Making the most of your time at the Makeup Counter

Every now and again a friend mentions that they find the experience at a makeup counter overwhelming or underwhelming and unhelpful.

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your department store Makeup experience.


Go on Weekdays, quiet days and never at lunch


You want to go at a time where you won’t have to compete with hordes of people for the sales assistant’s attention. It’s frustrating if you have questions that need to be answered. In addition, it’s frustrating for the sales person to have to divide their attention between you and 3 million people, some of whom actually know exactly what they want.


Research products and price points before hand


It doesn’t hurt to do your research before you actually get to the makeup counter.


Is there a particular look you want to achieve? Bring the look with you. Are you looking for  red lipsticks? Check out the types that the counter may offer. Even after you have done your research, also be open to the suggestion of the sales assistants, they are trained in their job and can give you good guidance as well.

Researching the price point before hand lets you know whether or not the products at the counter are within your price point. No one likes to go to a counter and be shocked at the price point.

Is there a makeup problem you are trying to solve? Let them know, they see tons of faces on a daily basis and have probably encountered the problem already. So ask them for the solution and not necessarily a product.


Don’t be a know it all


Even after you have done your research, also be open to the suggestion of the sales assistants. They are trained in their job and can give you good guidance as well. It’s unlikely that you are going to know more than the sales assistant, so be receptive to their suggestions.

Sometimes sales assistants can introduce you to colours, techniques and products you never would have tried, that will revolutionise the way you look at makeup.


Be gracious


If an assistant should happen to find it necessary to excuse themselves to go help other customers, be gracious. You aren’t the only person at the makeup counter and others need attention as well.

If you feel that their advice may not be exactly what you need, ask them to clarify or offer your own thoughts and get their opinions. Do not be dismissive or disrespectful.


Be honest


Don’t go into the counter for a nude lipstick because that is what your ‘girl’ said would look good when you really want a red lipstick. Be honest about what you are looking for instead of wasting your assistants time.

If you’re just browsing and don’t intend to purchase let the sales assistant know as well. They have targets to meet and their time spent with you could be spent with another paying customer.

Don’t tolerate disrespectful or dismissive service

Your sales assistant should be trying to help you make your purchase. If you feel that you are being disrespected, let them or management know. If you feel they are being to hurried ask them to slow the pace down.

When matching foundations, always get physically matched at the counter. 

Foundation matching is serious business where ever possible get matched on the day that you intend to purchase. Ask the sales assistant to match you on one side of your face or your whole face if possible. Then don’t make up your mind immediately! Go and finish your shopping and see how the foundation reacts to your skin and feels for a while. Go out into the sunlight with your mirror to examine the match. Make sure the match feels right for you!. This is especially important in the Caribbean where the return policies are quite restrictive. So you could be stuck with the wrong match because many stores do not allow returns.

Do you have any tips on how to get the best out of your makeup counter experience?

How was your last experience at the makeup counter?

What is your favourite makeup counter?


It's Kim Probably...

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Posted in Make Up
2 comments on “Making the most of your time at the Makeup Counter
  1. budziak says:

    I agree with the foundation tip, I’ve purchased a foundation at the counter after falling immediately in love with it. As I drove home, it drove me crazy because it was too dewy for me. But again, I couldn’t make up my mind and kept using it until it broke (it was a spray and the mechanism stopped working – not clogged) so I took it back a week after I purchased it and Nordstrom let me return it for a full refund 🙂 They have the best customer service although its hard to find a time when a specific brand MUA is working, most of the higher end brand counters aren’t staffed during non-peak times.

    My best tip is to keep an open mind, when you go to a department store with brand counters, it’s a little harder because they only have a limited amount of products to choose from. If you really want the best, it’s probably better to go to a store like Sephora where the reps have a little knowledge of a lot of products and brands (their testers are really disgusting and destroyed though). If you already have an idea of what brand you want to go with, that’s when you go to the counters.

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