Saturday, 14 July 2012


File:Cosmetic counter eaton's.jpg
Photocredit: Wikipedia

Do you like to go shopping for clothes, shoes or makeup products? Have you ever encountered the aggressive counter people in the department stores? Were you accosted by a bevy of perfectly manicured people asking you if you want to try the newest this or that?

Mannequins are part of the Heatherette display
Mannequins are part of the Heatherette display (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I felt like I was running a gauntlet when I had to pass the cosmetic counters lining the walkways. They lay in wait to pounce on you,  sometimes grab your arm, pulling you to their wares. Being too pushy is tantamount to harassment. So what can you do to survive the barrage of people shoving products into your face left, right and center when all you really wanted to get was your favorite Christian Dior perfume?

These are 5 golden rules to remember the next time you step into any department store.

Golden Rule No. 1 Thou shall know thy Cosmetic Salesperson.

Cosmetic salespeople work on a commission. Their goal is to sell you hundreds of ringgit worth of products you may not really need.

Do keep in mind that what they tell you is usually a sales pitch or in other words a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo. Most makeup artists are given sales training. However, in reality they do not know a lot about the ingredients or how the product really works.

This is not to say that all salespeople are cold-blooded. Try to spot people who are only interested in making a sale. Feel out the salespeople. Your decision to do business with a particular salesperson may depend on the rapport she has with you. Don't be shy. If you feel that you don't trust that someone, you can say, "I am just looking."

One of the ploys a salesperson may try is to get you in a chair. Then she will proceed to tell you about a new product or you are asked to try a new lipstick.  The salesperson may   persuade you to sit down for a quick try. As she starts applying the lipstick, she'll start a conversation by asking you what you do and before you know it, 15 minutes have passed and you have just been convinced to buy 15 products while she hands you a mirror to check out your brand new face. You are know hundreds of ringgit poorer.

Well, you may be thinking that you have made a new best friend, but in reality, these salespeople are well trained to make new best friends every day....It is their job.

Golden Rule No. 2 Thou shall not visit Cosmetics Counter during peak times

The busiest time for a cosmetics counter is during the weekends and after work hours. Go when it off peak which is usually on Mondays and Tuesdays and weekdays between 2pm and 4pm.

Century 21 Department Store New York by David ...
Century 21 Department Store New York by David Shankbone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Golden Rule No. 3 Thou shall keep to a budget

Don't be sucked in by a tough-sell salesperson in a lab coat who seems to know what she is talking about. They wear lab coats because they create an aura of expertise.

Set yourself a budget for the makeup counter makes you in control and you won't end up buying a bunch of products that you didn't plan to buy.

Golden Rule No. 3 Thou shall not spill the beans

Never admit to any cosmetics salesperson that you know next to nothing about makeup or skincare products. If you do, you could become a target for a hard-sell.

Golden Rule No. 4 Thou should know how to safely test products

Do you know that the free testers can be full of bacteria? So, in order to protect yourself from being infected with red eye or herpes, please follow these general rules:-

  • Powder form products such as eyeshadows, blushes, pressed powders. These are the least likely to contain contaminants. Scrapped off the top layer to get to the bottom layer if you have to, but be careful not to break it into  pieces.
  • Never test lip gloss on your lips. For lipsticks, you can use a Q-tip, rub it along the base of the stick.
  • To test liquid liners and pencils-Draw on your hands, never to your eyes.
  • You should never, ever, test mascara from the counter, even though with a freebie applicator.
  • Test foundations and concealers on your neck.

Golden Rule No. 5 Thou shall buy a minimum of two items

When you make an appointment with the makeup artist, be expected to pay for consultation and makeover services. However, many cosmetics counters do offer free makeovers. You don't have to buy something if you are trying only one or two products. However,  if you want a full make.over, the unspoken rule is that you are expected to purchase a few products. If you break this rule, you would be making an enemy of your new best friend. Bear in mind that she is working on commission and by not buying something is the same as not leaving a tip for the waitress.

A Cardinal Rule

Always ask if the staff about their return policies especially if a product you buy did not meet your expectations, or if you are not 100 percent sure about a purchase.  

Always remember this rule, if you feel you got hoodwinked into a big unexpected purchase.

My next topic for discussion is, "5 Ways To Create Positive Energy."

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I incorporated 2 different pictures  to make it as one.

Thanks for looking and taking the time to read my blog. I welcome feedback and please feel free to share your experiences in relation to this topic. 

Until my next blog, "Here's To Your Health!"

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