By my nature, I’m not much of a make-up person. Too much makeup makes my skin feel weird – even when it’s high quality. Plus, I think I never went through the “make-up rite of passage” that most girls seem to go through at a young age. Sure, my mom explained foundation and lipstick. I had female friends who wore make-up. I read Seventeen magazine. But somehow, I never really learned good make-up techniques along the way. And so I developed a boring routine of mineral powder with undereye/concealer, lip balm and maybe, just maybe, some mascara. My attempts at eyeshadow and eyeliner often look worse than a pre-teen’s first attempt at eye makeup (no offense to pre-teens).
Thus, make-up counters have always scared me. I usually tend to memorize exactly what I need, ask for it, and leave quickly. The few times I’ve approached for make-overs or make-up advice, I leave with a look I know that I can a) never replicate at home and b) would never want to anyhow because it just doesn’t fit with how I like to look.
Recently, I had a positive trip to the make-up counter where I ended up with the perfect eyeliner for me, something that’s been almost impossible to find before. Reflecting on this trip, I think I’ve figured out some tricks to get the most out of a trip to the make-up counter, without walking away with tons of crap on my face.
- Go when you don’t have time restraints: If you go to the make-up counter when you’re rushed, you either won’t stay long enough to find what you really want, or you’ll end up buying something you don’t really like impulsively because you just want to get out of there. Carve out a little time.
- Have a very specific look in mind that you want to create: Are you itching to learn how to create a smokey eye? Let them know that’s what you’re interested in. Want a simple, subtle everyday look? Make that really clear. Want a dramatic night out look? Tell them. If you can communicate clearly what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to find it.
- At the same time, be open to playing with new looks or something you might not have thought of: These people work with makeup for a living – they might realize that a pretty bright pink lip gloss is actually what will flatter you the most – even if you had never ever considered wearing something like that.
- Don’t be afraid to say you don’t like something: If the stylist thinks that dark purple eyeliner looks amazing on you and you can’t stand it, tell them. No one can read minds – you have to communicate. And if you don’t like something, make sure you ask politely for some make-up remover to take it off.
- Ask for samples or trial sizes: Many makeup counters have trial sizes of their products – if you’re trying something new, this is a great option. This way, you can play with the products at home, see how they look with your wardrobe, and decide before you commit to spending more money.
- Don’t be afraid to not buy everything suggested: Some salespeople will try to push products on you that you’re not interested in. Don’t be afraid to turn them down. Their feelings shouldn’t be hurt. If someone is way too pushy, just politely thank them for their time and find someone who’s willing to work with you.
- It’s okay to say, “I’ll think about it”: Just because you’re asking a stylist for advice, doesn’t mean that you are required to buy something. If you’re just not sure, or you’re not ready to buy, simply be polite and say something like “Thank you so much for helping me out today. You’ve given me a lot of great ideas. I’m not ready to commit to something today, but I’ll definitely think about the products you’ve shown me”.
What’s your best tip for going to the makeup counter? Anyone out there who’s worked at a make-up counter before that could offer some advice from the other side of the mirror?