Sunday, 26 April 2015

make up (en)counters

I've never really enjoyed purchasing make up from a counter, with a make up artist on hand to assist. I like to get stuck in with my browsing, pick products up and feel the packaging, is it easy to open, how weighty is it,  does it have a satisfying 'click' shut. All the minor details. I can't help but be put off by the make up counter assistants hovering around. A large number of them are fantastic, helpful, cheery and really know their products and want them to work the best for you. But there are a significant number who are certainly not helpful, and can make the purchasing of make up stressful and unpleasant for many of us. I have two products here, and two very different 'counter' experiences.

I like to be well prepared and researched before purchasing any make up product, but especially one that's going to cost £20+. So before purchasing either of these products, I did my research and decided I'd like to try them, and tried to figure out roughly what colour I'd need.

This was a total new experience for me, as I haven't really ventured into the mineral/powder foundation realm before, but I've heard endless great things about bareMinerals and decided it was time to bite the bullet. So after extensive online research into which one would best suit my skin, I ventured down to my local bareMinerals counter and set about the task of purchasing it. This was more trying that I had anticipated. The girl at the counter was busy helping another customer when I arrived, so I relished the opportunity to have a look at what else was available. When she was free, I asked for her help in trying out the Matte foundation and selecting a colour, but was swiftly informed it was time for her break, so she wouldn't be able to assist, and under no circumstances did she have time for a make over. A little taken aback, I assured her I wouldn't be long and wasn't interested in a make over, just buying a new foundation. She did try a few shades on me, matching to my jaw-line/chin, over the top of the foundation I was already wearing. Now, in steps my own stupidity. As this was the moment I should have asked if I could try them on my neck instead, and if I could actually look in a mirror to see the results, but it was a Sunday afternoon, and I'd made the effort to venture all the way to the shops specifically to buy this product, so silly me, I took the recommendation of the counter assistant and purchased the shade she chose. Obviously as soon as I got home and tried the product out for myself, I realised it was far too dark for my skin tone. Kicking myself, I decided to just mix the foundation with lighter concealers/foundations/highlighters to avoid taking it back for a refund. I have now decided to re-home it with one of my friends who's got the right skin tone for it. As a pale girl, I should have known to be careful with selecting anything but the lightest shade, and silly me for trusting the 'expert' at the counter. Not an ideal experience, and it's just one of many in my collection of unpleasant experiences.

It's not all doom and gloom here, I have got a positive experience to share. A few weeks after my frustrating experience at bareMinerals, I decided I wanted to try the MAC Prep + Prime BB Cream, so I popped over to my local MAC store. I was greeted immediately by a friendly girl who asked if she could be of assistance, so I told her what I was looking for, and let her know that I was concerned about getting the right colour. She had a long hard look at my skin, and selected a few different shades, which she then applied to the back of my hand, and asked for my opinion. I asked if she would mind if I looked in natural lighting, to which she said 'good idea'. So I nipped onto the street and had a look, knowing my hand is a touch darker than my face/neck/chest I went for the lightest shade, which was a teeny bit lighter than my hand. She was really helpful and talked me through the product, letting me know what it's good for, and what it's not, making sure it was really going to do what I expected of it. The complete opposite to many other experiences I've had, and oh how I wish they were all that easy. 

I think the key with make up counters is to be both well researched and confident. But even with these things, if you've got a bad counter assistant, it isn't going to be easy, and you run the risk of walking away with the wrong product. I would love to hear your experiences, and especially your tips for make up counters! Thanks for reading xx

Thank you so much for reading, much love Kitty xx

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