September 15, 2009

Musings of the Day: Your Worst or Funniest Makeup Counter Experiences

The Muse is fond of biatchin’ herself a blue streak when it comes to terrible customer service but thankfully she always gets great makeup time at her fav counters at Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Saks. I’ve always had the pleasure of being treated beautifully well at counters that I purchase from. However, I do choose to deal with the same reps over and over again which could account for the good service I get as they know my likes, they know I’m out to spend some money, and they just know a bit about me and who I am.

On occasion I’ve been known to run into a rep or two who is snotty or not helpful or just plain rude.

funny musings

Wanna Muse about your worst or maybe your funniest makeup counter experience?

Jump ahead for mine.

I’ve done alot of dwelling on bad makeup experiences in the past, particularly ones at Sephora, ‘ello nightmare sales reps. So I thought I’d share one of my funnier ones with you today.

I do have a bit of a baby face and a kind of childish voice which leads to carding at movie theaters and the likes. So it’s pretty funny that at a counter a few years ago I was swatching some lipsticks and a rep stepped over and asked where my mum was and I should be with her when I’m at any of the counters in the store.

Pretty funny and true.

Needless to say she couldn’t apologize enough when she learned I was well above the legal age to buy my own makeup without my mummy be being present.

How about you?

Any terrible experiences at a counter?

Any really funny ones?

Share ’em!

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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  • Emma

    My worst moment was a free makeover in which I was made to look like a tranny who can’t apply makeup. That woman should not have been allowed near makeup!

    • the Muse

      oh no emma! Tranny makeup=FAIL 😀 It’s been known to happen to me. I rarely let anyone touch my face at a counter hehe

  • Brandi

    I went to MAC in Metrotown when I was just starting to get into wearing makeup, and was trying to find some lipstick for my wedding. I stood there looking at stuff, there were 5 MA behind the couter talking, and people walking in after me. After being asked to move more than once so MA could get into the drawers and help people who walked in before me, I went to the counter, and asked for some help. The 5 MA talking, looked at me, ROLLED their eyes, and then finally one sighed heavily and came over to help me. I told her what I was looking for, she didn’t even ASK me what colors I might be interested in, or what type of lipstick, lipgloss, handed me one, and walked away.

    I won’t go back there and don’t recommend them to my friends. I’ve also made comments at every other MAC (whether it be freestand store or one in The Bay) at what crap service I’ve recieved.

    • the Muse

      wow brandi, just wow. that’s really awful I’m so sorry that happened to you. Normally I avoid MAC free standing stores as I get that sort of treatment alot in the stores. If I head to a counter at Macy’s or Nordies where mac is sold I find I get treated way better but the stores at just heinous for CS. Although as of late I’ve had good experiences with some of the girl’s at a local mac shop I visit thankfully….! I’m so terribly sorry about that crummy experience.

      • Christy

        Yea, that location is pretty notorious for being not so good for service. Although, there are some sweeties there. When I go to that location, I usually go straight up to the counter with a list and get them to pull it all for me rather than wait around. I prefer the counter at The Bay vs the store in that mall. Some of the girls at the counter are really sweet, even when it gets busy.

        My worst experience was when I was at Sephora. I was looking for Cosmedicine cleanser that I bought at a different location. I must’ve walked around the store for at least 20 minutes. All of the MUA’s were busy. Finally, I walked up to one that was rushing into the back room to ask and said they didn’t carry it, then he walked away. He didn’t even apologize that they don’t stock it at that location or ask if he could try finding something similar.

  • fathima

    my worst experience has to be the time i went to that revlon kiosk in my favorite dress shop.i wanted to go to goodwill[the best store 4 makeup around here]but it was late and i had an occasion and i needed foundation..i wanted to try something i havent bought before so i was all up for sampling everything..but the woman at the counter tried helping me..but she didnt kno a thing bout MU and she kept tyin to sell me foundation lighter than my skintone!i dont kno what her problem was.but she pushed and pushed but i pushed back and in the end i made her sell me the right shade of it[which doesnt look like a mask]

    • the Muse

      hi fathima!

