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Yes because I’m a MAN and so the employees hover like I’m going to steal something. So I grab my Dior, check out, and glare them down as I leave. You better believe!

Yes! I’m 17 and I can say I’ve spent over a thousand dollars at MAC with my own money (from b-days, christmas, etc.) and everytime I go there I feel like they look at me like I’m naive and won’t buy anything. And then I spend about $200. And sometimes when I ask for a certain product and they end up being sold out, instead of telling me, they just grab something similar and think I won’t notice.

I don’t wear makeup all the time and normally not when I’m just going to the mall, so I always get people acting like either I’m trash because I’m not mortified by my natural features or like I’m an idiot and they can take advantage of me (I’ve had people blatantly lie about products to make them sound like they’d work for me, for example).

Yes, every time I go into Sephora and plan on buying something, I know the workers are thinking, “Is this little asian girl lost?” I’m 13 and I don’t think I look like a little kid, but the workers make it seem like I am. Whenever I’m at stores like Sephora and Ulta, workers always ask me if I need help, as if I don’t know anything. I know workers always ask you if you need help, but I’ve noticed that at those stores it seems like they’re watching me all the time. I’m not gonna steal anything! thats why i shop online now.

All the time! I’m a college student, so I often carry really big bags. So, when I walk into somewhere like Sephora or Ulta the employees automatically assume I’m there to steal. Little do they know I drop like $200-300 when I online shop on their site. (and I do this often) It’s so annoying!

YES! I ALWAYS get ignored at the local MAC counter in Dillards. I have stood there for over half an hour a few times, and I just get the “I’ll be right with you” and then a snobby rich-looking older woman will get there and they go with her.. Then they do it again, again, until I walk away. ALWAYS happens to me. I always end up going to the one in Macy’s. They are WAY nicer, but usually are sold out in much more stuff. It seems like at the counter in Dillard’s they only pay attention to you if you dress and look like you are rich.

It only happens to me at MAC counters. Never had a problem anywhere else. Im not sure if its an age thing.. Since I’m 25 (look 22-23) .. And I dress business casual most of the time..

I’m 17, and a couple of years ago I went in to MAC to get a foundation and she just ignored me after I actually followed her around and asked her the same question 3 times, then I gave up. I returned now, years later, and they wouldn’t even look at me – so I made it look like I was opening their drawers to get their attention 🙂

Really, because my MAC counter is just the opposite here. I’m the older rich lady and they ignore me here and cater to those wearing makeup similar to their style.

This happens to me quite a lot. I’m 21, but I look younger (I’ve been told I look like I’m 16). Some people at Sephora have given me looks before and going to a MAC counter is usually an uncomfortable experience because they always think I won’t buy anything.

I don’t dress up or wear makeup if I’m planning to shop, but I’ve really only had one experience where I was completely ignored. It was an Armani counter at Nordstrom, but I made sure to let the SAs know they just lost a guaranteed sale. I don’t think it had to do with my appearance, though, as it was pretty obvious by the size of my shopping bag (I had just finished up at the NARS counter), but I think they thought they could talk another customer into an over-priced skin care regime.

Insane! During my internment at Nordstrom girls would practically set a diversional fire to steal each others customers.

All the time. I’m 23 and out of college but I still look like I could be in my mid-to-late teens, so whenever I go to makeup counters or stores, the employees there consistently ignore me since they think I don’t have my own money to spend.

No, but I didn’t buy much makeup as a teenager and while in college, so that’s probably part of it. I’ve generally had positive experiences iwth customer service in general, and I don’t know if it’s just the area in which I live or me, but I don’t usually have a problem. I had a really good experience today at both the Burberry and Guerlain counters, in fact.

I think some of it for me may be that I am in my early 30s, so I’m not assumed to have no money, and in the Seattle area no one really dresses up, so even though I’m in jeans and sandals that doesn’t mean anything. It’s also possible that we’re right next to the Nordy’s flagship store, so they put a really heavy emphasis on customer service. I don’t know which, or if it’s both, or whatever.

That’s very true about the greater Northwest. I’ve seen posh customers at the Neiman Marcus by there with jeans and Tom’s on, but still ready to drop a few grand on whatever.

Absolutely, I have. I like a simple, rocker makeup look: clean skin (just concealer,) eyeliner, dark lips. People at makeup counters (particularly MAC) treat me like I don’t know anything just because I don’t wear eyeshadow or foundation.

Definitely at my local Mac counter, they basically ignore me or seem unhappy that I’m there buying something! The ladies at my Sephora are nice, although the ones in Paris treated me like trash, not sure if it’s cause they thought I was english or because I asked for a brand (UD) and they didn’t know it???

Ugh, gosh, yes! I do stage makeup, but I don’t often wear it myself, and my appearance is rather masculine and butch. The ladies at Sephora always look down on me and think they need to show me where to put concealer or how to use highlighter, ha. Joke’s on them, I’ve made a career out of doing that!

