We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
  • b-glowing20% off skincare orders of $60+ with code 20SKINCARE, ends 10/25.

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Get Updates by Email

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

131 Comments

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the post above for information regarding pricing, availability, dupes, and availability, and keep discussion on-topic.

Please do not ask if/when a review will be posted as we cannot review everything and often change priorities from day-to-day. If you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us. Thank you!

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

Comments on this post are closed.

Yes!!! For the love of humanity … I RARELY walk out the house bare faced. The only time I don’t wear make-up is when I have a facial or make-over scheduled.

I usually do, for the same reason as you: I feel like I’m almost looked down upon if I don’t wear anything. that being said, I try to keep it simple and plan around what I’m looking to buy. most common example is if I want to buy lip colors, I won’t wear one that day, so I don’t have to take it off to test out products.

Huh…I never realized that the reason why I never EVER get taken seriously at a beauty counter was maybe because I wasn’t wearing makeup. I always assumed it’s because I look pretty young and probably don’t dress like a woman my age should :PI usually only wear a little bit of liner on my upper lashline and some mascara and tinted balm. I want to be able to get matched for foundation easily so I never wear foundation. But I don’t ever try their mascara, lipstick/glosses, or other eye products because I’m scared of the bacteria on it.

I’ve had the EXACT same experience– talked down to because it seemed I had nothing on. Even though sometimes I DO have make up on– just a very natural look. 

I completely agree! I noticed the same thing happened to me when I don’t wear makeup and go into beauty stores – which is kind of ridiculous because if I am actually shopping for something, I want to be able to test it on bare skin…

People make judgements about you based on your appearance all the time.  While this may not be the most politically correct thing, it is entirely human and all of us are guilty of it.  I have always been taught to put my best foot forward.  This means I do not leave my property without being appropriately coiffed and dressed.  I’m very old fashioned in this respect and there are days due to illness where I really do not feel I have the energy, but I suck it up and make myself presentable.  I truly despair the day they invented sweats as something to wear other than at the gym.  I truly despair the day it became cool to have your pants hanging off your ass.  Yes, I am quite a snot about this.  I hate seeing people walking around looking like slobs, I really do.  I have absolutely nothing against casual wear, but casual can be every bit as chic as dressed up.  And now as my ex-husband used to say (perhaps this is why he is EX):  Don’t bother me with the facts, I’ve already made up my mind.  LoL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, that would be an emphatic yes, I would absolutely wear make-up to go shopping for make-up.  

Typically, no; when I go makeup shopping, I go with the idea I may be doing some clothes shopping, as well, and I don’t like to get makeup all over the clothes I may try on. Also, I usually dress way down (in things I can get in and out of quickly and easily), and I think it looks weird to wear a t-shirt and leggings with a full face of makeup. When I go shopping specifically for foundation, I also make sure to wear whatever sunscreen I’m using the most, so I can see how it reacts with the foundation. I actually find I’m taken *morre* seriously (in most cases) when I’m not wearing makeup, as the SA can see that I’m prepared to actually try products, and therefore not just playing around at the counter. Then there’s the fact that I frequent the same Sephora locations often enough that I’m recognized, and the gals there know I’m serious about shopping.

If I am only going out with the purpose to go makeup shopping then I might go bare faced if I KNOW I want to try on a foundation there without having to get samples then come back or go online to purchase. Sometimes I go in with a full face, but no blush, if I know I want to try on a certain blush. Otherwise, I’m usually wearing makeup. I don’t feel like I have to, though. I’m just usually wearing it already. I don’t really recall being looked at oddly or treated differently because of it…then again, most of the places I shop for makeup recognize me, so they know I’m bound to buy. :DIn my experience, bitchy sales people are just bitchy people in general. They always look at you weird and treat people like crap because they have that high school mean girl mentality. This is just my observation.

Yes.  I’m actually often mistaken for somebody who works at the counter or store when I’m browsing for makeup.  I do often wear all black and that’ll happen if you’re hanging around a MAC counter. 😉  Or perhaps my face looks “done.”

I do most of my makeup shopping online, so it really doesn’t matter 🙂 When I go shopping in person I’m always torn between wanting to wear makeup and look like I’m going to use the things I’m buying and not wanting to wear anything so they can use products on me. 

The only place that looks at me like I am dog poo is at Sephora whether I have makeup or no makeup on.  Given that I can buy makeup at Macys, Neimans, Saks, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms and Barneys in San Francisco, I no longer make my purchases at Sephora.  I have bought makeup from high end stores before Sephora even existed.  Sometimes I wear makeup and sometimes I dont wear makeup when I purchase an item.  More often than not, I dont wear makeup to buy makeup and never once do these high end store ever look at me poorly.  They all have invited me one way or another to try their product.  They dont treat me badly and let me choose what I want without making me feel weird.  And Urban Decay at both Macys where I get my stuff treat me well too.  Thank goodness, Macys will get their Urban Decay stuff I am told now before Sephora.   I have made two written notices to Sephora as how I was treated and in fact, I never made a complaint to any of these stores in the 30 years that I wore makeup….The sales people at Tom Ford Cosmetics said it best….you are the consumer….you choose what you like and so I do.  The bottom line.  It doesnt matter if I wear any make-up.  The sales people want to introduce their products.  Even on many occasions with my purchases, I get extra samples of makeup or fragrance…good sizes, not like the mini- pics Sephora hands out….and I dont need to even accumulate points…..and I dont even wear makeup.