      LOL sorry to hear about that one. Normally I get the ones that are force feeding me either orange or beige shades…god I am NOT beige in color so why would I want a beige foundation? please no! 😀

  • Melissa

    In my “day” job I work for a company that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for our world class customer service reps. I have abnormally high expectations of customer service and sales reps and even though I know they are just doing a job I want that job done well. So up until this past fall collection I always bought my one true love (Chanel) at the Scottsdale AZ Neimans. I love many brands but I always end up back at Chanel. So now I start there. – I have been buying from the Neimans counter manager for almost 10 years. I don’t know why I never bought it from Nordies, I don’t even remember how I ended up there in the first place. Well the lovely counter manager called me one afternoon to let me know she was moving on to a non-retail endeavor and we should meet for lunch. She told me that the full-time rep was most excellent and to go for my regular fall makeover. I almost always splurge on Chanel for fall and Holiday and occasionally some other launches. Fall is usually a minimum of a couple hundred dollar haul. At lunch, my ex-chanel friend showed me a sneeky peek of the palettes and themes and I had a mental picture of this haul ready to go when I arrived at Neiman’s on my way to yoga class. I did manage to sport matching yoga pants, t-shirt, and gym shoes. Somehow I think my wild curly hair smushed in a pony and lack of makeup really made me look like scum to the rep I encountered. That combined with being 31, much younger then the average customer of this counter. The gal i was referred to wasn’t there and since I had no real bond to her, I asked the snotty (she literally sniffed.) rep to see the new fall line. She gestured towards the other side of the counter. After a minute, I started swatching on my own. The rep didn’t come around but stared intently at me while I happily played. I then looked up ready to spew my order, I wanted several new things and a refill powder. I said loudly in my sweetest pay-attention-to-me-now voice, I want to get this and held up the eye shadows. She finally started to come over when a boisterous bud from another line popped by. They proceeded to discuss scheduling and stuff I didn’t care about. I started walking away and she said to me what can’t afford it? I paused , asked her name, and kept on walking right on to Nordies. The girls at nordies told me I simply couldn’t haul today not because I was in work out clothes but because the very next day was the fall beauty something or other event and not only would I get an amazing gift with purchase (which Chanel rarely does) but double nordies points. This means more money next month to buy more makeup. The girls were sweet and let me play and set me up for my appointment. The next day I got my makeup done by a New York based Chanel artist, learned a new technique, and hauled a small fortune in product. I got a ton of samples which I don’t recall ever getting from Chanel anywhere and the groovy bonus gift with all usable good size products! Well I got a little hot when I walked by Neimans so I strolled in toting my Nordies haul. Just my luck the new manager was there. I very quickly told her how much I spent at Nordies and why. I told her my name so she could pull my file to verify my tale. I asked her kindly to let the rude rep know how much she lost in commission not just on this sale but for the holiday line up and so on. She was very apologetic and offered to continue personal service. I declined. I’m sticking to Nordies for Chanel purchases. I buy my mac and clinique and whatever else I fancy there so why trek to Neimans just for one brand? I told this story to some of my shopaholic friends and one has actually stopped shopping at that Neimans altogether. I was just venting but she said bad service should be a reason to “boycott”.

    • the Muse

      Hi Melissa! Wow just wow that’s incredibly rude! Especially the part of her saying “what can’t afford it?” jeez that’s insane!!!!!! This is somewhat typical for me if I don’t know the rep or my rep isn’t around…I get very shabby treatment as well. Not so much as the story you just shared though. Good for you for boycotting and hauling elsewhere 😀 the best part was you going back and telling them about it too LOL!

  • laura r

    ok, now i’m scared. i have never presented myself to a MU counter- partly because i can’t afford it (though i typically look like i could) and partly because i’m terrified of snobby reps.

