Oooohhhhh, the dreaded makeup counter
you know, it doesn't HAVE to be! I've got some tips, gathered from experience, that might help you have a great time at the makeup counter, you'll leave with what you wanted (and usually with something you didn't know you needed!) and be HAPPY!
Your girl Rosa M used to work at the Estee Lauder and Clinique counters for a period of time in the early 2000s, and I'll start by giving you my top peeves as a counter rep
1. Calling to schedule a 'makeover' for an event: now that I'm a free lance MUA, I don't do a skilled makeup application for a special event without charging a fee - and when I worked for a counter I was there to assist and SELL products. Its not a free place to get a makeover. I would often get mothers bringing their daughters in for Prom, and leaving without buying a thing. Its insanely rude.
2. Refusing to try products: look, makeup is amazing because it can alter so much of your appearance...then it WASHES OFF. Try a darn red lipstick for once will ya? Get out of the comfort zone, you may love it - and if you hate it - who cares? It comes right off!
3. Allow the sales person to tell you whats hot and new and what you might like - its their job to do it and you may actually like something
4. Not communicating: if you hated something, have a return, or only just want to spend the minimum for the free gift - just SAY so so we can help you, make you happy and move on to the next customer
5. Be patient: often I would work a counter alone, so while I am giving you a makeover, I might need to wait on someone in between for 5 minutes. Please be patient!
6. Walking up, being rude, asking for free stuff: Seriously? I get so many free samples to hand out, and I'm going to give you one for no reason? Nope.
Ok, that said....here is what you can do to make your experience great!
WHY ARE YOU THERE?
Do just need to buy your fav mascara? Is your foundation shade off because you're tan? Did you see an add and you're interested in the new colors? You kinda need to know this stuff - have a purpose!
You know your purpose - so tell the sales person! If you want to just browse the counter for nothing in particular, try this line, "Hi, I' just taking a look around - I'll let you know if I have a question." It helps the sales person feel comfortable leaving you be. If they don't, then maybe you don't want to shop there. Nothing worse that an overly abrasive and pushy sales person.
Sometimes you just need something, so just say, "I'm just here to pick up my mascara - I wish I had some more time to look around." They will get your item for you and send you on your way.
BE GAME FOR AN APPLICATION
Sales people loose commission when returns happen, hey they DO happen (see below) so allow them to apply products to you so you have a better chance of being happy. Its a great way to try something new!! I do suggest, that if you are going to do this, its nice to at least buy something!
It would hurt me so much when I would spend hours with someone over the course of 2 months then found out they bought from someone else - sometimes you can't help it (I didn't sell their product) but SOME loyalty is needed - this way we will hold items for you and hook you up with samples!
ITS OK TO SAMPLE...SOMETIMES
Don't just walk up and demand a sample, its so rude! If you want to be showered with samples, spend the $10 a month on Birchbox or Ipsy and get ones that are better and more fun!
What's ok to sample?
-Foundation/Concealer (we usually prefer you do, especially if its a new formula)
-Skincare (sometimes these serums and moisturizers are $100+ we understand you want to give it a test run)
-Fragrance (when a sample is available, try ti, its such a personal choice its ok to try!)
KNOW THAT ITS OK TO WALK AWAY
If you and the sales person had a good connection, but you really just didn't find what you were looking for, be polite, ask for their card and thank them for their time. Its perfectly acceptable to do so
TRY AN EXCHANGE INSTEAD OF RETURN
If you really don't care for a product or it irritates your skin, its totally ok to return it, in LESS THAN 3 WEEKS, do it politely and look for other items to exchange it for. Unless the salesperson is rude and makes you feel terrible - then they certainly didn't earn the exchange. Try this, "Its unfortunate that this product didn't work for me, and I'd like to return it, but maybe you can show me some alternatives?"
There ya go - now that you have these insider tips - you can be sure to have a great makeup counter experience. AND, if you don't feel appreciated or respected - go elsewhere!