Artist to Artist Education Drives Salon Careers at Ulta Beauty
Artist to Artist Education Drives Salon Careers at Ulta Beauty

At the heart of everything positive happening for stylists, skin therapists, makeup artists and brow experts at the Salon at Ulta Beauty’s 1,200 locations nationwide is the company’s commitment to education and salon services. Learn about the fast-growing salon group from Ulta Beauty VP of Salon Services and Trend Nick Stenson and Chief Artistic Director Ammon Carver, in this second installment of an exclusive, three-part INSIDE LOOK at career opportunities.


INSIDE LOOK: What is the foundation of education at the Salon at Ulta Beauty?

NICK STENSON: Education is in our DNA, through and through, built by a lifeline of passionate educators at every level—from the team writing the curriculum to the leaders setting the structure and culture; from the Salon District Educators teaching the classes and through the involvement of our Ulta Beauty Pro Team and Design Team.

AMMON CARVER: Ulta Beauty education is for artists, by artists. Everyone who touches the content has actually lived it as a licensed stylist or skin therapist in a salon, and understands that journey. When crafting the education, they ask and answer the question, “What do I need to know or hone to be able to make it useful, to actually make that money?”


INSIDE LOOK: What is it about Ulta education that sets it apart?

NICK STENSON: We keep it fun, fresh and real. Our stylists and skin therapists finish each class with information and skills they can use in the salon immediately. But everyone learns at a different pace or from different levels. If you’re brand new to Ulta or early in your career, you may need different support than someone with more experience. So we customize specific classes at the Stylist, Master and Elite levels, so that everyone can start at the right place, comfortably, with their peers.

AMMON CARVER: All classes are hands-on, to focus on executing looks or results to make guests happy. At every single workshop—whether styling, extensions, color, facials or anything in our full range of services—90 percent of the time is spent “up” and physically learning techniques.


INSIDE LOOK: How do you keep 8,000 stylists and 1,000 skin therapists across 1,200 salons connected to the Salon at Ulta Beauty education?

NICK STENSON: We improve always. We recently rolled out an update of Ulta Academy classes across all three skill levels, and dramatically expanded the number of full-time Service District Educators to deliver hands-on workshops and in-salon support.

AMMON CARVER: We leverage extra support from our Design Team and Pro Team of celebrity educators and their specialties. Say stylists have a hands-on class in balyage. What they learn and practice gets reinforced with a quick, inspiring video from a Pro Team artist, like Sean Godard, sharing a personal tip or shortcut. We constantly build and refresh those videos and classes, confident the content is usable, exciting and relevant to building business behind the chair.


INSIDE LOOK: Who can attend the Salon at Ulta Beauty education?

AMMON CARVER: Anyone can attend! We are so proud of the quality, we have created VIP passes for district educators to give to any salon professional who wants to experience what we have to offer. Reach out to your local or nearby Ulta salon manager.


INSIDE LOOK: What’s next for education at The Salon at Ulta Beauty?

NICK STENSON: We are in a really good place in the world today, delivering all things beauty all in one place. But there’s more we can do—no salon at a national level has figured out how to be a texture authority. We are on that journey, starting by recruiting some of the best texture experts in the industry to our Pro Team and identifying more we can add to our Design Team. We will grow our texture education and expertise in every salon, but it will take time to build that muscle. We’re knee-deep into it, and committed to doing it the right way.

There’s a positive morale and buzz around Ulta Beauty, especially with anyone involved in our service business. They feel their work is impactful and meaningful. I’m really proud Ulta Beauty is helping so many salon professionals reconnect with their “why.”


INSIDE LOOK:  Finally, is it true that anyone can audition for your Design Team for 2020?

AMMON CARVER: Yes! We have a vibrant, engaged Design Team that has been so active representing us in the salon industry and throughout our salon network, assisting on shoots and at shows, creating collections, and entering and getting recognized by major  competitions and platforms like NAHA and MODERN SALON’s Artist Connective. It’s such an important role that members must re-audition each year.

Now, we are opening up the process to anyone. If you have passion and skills, you could earn a Design Team position and start your journey with Ulta Beauty at an amazing level. You’d be hitting the ground running with access to valuable mentoring and experiences.

Deadlines for the video-driven competition are SOON! See and search for DESIGN TEAM posting to apply.  Finalists will travel to the Chicago area in January 2020 for a live audition process alongside current Design Team members. It’s an amazing opportunity to come grow with Ulta.

Check out the Salon at Ulta Beauty near you. Ask the salon manager for more info on local—and free!—Ulta Academy education and events. Apply at



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