    • the Muse

      aw laura don’t be scared. jump right in. if they are rude just be rude back! 😀

  • Giselle

    this is why i shop online! i am so scared of confrontation and i know someone will piss me off. lol

    • the Muse

      me too! I do a majority of my shopping online too giselle 😀 avoid the drama of being chased around! Especially at places like BBW!

  • Mollie

    Hehe, I get carded all the time too. =)

    Um… I think the funniest experience I ever had at a makeup counter was at my local MAC counter this past summer. I was with my aunt, who is a professional makeup artist (and has been longer than I’ve been alive, for that matter) and we were trying to find me a blush. It’s hard work, since I am very, very fair, but have semi-warm undertones. So… yeah, the cooler colors at MAC tend to run a bit too cold for me.

    One of the sales reps brought out something (I forget what shade specifically), and immediately I glanced at it and politely said that I thought the color was too blue for me.

    She stared at me, and was all, “But it’s a BLUSH. It isn’t blue.”

    I don’t know, maybe I take it for granted that being an art history student, I know my color wheel and such… but shouldn’t they understand it too? I had to try so hard not to laugh. She was totally serious and thought I was being weird, but I just meant that the blush had blue undertones, not that the blush was blue itself.

  • robyn

    with being 16 if im having just a eyeliner day i usually get the “shouldnt you be over there with the maybelline and rimmel ” look which really bugs me cause my money is just as good as anyone elses even if im only buying one thing at a time and if im having a gone to town on the eyes day then the youndger ones will usually be really good older people just look kinda scared like i should be at the urban decay (thought usually am) theres a couple i really like though i find benefit counter is always good and i like the people at lancome people at no7 awesomes but i hates no7 just get my mum her wrinkle stuff when its on offer lolz

    as for mac service haha only ever had it in france she didnt speak much english i dont next to nothing french lots of pointing etc lol thats probz my funnest story

    • the Muse

      hi robyn!

      Ugh that’s the worst. been through that in my day 😀 LOL the mac france sounds fun! “Oi! Some of that please!” 😀 hehe. I like the Benefit counter too they are always very pleasant. UD is normally sold in Sephora over here which I can’t stand going into so I try to head online for my fix 😀

  • hannah

    haha muse i can totally relate to your story!! i was walking around a nordies and looking for a mom and then some lady who worked at a chanel makeup counter asked me if i was looking for my mom and i said yes, and she led me to where she was. and then she told my mom that i looked scared and was looking for her. haha i wasnt scard..weird

    • the Muse

      lol hannah WTH? hehe sounds strange. Please tell you aren’t 12 or something right?! hahaha! Normally if I’m out shopping with my mum I literally have to shout for her as she gets lost in the store. I swear the lady moves like lightening…one second she’s in back of me the next she’s 5 miles away so I have to stand there and yell “MUM where are YOU?!”

  • Marie

    I was in a Sephora getting a perfume sample, my skin chemistry is very fickle and some perfumes end up smelling like pure sugar on me, and I happened to get the rep who was already angry with another customer who had asked for a perfume sample. The second I asked for a sample her face went stone cold. She began pouring the sample and another rep came up and told her there was no perfume left in the bottle the other woman wanted. Well she took a deep long breath and said she wasn’t going to open a new bottle for samples for someone who wasn’t going to buy it anyway. All the while giving me this soul sucking glare. Which is curios to me because i have been to this particular Sephora several time and have bought countless things from this same woman.

    • the Muse

      wow Marie. Sounds like she was just having a super bad day and you were in her space at the wrong time…I hate when people seem to think it’s ok to take out their bad mood on the rest of the planet….keep it in check jeez. Especially in an environment where you are working with people!

      I’ve had this problem a few times myself. Where someone I’ve worked with before at a shop suddenly develops an attitude…dude calm down take a pill!