Nope, I don’t put on that much make up in general though. Mostly because I don’t have the time, but the good thing about being bare faced is less make up to take off and easier application if I need to get matched or a new eyeshadow. 🙂

Oh you’re right , I don’t wear a lot of make up (even if I love it and own a hole Sephora in my bedroom)   ; when I want to buy something in a beauty  store I often see the sellers not looking at me as seriously as I deserve and I can see the security guy following me everywhere ( “she WILL steal something she’s trying too many things on her hand ..). I’m about 38 years old and I feel like I’m taken as a teenager! I hate that!

Personally, I find that it really depends on where I am going to. At Sephora, I feel that I always receive awesome friendly service from the sales associates even when I am bare-faced. In contrast, I feel obligated to wear at least some make up when I go to makeup counters or any free standing stores (e.g. MAC). I have had numerous personal experiences where I, without makeup, have been treated literally like an invisible person by the SAME associate who was so very friendly when I had makeup on.

Yeah I do, even though I know it’ll just be wiped off. For the same reasons as you! I feel like many associates are very judgmental these days…

I always do because there are no good places in my town to buy makeup, so I’m either on vacation, or have driven to the city an hour away for more than just grabbing a lippie.  And at most places, I like to try removers too.  

It really depends- if I’m going to my local Nordstrom, where most of the cosmetics staff recognizes me as a frequent buyer (obsession much?) I don’t feel the need to wear makeup. (They actually prefer it, so they can start trying new artistry right away!) Also, Sephora doesn’t matter too much to me as I go there to swatch or I already know what I want and I can take care of myself or flag an associate if necessary. But if I’m going to a high end department store or a new counter, I also like to be taken seriously and will wear makeup.

Depends where I go. If it’s a drug store or any other place that might carry makeup and I happen to be there, I usually don’t care, but if I’m going to the mall (down in Southern California where it’s all frou-frou) I will try to have my style in tip top shape, especially when dealing with SA’s of certain stores. However when it comes to hair and I’m shopping for products, I really don’t care if it looks messy or greasy because I figure, hey, this is why I’m here.

it really annoys me when the MUAs look down on me when I don’t have any makeup on…I mean,I am a customer, they should be more helpful and professional and I don’t have to be all made up for them to pay attention to me. they sometimes have this “YOU are into makeup?really?!” attitude,really pisses me off,to the point that I deliberately refuse to wear makeup a lot of times when I go makeup shopping,just to see how they will treat me. 

I have to even if it’s minimal as I have a bit of pigmentation or uneven skintone. Plus being asian my lashes are horrible! 🙂

Generally, yes, specifically if I’m going to a new counter or store. It’s not for lack of confidence or because I’m insecure about my appearance without it, but I prefer to be left alone while I’m shopping, unless I specifically ask for help, and so far that’s the surest way to make that happen. I’ve noticed throughout the years (through personal experience as well as observation) that the sales associates tend to hound the people who wear little to no makeup. I find that the less makeup I wear, the more I get SAs following me around, offering up free demonstrations and pushing all kinds of different products, regardless of how many times I assure them that I don’t need assistance. I genuinely think that they see someone bare-faced and shopping for makeup and assume that we need help. Sorry for the rant, but being hounded by SAs at makeup stores/counters is one of my biggest pet peeves. It wouldn’t even register if I only had to tell them once that I’ll find them if I need help, but of course that’s never the case 🙂

It totally depends on where I’m going and for what purpose. If it’s to my small, local Sephora near me, the main lady there knows me really well, so I usually don’t wear makeup and just go in a t-shirt and jeans. I like to play with the colours on my eye, which means no eyeshadow, and same story with blushes. I definitely don’t wear makeup if I’m checking out foundation, because they’ll just swipe it off to put on the swatches. However, if I’m going to Neiman Marcus at the mall, then I put on the full warrior, defensive mask; you do not want to know what those sales ladies are like, not at the Houston Neiman Marcus. <shudder>  Hell, I even dress in some Chanel, Hermès or what have you, and they still act as though they smelled something dragged in from the fish market a few days late. They’re worse than the Botoxed, trout-lipped Big Oil trophy wives who essentially live there and are (almost) equally constipated. (Have I mentioned lately how much that store stresses me out?!)(Oh, and the MAC store is almost as snotty, btw. They just haven’t made an art form out of it like Neiman Marcus has.)  When I go shopping, I want to have fun and I also want to be comfortable while trecking through that monstrous mall (it’s 2.4 MILLION Sq. ft. of retail space!!!) without regard for my appearance. After all, it’s my ability to pay that is supposed to matter. But the sad reality is that you *have* to dress up somewhat to be taken seriously at many stores, with some being a hell of a lot worse than others. (Hence, my love of online shopping and my dependence on your swatches! lol.) 

Yes I have to admit, I usually have one makeup when I go makeup shopping… It would make a lot more sense not to, but it’s usually when you go out to lunch with the girls and hit the mall after. If I was making a specific trip to buy something like a new foundation I would go barefaced to make sure I get a better match!

