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I have been in the past, so nowadays I don’t bother at all with small counters and when I go to Ulta or Sephora I know exactly what I’m going to get, grab it and check out. If a sales associate comes up and asks if I need any help I say no and just walk on by, tbh they probably think I’m rude… but I always have a stupid grin on my face cause I’m so excited to get whatever I’m getting! When I go into any store without a plan I can end up in there for hours trying to make up my mind so shopping online is usually far more comfortable for me but not as convenient.

I get downright ignored at pretty much every MAC counter I go to. Sometimes at Sephoras too. It probably has to do with my age, because I’m only 18. Because of that, I pretty much always go in with a full face of makeup on, to show them I’m serious. It’s kind of a nuisance, and often it doesn’t work.

Really? That’s a bummer because if I get a chance to have a male associate I jump for the opportunity. I wish there were more men working at the counters.. it seems they give fresh perspective. Some of my best experiences were with male associates. Once when I was to shy to rock a red lip I went to the counter and I remember him telling me (excitedly) that if anyone could rock a red lip I could because I have nice full lips. Just the way he said it stuck and I was like yes I can:) I’ve never had any of the women associates help like that( def. not knocking them though). I think both men and women offer different approaches and perspectives to makeup and I love it.

I find that if I go to a makeup counter after I work in the stockroom at my store (which is less than glamorous) or on my way home from the gym I don’t get taken seriously in the least. Little do they know I’m a good 5 years older than they assume and actually work in the cosmetics industry. Woops!

Yes, all the time. And although it sucks for all of us, at least I see I’m not alone in my misery. I dress well, even to go to the mall, full face and still get completely ignored at MAC. I simply don’t get it? But get this, whenever my husband moseys on over to the MAC counter at Macy’s, he gets treated like a king, samples and all! Last time he brought me a big sample of Blue Storm eye pigment, couldn’t believe my eyes. Them’s the breaks.

Discriminated is more of a harsh word. Look down at is more like it. Mostly at Sephora…I stopped buying from there. Been buying makeup for 30 plus years and I go to Sephora…they look at you as if you are going to steal and watch you with the products…Snotty little things. Been buying makeup way before their sales people have been born and before Sephora even existed…Leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

Oh yes…

and it all depends on how I’m dressed. It’s absurd. If I go shopping after work day, I’m wearing a trench coat, carry a 1000e bag and wear pearl earrings. That’s when all the salespersons crowd to me and are oh-so-polite that it makes me feel almost overwhelmed. On the other hand, on my free time I often feel very lazy and don’t wear makeup at all (Hello blemishes!) and come to the store in a college shirt and shorts. That’s when they look at me kind of condescendingly and after I’ve been standing there for a while and they’ve been texting on their phones they might ask as icily as possible “May I help you…?”. This happened to me at a Dior counter. It drives me mad! I have exactly the same amount of money to spend on both days!

Though I must admit I do get some sort of sick satisfaction when seeing their surprise once I go and buy expensive stuff looking as scruffy as possible. Urgh. I hate that the custom of salespersons looking down on their _customers_ even exists.

SA’s seem to hate me when I know more than they do.Most of the time they don’t know what they’re talking about so when I tell them what I want they just stare.Also when I was younger I would buy high end and they always told me it was way too expensive for me.So I asked for the manager of the store and paid for my goodies and left.I hate going to the counters with Sales people. At least at Sephora they leave me alone.I have a total aversion to department store makeup counters.They are way too pushy…I just walk away while they’re still talking.

Yes. Where I live in Asia, SAs generally don’t even bother to ask if I need help. On rare occasions when they realise I am there to spend money, they will help me. And usually during those rare occasions, my mom will be there. -.- sigh.

On a recent trip to America, I felt really discriminated at Sephora. It could have been due to my race (I was asked at CVS if I was a chin, which is chinese and on another occasion they tried to short change me) or it could also be because I was on holiday and couldn’t be bothered to put on lots of makeup so SAs think I don’t wear makeup.

Not to mention I looked young so they thought I was broke. Until they saw how much points I had in my sephora account…

I forgot to mention…I’m a doctor and when I’m running errands I dress in sweats and pick up my makeup or groceries etc… SA’s ignore me because I don’t look like money so they won’t help me at all when I dress down and then I have to ask for the manager once again and they get into alot of trouble. They deserve it ! Never judge a book by its cover.You can never tell who has the money no matter how people dress.

I’ve never felt discriminated at a makeup counter… but I’ve definitly had my share of bad service (including a manager at Sephora who was rude) and employees in Sephora who have no idea what they’re doing. The only thing I can think of as discrimination was at a counter in Macy’s I wanted a Philosophy soap and waited so long while the employee was talking to someone who wasn’t buying anything and she knew I was there… once I walked away she started to say she could check me out now and I was like no you lost a sale bye. I don’t think that was discrimination though, just stupidity… outside of makeup I have felt discriminated a few times at Nordstrom men’s cologne when buying gifts for men during holiday/birthday’s… probably because I’m a girl and not a guy or an older woman… I don’t know sometimes they’re all over me when I just pass the section and other times when I actually am there to buy things they bother the males in the section and ignore me or the employees are too busy talking to eachother. They’ve always been very nice though and apoligized for overlooking me, so I can’t hold a grudge over it.

