September 22, 2009

Musings of the Day: The Pressure Is On

Picture this….

The Muse is at her local makeup counter (pick a counter, any counter) and a MA (makeup artist) stops over to start pimpin’ her wares. Maybe this is the Muse’s first time trying this brand or her normal MA is on vacation or some such thing.

Now when have you headed to a counter or even Sephora and NOT run into some aggressive MA. I think it’s rare to not run into someone who wants to sell you the entire counter and than some more. I mean anything….orange foundation? “Oh my god this color is perfect for you!” Vomit Colored Eye Shadow? “This will really brighten up your eyes!” And on and on and on…..

Which brings me to today’s Musings!


Are you a push over?

Do you handle aggressive MA’s or sales reps with an iron fist?

Or do you get sucked into their vortex and end up spending money on stuff you really didn’t want to begin with!

Jump ahead to find out if the Muse is a stand up kinda girl or a big mush when the pressure is on at the counter.

Hate to disappoint but I’m a push over.

An utter and complete mush.

You can sell me snow in the Summer.

It’s so sad. I just can’t say, “no I don’t want the vomit color eye shadow…..” Instead, I’m left nodding about how it brightens up my eyes and yes I’ll take one please. God, I hate myself for it but I’m such a mushy little push over. This is why I hate going to Bath and Body Works because I swear those girls will literally pile stuff in my bag and push me to the register to pay for it all even though I don’t want any of it.

I’m likely to buy more if you just leave me alone please. Be around to say hey can I help you but don’t continue to hound me saying, “try this, try that…”

The sad thing is I’ve purchased so much makeup, so much bath and body crap, and just generally so much of everything because I’m such a push over. I once dropped $300 on Laura Mercier product at Neiman’s once because an MA caught up with me at the Guerlain counter that was MA-less. I went in wanting to drop cash on Guerlain and simply asked the Laura Mercier rep where the Guerlain one was and she directed me over to the dark side and there I was dishing out money for makeup I didn’t want.

Needless to say I had to go through the very painful process of returning it all at another Neiman Marcus because I was so ashamed for letting her convince me to buy it and just didn’t want to deal with her on the return of the items.

So yes…I’m a complete and utter push over.

How about you?

Aggressive to just say nay?

Push over enough to say yay to everything and anything?

A little of both?

Tell the Muse!

The good news is as of lately I’ve been getting a little bit better about saying, “No, thank you but NO.”

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Eru

    I usually am a tough girl when dealing with MA’s 🙂 When they’re a bit too pushy, I just lie and say “It’s not for me, I’m running an errand for someone so I’m only gona buy this”. It works!! Hehe 🙂

    • the Muse

      gosh I wish I was Eru. I’m such a mush 🙁 I’m gonna to use that “It’s not for me” hehe that may just work!

  • Jamie

    Haha, I know where you’re coming from. It’s so hard for me to say no to MAs, for some reason. I feel like employees in the cosmetics department are way pushier than ones in other departments. I used to buy products that were highly recommended to me only to realize, as I was walking back to my car, that I really shouldn’t have purchased them. Like you, I would never dream of going back to the same mall to return the items; I’d much rather drive 15 or even 30 minutes away to do the return. Granted, I would always end up doing a lot more than returning unwanted items! Now, I just like to amble around the cosmetics department once, pretending like I am having an important conversation with my phone, to scope out the counters. If my regular MAs aren’t at the counters I religiously go to, I’ll walk around some more, viewing things at other counters, just smiling politely to the MAs there. Oh, and I also do my research online before heading into the war zone. I make sure I know what I want beforehand, so I can step up and say, “I just need this, this and this” and be on my merry way. That method makes for a happy Jamie and a happy wallet. 🙂

    • the Muse

      hey jamie

      sorry for the delayed reply 😀 Agreed. They are very aggressive and make me nervous. I try to stay with my regular MA but if she isn’t around I kinda avoid the counter. Sounds like a plan to me! I must try the cell phone trick 😀 I tend to get roped in and purchase stuff even when I know what I want:( I’m such a mush!

  • Kat

    Don’t worry Muse, I’m a push over too! I went into Nordies to buy some Bobbi Brown, got stopped by the MAC MA and walked out with a makeover and $250.00 worth of stuff. When I got home, my boyfriend asked me if it was my night to “work” on Times Square! Needless to say, I can’t go to the makeup counter alone. I need some “NO you don’t need that” reinforcements!

    • the Muse

      aw kat we can be mushy together 😀 LOL your BF is a hoot. I swear I’m the same way…same thing happened to me at LM and I don’t even LIKE LM that much!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fresco Phyrra

    One of the reasons I like taking R or D with me is that they’ll say ‘I think that’s hideous, no.’ and the stunned MA doesn’t know what to do when a guy says no. They’ll try to say ‘well guys don’t know what they’re talking about,’ but then I usually say, ‘well, I trust them and if they don’t like it, I don’t want it.’