Shopping for makeup at a counter is always so complicated for me. When I shop online I have a whole process I go through. But when I go to a counter I really have to have my game face on. Do I wear makeup and then have to use their horrible scratchy remover tissues if I want to try anything on? Or do I wear no makeup and have them treat me like I’m a hooligan who is on the verge of practicing her evil hooliganism all over their counter? This will depend on what I am shopping for, if I’m shopping for eyeshadow I can put on a little foundation and mascara and blend right in. If I am shopping for foundation (or goodness help me) a concealer then the hordes will descend upon me and desperately fling skincare at me which is something that I have yet to see any of them do with grace, (I don’t know if they know it, but telling someone their skin Needs a dozen products when they are in fact actually having a good skin day and have a carefully edited regime doesn’t actually make them feel like their heart is filled with fluffy pink marshmallows, but maybe that’s just me). All in all, yes I do wear makeup when shopping for makeup just because I don’t like having people hover over me and treat me like I’m going to do an all-out goat sacrifice right there in the middle of the beauty dept. (it’s not even full moon until tomorrow). But I really prefer to shop online, and that wouldn’t be possible without blogs like Temptalia. So thank you so much for offering me an alternative. This site is so expansive, straightforward, and honest that I would not have been able to treat makeup like a fun hobby as opposed to a minor morning minutia without it.

I rarely leave the house without minimal makeup (mascara, concealer, blush or bronzer), so yes. But I tend to take a little more time and care with my makeup, when I know I will look at high-end makeup, since the shop assistants seem to take more time with you when you ask for help instead of just pushing one or two products into your hands. I guess they see whether you know your stuff or not and consult you accordingly.

What you said is sadly very true, Christine. I actually prefer to go bare-faced because hey, that way I can try things on my face. I think that’s the second best thing to getting samples to try over the course of a few days (which I unfortunately can’t do where I live now).

for me, it depends. for example, if i want 2 try out some new products, i’ll go bare faced, so the mua can work on my face from scratch. otherwise, i’ll have make-up on. u’r right though about the ‘cold-shoulder’ response. i don.t get as much attention, when i’m bare faced, but when i’m all made up, the response is definitely different!

It depends on whether or not I feel like wearing make-up. And I shouldn’t have to look nice with a full face of make-up to get attention from sales associates. A customer is a customer, and the good SA know full well that look can be very very deceiving.

I would never leave my house without make up on my eyes. In the stores i often check everything on my handback, only lipsticks i try out on my lips and that is possible. 

Yes, yes, yes! I don’t get out of the house without make-up. Make-up is part of who I am and I feel naked without it. Leaving the house without make-up would feel the same to me as leaving without any pants on 🙂

I usually don’t but maybe I should ! So I would not be annoyed by the Sephora girls or boys ( but boys are really nice here ), they always want me to wear this or try that, I know what I want, I never ever follow their advice so…. Next time I will maybe wear some makeup !

Yes, I do.  I was thinking along these lines yesterday as I got ready to go to the gym – I wonder how many people wear makeup to go to the gym, because I do. It’s not much but it’s either tinted moisturizer with SPF or my powder foundation with SPF, a bit of concealer, some blush and tinted lip balm.  To go out shopping (even for makeup), I wear the same type of makeup I’d wear to work.

Wow if those sales girls don’t know you by now, then they shouldn’t be hired to sell make up. lol.

Yes because most sales people think I dont know anything about makeup because I’m not wearing it. Looking polished gives the impression that you know a lot about makeup and that you’re also a serious buyer.

I had a Mac salesperson give me shit once when I went in barefaced to get a red lipstick. When they heard what I wanted, they kept asking if I’d worn makeup before, won’t red be too much for me, am I sure about this shade, etc. Pain in the butt. When I said it was for a gift, they just raised their eyebrows. Too bad I couldn’t be bothered with makeup that day – I wear red lipstick all the time.

At Barney’s and Nordstrom yes generally I think SA take you more seriously if you’re wearing makeup. But I don’t think that means you have to be wearing a lot, just simply wearing eyeliner, lipstick, or blush seems to be sufficient. At Sephora I don’t find it makes a difference whatsoever. 

I agree; I feel a little awkward when I go makeup shopping bare-faced. If I’m looking for a new foundation though, I prefer to not have any on so that I can get a good color match/if I want to try it on.

I try to wear something light so that people at the counters actually help me. There have been many times I run in to buy something after the gym (without make up) and the salespeople pay me no mind. It’s rude and embarrassing, but that’s how it is.

I generally do because (sadly) I’ve fund MUA tend to treat me with more respect when I do. I feel it’s kind of a BS system in that sense, but MUA are just as prone to quick judgements as the rest of us.

I guess it depends. If I am getting matched for foundation I don’t wear anything. I just feel that if the sales associate is busy, I should try to make their job a little easier by coming prepared. If I’m buying eyeshadow, I go with makeup on because I already know what will look good on me. I guess it does make sense that a person wouldn’t be taken seriously. I’ve just never thought about in that way.

