Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beauty // Try Before You Buy


This evening's post for #theSOproject will be on foundation and no matter how much investigating one does if you're anything like me it's always worth diverting to the experts in store for colour matching. The beauty of buying high end is that you have the opportunity to test products, whether they're foundations or lipstick on your own face whereas in drugstores you're often relying on hand swatches. A drugstore product may be cheap but there is a danger of buying multiple products till you find the right shade and you could've invested in something from a designer brand that was just right.

All this said beauty counters can often be intimidating, surrounded by hoards of shoppers (the MAC counter at Selfridges anyone!) and I thought I'd give you a little review of my recent experiences as I always try to have a chat with the sales assistant and try products before I splash the cash.

Space NK is a shop even at my ripe old age of 34 I find intimidating. My local branch is a short walk from my office, it's where I go monthly for my eyebrow threading but still when I walk in I don't find it the warmest of experiences. Earlier this year I decided I wanted a new foundation and went in to see what advice I could be given. I was a bit hazy about my details as I'm not a big foundation wearer so the assistant tried a BB cream and the By Terry Light Expert Foundation on me.

Now we all know store lighting isn't the best and what might feel right in store after an hour or two on the face might be very different so I said that I would go away and pop back later when I decided which I preferred - yes people I went back to the office with two different products on my face but as they were both the right shade for me and blended properly there was no danger of scaring anyone!

I found this was important as the foundation would be worn at work so if I didn't like it's appearance in the office then it was not going to work for me.

Never be afraid to walk away from the counter when you've had a product applied/tested so you can decide if its for you.

Space NK #2

I went in the same branch on another occasion to ask about Nars Sheer Glow which everyone is, was and still are raving about. I was offered little assistance nor the opportunity to try it on my skin but they did provide me with a small sample (which you can see in the pot above) which I could use at home. I wasn't convinced on using it at home that it was the right shade for me. I tried another branch and they colour matched me differently but I wasn't given a sample. I plan to attempt for third time lucky next time armed with the knowledge of which colours I have been matched to so far

Try different stores for confirmation on colours and question their choice if you have been given other advice 

MAC stores and counters can be a nightmare to browse. Always a fight to the counters even in my local House of Fraser branch but if like me you arrive as soon as they open you might be lucky and they're great at allowing you to try lipsticks etc. I popped in my branch when the All About Orange range launched. I wanted something, I thought a lipstick and walked out with a blusher as well all due to the sales assistances help. I was in the store as soon as it opened (well actually I was waiting outside for the doors to open..!) and had the counter and assistances to myself. I said I was interested in trying the brightest lipstick and then asked for advice on a blusher. I would've gone for one of the paler shades to be safe but she suggested the brighter (jasmine orange) and popped it on with my new lipstick (neon orange) and I left the store with both. Left to my own devices I would've either brought solely the lipstick or ended up with a dull and insipid blusher. (you can see what I brought here)

If you're not sure of your shade, ask for help.

I had a less than successful experience at the Chanel counter which I must stress was due to a different lady than I usually deal with when I'm trying out new products. I explained that I knew Les Beiges would be out of stock but I wanted to colour match so that when it returned I could just pick up what I needed or order online if necessary. I told the assistant I wanted to use as a foundation/powder base rather than a bronzer. She then proceeded to tell me I should be one shade but didn't have one available so would put the next shade up on me instead. I explained I also already had make up on me which should be removed to match properly and she just looked at me again and was like no this will be too dark so I stopped her from putting on me.

Another much raved about but not cheap product is the Dior BB Cream so again I popped into House of Fraser to enquire about trying. This again was not a successful experience. Sat on the chair I had a small area of my face removed of make up and the cream applied but not sufficient to see what coverage it would give.

If you're not confident with the assistants choices stop them and if the test isn't sufficient to make your decision do not feel obliged to purchase. There are plenty of counters to try

I picked the hottest day of the year to have a consultation with Benefit to try their foundation. I don't know whether it was the brightening primer or the fact it was the hottest day of the year but the shine wasn't a good one.

Pick the right day to test products

Recently I've also had fantastic experiences with The Garden Pharmacy where the Chanel assistant who I can only assume was bored and wanted something to do gave me full make up when I asked about one or two products and the Chanel counter at a local Boots. I went in last Friday to buy re-released Les Beiges and whilst sitting in the chair asked to try the cream blushes. Previous advice from one of the assistances on another shopping trip told me the shade I wanted wasn't for me and instead suggested I went for the paler shades. This weeks assistant agreed with my choice (separate post coming later this week) and popped it on and it looked great and I left away with 2 rather than one purchase.

I hope this has been a helpful post and you're encourage to seek the advice from your local beauty counters but have the confidence to walk away without obligation to buy. I'd love to hear more about your experiences with beauty counters, good or bad.

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1 comment:

  1. Really loved this post! Having worked for SpaceNK, it is really interesting to hear your thoughts on your experiences in different stores!! Before I worked there, I was too scared to walk in, and even working there I totally understood why the place was intimidating! I have such a pet hate for sales assistants in beauty halls that are just hired to make sales and actually have zero clue about make-up. xxxx


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