Not really discriminated against but I work in a cosmetic store for a well known brand that’s known for its conservative customers. I will often approach them asking if they need any help and they often ignore me simply because I’m a man and after giving me a chance some admit they didn’t think I knew a thing about makeup. It’s disappointing because its not about the retail aspect of it, I just want to be able to show what I can do. Thought it was just me imagining things whenever this would happen but my co-workers even take notice and point it out. Being narrow-minded when it comes to makeup is just a bore.

in London, where I shop, Male makeup artists or sales are actually more popular then women.
my female makeup artists friends even told me it’s not fair that they don’t get as much respect as the others. 😀

Wow that’s rude! Personally i would never ignore/don’t ask for help if a male employee at a makeupstore asked if i needed help. But for these costumers that gave you a chance, and admit that you surprised them, i’m sure that you changed their point of view on, and they might accept help from a male in a makeupstore next time in th future. I personally love seeing male workers at makeup stores, i feel that theyre better to explain things. I’ve experienced that many female workers is trying too hard to sell you the things without giving enough information about the product. But that maybe could be me being unlucky when it comes to female workers( not all of course ). .I hope you’ll continue doing what you do, and also that you dont think all costumers are judgemental like that, Im sure that youre given that job because on your good makeup/beauty knowledge! and sorry for my bad english haha 🙂

Yup. I’m a queer woman of color, and it obvious. Even when I’m the only one at the store they keep their distance like I’m gonna hit on them or keep a close eye on me in a weird way…like I’m gonna steal something.
Le sigh.

yep. i often go bare faced during work days (not a morning person, so i’d rather sleep… my skin is good enough now that i feel comfortable going out with nothing but an spf moisturizer on my face), and if i go to the sephora or ulta on my lunch break, or stop on the way home, i rarely get helped. the mac freestanding near to my house is the worst about this. i avoid it if at all possible.

I don’t think I’ve received any terrible treatment but I feel just because I’m Asian they automatically assume I have a really yellow/olive skin tone and incorrectly color match me. -_-

And yes, I do get better treatment if I ever bother dressing up like a lady.

Two stories always come to mind; I know one I’ve mentioned before. When I was younger (early to mid teens), I had an experience at the Estee Lauder counter in my local mall where the older woman SA just circled the counter over and over, following my every move then accused me of trying to steal. I knocked something down and put it back right in front of her face; a bit later, I took out my lip balm and put it back then she rushed over frantically shouting about how she saw me steal. I wanted to punch her, but emptying out my bag and loudly illustrating the contents making her look like a giant, stupid bitch was much more gratifying and didn’t get me sent to juvie – LOL. The worst part was she never even bothered to apologize. Just gave me a pissed off look mixed with I still think you’re a thief look then said “OH” in a snotty tone and walked away. The other story is similar – I never was accused of stealing, but one of the clerks at my closest Walgreens (another older woman, 50s-60s) would follow me and stare me down EVERY FREAKING TIME. She’d rush over and ask if I needed help, but the way she said it with the way she looked at me made it clear she did not want to help, but rather make it known my presence wasn’t appreciated and that she wanted me to know she was watching me. Even after I would politely say I didn’t need help, she would would just stand behind me and stare. I even caught her hiding in an aisle pretending to work, but she was actually continuously looking around the corner making sure I wasn’t stealing.

Those are the two main experiences. I also get irritated by chicks at makeup counters who don’t know shit about skin tone. I really hate when I hear, “That’s not for you because you’re *insert skin tone here.*” For example, I have heard SAs/MAs tell darker skinned women pink isn’t for them – Have any of the WOC, especially dark/deep skin women been told this? I have heard this a handful of times and always WTF.

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…)

At Ulta all the time and very rarely at Sephora! I just started recently started shopping at Ulta and all the salesgirls except my sister’s best friend’s sister (she’s such a sweetheart) who work there treat me like dirt. I stopped going and i called the store director and she fired a good amount of girls because they did that to a lot of people. I prefer Sephora. The girls/guys who work at the Sephoras in my town and where my brother goes to school are so sweet except 1. They know that they can relax when I am around because of my attitude. Its not the typical teen attitude I am very courteous, polite, and well behaved for a 16 year old and respectful to them and other customers the way my parents raised me and they always tell me, “Thank you for brightening up our day!” My parents have gotten phone calles from the store managers thanking them for raising me right. Sometimes at Sephora, there is this one girl who disrespects me and looks down on me but I always smile at her and say please and thank you. Some of the employees know me so well that when I send my older brother to get stuff for me, they always send a note with him telling me to enjoy my stuff and that all the products I picked they love. I love Sephora!

This happens to me ALL THE TIME–drives me nuts. I’ve been told I look a lot younger than I am and my daily uniform consists of a tank top, jeans, and flip-flops, so I get ignored a lot at the counters. I also get people who are really, really rude to me when I ask for samples, like I am just a kid walking around trying to get as many samples as I can. It’s so frustrating.

Yes and no both. Coz the guys SA are all v nice and helping but the girls SA at times say”I’ll get back to u” and then they are no where to be seen. Its happend to me many times at mac. But once in Sephora in Singapore, the girls were v nice.they politely replied to all queries and didn’t pressure me to buy anything, my mother in law really enjoyed it too, she had a makeover done and was v satisfied with the service and while she was at it, my hubby and i went over trying all the lip glosses and eye colors (my guy has a thing for pink lip colors and he couldn’t get enough of trying them on me) and thegirls all went awww over us. And then when he was finally done with both us, he went over stood in the queue and paidthe $250 bill, yeah i know I’m lucky.

