Written By: Amanda Roberts
Not doing your research.
I’ve bought so many products that I didn’t like or that didn’t work for me in the spur of the moment. It can be as simple as typing “best concealer” into YouTube and watching the first video that pops up. Read some reviews – the internet is saturated with them. You’re more likely to find a product that meets your needs if you research it first.
Blindly trusting sales associates or beauty advisors.
At most stores and makeup counters, sales associates are on commission. Even at the stores where they’re not, there is usually some kind of sales goal, or incentives to sell certain brands.
When I worked at a makeup counter, we had to sell four expensive anti-aging serums a day. As a result, on slow days, I’d sometimes have to sell anti-aging products to people who might have benefited from something else. Take your sales associate’s advice, but do your research and always think critically.
Other than to swatch on the back of my hand, I try to steer clear. Despite a beauty advisor’s best efforts, people use testers directly on their mouths, eyes, and faces. They are minefields for germs. If you really want to try a product, ask an associate to sanitize it first and be sure to use a single-use applicator.
Getting your makeup done for “free”.
Most department store makeup counters and freestanding stores like Sephora have some kind of “free” makeover service, ranging from a 15-minute one-feature application to a full-blown one-hour caked-on face. So you can book these and get your makeup done for free for your sister’s best friend’s mother’s wedding, right?
Not exactly. Although these stores might not charge for the service, there is absolutely an unwritten rule or expectation that you should purchase a product or two. The idea is to demonstrate the products on you for free in the hopes that you’ll buy them. You won’t be punished if you don’t, but I’ll say it’s in poor form.
Getting a sales associate’s recommendations in order to purchase elsewhere.
At Sephora this used to drive me nuts. From a beauty advisor’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than spending 20 minutes with a client only to have them tell you they’re going to purchase it online, or from the Nordstrom Clinique counter to get the gift-with-purchase. This is especially true if the sales associates are on commission, but even if they’re not, that person invested time and energy into a sale that wasn’t going to happen, which can be super disappointing.
Now, beauty advisors are a wealth of knowledge and should be considered a resource, even if you don’t intend to buy from them! But set that expectation from the get-go. It can be as simple as saying “I don’t intend to buy today, but can I ask you what moisturizer you recommend?” Trust me. It’s the humane thing to do!