Ulta Beauty Launches The Joy Project to Ignite a Movement for the Next Generation

In partnership with Mel Robbins, Ulta Beauty is on a mission to spread joy and meaningfully shape how we all see beauty

BOLINGBROOK, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ulta Beauty, the nation’s largest beauty retailer, today announced the launch of The Joy Project, a long-term initiative created to help beauty enthusiasts and consumers at large find, embrace and experience joy. In partnership with best-selling author, motivational speaker, and award-winning podcast host Mel Robbins, Ulta Beauty is on a critical mission to combat what research found to be the number one obstacle to experiencing joy, our inner critic. Through The Joy Study, third-party research commissioned by Ulta Beauty, the retailer aims to spark a national conversation about the barriers to joy we all face and how to overcome them. Starting with a bespoke associate training curriculum, crafted by Robbins, to positively transform the way Ulta Beauty’s 53,000 associates think about themselves and ultimately empower guests to do the same.

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Mel Robbins and Ulta Beauty associates gear up for The Joy Project (Photo: Business Wire)

Mel Robbins and Ulta Beauty associates gear up for The Joy Project (Photo: Business Wire)

“At Ulta Beauty, we strive every day to use the power of beauty to bring to life the possibilities that lie within each of us, and joy is a feeling we want everyone to experience when walking through our stores,” said Michelle Crossan-Matos, chief marketing officer, Ulta Beauty. “The reality is, there’s a joy deficit in our country, which if left untreated, will only continue to hold people back from living the lives they’ve always wanted. As industry leaders, who care deeply about how people experience beauty and show up in the world, we believe it’s our responsibility to help change this. By taking an inside out approach, in helping our associates unlock their own barriers to joy, and using our platforms to positively influence the communities we serve, we know we can ignite a movement that will help people everywhere live more authentic, and joyful lives.”

Ulta Beauty has always championed authentic self-expression and through its purpose-driven work is redefining how the world sees beauty. The Joy Project is a continuation of these long-term efforts and builds on its commitment to make beauty a force for good for all.

After listening to feedback from associates who regularly witness guests struggle with negative self-talk, Ulta Beauty was inspired to understand how the inner critic could be affecting people’s ability to experience joy and overall wellbeing. The Joy Study examined a sample of how 5,000 national adults and teens experience joy and the common barriers to experiencing it on a daily basis. The research found that 73 percent of those surveyed experience negative self-talk, 70 percent experiencing it don’t recognize negative self-talk when they’re actively doing it, and 91 percent identify negative self-talk as a primary obstacle in their ability to experience joy. Understanding this work starts from within, Ulta Beauty is partnering with Mel Robbins, to rewrite the narrative and help the beauty community at large experience more joy, starting with its vast network of associates.

“It’s stunning that the research shows that negative self-talk is the biggest obstacle to experiencing joy, yet the majority of us don’t even realize how much we engage in it. I’m proud to work with Ulta Beauty and The Joy Project to address this head on. Knowing Ulta Beauty’s associates hear this self-criticism from their guests every day, Ulta Beauty and I are giving them the tools to help their guests silence the inner critic and experience more joy,” said Robbins. “There are so many brands and companies publicly discussing well-being, but few are activating in such a meaningful way. I’m honored to work with Ulta Beauty, creating custom trainings that will empower those associates to silence that inner critic and coach guests to do the same all with a mission to inspire a national conversation to spread more joy.”

Sparking A Movement in Stores

As one of the world’s foremost experts on change and motivation, Robbins’ deep expertise in recognizing and flipping negative mindsets is the cornerstone of Ulta Beauty’s new training curriculum for store associates. Dubbed ‘A Toolkit for Joy,’ the series of mini courses taught by Robbins will provide all 53,000 associates nationwide the strategies and tangible tools needed to identify their inner critic, interrupt the negative patterns, and inspire themselves and others in the process. Once armed with this roadmap to joy, associates are encouraged to share those same practices with guests, ultimately sparking a movement with the potential to reach far beyond Ulta Beauty stores. In addition to mobilizing its fleet of associates across the country, Ulta Beauty will ignite a social movement inviting influencer and creator communities to join the conversation by posting about their own journey to joy through inspiring content encouraging others to do the same and #joyforward.

“Tackling the inner critic is only the beginning, but an important step to bringing attention to an issue that has long been a source of people’s inability to experience the joy they deserve,” adds Crossan-Matos. “It’s our hope that by addressing this now and working together we can positively shape how future generations see themselves and ultimately create a better future for all.”

Key The Joy Study Findings

  • Many people feel there is a gap between their current vs. desired level of joy. 85% of people wish they felt a high level of joy in their lives, but only 58% of people report feeling that way.
  • A majority of people report negative self-talk as a key obstacle that hinders their access to joy. 91% of people (93% of teens) rate the effect of negative self-talk on their ability to experience joy to be impactful.
  • Despite how prevalent negative self-talk is, many don’t even recognize they’re actively doing it. 67% of people say that their negative self-talk is so common and natural, they don’t even recognize when they’re actively doing it. Young people are the most unaware, with 74% of Gen Z not realizing when they’re engaging in negative self-talk.
  • The areas individuals say negative self-talk tends to arise from include physical wellbeing and appearance (82%), body image (79%), and questioning their own worthiness of success, achievement or personal validation (76%).
  • Gen Z is the least equipped to overcome their negative self-talk. 65% report feeling they lack the tools, relationships, or resources to recover from challenges and maintain joy, compared to 54% of the general population.

Survey Methodology

The Joy Study was conducted using the YouGov Panel that surveyed 5,007 U.S. teens and adults, ages 13 and up. The online survey was implemented between the dates of August 2, 2023, through August 11, 2023.

About Ulta Beauty

At Ulta Beauty, the possibilities are beautiful. Ulta Beauty is the largest U.S. beauty retailer and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin care products, hair care products and salon services. In 1990, the Company reinvented the beauty retail experience by offering a new way to shop for beauty – bringing together All Things Beauty, All in One Place®. Today, Ulta Beauty operates more than 1,350 retail stores across 50 states and also distributes its products through its website, which includes a collection of tips, tutorials, and social content. For more information, visit https://www.ulta.com.

About YouGov

Our suite of proprietary data products includes: BrandIndex, the daily brand perception tracker; YouGov Omnibus, the fastest, most cost-effective way to obtain answers from both national and selected samples; Pulse, that tracks actual online consumer behavior across laptops, smartphones and tablets; and YouGov Profiles, a new tool for media planning, segmentation and forecasting. We publish a number of syndicated reports, such as the annual Global Survey of Wealth & Affluence, which provide comprehensive market intelligence on a range of industry sectors. Our custom research specialists also conduct a full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research tailored to meet our clients’ specific needs.

Ulta Beauty Media Contact:
Crystal Carroll
Director, Public Relations

Zeno Media Contact:
Laura Doerffler
VP, Integrated Communications

Source: Ulta Beauty