I definitely agree! Yesterday I made the mistake of going makeup shopping bare faced and I was treated by the associate as if she was implying “This is blush, it goes on your cheeks. This is mascara, you put this on your eyelashes.” I just felt like she was talking down to me. When I’m shopping for a new foundation I will wear eye makeup but not face makeup so the associate doesn’t have to wipe off my foundation to test the color and I can get an accurate color match though

All my life, I’ve been hearing people say, “You should not judge a person by their appearance.” However, in the sales profession, that’s rarely the case. They probably think that the ones who are more well-dressed and presentable are more likely to purchase something. Whenever I dress like a “teenager” in jeans and t-shirt (I’m in my 20s and can pass for 16), I get ignored and when I ask for assistance, the SAs usually talk to me in a rude tone of voice. When I dress like a professional (in a dress and pumps or slacks), I get smiles and assistance immediately without me calling for it.I feel like the SAs are discriminating against kids and teenagers because they think that they don’t have the money to purchase something. So, they give poor customer service and then the teenagers don’t buy anything, which is a viscous cycle. Have they ever stopped and think that the teenagers aren’t buying something because they’re getting poor customer service and not because they don’t have money? Alot of teenagers work and most of the time, all the money that they earn are disposable income because they don’t have the responsibility of paying bills, yet.

I usually wear makeup but I don’t have any qualms about wearing no makeup and makeup shopping.  In fact, I went to Sephora the other day to do a return and had no makeup on.  It was Saturday afternoon, I was going out later that night, and decided not to wear makeup during the day to let my skin “Breathe.”  I don’t think I need a full face of makeup on just to go to the mall.  And if the SA’s want to ignore me because I have no makeup, they’re the ones who are missing out on a potential commission!

I’ll just wear a little. Eyeliner on the upper waterline (skin colored on the lower), mascara, maybe a tinted lip balm or sheer lipstick (I don’t do lipgloss), and maybe my benefit rsvp cream eyeshadow, or just skintone eyeshadow. If I’m looking for foundation/etc I won’t wear any, if I’m not I might wear a little (I usually only wear it on my chin anyway, where I have acne). I wear a lot of like purple eyeshadows and such so I’ll be sure not to wear any if I’m shopping for make up, because I want to know how something would look on me, not on the other colors. Same with clothing and such, I want to look fairly natural so that you’re not looking at ‘is this clashing with my eyeshadow, or my skin coloring?’

I’m never out in public without at least my brows done, so no matter what I never shop for anything completely barefaced, but I do feel like I need to wear more than minimalist makeup if I go cosmetic shopping in a department store. For places like Sephora or Ulta where things are basically self-service it doesn’t matter, but for makeup counters I feel like being fully made up scores me better treatment. I never really have a problem getting someone to help me, but full makeup means I’m less likely to be treated like a newb who needs to be pitched every item under the sun because I couldn’t possibly know what I really want or need. When I go in looking my best, the MUAs treat me like I must know what I’m doing which leads to the sort of service I prefer: hands off yet efficient and responsive once I’m ready to “order” or until I have a question.

It depends. Although I do get weird faces looking at me and barely getting any help from associates when I am bare-faced, I would rather go bare-faced when I go makeup shopping in case I need to try anything on my face so I don’t have to waste time taking the makeup I spent my time at home off and trying on the other things I’m going to take off as well. I don’t really mind if no one asks me if I need help or anything, as long as they respond to me when I really do need help and not just ignore me and socialize with their other co-workers. Most of the time, I already know what I want to get or try before buying anyway, I guess. I usually wear makeup when I go shop for someone else, such as gifts and know I probably won’t try anything on. I look at whats available online first to see if anything actually interests me.

I won’t leave the house without a full face of makeup, so that would be a yes.  I find that when I’m at the mall, even when I’m NOT makeup shopping (which is a rare event in itself), I get attacked by cosmetics salespeople, especially when I’m with my mom. (My mom is the same way, eyeshadow, liquid liner, the lot, every day).  My mom said the salespeople take notice of the women wearing makeup because we appear to already be heavy makeup users – they see it as an easy sale.  Sometimes we have to fight them off!  Believe me, if I went to the mall without it, the salespeople wouldn’t give me a second look – but they should – that’s when I would need the most help!  Haha!

I remember the first time I went to MAC, I was 14 years old and I had no make up on at all because I wanted to buy a new foundation. I was treated like I didn’t exist, and I will never forget that. I was so offended that I didn’t go back until now, 3 years later and my make up skills have greatly improved. I now always wear alot of makeup (colourful eyeshadow, foundation, blush) every day, and I am very much better at it now than when I first went there. I noticed a huge difference in the way I was treated, and today they greet me and treat me alot better. I also notice a big difference in how they deal with different customers, and I don’t like how they discriminate girls with no makeup.A few months ago, I had huge problems with acne due to the wrong kind of birth control. I was looking for a new foundation at Kicks (Kicks is the biggest make up store in Sweden, like Sephora is in the US). I was brave enough to go without foundation, because I wanted to try something on. They looked at me like I was a monster, and no one offered me help before I asked a sales lady. She kind of helped me look for a foundation, and she applied some on my face, and said ‘Your skin feels all bumpy, do you use some kind of peeling? You look awful’. I was so shocked and didn’t know what to say and I just left immediately. Of course I used ‘some kind of peeling’, I was so depressed because of how my skin looked, and I almost started crying. My skin is way better now but I still feel very conscious about how it looks.Tomorrow I am starting a make up artist school that I have wanted to go to for very long, I’m very happy, and when I’m done and maybe get a job at a make up store I will never treat people like they are worth less than anyone else.

paneradfisk  Congratulations on following your dream! I hope the make-up school is even more fun and gives you even more happiness than you’d thought. As for the stupid woman at Kicks, to hell with her and her  insensitive, rude comments! Any person who almost makes you cry should not be working in *customer* sales! My response to situations like these is usually to say sweetly, “How lucky for you that you’re perfect…” It usually makes them realise that they — just like everyone else — are most definitely NOT and that they’re being rude. 

paneradfisk It’s terrible how that woman at Kicks treated you; one wonders why she was working there when she obviously had no training on how to service a customer. I wish you the best in make up school and that when you become the next Pat McGrath (or whoever your idol is!), you NEVER treat people badly and continue to make the makeup experience a FUN experience!

