Weekends are my absolute favourite days of the week because that is the day where I get to do my beauty rounding at KLCC. I know I’m suppose to move around malls for beauty rounding but I’m totally hooked to the newly renovated Isetan over at KLCC. I also find all the BA there are much more friendlier and polite. That is why I keep going back to Isetan KLCC. Oh and the ladies parking there is the best. Last time if I go KLCC around 2pm, all the parkings are full. Ever since the ladies parking section existed, I can go KLCC anytime as there will always be parking for me 🙂
Now, beauty counters horror story. We’ve all been there, done that. I started dipping my toes into beauty through sampling. Took the sample home, tried it on, wow-ed by the result and return for a purchase. But the reality is most BA at these beauty counter usually gives us a very hard time. Up until a few years back beauty counters at departmental store are deemed as “premium” or luxury or even expensive brands. Now everyone can afford it. Having to be one of the person who deal with beauty counters from time to time, let me share with you my Top 6 Beauty Counter Secrets that your friendly BA won’t tell you.
Disclaimer: This is just my personal experience. It does not mean ALL brands and counters are the same.
Secret #1: Makeover Is Just An Excuse To Get You To Purchase
I’m lucky that I absolutely HATE makeover. So whenever a BA said they will give me a makeover or buy something to get a free makeover and free photo, I’ll be happy to say no to them.
Giving out makeover could be a free service from the outside but do you know that eventhough it’s free, these properly trained artist are expecting you to at least make a purchase thereafter? I have been to a no strings attached makeover but after my face is done, the artist will then get their BA to speak to you. I was in a hurry and I told the artist there’s no need but she insisted. Isn’t that weird since I don’t intend to purchase and I did mention that I was in a hurry? The BA will then sell me each and every products that was used on my face earlier. Getting in was easy, getting out is tough. So the next time you walk pass a promotion event area offering free makeover, try to turn it down if you really don’t intend to buy anything.
There is also another reason why I reject makeover. It’s my Secret #2 🙂
Secret #2: Product Display & Makeup Brushes Are Full With Germs
If this never cross your mind then you can now feel bad about the breakout you get from the makeover.
From my observation over the counter, every makeup artist own a set of brush of their own. They are responsible to keep their brushes clean and tidy and what I know is some brand that I visited do clean the brushes immediately after each use. If so why do you still get breakout from makeover you ask? It’s either the brushes are not clean thoroughly or it could mean those makeup display are germ-infested.
I bet you are guilty on this too – dipping and running your finger tip over an eyeshadow from the display. Every day there will be countless of people doing the same. This will not create any problem if everyone just swatch it on the back of their hand. But the reality is makeover over the counter is also using the same makeup display. So the next time you want to apply that beautiful MAC lipstick directly on your lips, think again 😉
Secret #3: Harmful Ingredients Tell-all
We all have been verbal about having paraben in our beauty products. Unless you are buying all natural and organic products, almost everything contain paraben. Personally, asking the BA about ingredient is the one thing I never do. Not by choice but I never remember to do so! How often you encounter a BA being honest and tell you all about the ingredients in a product? None. They will only tell you the KEY ingredients such as honey, hyaluronic acid, shea butter and so on. What about other active ingredients? Nope. They won’t tell you that the product also contain methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben etc otherwise you will walk away from the counter.
Secret #4: Compliments Is Just A Sales Talk
There are a few times I encounter a temporary replacement BA over at my favourite brand and counter telling me how bad my skin is. I appreciate that kind of honesty because they are not in the best state but pointing your fingers again and again, tugging my skin around and shout it out loudly is just too much. I immediately make a complain to the Counter Manager, not once but every single time whenever she’s there at the counter.
There are also times where I get complimented for having a good skin. You think how nice someone complimented right? Wrong! So wrong especially when I have breakouts and stuff. I always always challenge the compliments I get. For example telling me I have beautiful skin while I have acne marks here and there is just too fake. When I challenge the BA, she will quickly twist and said because my skin is smooth. You see, these BAs are trained to have a sugar coated mouth. Who doesn’t like compliments right? I often see woman open up about what they are looking for instead of telling the BA she’s just looking around because of the compliments she get. The chances of closing a sales is higher now.
Secret #5: Saying NO To Drugstore Users
This is an extension to Secret #4 above.
Everytime I’m browsing at beauty counters, conversations with the BA is flowing smooth and then she ask me this – “what brand are you currently using?” I am often very honest about the brands that I’m using but I am so tired of the same question over and over again. It’s like these brands are in a conspiracy or something. The real truth behind this golden question is to judge how much you spend on beauty products and your buying power. Counter brand means you are willing to splurge, drugstore brand means you don’t spend much on beauty products. Try saying you’re using SK-II. I bet some will go gaga. But if you say you are using Bio-Essence for example, there could be two possibilities from the answer. (1) They will treat you cold thereafter or (2) they will try to sell you their products as in an effort to convert you to their customer base.
So the next time a BA from beauty counter ask you what brand you are currently using, you should at least by now know that this is not a curiosity or small talk, this is a trick question to judge your buying power.
Secret #6: That One Sachet Of Sample
Beauty counters BA who had attended to me before knew I will only buy a particular skin care product after trying out sample. These BAs are generally more generous with me. Instead of giving me just sachets they will proceed to give me a deluxe size product. Some gave miniature size too.
When I started out with redeeming samples from newspaper cutting or Facebook redemption, I was often given just a sachet. Nothing more than that. Let me just tell you these BA know exactly what is it going on. They know we just want to get a sample with no intention to buy. A pack of sample is meant for you to feel the texture, smell the cream to see if it suits you and feel it on the skin. It does not intend to let you see any instant result. Which is why they only give you one sachet. I know how beauty counter works and how they are obligate to explain to you about the product and how to use so usually I will be patience and listen. I will show my interest eventhough I’ve already done my research online beforehand. Nowadays I am often given deluxe sample or a few sachets if they don’t have deluxe sample for that particular product. Like I said earlier, one sachet doesn’t let you see instant result so they gave me a few.
My advise is to ignore all the sampling if you are not into that particular brand or product at all. Samples redeemed are often chuck away in a corner because let’s face the fact, most people just hate to tear up a sachet to use.
Phew. It’s not easy for me to put into words on what I’ve been through before and how I feel. I hope no one is offended by this as this is just my past personal experience. As I said earlier, more and more people are able to spend at beauty counters at departmental store nowadays. Getting samples and consultation is no longer deem as free loader but an opportunity to increase the customer base. I do notice that BA nowadays are more friendlier and more open about giving out samples to try before purchase. Kiehl’s for example believe in sampling philosophy and they have a great sampling exercise “Try Before You Buy”.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post and gain some knowledge on how to deal and talk to Beauty Advisors over the counter. Do share in the comment section if you experience anything other than my Top 6 Beauty Counter Secrets.
Note: All images are for illustration purposes only ya 😛