Discriminated against? No. I may have encountered unfriendly or snooty sales people but that is hardly discrimination. Discrimination is a serious issue and the sort of rude or unfriendly attitudes I may have encountered (and rarely) would be trivializing that issue if I considered it “discrimination”.

Trivializing is announcing that everyone must be overreacting/making things up, despite the fact that you weren’t actually there.

Um… being treated with disrespect/being ignored/having people follow you around because they assume you’re a thief because of your age/race/percieved class/sex/gender (all of which are found in this comment section) is discrimination.

I can’t believe I am not alone! I am 21 with mixed Asian ancestry, I look (and probably act) younger than I look. When I am shopping with my mother, I get excellent customer service. However, alone I am ignored, especially because when I shop, I rarely wear makeup. Mac pro stores ignore me, counters either assume I’m stupid or ignore me too. Sephora’s are similar. I noticed stores nears Universities are also awful. When I mentioned it to my mother, she took notice of the way I was being treated. Now, I just prefer to go online.

When I was younger, about 20 years ago I remember the sales assistants at the beauty counters as hawks hovering over their wares and I never had the confidence to even look at the make up on offer. A local chemist had a Lancôme counter and I was able to look and buy without hassle. That was my first experience of higher end cosmetics. Now I am in my local House of Fraser so often that the sales assistants know me by sight, as I buy so much! They are definately not as scary as the ones I remember from my youth!

Oh yeah!! For those of you in southern Cali: the MAC store at South coast plaza mask is fills with pretentious & busy makeup artists. They barely spend any time with you and many of them have an air of arrogance (why? God knows. Apparently they think that just because they can do eyeshadow well that they’re better than the average Jane). Anyways, the only reason I come here as opposed to the Nordstrom MAC counter is because I need pallete refills sometimes. Stay away if you want good customer service! Check yelp if u don’t believe me. The Mac store in the Gaslamp quarter of downtown San Diego ws empty when I went & the girl was really nice & gave me a sample of the melon pigment that they were out of since I wanted to buy it

I frequent the South Coast Plaza MAC and have actually had pretty good service there. I can only count one time where I didn’t get helped due to there being a shortage of staff at the time since they all had gone to lunch. I find the men that work at the store are a lot more professional than the ladies and are definitely more honest when it comes to products. One time I tried to buy a highlighter in a certain shade but the MUA didn’t agree with me and he suggested a different one for me. Luckily he did this, as the one he picked for me is my HG highlighter now!

Haven’t run into that problem at makeup stores, but I have when shopping for jewelry. After basically being sneered at and ignored at some jewelry stores I stopped by in the mall while wearing jeans and a basic top, we ended up getting my engagement ring at Jared’s because they had a better selection and took us seriously. I’ve also noticed the guard at Tiffany’s watching us pretty closely.

I am constantly ignored at MAC as well so the only one I go to is one where my friend works because she always helps me out. Apparently tho I’m not the only one because I read the other comments and see quite a lot of people saying the same thing, they should really train their employees on providing better customer service.

I think I might be finally leaving the stage when SA’s think I’m too young to have money of my own to spend, but when I was in my teens and early 20s most sales associates seemed to act like I wasn’t even there or worse they hovered (but not because they wanted to help me) because they thought I was going to steal from them.

I still sometimes get ignored because I frequently don’t wear any makeup when shopping (I just don’t enjoy getting dolled up for a fraking trip to a shopping mall). These reasons are why I vastly prefer Sephora’s sales strategy. Free reign to look at products and serve myself. Plus no hovering!

Oh my goodness, this happens so often. I dress more for comfort and I get cold very easily so I often wear layers upon layers or big jackets so I’m often looked at like, “Who let THAT in the store?”
Sometimes even when I do dress nicely, I’m not flashing labels left and right and because I look young, people assume I am and will not be spending money so they ignore me completely. I have to find someone to ring me up, drop a lot of money on products and only then will they start acting friendly. At that point, I don’t engage them in any way, take my purchases and simply walk away. Stuck up snobs!

I was once made to feel like an utter fool at a Benefit counter in Debenhams. Because Benefit have a brow bar, I thought they would be a good counter to go to so they could show me how to properly fill in my eyebrows. Erm no. All I got from them was ‘I don’t know what you are talking about…’ Then finally I managed to get them to understand me by varying ways of saying ‘can you show me how to fill in my eyebrows?’ the woman just pretended to hold a pencil and made lines where her eyebrows were saying ‘you just do this…’ whilst looking at me as if I’d just grown another head. I hate going to Benefit counters, always get funny looks or end up with someone hovering over me asking if I’m going to buy something. But once I was at a Chanel counter and I had the BEST service ever, the lady was really great. So obviously I’m good enough for Chanel but not Benefit… hmm

I’ve become quite large and I’ve noticed that I seem less visible to a lot of sales staff. I remember people following me around as a teenager; at the time it really bugged me to be perceived as a probable shoplifter.