Sometimes I will, sometimes I won’t.  I generally wear little to none if I go cosmetics shopping only.  Why wear a full face of makeup if the whole purpose is to go test the look of something new?  I’ve never actually been condescended for my appearance to my recollection, but generally if I do, I just wind up being amused by it.

I agree with you completely Christine! Every time I walk up to a make-up counter makeup-free, I am always treated differently than I am if I have a full face of makeup on. 

I feel that you shouldn’t have to wear makeup to get good service. Is there something in the sales persons training that says “don’t help people who don’t have makeup on?” I highly doubt it, so I wish sales people would stop treating people this way, and I wish people would stop thinking the have to put on makeup to get service.Sometimes I dont wanna put on makeup to go to a counter, why should I? If you don’t want to help me surely another counter will.

Hmm I really have an opinion on this on the opposite side- if a makeup salesperson has on no makeup I wouldn’t really trust their opinion and I’d probably question their career decision, but that’s just me.  So I feel like if I go to a makeup store with a lot of makeup then they probably think I know what I’m doing and would give me space to browse, I always hate when they cower over me.  That being said, I have been in a store when I was recovering from a surgery and they didn’t treat me badly at all.  

I must be the exception to the rule – I hardly ever wear makeup when I go makeup shopping, because I like the freedom to swatch and try products on.  (Plus I like staying bare-faced often, even when going out.)  Also I usually go shopping at my local Sephora, and they are really nice (not aggressive, persistent, or openly pre-biased) to everyone who walks in regardless of appearance.  I haven’t had the displeasure of having a salesperson treat me unfavorably because I was bare-faced.  

I honestly feel that I have to be wearing makeup to be taken seriously at makeup counters.  If walk around bare-faced, I get the “BS talk” from the cosmetic counters.. I’m sure they assume that just because I’m not wearing any, I’m also ignorant to it.   Sadly, the same goes for everything else.. if you are not wearing designer clothing/accessories when you walk in to a designer store, you also get the “she-has-no-business-to-be-in-here” glares from sales associates.

I always wear at least a little makeup whenever I leave the house, even when I go makeup shopping. I usually am mobbed by salespersons in the cosmetics section and  I always thought it was only because they were trying to do their jobs, but from the comments here maybe they do this because I AM wearing makeup! Anyway, it´s awful that as customers we have to do this or that in order to get good service, especially when you´re trying to do something as fun as makeup shopping.

I wear makeup all the time, and when I go out shopping, I usually just swatch on my hand–I’ve often already decided what I want, it’s become a matter of which color I’m going to buy that day because I can’t afford one of everything.I can’t say I’ve had any issues based on how I dress, but I’ve been carrying around a giant blue Loungefly Hello Kitty purse for a year now, and I think a lot of SAs have recognized me by my purse, haha.

I completely agree with you Christine.  And I am extremely disappointed that sales people in that industry are so closed minded. I used to live in downtown Toronto so I was in Sephora and MAC/Macpro often. I absolutely noticed a difference in the attitudes of sales people if I stopped in after work (as a server so all in black and fairly conservative looking) or came in off the street from a day out and about when I was more likely to have put more flair into my makeup.  I never wore a lot of full face to work so I looked very young and “naked faced” and really was ignored.   It’s was enough to make me VERY self conscious about going in just to browse and got to the point I’d only go in if I absolutely needed something for a freelance gig.  If it was just for me I’d wait as long as possible.

I like to be left alone, when I’m shopping.  I don’t like people to try hard to sell things to me, and I REALLY don’t like getting into situations where I’m having a conversation with the sales associate, and they prove just how little they know about anything.  I don’t like listening to bad advice.  We have both a MAC and several Sephoras, in the area that I live in, and the trend HERE seems to be that, if you go in bare-faced, the sales associates at any of these stores are going to bother you MORE, because they think that you “need their help.”  From what I’ve read in the comments on this post, that usually isn’t the case, but it definitely is, where I live.  However, most of the sales associates are also idiots, as I’ve learned from having to suffer through talking to them, on most of the occasions I’ve gone bare-faced to the stores.  Now, I put on a full face, so that, if anyone starts to try talking nonsense to me, I can just look at them like “Darling, don’t bother,” and they see my face, give up, and go away.  It sounds mean, but it’s 100% true.  The local MO for makeup sales associates is to try to swindle and offer bad advice to people they think don’t know any better.

