Beauty talk

How to get the best experience at a beauty counter



I have worked on a variety of cosmetic counters across different stores and one thing remains the same: the customers. People ask the same. We all have a story of a terrible time, an unpleasant advisor who was rude or misjudged that shade of foundation. I write with an equal perspective of a consultant and customer, someone trained as an artist who is all too familiar with experiences at beauty brands. These are my tips for achieving the best outcome for your next purchase.

1.Respect the consultant

Are their people out there willing to flog an item that may not be suitable? Unfortunately yes. Yes there are people hungry for sales and skilled in parting you from your hard-earned cash. What you will find however, is most are consultants who want to make you feel good and are passionate about their brand. Don’t undermine their opinion. This is particularly true with makeup. Sometimes what one artist likes, another doesn’t. Brands more specific in makeup will most likely have trained artists. Don’t assume they are all clueless or simply viewing you as a money sign. If you go in with a positive attitude and an open mind, you are more likely to come out with a better result. Which brings me to my next point…

2.Know the brand you are going too

Generally, brands have a specific look and an ideology on what they are about. Sometimes it’s more about the quality of the products more than the image they are promoting that attracts you to the counter. If you are after something bold and dramatic, going somewhere known for it’s more natural shades may not give you the best result. This is especially important when booking a makeover. Looking at the advertising visuals can help demonstrate what looks can be achieved.

3.Speaking of colours: There is more than one shade

If I had a dime for every time someone asked me what colour suits their cheeks, eyes or lips….I’d be living on a private Island with my own beauty boutique! While there might be guides out there recommending colours for certain eyes or skin tones; coppers/bronze for blue eyes and purple for green, there is fortunately more selection than this. My vice with this question, it can leave you very pigeonholed wearing the same hues over and over. Asking for the right shade of red or a good brown for the eyes makes it much more clear to the artist what you are looking for. Even mentioning whether it’s a quick colour to put on before work or something to make your eyes stand out in the evening helps. If you are really unsure, booking a full makeover or for a certain area can help.

4.Have a basic knowledge:

If worst comes to worst, you are not satisfied with the consultant, it helps to have a basic understanding yourself. The biggest fears I find people worry about, is the shade of their foundation, concealer and powder. Foundation is the product that can even out your complexion in addition to ultimately making your skin look flawless. Notice the words ‘your skin’; the foundation needs to look like your skin which means it needs to blend in seamlessly. If you put on a colour and you clearly identify it darker or lighter, it’s not your colour. I recommend applying by the jawline to ensure the product compliments your neck and if you are unsure, try to find the three closest shades and compare them next to one another. Powder needs to be transparent or a similar shade to your foundation and concealer; for highlight: a shade or two lighter than the foundation and for covering: a shade darker. As I said this is the basics and on another post I will go into more detail.

5.The best things are not always free:

People trying to get away with free makeovers on the counters to me, is equivalent to people walking into a hairdressers trying to steal a free trim. Even if a sales assistant or advisor (I use numerous names in the article) is not a trained artist, they are trained in the brand and work hard to deliver an expertise service. Most counters will give you the makeover free with a purchase of two products. So if you are wanting a fresh look or have an occasion coming up, go to the counter whose products you love and if there is nothing new to take your fancy at the end of the makeover, restock on your favourites. Consultants are generally happy to try products on you, this paragraph alludes to customers wanting a full makeover with no interest in purchasing after.

6.Be wary of your skin

I’m a makeup artist not a dermatologist but I have gone through one huge battle with acne. Going to a counter and asking for something for your skin will usually result in an array of products being emphasised. Not only the treatment, but the moisturiser, the cleanser and occasionally, the toner. I completely understand this and agree to an extent that lines work best together as oppose to mixing and matching. Research your condition as much as possible beforehand. It may be the result of using too harsh a product, a lifestyle change, hormonal. I do know the skin has many factors. There are incredible products out there, just make sure you keep your eyes open and be realistic. Using a certain ingredient does not always equal flawless skin. Ask yourself have you made any changes in your lifestyle recently before deciding your skin routine needs an entire spring cleaning.

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