To the commenter who feels like she’s being tailed because of the big bags she’s carrying: probably. Big bags are one of the things sales staff are trained to look for in potential shoplifters (at least when I worked in retail). They’d be slightly more alert to you with big bags no matter what age you are if you’re carrying huge bags, so shop when you don’t have your books with you!

I am not sure if its a Southern thing but ive never been treated badly at a cosmetics counter. Theyre all lovely and so helpful. It might also be because I didnt start frequenting cosmetic counters until I was in my 20s and working…

I don’t know if it qualifies as discrimination, but I have noticed that some (not all) of the employees at my Mac Pro store are actually very slow to help me, or quick to ask me to wait while they serve someone else, because I shop there a lot and they know who I am.

I appreciate that things can get hectic, but it feels like I’m actually being discriminated against for being a good customer. I once had to wait 20 minutes for them to get the products I wanted while the two women working discussed an upcoming promotion. I was the only customer in the store.

yes once when I still was living in Holland. I came from the gym, I that day I didn’t even sweat.
I had a big hoody and cargo pants , my clothes were nice and not dirty I spend only 10 min in the gym I was late and they where closing.my hair was nice in a pony. I asked the woman for a perfume she did ignore me.
The next day I had nice pants high heels and a nice blouse and make up on I just came from my internship. I got the same lady and this time I wanted to buy the perfume she helped me immediately , I bought 2 instead of one . And of course I reminded her that I was there the day before

The ladies at the MAC counter always ignore me. One time she looked at me and continued Facebooking on her phone even though I said ‘can you help me?’ They only help older women who look rich.

This happened to me all the time. I would come in with my son or by myself and they would complete ignore me.

MAC has had a loooong rep for snobby service since i first encountered them when they were only in Nordstrom’s and that was almost 20 yrs. ago? However, it’s been hit or miss lately. They’ve improved a lot after lots of complaints in the past and of course, much expansion. Typically it’s okay, but sometimes it seems they’re more into themselves than they are to u. It depends on the MUA. I’ve have decent experience when it’s not so busy.

I don’t think I have, but sometimes I can totally not notice stuff if I’m thinking about something else! Probably helps that I’m tall and appeared older as a teen, and I guess I’m a fancy dresser even in jeans because people keep coming up to me and telling me LOL I just put on what I like- damn the torpedoes! I always have eye makeup on when I go out, but I don’t wear foundation. I have always had great service at MAC counters in the Bay. Really!

I can only think of maybe one or two less than stellar customer service experiences in a retail store. One was the Bay, but I won so I guess it was ok 😉 and B2(a shoe store) which was so totally bizarre I don’t even know what to think!

Yes, when I was a teenager. This was mainly at a store that was taken over by Macy’s. It’s been a gazillion years ago so I don’t remember the name of the department store but when I was a teen I would go in and look around. For the life of me I could not get any help BUT if I was with my best-friend (who was black) they would follow us around and still offer no assistance. It got to the point, I did not care to shop there. I think this is why I have issue with not shopping at Macy’s, even though Macy’s did nothing wrong.

As I got older I quite liked not being helped. I don’t like to be bombarded with assistance. I like a person who will introduce themselves, ask if I need help and let me be on my way. I try to make friends with at least 1 person in the area I frequent. They get to know me and I get to know them. Plus, they get the commission for their hard work.

I’m well known at the Estee lauder, Givenchy and Guerlain counters and always treated well there, even though they know I can only afford to buy a few items a year, they constainly offer me makeovers even when they know i’m not buying and will keep things over for me if it takes me a week or two until i get paid to buy them.

I think it because i’m always polite, honest with my opionions (when they put something on me that i don’t like i’m not afraid to say, they always tell me that this is quite refreshing as they can tell when people are lying about this an they would rather they just be honest so they can fix it and they can walk away happy) and honest when i’m not interested in something so not to waste there time as they know not to bothering trying to sell it to me once my mind is made up, patient when there with other customers (ie don’t make a scene and huff i’m i’m not delt with as soon as i walk up like i’ve seen others do) remember little things the MUA’s tell me about them (birthday’s, children, husbands and bf’s etc) and I show and interest and l little knowledge with there products. I’m always polite to other customers that are at the counter when i am, complimented them on what there wearing if i think it looks good, gove my honest opionion on a product if they ask etc, which apparently has served some of the MUA;s well as its gotten them a few more sales or so they’ve told me.

Other counters that don’t really know me tend to look over me, i think this is because when i go makeup shopping 9 times out of 10 i’ve no makeup on and i’m dressed down ( i want to be comfortable when shopping and if i’m going to spend money on something high end i want to try it on first if i’ve never tried it before). I also have quite the baby face and i don’t think this helps me when shopping lol. Also i like to take my time on my own swatching and debating to myself before i ask an MUA for advise, i think the amount of time i take doing this makes some of them nervous.

As a twenty-year-old with not a lot of money, I never feel welcome in stores that sell high-end brands. I feel like they are looking at me like: “oh, she’s a student. go to a drugstore.” So whenever I really want a certain product I make sure I wear clothes that make me look a little older and I make sure my make up is perfect and natural. I’ve had good experiences with employees when I looked like that. But if I just walk in wearing my sneakers, bright lipstick and a bright yellow bag with pineapples on it, I feel ignored.