    • the Muse

      DD I go with Jai when possible. He is SO outspoken and funny that MA’s are terrified of him 😀 lol!

      • Fresco Phyrra

        Yeah, it’s hilarious to see the MA’s look stunned and floundering for words.

        Though I’m also pretty good about saying ‘No thank you,’ these days.
        And of course, I can always return it if I don’t like it.

        • the Muse

          I always feel SOOOO guilty returning anything 😀 hehe absolutely funny seeing MA’s flounder especially snotty ones that’s my evil side talking 😀

  • BeautyBitch

    I used to be a make-up counter girl myself when I was a student so I have no problem saying no. But I have a similar problem in that I fall into infatuation with great sales assistants (of which there are so few!) that if I really like them, I end up buying loads of crap just because they are so enthusiastic about it and I get carried away playing with my new BFF until I get it all home and think “WHY WHY WHY did I buy all this rubbish???”.

    9 times out of 10 though, I know exactly what I want to buy or swatch before I’m at a counter (thanks to great resources like you very own blog!) so I’m very focused and will buy what I came into despite the hard sell.

  • Elouise

    Omg, you’re so right…I kind of just stand there nodding while they make their spiel about how their product is so awesome….but I usually stick to what I researched for myself online and politely decline them.

    I especially hate when the MA’s from a counter are out to lunch or break, and another MA from a different brand tries to color match you or help you when they don’t know anything about the brand.

    • the Muse

      Hi Elouise!

      A fellow push over eh? LOL! I try hard to just say no but they are sooooooo aggressive and yes I’m so upset when my MA is out on break or not around…..if I’m not in a hurry I normally ask when she’s back and I’ll wander around until she gets back because I seriously can’t stand setting myself up with an aggressive ma!

  • Mollie

    Oh my god, I am so NOT a pushover. I’m like that girl who refuses almost to the point of being rude about it. Granted, I don’t spend much time shopping for makeup, but when I do… LOL. My mom is so easy to convince though.

    I think the most frivolous thing anyone tried to sell me was the Lancome vibrating mascara. Excessive much! 25 dollars for mascara is so silly.

    • the Muse

      LOL yes the Lancome Vibrating Mascara have to love it hehe:-D I got sucked into that 😀 I actually liked it but yes $25 is a bit much lol!

      I’m a complete pushover sadly!

  • mary_in_wonder

    I usually say that I’m just taking a look at the stuffs. (okay, I can’t come up with a proper translation) The original means ‘shut the **** and go away’ and the SAs get the message and leave me alone. LOL
    But last time I asked for the woman’s help with creams against freckles. In no time 3 SAs were chirping around me discussing which is for the purpose, which not and what they recommend. In the end I got a generous amount of sample and left without buying anything! LOL I bet they cursed me afterward, but I never said I wanted to buy anything =D

    • the Muse

      hey Mary!

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 I normally say the same but they circle me like vultures while I look! hahahaha they prob curse me too when I leave without buying anything I always feel their eyes burning a hole in my back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • N

    Same here. they blow at me, and I fall. But lately, I found a nice way to shake them off. In a sugary-sweet, very friendly voice I go “Ow, that’s very friendly of you. Would you mind just letting me have a look at my own? If I need information, I’ll definitely ask you.” It works. It really does.

  • MC

    I was somewhat pushed a few weeks ago at a Benefit counter to get a mini-makeover with That Gal, Hello Flawless, and Erase Paste when I was just browsing. I will admit that I enjoyed the products and I did purchase all of them (not at one time lol). I am usually not a pushover, but in that case..I was looking for some new things, so I didn’t mind.

    When I go to counters,I tend to go directly to a sales person, ramble of my list of things I want to by after I test drive the colors on my own, then go on my merry way. I learned a long time ago after an unfortunate incident where I bought $150 worth of Beauticontrol cosmetics off my mom who was a saleswoman at the time and wound up with a horrific eye infection and welts allover my face not to allow sales people to have their way with me unless I want their advice.

    Of course I think I may head to MAC to test drive the style black and ask for advice on how to wear the stuff this week lol.

  • Lisa Kate

    Ahh I’m SO awful at this. I just stare at them with big eyes like a deer in the headlights and then end up buying all the crap they sell me…The past year or so I’ve been strictly a mmu girl, so now when I go to buy my UD or whatever, I tell the girls I’m vegan (which, well, isn’t exactly true, but they scare me!!).

