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We all know of Ulta Beauty — one step above Sally Beauty, but one step below Sephora.

Last month, Ulta was hit with a class action lawsuit — the company has been accused of repackaging and reselling used beauty products as well as putting expired items back on their shelves.

Cosmetics galore i2.wp.com

Paula M. Ogurkiewicz, the lead plaintiff, alleges that Ulta imposed rigid return quotas which in return, hinted to employees to repackage these returned items and sell them as new ones. Doing so can expose customers to various diseases such as herpes or even E. coli, and is in violation of various Illinois state laws such as the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Salvage Warehouse Store Act.

"The company's marketing and advertising of its beauty products is false, deceptive and misleading to reasonable consumers who believe that they are purchasing new, unused and previously unopened cosmetics," states the lawsuit.

This deception tricked consumers into buying products they would otherwise not buy while paying equal price.

Have these items been repackaged? www.freestufffinder.com

This problem directly relates the Ulta's favorable loyalty program — customers who participate can return beauty items for whatever reason, which clashed with the company's pressure to limit the amount of used products returned.

Ogurkiewicz aims to represent a nationwide group of Ulta customers and an Illinois subclass. She also seeks actual and punitive damages and a court order to stop Ulta from selling these used products.

What's crazy is that this isn't even Ulta's first lawsuit this year — back in February, the beauty company was hit with a previous class action lawsuit that accused it of the same thing. Kimberly Laura Smith-Brown, the previous plaintiff from Los Angeles, had evidence of a recent disclosure of a former employee.

"Despite the widespread internal knowledge of these deceptive, unfair and unsanitary practices, Ulta has continued to deceive consumers for years, repackaging, restocking and reselling used beauty products including cosmetics at full price as if they were new," states Smith-Brown.

But we're not finished yet — according to The Fashion Law, a shareholder is also suing Ulta for the distribution of false information and practices that, in the end, cost the shareholder money. Barbara Chandler, the shareholder, was correct in her assertion as Ulta's share price fell 4.15%, on the following day, February 12, 2018.

We don't know where these lawsuits are going to go, but the latest statement from Ulta reads: "We are aware of the lawsuit but to date we have not been served. We deny the lawsuit's allegations and intend to defend against this matter vigorously. As with pending legal matters, we are unable to offer additional comment."

Take that as you may, but this may be the downfall for one of beauty's biggest retailers — we'd much rather give our business to companies that don't endanger their customers.

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I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.

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Quiet Quitting is the latest trend among Gen-Z TikTok that encourages setting boundaries at work

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Toni Morrison has an anecdote about her first ever job, which was cleaning some neighborhood woman’s house. The young Toni arrived home after work one day and expressed her troubles to her father. But he didn’t provide the sympathy she expected. Instead, he gave her something better — his advice:

“Listen. You don’t live there. You live here. With your people. Go to work. Get your money. And come on home.”

Years later, she wrote about this remarkable experience for the New Yorker and said, in hindsight, this is what she learned:

1. Whatever the work is, do it well—not for the boss but for yourself

2. You make the job; it doesn’t make you

3. Your real life is with us, your family

4. You are not the work you do; you are the person you are

What Morrison so eloquently articulated was setting boundaries. I revisited this piece during the pandemic when working from home ramped up in earnest. Back when work was one of the few things that anchored my day.

Without a physical office, the pandemic shattered the work/life balance for many people. There was no more of that physical separation that Morrison talked about. There is no coming home from work physically. There is no real life to come back to — just a manufactured commute to your laptop in your makeshift home office.

But, par for the course, Gen Z are navigating this boundaryless era using TikTok. While internet gurus promote hustle culture and constant online availability since you’re not getting face time with your managers, there’s a trend in town — “quiet quitting.”


@zaidleppelin On quiet quitting #workreform ♬ original sound - ruby


The trend arose from the depths of the pandemic. Layoffs, salary cuts, and furloughs proved that their employers did not care about their hard-working employees.

The Washington Post dubs quiet quitting as a fresh trem for an old phenomenon: employee disengagement. In many cases, it’s a response to burnout. For much of Gen Z, it’s a way of establishing healthy boundaries in the office and resisting the pressure of the rat race. After all, why work yourself to the bone for a company that just proved it’s ready and willing to let you go?

Despite the term’s negative connotations, Quiet Quitting can provide an empowering shift in thinking for employees.

For far too long, employees have been indoctrinated with a slew of toxic workplace advice. Faced with these old misconceptions and lacking job security or clear paths for advancement, Gen Z is untethering their identities from work.

Quiet quitting — therefore — might be a bit of a misnomer. These employers aren’t completely disengaged. They’re certainly not launching Flight Club-esque sabotage attempts on their employers. NO. Contrary to media panic, Gen Z understands the value of a job — the fickle market they entered ensured that. But they also understand the value of life.

They’re doing what they’re being paid for. Nothing more, nothing less.

According to Chief, a private membership network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders, older generations should learn from this approach.

“Gen Z has already endured the largest seismic shifts to the career landscape than any previous generation, having started their careers in the middle of a pandemic that changed office culture forever and a gig economy that makes piecing together work more viable. They’re taking both those realities and therefore demanding more autonomy and flexibility than any other generation.”

Gen Z are less attached to job titles and statuses. They’re more concerned about their lives. Sure, this can lead to problematic outlooks on money and experiences — see the “I can earn my money back” TikTok trend. But it’s better than hustling for no reward. Besides, as some Gen Z-ers put it on TikTok, the office isn’t even a vibe.

“With the ability to work from anywhere and for more than just one place, Gen Z-ers are forging their own paths that don’t rely on old patterns set by previous generations and are redefining what “career success” looks like. Gen Z can take note, as more and more leaders are similarly pursuing multiple income streams of their own through the form of a portfolio career. The way in which work looks like and where it happens is evolving.”

With less single-minded focus on one job, some TikTok business gurus advocate shutting your laptops precisely at 5 pm. And then jump onto your side hustle. Do nails or lashes on the weekend. Become social media managers for your phone. Sell soap on Etsy (again … perhaps not in the Fight Club way).

But this valorization of side hustles is not about hustle culture, either. They say job security isn’t guaranteed. Learning new skills and develop an alternate income stream/s to keep you afloat. Just make sure you’re not left in the lurch. BTW inflation is here. So every little bit helps.

But where do you start? Watching TikToks can only get you so far. Try a course on LinkedIn Learning to sharpen up your skills and learn new ones that you can turn into a verifiable side hustle — or leverage in your job search if quiet quitting leads to … real quitting.

Learn on your own time with bite-sized videos or in-depth courses. Watch them after work, before you clock in, or on your lunch break. Then, after your courses are complete, you’ll have certificates prominently displayed on your profile that prove your skills.