I wanna speak from the opposite end! I’m a salesAssociate, and I think the ladies’ at all counters, or open sale stores vary on their knowledge, as well as their ‘prejudice ‘ of people who walk in. For example I dont even think about what people are wearing on their face when I approach them. I ask if they would like my help, and then I go from there. To me it doesn’t matter what you look like when makeup shopping because you know if you need help or not. Another thing is I’ve always heard negative things about associates in the states not knowing a whole lot, in Canada, or at least my area everyone seems well educated on the products their selling, so it could also be by area? I’m not sure. Now when I shop for myself I always wear makeup, and that’s purely a comfort thing in general, not to impress/ keep away the associates. The only thing that bothers me is certain counters will talk to you like your stupid, I’ve found that a lot with a few of the Mac counters and standing stores, but they do have a few outstanding employees. I have one girl I har to go to at Toronto eaton centre’s standing store because she is sweet and the nicest and most knowledgable associate I’ve come across.

Oh god! I don’t really wear makeup when I shop, but it’s true they think you are ignorant about it! When Igo tocertain high-end counters just to see what’s new and they tell me “this a blush” and I am like “I know that’s a blush” like … Seriously?! I hate the fact that the believe me ignorant and I certainly know more than half of what those SA would know working a year there… Hahaha (sorry if I’m being pretentious) but I hate being stalked and be treated like ignorant just for not wearing makeup.

If I’m wearing makeup that day, yes. If I’m not, then I don’t. I don’t put on makeup just for the purpose of makeup shopping. I’ve found that when I don’t wear makeup, the sales associates tend to ask me if I’m a makeup artist. Go figure.

I almost always go out with makeup on (thank you, years of acne, for making me very self-conscious about going around bare-faced), unless I know I’m going to be trying on foundations, in which case I try to have as little product on as possible…or I ask to take home samples if I don’t want to try it in-store. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in attitude when I’m wearing “weekend” makeup or less products than when I have a full face on. I like to see if a SA approaches me, and then I ask very specific, pointed questions that you’d only ask if you knew the products. It’s fun to see their reactions. I’ve never had any SA treat me like I’m ignorant (at least that I can remember) at Sephora or a counter, but you’d bet I’d be very unhappy if they did. The worst treatment I’ve had has always been at Ulta. Consequently, I almost never shop there anymore. 

Where i live, my city doesn’t have MAC counters or popular makeup brands, just the counters of departamental stores (that sucks because doesn’t have new releases) so i will go to buy makeup in Sephora and MAC with no makeup! If someone treat me wrong, i will go with the manager of the store, its not fairto treat in that way! I will go with no makeup just for test colors, foundations and stuff. The important thing its to pay the product, not your appearence ahahaha!

I agree, they tend to over look ya if you aren’t wearing expensive clothing and a made up face.  I don’t care though… I just shop anyway.  The MAC independent store is different though, they always pay attention.  Going in with a bare face allows you to test products much easier.  

I have to agree with you Christine, most times that is my experience. Even if I have a half face like just brows, foundation, cat eye or a bright lip, totally different greeting/ response etc. If you’re bare face its like they think you know nothing & they have to start a whole lesson!! I know I can appear like a teenager/ college kid but who the heck doesn’t know what foundation and mascara are?!?Department store counters are notorious for this UGH!Although, I must say the MAC Pro stores I have been to are an exception. Sephora is hit or miss, it depends on which one. Ulta- not even comment worthy

Definitely agree with you, Christine.  While it’s better for us to go bare-faced and ready to try different products, it really doesn’t seem like we get taken seriously with nothing on.  Foundation, concealer, eyebrows, mascara, and some sort of lippie are musts for us.

I’ve had so many nasty experiences at makeup stores/counters because of exactly this fenomenon.I don’t know why, but it seems to be a bad trend going around where people working at makeup stores/counters think they are something special. Better than others.Fortunatly, the stores i visit most frequently have started to recognise me and treats me nicely and with respect, but there has been several times when I’ve gone into a store and the staff have treated me so badly that I’ve ended up talking to the manager, simply because I usually won’t wear makeup when I’m out shopping.I get treated like an invisible object that’s just in the way, and when i request to see or test a certain product, they insist on showing me something else, often something cheaper and something that would be considered easier to use, even though I’ve requested to test a specific product.I could go on for ever about this subject, but it’s not really something that’s very fun to talk about.I don’t know If it’s the same in other countries, but customer-service in sweden SUCKS. (at makeup-stores atleast)

Whenever I go make-up shopping bare-faced, they tend to look at me like I’m about to shoplift.

Whenever I go make-up shopping bare-faced, they tend to look at me like I’m about to shoplift.

I also go bare faced and don’t usually get any service at all. They don’t even bother to ask if I need any help.

I also go bare faced and don’t usually get any service at all. They don’t even bother to ask if I need any help.

Well if I don’t feel like putting any make-up on I just don’t. That’s where big sunglasses do help! But in general, I should feel free to step out of my house without getting those looks…

Well if I don’t feel like putting any make-up on I just don’t. That’s where big sunglasses do help! But in general, I should feel free to step out of my house without getting those looks…

How odd. I am a make up addict, but I don’t need to wear it and so I usually don’t, but people at MU counters always chat me up. Maybe they think I need a makeover or something.

Just because we don’t wear makeup to go makeup shoppin is not fair how people react toward us , shame

Being honest, if I wear makeup they are all over me. If I don’t, I get ignored. That’s the truth. But either way I shop and could care less 🙂

I do whatever I feel like, if I get ignored I always ask for help, and if they ignore me I walk out and take my custom elsewhere! I rarely wear make-up so if that isn’t good enough for them then they don’t deserve my cash!
Anyway a bare face comes in handy if you would like them to try products on you for colour matching for instance!

