Shopping for makeup is one of my favourite (and most expensive!) hobbies. I love nothing more than a morning spent in Selfridges aimlessly weaving in and out of the counters, swatching anything and everything! If I thought about total the amount of money I have spent during these trips I think I'd have a small panic attack. But my excuse is, unlike clothes, makeup will always fit (I also use this as an excuse to buy expensive shoes).
However, not all women share my passion, For some, previous bad experiences have left them in fear of beauty counter staff. A lot of my clients and even my friends have told me they daren't approach these counters for fear of being ignored, judged or being bullied into spending a silly amount on products they neither wanted or needed. If this sounds like you then keep reading....
First bear in mind there are many excellent counter staff across all brands, across the whole country. However, you will at some point inevitably come across the snotty cowbag covered in orange fake tan wearing an inch thick layer of foundation and drawn on eyebrows waiting to make you feel inferior.
The Dior Troll
My friend and I met a lovely lady in Dior last week who was very helpful and chatty. However, at the same counter, sat another member of staff who proceeded to bitch about Lancome after I'd mentioned I just bought a new foundation from them. She made a remark about how the foundation I'd chosen was too heavy for my skin and how it was for designed older people as it contained anti-aging properties. I stood and thought to myself...
1. I'm 25 and intend to stay looking that way for as long as physically possible, if this foundation is going to aid that with it's anti-aging properties I'm not complaining.
2. I've worn this foundation every summer for 3 years and I still love it.
3. You're sat 15ft away from me so obviously can't tell that I actually have pretty bad skin, and I'm currently wearing the foundation that I've just repurchased so if that is making it look like I have good skin then it's clearly doing its job.
4. Bitching about another brand is not going to make me buy from yours.
I'd have quite happily mentioned these points to her if my friend was not still sat with the nice lady having foundation applied which prevented me from being able to leave. (I'm not a fan of awkward silences)
So, with this scenario still in my mind, I wanted to write a couple of tips when dealing with counter staff....
Beauty Counter Shopping Tips
1. Don't be afraid to change sales assistants
Counter staff work on commission, so if you're getting bad service politely move on and find someone helpful deserving of your money.
If you receive poor service, write a polite but serious letter/email to the head office. If you've purchased something, be sure to include the date, location and receipt if possible. Most companies would be horrified to hear about bad experiences with their staff and would do what they could to rectify any issues.
3. Be firm
If a sales assistant tries to push you into buying something you don't want, don't panic and say you'll come back later. Smile and tell them firmly, 'No, I'm sure I have everything I want today, thank you.'
4. Wear a good bag
On a busy counter, the woman who looks like she can shop will always get preferential treatment.
5. Ask for samples
Not sure on whether to buy a product, always ask for a sample so you can try it at home. However, don't abuse this privilege. It's fine to ask for 2-3 samples.
6. Don't be bullied into buying a whole range
This is true especially when it comes to skincare. If you love one brand then go for it, but if an assistant tells you, you need their moisturizer for their cleanser to work, walk away and get a better one.
7. Have a zero tolerance policy on rudeness
It's your money and their job, if they don't want either then leave and take it up with head office.
I hope these tips are helpful to those who have #beautycounterphobia. Next week on my blog I'll tell you how to spot the best beauty counter staff!
Until next time.