I hate to use the race card (Latina), but I really think it was the reason this lady at a Lancome counter was really snobby with me once. She actually asked me where I was from. I had just left the office so I was well-dressed. Granted, I probably looked tired and ready to go home, but I wasn’t a mess. She ignored me at first and since I refused to browse and leave, she finally attended me. When she asked me where I worked and I told her, she immediately perked up. She asked me if I knew so-and-so (the CFO at my company), who was a customer there, and when I said yes she was stumbling over herself to be nice to me. It was ridiculous. I really needed what I was there to buy or I would’ve been so gone as soon as she gave me that “what do you want?” look.

When I was a teenager i remember going to a counter to buy foundation and the ladies would totally ignore me. I guess they thought since I was young I didn’t have the money to buy anything. I would have to take my mom with me to be taken seriously. Now I accompany my younger teenaged sister when she buys makeup at counters because the same happens to her!

I get better reception from Sephore a when I was a student but the MAC girls in some of they store would either talk down to me like I didn’t know anything (any give me wrong information or products >_<) or just ignore me for a the woman that had makeup plastered on their face in The Toronto locations for years. I also don't wear foundation on a daily bases.

This has change because the MAC pro has hired more competent less stuck up staff. (and most older the 21 now as well…)

No. I wasn’t big on makeup in high school or college. I did wear foundation, but I’d go with my Mom to buy it because she paid for it. After that (graduate school), I basically wore drugstore makeup (and only concealer – no foundation). Then, I started wearing makeup again when I got a full time professional job and I was taken seriously because I would go there with an expensive bag and nice clothes. Now, I often get flagged down by the makeup counters when I walk by because I always have nice makeup on. But if I am dressed down (e.g. a bare face day), then I am not noticed. Which isn’t a bad thing…

we don’t go to the Keystone Mac store in Indianapolis. My husband wears dentures and most of the time refuses to wear them at all. Thi does not go well with his receading hairline. Makes him look a little homeless at times. Everytime he has gone in there with me they seems to go out of their way NOT to help us at all. We can be the only customers in the store and they totally ignore us completly. So after three visits like this we now go to the one in the Castlton mall where we have no problems at all. The funny thing is I speand anywhere from $50 – $100 a pop so they are just screwing themselves.

At a MAC counter here in a Nordstrom, its happened to me several times. I once was completely ignored while the four girls stood there talking and laughing. Another time the girl was rushing me so bad, I dont know if it was almost breaktime or what? But I always got the feeling that I was treated that way because I look very young for my age, and Im also very petite (4’11”). I felt like if I was tall and glamorous looking, they would have all ran to me.

Yeah, at Sephora .. if I have small items in my hand .. like eyeliners the SA’s will shove a shopping basket at me. One day I had enough because I was asked like 3 times and I said, don’t worry I’m not planning to steal these items.

Yes I have, in some make up counters here people can be snobby specially if you don’t wear any make up. But I have since then learned which branches I can do to where they treat me nicely, so I go there instead even if I already have a make up counter that is much nearer where I live

Yes, and it’s frustrating. I’m 50+, and although I consider myself polished and fairly attractive, I definitely get the sense that I don’t measure up to their expectations. There’s usually a “hihowareyouletmeknowifyouneedanything” (insert doppler effect), but rarely has anyone stopped to offer personalized assistance.

The exception was a Sephora in Las Vegas, where I ended up spending my entire gambling budget on make-up and skin care! Woo-hoo, was THAT a fun trip!

Luckily, Christine’s reviews are so thorough that I feel comfortable ordering some items online, and I only rarely have to shop in person.

I’m 16 so i get watched like a hawk at every store. I’ve also gone in with my dad who is in a wheelchair and we’ve been ignored at MAC at macys and nordstrom for almost 20 minutes. I’ve come to the conclusion that if my makeup looks nice, I’ll get treated much better.

It’s interesting that I get offered the alcohol menu at restaurants (though I just turned 18), yet when I go to Sephora, no one gives me the time of day. I wanted to purchase the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, and I wanted someone to color-match me and I was completely ignored! When I finally asked someone, she was all rude and snobby and told me “we don’t have any artists available to help you right now. I guess you can just try it yourself. Find a shade you think is closest to your skin tone.” Uh no duh… as if I’m going to find a shade that isn’t? And it pisses me off when I’m ignored because the artists or salespeople suck up to the older, white women with their daughters. I’ve never had a bad experience at MAC so Sephora just lost hundreds of dollars to MAC.

Oh yes! Eventhough I am 27 I look much younger. I usually get ignored, unless I ask for something specifically. oh well!!! This however comes in handy since I don’t get offered so many credit cards since many people think I am underage jijiji

Every time I go I usually am just for being a teenager. They will give me this glare when I swatch an eyeshadow. I’m a customer, regardless of my age.

I definitely have been. I look young as it is and I often go to the makeup counter without makeup (especially when I’m looking for a foundation) and I am either dismissed or watched over carefully as if I’m going to steal.

