- If you can, try to wear foundation for a whole day before buying it. What looks okay freshly applied at the counter can oxidise to orange or turn ashy as the day goes on, and ideally, you want to see what it looks like in all kinds of lighting. If you say at the outset that you won't be buying foundation straight away, you'll be less likely to feel pressured into buying whatever the sales assistant puts on you. Another good idea is to pick someone who is wearing the correct shade herself; if the sales assistant can't match her own skin chances are that she won't have any better luck with yours.
- If I book a makeover, I do try to have at least two items in my head that I know I'm going to buy beforehand, to avoid the awkward moment when you look in the mirror and decide that you aren't terribly keen on what the make up artist has done. If someone mugs me or begs to apply something to my face, then all bets are off, but generally I politely decline impromptu makeovers unless I'm very interested in the line. The sales assistant is in many cases betting that you'll be too polite to get out of the chair without buying something.
- Talking of makeovers - try to be specific as to what look you're after. It's not the make up artist's fault if you hate what they've done if you told them to do 'whatever you think will suit me.'
- To receive courtesy, be courteous. I know, this is obvious, and you are all far too well-mannered to need to be told, but it is true; if you expect a sales assistant to be polite to you, greet him/her like a human being and don't talk on your mobile while someone is serving you.
- Resist high-pressure sales. Some lines are worse than others for trying to persuade you that you also need a brush/liner/balm/blush to go with it when you just wanted to buy a lipstick. Know what your limit is, and stick to it. You want to be able to enjoy your purchases, not be crippled with guilt when you look at the department store bag.
- And sales assistants - please don't hover. Say hello, ask me if I need help, sure, but if I say I'm just browsing don't keep talking to me about every single item I pick up. The Dolce & Gabbana counter in Selfridges is particularly bad for this. I was browsing with a friend, we were discussing shades and the sales assistant kept interrupting us to tell us what we should be buying. It was horribly uncomfortable, and neither of us bought a thing because of it.
- At the other end of the spectrum - if you are the only assistant on a counter, please don't ignore other customers who clearly want to buy something because you're doing an impromptu makeover. This has happened to me more than once at the Bobbi Brown counter in John Lewis Cambridge, most recently earlier this week when I was trying to buy a Christmas present for my mother there. If you are in the middle of a makeover and there is no-one else about, then politely excuse yourself from the makeover for a moment and take my blasted money!
Friday, 13 November 2009
Cosmetic Counter Etiquette
As a veteran of the cosmetic hall battlefield, here are my tips for surviving a department store shopping trip:
Posted by Grace London at 05:58