Those Beauty Counter Blues
Beauty counters, beauty counters, beauty counters. You either love them or hate them it can be a real twist of fate when you visit one. Are they gonna be nice and helpful? or is it another experience where I get looked down at and made to feel like I don't belong there. It can be a real eye opener going to a beauty counter, I've read all about the best advice on going to a beauty counter and one of the main eye openers to me was money.
Make sure you walk in looking like you have the money to shop there, but what?? to me it doesn't seem right that you should have to walk in somewhere acting like you have money just to be treated fairly. Surely it's a bit wrong to think that's acceptable, I have walked up to beauty counters before where my clothes have been nice and smart and been treated like I know nothing about what I'm after.
That's another common theme with beauty counters, they often make you feel like you know nothing about what you're after. I once went to a No7 counter to have a trial run for my prom makeup and I remember feeling very anxious about the whole thing. I had never really let anyone else do my makeup before this trial run and I remember being quite clear on what I wanted. As I had a pink dress I wanted something quite bronzed and natural, the lady didn't listen and ensured me she knew better. I walked out in tears after the makeup she had done just was not what I had asked for at all. she had done a dark brown eye with bright red lipstick and foundation that was too light for me. I know they are there to make suggestions and use their creativity but I asked for a certain style and I just got ignored and shut down.
I have heard other stories as well, I was once at a MAC counter with my friend where she was picking out a couple of lipsticks. She picked up a couple of nude lipsticks and was asking for help trying them and the sales assistant told her they would look ugly on her and suggested something not even close to what she was looking for. I udnerstand they want to share their opinion, but it can be quite insulting to immediately shut someone down when they like something, they could've suggested trying the lipstick in different light or leaving my friend to decide if she liked it herself.
I will admit at this point that the issues we have as customers is probably reversible for the staff themselves. It must be frustrating trying to serve customers who may not always have an intention to buy and may just want free samples. But I don't agree that they should be rude to every customer that goes near the counter because that is uncalled for. A lot of counters are based on comission an i would be interested to see how people act when they are gaining commission, you'd think they would try to sell things at every last second. If you work or have worked for a beauty counter I would love to get in touch and talk about this issue a little more.
Beauty counters can be intimidating, it's unlike the drugstore where everything is already out displayed and you can just pick them up. It's about time we reinvent the beauty counter to make it a more pleasant experience for staff and customers.
Until next time, Chloe!
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