I still get treated that way and i’m 38! I’ve asked for perfume samples before, and they always say they don’t have any (pure bull), yet they hand them right out to people that are dressed a certain way. Kinda makes me feel like Pretty Woman! I don’t dress up, I like to wear t-shirts and jeans, but that doesn’t give them the right to treat anyone that way. I take my business elsewhere!

Yep! Lots of times 🙁 I go to a stand alone MAC store and the people there are lovely…I went to one in a Debenhams store and was ignored by the sales assistant for so long that I walked out without buying anything and wont be going there ever again. Another one *again in a Debenhams store* was at a Benefit counter when their skincare came out and the lady literally dragged my mam to sit down and get a free treatment and we were happy to do it and buy some of the goodies but while she was doing it I was asking her question and she blanked me. I got so angry that when it was finished I walked straight out of the shop with my mam laughing. No way was I buying anything from her.

Yes definitely!

It happened many times when I was a teen, but one time in particular stuck with me.

I was in college and I had my backpack on. I went into Sephora and I started looking at stuff.

They employees started looking after me, like I was gonna steal something and continuously fallowing me. Each time I would move, they would be after my tail..I think pretty much everyone of the employees there, asked if I needed help or if I wanted something in particular.

After I looked for awhile, I finally stared picking up stuff…they were all looking at me.

Then I went to the counter and dropped my purchases, it came down to 130 dollars, so the cashier looked at me with this dumb look, like I could never afford to buy that, so I took my wallet out of my backpack and payed for everything.

Then they tell me my purchases were over a certain sum and I could have a gift, so they gave me a bottle of wine. Maybe they were feeling stupid for thinking I was a thief, I don’t know.

However, I felt like a million bucks when I took out my cash and put it on the counter, seeing how the cashier suddenly changed her look to a more smiley face one.

I believe that because I was very young, plus the backpack, made them think that I was gonna steal, which I found totally offensive.

All the time! Sometimes it depends on the store, but most of the time the employees think I’m dumb and can’t afford any of their products so they basically figure I’m not worth their time. One time I went into MAC and the women were helping other customers and never bothered to say hello, but when one lady finally assisted me (after 15-20 minutes) she complimented me on my eye makeup and said I seem like I’m quite knowledgable when it comes to makeup. Its funny how things can change if you just give someone the time of day!

Oh yes totally. It’s because I look young. I don’t go to makeup counters anymore, especially MAC. I’ve sent several letters of complaint to corporate offices because customer service is such a joke to them. they need a training program, i feel like it’s an inside joke that they hate customers.
On the second note, when I was in college in 2001 I remember walking around the Nordstrom counters to each makeup company trying to find my color for foundation (bobbie brown, mac, estee lauder etc.)and I went to 8 and couldn’t do it. Now I know that i’m Mac NC 35 but back then pickings were slim, even the Mac counter made sure I knew my shade was hard to find. I remember feeling embarrassed. Those were primitive times.

All the time!! Especially in my country. SAs are a lot friendlier in the states. I have always found SAs kinda intimidating, giving you the if you’re not buying anything don’t waste my time look…
I have worked as a sales assistant at Benefit but up tip today I still find SAs intimidating.

A tip: Be confident. Go in and ask them for help or if you have any questions on any products. Chances are they’ll be too busy answering your queries instead of standing by the side giving you judgemental looks!

I feel fortunate in that every time I go to my local MAC store (really part of a Macy’s but sits outside of the store), I have received amazing service despite never wearing make up there and the fact that I’m 20.

When I go buy skincare or cosmetics, I go in wearing nothing. I think it makes it easier for someone to help me, so they can see what my skin looks like. Sometimes its after work and by then my makeup is not as fresh as it was the 10-12 hours before. The MAC and Sephora across the street from work moved last year. Up until the move I never had a problem. A year later, the MAC counter does feel less inviting. They do have some new staff so they don’t know me and are not particularly nice. I won’t go in unless I see a face I know to ensure I get good service. Sephora is hit or miss. The people that know me treat me very well and I don’t have to go into a lot of detail of what I am looking for and why. Plus, my skin person already knows what I am using. I went in this past Monday and it was a slow day with minimal staff. I needed a sample of a different moisturizer and was left hanging by a makeup person who was called back to her area. I let 15 minutes go by to find 3 associates socializing and it was made very clear by their body language how dare I interrupt them. I guess by doubling up on the mislabeled samples they were doing me some sort of favor. One of the other people was someone from another skincare line was belittling me for wanting to use all-natural skincare lines. I won’t be going back there for awhile.

When I went into the MAC at Times Square, I spent almost an entire hour trying to get help from a salesperson. I was the only teenager in the counter at the time and it was my first time ever at a MAC counter. I could tell that they all thought I just wanted a free makeover. The annoying thing was I was already wearing a full makeup look that day and I only wanted to see how a lipstick would look on. They kept delaying helping me and finally I had to get my aunt to come in and help me get their attention. When I finally got help, the salesperson was so standoffish and irritable that I wanted to compare two different lipsticks, so I ended up just buying the first one I had tried. SO infuriating. Thankfully my experiences since then at other MAC counters have been better.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of discrimination. I’m 18, bu I work a full time job, so a good portion of my paycheck each week goes to makeup. Whenever I go into MAC or Sephora or to a more “luxury” counter, none of the sales people give me the time of day. I’ll try getting their attention, but it never works. It isn’t until I start a conversation about makeup that they help me with what I need. When I start naming shade names and use makeup terminology, then they take me seriously. It’s really frustrating though. I was helping my sister pick a concealer from MAC and none of the people would help us! We even told someone that we needed help picking a concealer, and they blew us off. I don’t know if that was just that girl or what, but it was still frustrating!