Oh and another time I was in Italy and went into a makeup store with my friends… quickly left when I saw it was all makeup you could get in the US and the fact the snobby employee was following us around the store.

YES! A few times, actually. Several times at MAC when I was first interested in makeup and had not started wearing it yet. They were only interested in talking to people who were already wearing makeup. Same thing at Estee Lauder – where one sales lady bluntly said ‘we have nothing that would suit you here’ after I asked about foundation. I haven’t been able to bring myself to try anything Estee Lauder since then, actually, because of the way I was spoken to by that woman. Really knocked my confidence. A similar thing happened at Laura Mercier, too – though the guy that worked at my local LM counter was SO bad, he ended up getting fired, I think. He would often say to people ‘Are you actually going to buy something, because if you’re not, I won’t waste my time’.
I definitely feel like people at makeup counters are only interested in talking to people who wear the ‘right clothes’ or makeup. Before I started wearing makeup I found it hard to get anyone to talk to me at a makeup counter. Now that I have a lot of practice, and more knowledge about the products, and application, I get served right away and have a much better experience, while I still notice ‘newbies’ getting ignored. It’s just sad, really. I don’t think a lot of the sales people at makeup counters realise how pretentious they are, and how the way they act a lot of the time can really knock someone’s confidence and potentially turn them off a brand forever.

Not so much when shopping, but when SELLING cosmetics (mostly skincare) to some older women. I literally had someone who I politely asked “Do you need a hand finding anything?” When I noticed her looking at skincare products. She literally put her hand up, cut me off and said “No offense, but you’re a little young, and I would rather talk to that girl over there.” Luckily my co-worker came over and exclaimed how much more knowledgeable I was than her and how I am actually TEACHING her as she is new. I have over 5 years experience in cosmetic sales, and just because I am 22 years old doesn’t mean I don’t know a LOT about cosmetics and skin care! I have had women state “What do you know? You have no wrinkles!” or “HA! You’re skin is so nice, you can’t help me.” I find it insulting as they don’t actually take the time to talk to me. The ones that do have ALWAYS made some kind of comment about how knowledgeable I am, helpful and how happy they are to have talked to me. More people need to take the time to listen what I have to say, not take one look at me and cut me off.

This happent to me ALL the time working in cosmetics retail… I’m a professional MUA and have had SO many trainings in skin care, yet all I got was exactly what you said: “what do you know, you have perfect skin” or the even more dreaded “how can you sell me acne-clearing products when you have a pimple on your chin” arrrrgh that was so infuriating!

Yes, absolutly. I’m in high school and I don’t have a lot of money to spend, but I really hate being looked down upon in sephora and mac. They either ignore me or insist on teaching me how to apply foundation. I’m young but I like to think I know a fair bit about makeup and I find it very insulting when they baby me. But Idont let it bug me when they ignore me, in fact I’ve learned to make a game out of it. Every time I go into sephora My goal is to get in and out without talking to the obnoxious sales people. (this isn’t my view on all sales people just these particular ones in a sephora by me)

I feel like that very often. I’m 28, but I guess I look younger and people think I don’t have any money to spend, so I get ignored a lot. Or, what’s even worse, I’m considered a potential shoplifter and get followed around and have SAs constantly looking over my shoulder to see what I’m doing, but without being offered help. Funnily enough the place where I’m treated most like a valued customer is a small, rather exclusive store, but while it’s obvious most of their customers are wealthy, elderly women, their SAs are trained much better and have never made me feel uncomfortable. Even though they’re more expensive, I usually end up going there now to get my make-up (except for MAC, as they don’t carry it). If I end up going somewhere else, I often take my mum with me (!), and that makes a lot of difference in the way I get treated by SAs (even though my mum’s absolutely not interested in make-up at all and also dresses far more casually than me).

All the time. The irony is, the same SAs who treat me like a cosmetic newb for going around barefaced almost always do a sloppy job with their own makeup. So it’s easy not to be too offended by these people.

I had problems when I was a teenager and tried to buy high-end makeup, with the gift-certificates I always got for my birthdays. It was especially bad at a Chanel counter, where the sales lady first ignored me and when I directly asked her a question and wanted to pay she really looked down on me in a way I could see she would have liked to refuse service. That should not be the case when you leave over 150€ at a beauty counter, no matter if you are 15 or 50, how you are dressed and how you pay. Unfortunately for her I had a big mouth even then. I did not buy the makeup, when to the Dior counter, spent the money there and made a complaint to the other sales lady, who was way nicer and happy to be of assistance, even asking if I wanted to make a complaint to the manager.
I guess it really depends on the person at the counter, some are very narrow-minded, which is a shame.

Yes, all the time.
At Mac, the key factor is usually the amount of makeup I wear or the fact that I politely wait for a MUA to be available. I often wait for 20 or more minutes before I just leave empty-handed because 2 or 3 women that either demanded to be served or wore more makeup came first.
At other brands shops/counters, I get discriminated against because of my clothes/shoes, my style is not “smart” enough for me to get considered.
(I’m 30, not a teenager…)

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