I do whatever I feel like, if I get ignored I always ask for help, and if they ignore me I walk out and take my custom elsewhere! I rarely wear make-up so if that isn’t good enough for them then they don’t deserve my cash!
Anyway a bare face comes in handy if you would like them to try products on you for colour matching for instance!

I rarely go out shopping without wearing makeup.I tend to get asked if I actually wear makeup when I’m out trying to buy anything cosmetics wise lol.I hate when they treat you differently if you’re not made up!They way you look doesn’t determine your bank account and it’s sad that employees don’t understand that still.

I rarely go out shopping without wearing makeup.I tend to get asked if I actually wear makeup when I’m out trying to buy anything cosmetics wise lol.I hate when they treat you differently if you’re not made up!They way you look doesn’t determine your bank account and it’s sad that employees don’t understand that still.

That is so true, just walking into Sephora bare faced, I don’t even get a second glance, but if I do my makeup it’s a completely different story.

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. From where I live, it doesn’t matter if I’m bare-faced or not as sales clerks are very nice and have good work ethics. They are taught and trained to extend a helping hand even to those who have zero knowledge about makeup. 🙂

I guess it depends. If I want a new foundation I would not wear a foundation when I go shopping. But if I wanted help from Mac counters I would need to wear make up because otherwise they wont help me. Since I find that rude I don’t buy Mac cosmetics anymore.

I guess it depends. If I want a new foundation I would not wear a foundation when I go shopping. But if I wanted help from Mac counters I would need to wear make up because otherwise they wont help me. Since I find that rude I don’t buy Mac cosmetics anymore.

I never thought about whether it affects the customer service I get and I do shop without makeup quite a bit. I guess that is because I do most of my makeup shopping at Nordstroms and their customer service is so good.

I never thought about whether it affects the customer service I get and I do shop without makeup quite a bit. I guess that is because I do most of my makeup shopping at Nordstroms and their customer service is so good.

When they see a made up face they see a sale, when they see a naked face they see a browser. It’s not fair but if you are a commission sales person you will go for thre sale. I stopped shopping counters because of the rude comments and feeling judged.

Bare-faced at MAC and I get major attitude. Same MAC with makeup and they ask me if I am a MUA and go out of their way for me. So annoying.

Ive ran into maybe 3 people at mac who get pissy with me. One lady basically laughed at me when i asked about working there. But the guys there are always sweet and helpful. At sephora they are usually ok just a few girls who seem annoyed when i look around.

Generally whenever i’ve gone bare-faced, I’ve felt judged/appraised for the condition of my skin (dark circles, pigmentation, etc). It is similar to the feeling of shopping for high-end accesories…without donning the “apprpriate” purse. So now I shop online 🙂

I frequent the same two MAC stores and they are always nice, but they do know me there. I typically shop for makeup barefaced (except for foundation because I need it) because I want to try out product. I have not had a bad experience yet but I think at stores I don’t know well I have not really paid attention and just figured they were not great sales associates if I was ignored.

IMO, Its not mandatory to wear makeup while makeup shopping, how do the sales reps know you want to try on makeup first before buying it? If ppl judge your bare face, its their problem, not yours. Don’t ever care what others think, thats how i do.

I usually wear make up out when shopping. However sometimes i go right after work where i don’t wear makeup and wear scruffy clothes. I don’t feel like they treat me bad but treat me like i don’t know anything because im not polished up. Usually i end up knowing more than them. And once they realize im making a few hundred dollar purchase they tend to shut up anyways. I mostly tend to stick to places that know me so they treat me well.

I love shopping bare face haha whenever I’m at a makeup stand the people at the MU counter look at me and tell me ways on how to make my makeup last and they share tips. I just pull out my pics of me and my makeup and the whole attitude changes haha

If I’m shopping at Target or the drugstore I don’t worry about it, because you’re on your own there, but I usually do if I’m shopping at Sephora or Ulta or someplace like that, just because the sales people don’t typically take me seriously if I don’t. Once I went into Ulta barefaced, and I got mostly ignored by the associates. I ended up asking one a question about something, and we started talking. She said she was surprised that I knew as much as I did about cosmetics! Don’t judge a book by its cover!

If I want to try out foundations I just go bare faced cuz they’re gonna take my makeup off anyway so why waste it?!

I wear makeup almost everyday but if I need a foundation I would just wear eyeliner with lip gloss with a bare face. For the sales people to ignore you if you are not wearing make up is stupid and bad customer service. I shouldn’t have to wear make up just to go to MAC just to be taken seriously, I know what I’m going to buy so when I ask for a specific product that should tell them that I’m familiar with what they are selling and that should be good enough.

Assistants Sephora, Mac cosmetics and even department stores should read comments like these!

I usually shop with my 3 young daughters and I feel looked down upon because I’m a mom. Also at sephora I get too much attention because I think they’re afraid the girls might take something. They should see them as future customers.

It depends. I got really lucky with my genes and have really good skin. So if I’m looking for a few different products or just browsing then no bc I want to try stuff on. If I know exactly what I want I will.

It depends. I got really lucky with my genes and have really good skin. So if I’m looking for a few different products or just browsing then no bc I want to try stuff on. If I know exactly what I want I will.

Absolutely. It’s really annoying and rude not to give me service when I walk in without makeup though. What if I am coming from the gym?

