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You -VS- The Makeup Counter (Round One)

The Approach


Photo Taken By: Sheer Photo, Inc / Getty Images
Photo Taken By: Sheer Photo, Inc / Getty Images

Approaching a makeup counter in the mall can be intimidating and sometimes scary at times, especially if you are unsure of yourself or your skin isn't exactly perfect. The fact that the women that work at the counters always look flawless doesn't help the situation, and if you are less than knowledgeable about makeup then you may feel even more intimidated. But the truth is that there is no reason for you to feel this way. As an ex-makeup artist and makeup counter cosmetics-slinger, I am going to tell you how to approach them, what to ask, what to look for, and how to feel more comfortable while doing it.

The Scenario

There you are standing in the middle of the department store, staring blankly at the pretty lights and flashy colors of the newest makeup display. Oh how you want to just go up and touch the pretty colors and even try them on, but before approaching you look around to see if there is a salesperson nearby. When you notice there is not one, you automatically feel more comfortable and lunge toward the display to start playing. What you didn't realize is that the salesperson was hidden from your eyesight and now she's coming at you. As shock washes over your face, kind of like a child that gets caught doing something wrong, you panic slightly and don't know if you should stay or run away quickly. So, what would you do?

I have seen this scenario time and time again. I can't even count the number of times I startled someone because I was putting something away in a drawer under the counter and then I stood up suddenly, while smiling and saying hello. I often got the deer caught in headlights look and then a quick response of "I was just looking", followed by a fast getaway to another part of the store. The funny thing is that this doesn't have to happen because the people that work at the makeup counters are there for you. Without you, as customers, they don't have jobs. So if you run away every time and don't buy anything, then they look bad, and will eventually be "laid off" so to speak. Most, but not all, of the sales people at makeup counters get paid hourly plus a rate of commission on top of their regular pay, so they will want to try to make you happy. So the next time you visit a counter keep that in mind. Just also keep in mind that I'm not telling you to be arrogant and snooty because that may cause the salesperson to react to you in the same way, instead be confident and pleasant knowing that they are not out to force you into buying everything you don't need.

The Correct Approach

In order for you and the beauty advisor to be comfortable, try to loosen up a little and let down your guard. It's quite normal to feel like they are going to try to sell you something you don't need, since they are sales people and their job is to sell you products. A really good sales person will know their boundaries and not try to push the entire counter on you, but instead focus on your needs and wants. With that said you should take a deep breath and approach the makeup counter knowing that you are the one in control, since you are the buyer. Also keep in mind that they will want to make you happy so you will come back to them again in the future. And finally, just as I stated before, try not to come across as snobbish or arrogant because that can make the beauty advisor put up their defenses, which can lead to an unpleasant experience for both of you.

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