How’s Your Beauty Counter Etiquette?

How’s Your Beauty Counter Etiquette?

We’ve all had those not-so-pleasant experiences at the makeup counter… from being ignored by the salesperson… to learning your favorite color has been discontinued… to feeling that car salesman-y pressure to buy products that you don’t really want. I decided to ask a beauty specialist directly and her answers and tips are straight up and brutally honest. Here are some candid answers to your beauty counter etiquette questions as well as some must-know tips to make your next counter experience a stress-free one.

Size Up The Counter Before You Approach It

I’ve been guilty of rushing up to a counter and impatiently demanding service only to be ignored or snubbed by the salesperson. First tip: size up the counter. Is there a line of gals waiting to be helped? If so, expect a wait as it’s typically first-come-first-serve. However, these no-nonsense tips will help ensure you get in and out in a jiffy:

Avoid the lunchtime rush (Women just like you are all about maximizing a day’s schedule and often run beauty errands during lunch).

Opt for weekdays versus weekends (a Monday AM is more likely to be less busy than a Saturday PM).

Tis’ the holiday season (It goes without saying, the holiday season is insane. Do your shopping early, early, early to avoid uber long lines).

While waiting, feel free to try samples on the back of your hand (This allows you see what the samples look/feel like immediately, without waiting on the salesperson to disinfect each one you wish to try).

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Etiquette Dos And Don’ts

My source also outlined a beauty specialist’s biggest pet peeves. I have certainly been guilty of two:

Don’t be on your cell phone when you approach the counter (This might cause the sales rep to not approach you so as not to interrupt your conversation).

Do be patient (Beauty counters are sometimes under-staffed and the salesperson is trying to get to as many beauty junkies {aka you} as quickly as possible).

Do be polite (While it’s tempting to yell “hey, can I get some assistance” when you’re in a hurry, it’s off-putting to the salesperson and will likely ensure bad customer service).

Don’t let your kids treat the counter like a jungle gym (No sugarcoating this one: if you bring your kids along keep an eye on them. Climbing on counters and sticking fingers in expensive samples is a sure-fire way to unnerve the salesperson and slow down your service).

Don’t double dip (Just like at a cocktail party, the same rules apply. When testing samples, don’t put the applicator in more than one item).

Don’t help yourself (At one time or another we’ve all thought, “I’ll just run behind the counter and grab what I need. Don’t. This is considered a security no-no and will not score you any points with the security).

Do tip your makeup artist (15-20%. Just like you would tip your hairdresser).

Be Prepared

I think we girls sometimes expect the salesperson or makeup artist to be a mind reader. Nothing is worse than going up to a counter and feeling like you’re talking two different languages. These tips are a sure-fire way to avoid buying the wrong colors or products:

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Have a checklist (If your goal is to update your makeup for the autumn season, have a list of products and colors you wish to try).

Give Cliff Notes on why you’re there (For example, if you feel your makeup style has become dated and you want to revamp your look, explain this to the artist).

Offer your skin type (Before buying any type of makeup or skincare product, always make certain to tell the salesperson your skin type…e.g. olive complexion, oily, t-zone issues. This will help ensure spot-on product and color suggestions).

The Discontinued Colors Meltdown

It’s Murphy’s Law. Your favorite color or product gets discontinued. Not to fret. My source says if you fall in love with a color or product that’s been retired, you have a few options. The obvious option: you can stock pile your favorites (buying multiples at a time). But if you didn’t stock up, your counter is totally out of something and it’s been discontinued, she recommends Googling it. Type the specific product name and color in your Google search box and then hit “shopping” in the upper left hand corner. You’ll likely find multiples and be able to order it online. And when the first two options fail, there’s still no need to have a meltdown. You can simply re-create your favorite color. Companies like Prescriptives and Three Custom Color Specialists can clone your favorite lipstick, powder or blush.

So, when hitting the beauty counter next time, this insider knowledge will hopefully arm you with the tips and tricks necessary to expertly navigate the counter like a beauty junkie pro. Now you’re in the beauty etiquette know.

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