I usually get nasty looks but I’ve also had some really great experiences. My father is in the military and I was with a friend (her father is military too) at a Bobbi Brown counter and the associate was really great. She told us to thank our fathers for what they do. And they had some sort of deal that if you spent a certain amount of money you got something for free. To show how much she appreciated what our fathers do she gave each of us the free palette and we didn’t even buy anything (my friend needed a new concealer and wanted to try the Bobbi Brown corrector/concealer).

On the flip side MAC associates are always stuck up. I have noticed it’s not always all of them but sometimes just one.

Being that Temptalia is such a popular site, I wonder if these coments could get read by the right people so that something can be done.

It happens to me ALL the time. I’m 15 years old and henever I go into a MAC without makeup the artists always seem to look down at me. Thats why I started wearing a full face of makeup whenever I plan on going to a MAC store now. The way I was treated when I had a full face of makeup on was completely parellel to when I just had mascara on. I got a ton of compliments on my eye look and an artist helped me right away. It also seems like the artists are looking for ways to prove you don’t know a thing about makeup at my age which I do. I help my aunt with her photoshoots and do my peers prom makeup but you would never know by the way I’m sometimes treated at MAC.

I know what you mean! That happens to me too! But I refuse to wear makeup just for them xD what sucks is that even though I’m 17, I look 10-12 and I’m in a wheelchair so it’s a double whammy! Though there have been Artists who were so nice, sweet and think I’m adorable (I tend to get hyper in a makeuo store).

I’ve never been to a MAC counter/store, though I want to. It’s a bit expensive for me at the moment. I go to Sephora whenever I come into more than ten dollars, though. I’m a seventh grader, (though I look older) and whether I’m wearing next-to-no makeup or a full face, I’m always treated like an actual person and the associates are helpful.

I seem to have had the opposite experience than most people here when it comes to age. I started going to makeup counters (mostly MAC) when I was fairly young and workers were usually too “helpful” and annoying. They tried really hard to sell me stuff, thinking that I would cave in and buy because I didn’t know any better. I may have gone to the counter to buy something specific, but there were a few times where I just walked off because I felt uncomfortable with them trying to manipulate me. I’m older now (well, still kind of young at 19) and I’m more direct about letting them know that I already know what I want to buy.

OMG! I had the worst experience at a MAC counter earlier this year. I walked in with quite a bit of money to spend but needed my color matched. Walked in at about 6:00PM. Store closes at 10:00 PM. No one at all at MAC counter. MAC lady told me that she was booked up until closing and wouldn’t be able to help me. Asked if someone else could help me. She said that there was no one who could help me all day. She immediately turned around and asked some random woman who was just walking by if she could help her. I kid you not. I was really perplexed because I was well groomed and clean and generally have a pretty peppy personality. I always get along very well with people in stores especially with cosmetics. I asked her again if she was sure she couldn’t help me. She said absolutely not and maybe I wanted to go to Clinique. Needless to say…I walked right into the store managers office and complained. They didn’t seem to give a crap about this. Said I needed to speak to someone over that person. A message was taken. I called and emailed the MAC corporate offices the next day and called Macy’s corporate offices. I actually spoke to people who were concerned that this was going on. I got 2 letters of apology and $25 in merchandise from Macy’s and 2 lipglosses from MAC in addition to an entire afternoon where a nice lady helped me find the right colors. I still have no idea why I was denied service. I watched her help people right after me. So strange.

Shame on them! I am glad you got a small amount of “restitution” as it were for that inexcusable behavior. As someone who has worked retail, it blows my mind that some SA’s and MUA’s behave as though they were saving the world! Random aside, when I worked at Nordstrom I had a very nice MUA demo the products on me before I bought ( I rarely do this) and she says to me ” I really don’t know how to do other peoples eyes very well so can you do your eye liner” and she wasn’t kidding! How she was working for MAC @ Nordstrom in Marin county no less without being able to do EYE MU blew me away. She meant it too, I saw her struggle with customers eye MU frequently and just sort of shuddered inwardly.

How terrible!!! Blatant azzholness and witchyness just pisses me off! I’m happy to hear you were able to get a little bit of satisfaction.

I found out this year that my local MAC at Dillards is not regulated by Dillards. MAC rents the space and that is as far as it goes. I’ve never had to gripe about MAC to anyone and I hope I never have to. I have a feeling it will be a three ring circus.

