. Just remember in this economy, they should be THANKFUL for your presence on the sales floor!!

  3. @cate3710: That’s really the only place I experience that feeling too. And that’s probably because they are judging me.

    As for Ulta, I LOVE that place. I always plan my visits around sales, and with my coupons and discount points from my frequent buyer card, I usually rack up. Like, I’ll be going there this weekend to buy shampoo and conditioner, because Biolage is buy 2, get 2 free (which, isn’t that just really buy 1, get 1 free?). Then I’ll throw my coupon on top, and cash in my reward points and I should knock at least $10 off my order.

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