  • TerriB

    One of my worst actually turned out to be the best: A woman with a high-end makeup line at Macy’s let me know that the reason I was turning pink in the face all the time with foundation was because though my features/naturally I am cool-toned, “age and environmental damage” only makes you look cool-toned when you’re actually warm. She went on to cover my “red cheeks” and “sallow toned” lower face while I looked in the mirror and realized that she was absolutely right! My 41-year-old first-time mother face had become something other than it’s original cool tone due to time and childbirth, etc. She solved a big issue for me but maybe could have said it a bit better. 🙂

    • the Muse

      Hey Terri!

      I’d probably cry if someone said it was age damage…sheesh a bit gentle please 😀 but still nice that she solved your problem…..! Thankfully I never got anyone that said anything rude to me just was rude to me in general ya know?

  • hailee

    hehe mine isnt really at a makeup counter or anything, but it has to do with make up and sephora.

    Me and me friend went to Sephora, and, being the teenagers we are, we did “makeovers” on each other. to me, she “drew” glasses on my face with eyeshadow, and put horrid blush on my face. We left and we had to walk up to someone and ask them what they thought of our makeup. I chose this middle aged lady and asked her. Totally serious and not kidding, she said “honey, honey….you are such a pretty girl, you dont need all that makeup! girls these days go a little crazy. hun, you are too pretty to be wearing that much.” i kinda just stuttered and nodded, i didnt want to say “um, i dont actually wear my makeup like this…” i was afraid it would shatter her whole world on whats normal, hahaha. i mean come on, can she NOT tell my makeup is fake? im “wearing” freaking makeup glasses!!!

    • the Muse

      LOL Hailee awesome story!

      I surely hope she realized you were kidding otherwise I shudder to think that she believes today’s youth goes around with glasses painted on their face LOL!

  • Lucy

    I HATE the “I’m gona watch you cos you look dodgy” salespeople.

    My story is actually on the side of a sales assistant…

    When I used to work at B we had to advice customers on what suited them, show them what we had to offer and give quick makeovers here and there. Well this one time I was standing away from the makeover section and manning the skin stuff – foundations, powders, highlighters and the like. A sweet lady asked about the highlighters and so I was all blah blah, look how well it glides on the skin… and unscrewed the cap. I had picked up one of the oldest testers we had at the time and the cream had solidified at the neck of the tube so i squeezed really hard to get the stuff going and it EXPLODED all over my hand and onto my black work trousers. She giggled, in a kind way and I had to babble something about the tester being really old and how this hasn’t happened before while I was desperately tissuing my now sparkly smart black trousers….

    Needless to say, she didn’t buy it.

    My trousers were glittery for about a month no matter how often I put em in the wash.

    • the Muse

      ugh yes lucky!

      LOL omg no offense but that totally made me laugh HAHA! B products always congeal BADLY! The lack of preservatives really create a bad effect with some of their liquid products! I can’t believe it exploded though omg!

  • Julia

    Not at a make-up corner, but at a hair stylist:

    Went to get my hair cut together with my little brother. (Very important for the rest of the story!)
    We got there, waited for a while and got assigned to our own stylist, respectively. Before we parted to our seats, I told the girl who would do his hair to “cut a lot of this time” because he looked like a girl the longer his hair grew.
    My stylist heard this and asked in that sweet, fake voice stylists tend to use, especially to me because I seem to look super young: “Is that your boyfriend?”
    Refrained from puking only barely and answered: “Ew, no, that’s my brother!”
    Same sweet, fake voice: “Your older brother?”
    I was probably 19, he is three years younger. What the heck? And all the while, she was using impolite language (German doesn’t only have “you”, but two words that mean “you”, one for adults and one for kids or close acquantainces.)
    Gosh, was I mad! And my hair didn’t even look good.

  • Eileen

    The other day during Sephora’s 15 percent off sale, I was looking for a contour kit. I told the 2 sales ladies who were sort of helping me that I had tried the Smashbox Contour Sticks, but didn’t like them because of the constant sharpening! They looked at each other and then said to me, “Oh, well WE don’t care about that, we just care about the product.” That wasn’t my regular Sephora. When I went back to my usual Sephora, I said the same comment and the sales lady said, “Me too!” I’m like, “I’m home!!”