    I would be the wordt salesperson…I never want to bother anyone!

    • the Muse

      LOL Lisa me too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL good idea on vegan..I’ll try that one 😀 I would be too I’m so timid I’d never aggressively try to sell stuff to people!

  • Del

    I don’t know if I should be worried or jealous because they never bother me! Maybe the lack of makeup on my face screams “NO SALE!” or they think I’m too young just like the Muse’s funny story. Only time it bothers me is when I actually need help with something & there’s no one around. Maybe I should stop going to the counters at the “snotty” malls…

    • the Muse

      awww del!!!!! I get ignored occasionally by reps that don’t know or they aren’t willing to help, so not cool 🙁 Sometimes I find the best shopping is the shopping done online hehe!

      • Del

        shopping online = massive damage….in fact, I’m about to do some online shopping at Target since they don’t have what I want in store. =P Wish me luck in controlling the damage…

        on the upside – shopping online allows you to read product reviews, which is cool since the Muse can’t review everything- yes she’s super, but we would never want her to be overwhelmed, especially on a Monday!

        • the Muse

          HAAAAAAA tell me about it. 😀 Target normally has 10% Off Coupon Codes…RetailMeNot first before heading in for the haul 😀

          LOL especially on Monday! Thank ye 😀

  • ritadebora

    I just say “I’m just looking”. If another one comes: “I’m just looking”, and this can go on and on. Sometimes I have a couple of products already on my hands but I just keep saying “I’m just looking”. Then they give me “the look”. I don’t mind, I hate people coming to me. I know it’s their job, but I just can’t stand it. Many times I just prefer to do my shopping online. I can read and decide more careful, put and take things out of the cart, etc.

    • the Muse

      hi rita

      I do that too but sometimes they still get on me! I understand and appreciate it’s their job too but gosh no when to lay off 😀 I do the very same thing as you! about 90% of my shopping is done online!

  • robyn

    a simple “do you think a 16 year would be buying make up this expensive if they didnt know their stuff? so dont bother with your sales rubbish!” glare usually works for me and they tend to lapse back into whatever it was i actually asked about or if i said i didnt need help away they go

    though to be honest i think ive had pushy people all of erm twice?

    being 16 also means lack of funds prevent buying unneccessary stuff lol even if i wanted to though when i have the money splurge time:) working walking distance from boots and superdrug means my wages dont often reach home!

    • the Muse

      dude seriously you so should relish 16…..when you become a diseased adult you want to be immature and buy eveything. Robyn listen to the Muse she knows 😀

  • Hailee

    Ahhhhh I so am. I just get caught in the moment of being waited on and being told what looks good on me I feel glamourous so yup I just smile nod and say yea it does look great! Unfortuniatly I never have the courage to return anything so I have an extra bin full of useless sephora-ness.

    • the Muse

      LOL Hailee me too don’t worry. I have the same prob a container full of stuff I don’t use and got forced into!

  • Giselle

    You know, they actually don’t bother me too much. I realized that I tend to walk around with an angry face! lol. I absolutely don’t mean to, but my eyebrows just get into position haha. So I guess I come off as unapproachable..which is ok with me when i’m shopping, because I don’t like pushy people. If they get really annoying I’ll let them say everything and offer whatever they want and then I just say “thanks!” and turn around lol. Oh I just had an idea Muse..why don’t you pretend to talk on your cell phone next time?

    • the Muse

      hey giselle

      you’re lucky 😀 hehe I’m so adopting a mad face 😀 LOL good idea!!!!! Cell phone is a good idea!!!!!!! 😀

  • Iris

    I’m a bit of both. I’m open to suggestion and have purchased a few products after the sales associates have suggested them. They do have to be products I know I’d use. I do try to go into beauty shops with a list of products I need or am interested in to attempt to avoid impulse purchases.

  • Neetu

    I’m often too honest, but I try to be nice. I say things like. ” No thanks or I don’t like the color, I prefer this other one from the other brand, I don’t like the consistency, I prefer this other shade, it’s too orange, it’s too dark, it’s too whatever, that’s too expensive maybe later, I can buy something like this in Korea, and it costs a lot less… etc., ” I’m just myself. I don’t think I’m offensive, just honest. And I smile and talk to them like I talk to everyone. Sometimes I give them beauty advice too. I’m wierd like that.

  • ritadebora

    I don’t like anyone to come to me, I like to be all alone looking at the products in the store. I say to everyone that comes to me “I’m just looking”. Most of the times, to the same person, I have to say “I’m just looking” more than once. This annoys me, altough I know they are just doing their job. I’m the kind of person who likes to seek for help only when I need, I don’t like the sales person to come to me at all, it makes me want to leave the store. Sorry.