I feel I get a comparable level of service regardless of if I’m wearing more or less make up. I wouldn’t “dress up” or “down” in order to get an associated level of service.

i go bareface just so i can test new shades of foundation but usually they look down on me as if i cant afford it or something until i go check out n they check my vip status is at 1000s then they seem all surprise n shock.

All these answers are really sad. I’m a make up consultant and I don’t care if my customers wear make up or not when they come to visit me. a) If they’re not wearing foundation it makes my job a hell of a lot easier. b) It means I get to teach them tips and tricks that suit them. c) I get to have a look at their skin. No amount of make up will make you look good if your skin is in terrible condition. For when I go shopping, I make sure I get the service I desire whether or not I am over dressed or wearing a bucket of make up. If help is not offered to you, ask for it!

I do if I’m planning on going in and doing the shopping on my own, but if I’m in the market for a new foundation, I wont because 9 times out of 10, the SA is going to put the foundation I’m looking at on, and there is no sense in putting on makeup, only to have it taken right off. I’ve never considered that SAs might not take someone who isn’t wearing makeup seriously at a makeup counter. How am I suppose to test how well a product is going to look on me if I don’t try it out? Weird. 

I’ve been on both sides of this – I work at a department store beauty counter, but I also buy makeup from many other places like MAC and Sephora.Personally, I don’t like to presume anything about a customer’s beauty knowledge based on how much they’re wearing, but I often notice that the level of service/attention I receive in other stores is directly related to what I’ve got on my face. I find it’s most noticeable at Sephora, where I often go in with minimal makeup and get ignored. I’m sure it’s not a conscious decision on the part of the associates, but it’s still something I notice. Still, getting ignored isn’t really the end of the world. Most times, I’m content to browse in peace and swatch things as I please. If I’m looking for something in particular, I ask for it. If I have a question about a product, I ask an associate. As soon as I strike up a conversation, most associates I’ve encountered are quick to realize that I know my stuff. 

Yes i do ! The only time i won’t wear makeup is when i’m on a search for a foundation other then that all the time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Most of the time I wear makeup when I go out anyway, so yes. The only time I don’t is if I’m just running to the store to grab something quick. So if I’m going to Sephora, Ulta or even Walgreens and I know exactly what I want I don’t always wear makeup.

Such a coincidence that this question popped up this week because I recently went shopping! My mom and I had a planned day out, so I wore makeup. Just some smudgy liner and MAC’s Russian Red lipglass. So, nothing insane. When I went in Sephora, I had a lovely experience. The first woman who greeted me just said “Hi” with a smile…I think because I’d literally been in the store for 30 seconds. The second woman was super sweet as well. I think this was due, in part, to the fact that I had makeup. I have gone bare-faced into Sephora and Ulta and to makeup counters multiple times before and gotten service that I would consider to be lacking. It could be that these two particular employees of Sephora know how to treat customers, or it could be that I was wearing makeup. But regardless of your makeup status, shopping for makeup should not require a costume, you know? If you’re going bare-faced in your gym clothes…you’re still a customer.

I tend to be inconsistant as to whether I wear makeup makeup shopping. I go through the thought process of “this is a total waste of time if I’m just going to take it off to try things on… but I want to look good particularly at the makeup conter when people are most likely to notice!”, then it ends up being decided by whether I have enough time before I leave 🙂 However, I’m lucky to have naturally good skin, so even when I’m wearing makeup it’s normally just a light dusting of sheer powder foundation on my face, then lipstick, mascara and white eyeliner. Which means that even when I’m wearing my normal makeup, I can have issues with sales people who won’t accept that I’m not interested in a full face of foundation and concealer etc. I think that it can definitely effect they’re attitude towards me at times, when they assume that my lack of interest in heavy makeup means that I’m ignorate about makeup in general. It’s particularly frustrating when I want to try something on and they insiste on putting foundation I would never wear on me before trying a blush or eyeshadow because it will “look best this way”. Then not listen to me insisting that that doesn’t matter because it’s not the way I’m ever going to wear it and I want to find something that works for how I like to do my makeup.Mostly now I just go back to the same few places where I’ve had good experiences and where the sales people know me and are happy to work with me (e.g. Illamasqua), and at those places it really wouldn’t matter if I came wearing makeup or not

Well… I always wear make-up anyway when I leave the house, so yeah, of course. I might skip the thing that I’m actually looking for; not wear any blush if that’s what I’m looking for etc

No I dont. I like to play with testers and try stuff on before buying it so I cant go shopping with a full face of makeup. I cant buy anything if I havent tried it on because a lot of the time it looks pretty in the pan but not so good on.

Not usually, because I like to try on stuff while I’m shopping. I do sometimes get treated differently without it, like you said, but that may be because I look very young without any and people often assume I’m a teenager. If someone is condescending or pushy, I like to shock them by dropping the name of my workplace into conversation. Then, if I buy, I either write a check or use my debit card. Lol. 

I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels that way!! I still don’t wear makeup when I go makeup shopping though, mostly because I rarely buy things that I have to buy in person like foundation and concealer. I mostly stick to eye makeup when I do wear makeup, so when I do go, the sales reps are surprised by how little they have to wipe off my face.

If you don't see your comment yet, it's still in our moderation queue. We try our best to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind. Thank you for your patience!