HOLMDEL, NJ - Everyone knows Ulta Beauty.
There are over 45,000 associates working at Ulta Beauty, according to the company. They have created 22,000 new jobs since 2015, and not surprisingly 92% of their associates are women. They are among the top four corporate partners of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in their national partnerships. They also have a charitable foundation and according to corporate literature they are committed to the environment, their partners and certainly their investors, with $6.8 billion in 2018 sales.
In 2020 in America, however, one negative social media post, can create a news cycle of chaos. So it is that a social media complaint has made its way throughout the news outlets nationwide, from a local store in Holmdel.
In the complaint, Ebony Kankam London, (a Texas resident, visiting family who reside in Holmdel), states that she had a horrible experience during a makeover session at Ulta Beauty in Holmdel, on December 28th. The makeover was in preparation for her baby shower, hosted by her mother-inlaw, who lives in Holmdel. In the complaint, an Ulta associate allegedly advised her that her skin color was too dark to match up with the majority of the options available at Ulta. London, a black woman, was very upset by the alleged behavior of the Ulta makeup artist. According to London, she brought in a picture as a reference but said she was told that her 'skin tone was too dark for most colors in the store'.
If the makeup artist did in fact make that statement, that statement was incorrect. Ulta has one of the widest ranges of makeup, and black women feature prominently in their public relations and website presence. The brand FLESH is just one of the many examples of foundations they carry with a variety of skin colors. FLESH has 40 skin colors to choose from, the darker tones with names like mocha and espresso, click here to see the variety.
The issue may have less to do with the variety of product and more to do with training and common sense. According to London she indicated that, "I think it was just a lack of training and experience and definitely poor customer service."
Ulta Beauty has makeup colors to match or come very close to matching every skin color. "Guest satisfaction with our services is a top priority. We never want to hear that a guest has had anything less than a great in-store experience. This is our responsibility, and we take it seriously," an Ulta spokesman said in statement.
Ulta also issued a statement on Twitter: "A guest recently had a disappointing experience in one of our stores. We recognize that there have been times when individuals have not experienced the inclusive environment we strive for in every Ulta Beauty location, and we take that very seriously... We will be taking additional steps towards continuing our depth of training and education of our stylists and makeup artists in our stores to meet all of our guests' needs and create an inclusive experience for everyone."
In a recent social media post London said, "So I just got done talking with Ulta corporate. They wanted to make this better by doing another makeover. But then I told them this is bigger than me and wanting my make up done and I now have a platform of women to speak for. So now they wanna call me back."
In separate posts by London, it seems that she had a wonderful baby shower. Hopefully she was able to fully enjoy her milestone event after such a disturbing incident.