By  on November 28, 2017

Growing up in Indianapolis, I was never much of an Ulta shopper. As a teen beauty consumer in the early Aughts, I picked up my Tony + Tina and Delux Beauty glitter lip glosses and Benefit pineapple body scrub — likely purchased with a combination of babysitting money and bat mitzvah savings — at Sephora, whose brand assortment better catered to my burgeoning penchant for luxury goods. Ulta was known as the store where my mom replenished her Redken color-safe shampoo.

But when Ulta opened its very first Manhattan outpost in late October, I was more than happy to make the trek to the Upper East Side to play a “real” beauty shopper. Plus, Ulta has changed since I last entered a store — with chief executive officer Mary Dillon at the helm, prestige makeup now comprises the majority of Ulta’s business today, and I was curious to see how much the look and feel of the physical store was different from the more utilitarian one I once knew.

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