Wow- I wouldn’t say “discriminated” against. Thats such a strong statement. But have I been treated poorly, yes. I am a MUA and have gone to a MAC store, aside from my regular one, then get “that attitude” until I go thru my my pro discount cards to whip out my MAC PRO card. That usually changes their tune quite a bit.. And its sad too, because it shouldn’t.
Unfortunatly, the downside of retail is the managers shove “loss prevention” down the throats of the salespeople. 9 out 10 times its not “you” the person, but your big bag, or backpack or whatever matches something on the “what to look for” on the loss prevention/shoplifting list. Its the day and age, where people will steal anything not nailed down, and sell it to make a profit. I’m not saying that behaviour is right, but try to understand, for every 1 person that won’t steal, there are 5 just dying for a split second to swipe anything.
If you visit a MAC counter/store and are treated poorly, and I mean REALLY treated badly, not something like expecting IMMEDIATE service in a busy store, but ignored for a half hour (which is too long anyway). THen write an email to customer service thats honest, genuine and sincere, cite the location, the date and the time, and if you can get the associates name, thats even better.

I am not defending anyone’s actions, because I too have been treated poorly, but those who are “offended” because you wore a huge backpack into a store where the shiplifting statistics are staggering.
There are approximately 27 million shoplifters (or 1 in 11 people) in our nation today. More than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years. Just something to think about.

Its suprising to me that so many people feel they have been treated unfairly.Personally Ive had the opposite experiences even when I was younger and I shop at sephora,ulta,dept stores,you name it.If anything I find the associates sometimes too bothersome and I have to politely decline assistance many times in a single visit.I prefer to browse and only ask for assistance if I need it,and when I do I always look for the most aproachable associate or the last one who offered me help and ask away.I believe its all about confidence and your body language which really is true in every situation in life.I have worked in retail since I was 17(27 now)and I know there will always be rude and or snotty people who think their somehow better than everyone else and I think the majority of them work in retail as well..lol. I personally dont give them the time of day b/c frankly they dont deserve it or my money for that matter(ie.no commission)I cant speak for MAC counters as Ive never been to one.I find them and the stand-alone stores a huge turn-off.I have never felt any desire to enter a store with overly made-up(clown face)looking associates who must be half deaf and probably couldnt hear you asking for assistance over the blaring music.Not only that but many of my friends and half my fiance’s family all work for Estee Lauder here in NY and I get tons of makeup to try out all the time including MAC(Estee brand)and I am not impressed at all with MAC. I find it subpar to many other brands.For the price the quality is lacking and in some instances I can find better quality at the drugstore.I’m not trying to totally hate on a particular brand but thats just my honest opinion.I truly enjoy many of Estee’s other brands.In short I wouldnt bother with MAC or any other place that didnt treat its customers with respect and kindness,they dont deserve my business.

Yes this happens alot, and I am 37. I always wear MAC so I go to the counters quite a bit. I remember once waiting at least half an hour to get service. I have really noticed alot of complaints about MAC sales representatives on many websites. I realize the product can sell itself but MAC needs to take notice of their customer service. I do realize we can always shop online to avoid this but why should we. MAC will soon get Wal-Mart’s reputation, Great store but lousy customer service.

Yes. MAC associates have snubbed me twice. That’s why I have never purchased MAC and I really don’t pay attention to their products. I’m 50 years old and was looking to purchase for my daughters (I have three) the first time I was ignored and overlooked when I waited at the counter to purchase. I walked away after 20 mins of waiting. The second time I did manage to get the attention of an associate and while talking to that associate they walked away as I was choosing an item (I had intended to purchase 3 blushes, one for each daughter but the have different undertones so I was on blush number one but had only taken up maybe 3 or 4 mins of the assoc. time up to that point) and the associate said excuse me—walked away to help someone else and then never came back—they went on to other customers. When I asked could I buy the one blush I had in my hand the associate said they would get to me when they were finished with the person they had helped after me. I guess I’m not young and hip enough to purchase at MAC? So I went to Sephora and dropped 200 dollars on my daughters that day (it was for stocking stuffers).

I go into macy’s a lot with a backpack still on because I usually only have time after class, and I get some strange looks and am ignore a lot, but still. watched like a hawk. Most of the MAC S.A’s know me at this point, and a few of my favorites will even carry on conversations with me. But I always hate getting ignored just because I have a backpack! When I have a purse I’m never ignored.

The only time I go into a makeup store without makeup is when I’m looking to get foundation matched, so I usually don’t get discriminated. My usual makeup routine is pretty flamboyant (fake lashes, tops and bottoms daily) anyways so I actually get a lot of compliments from MUA’s instead of criticism!

However, my boyfriend was discriminated. He went to a flurry of Chanel counters at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA trying to find the Perfection Lumiere foundation in my shade to buy as a present. Bloomingdales in particular were the most rude to him, the associates were painting their nails and pretty much ignored him until he showed them he had a pamphlet I gave him with what shade I was matched to. Because they were too “busy” doing their nails they made HIM look in the drawer by himself to try to find it. He did eventually find it at the Macy’s counter (they were very nice and even included samples of products for HIM to use), but when he told me what happened at Bloomingdales I have pretty much sworn off of them due to that incident. He was willing to shell out $100+ on me but they didn’t even give him the time of day!

Yes! I’m a high schooler (17) but I look and dress younger than my age and I’m in a wheelchair so there have been sale associates who would IGNORE me completely or never take me seriously or give me that “You’re gonna be a pain in the butt aren’t you?” look. I don’t even bug them with stupid questions! If anything, I just ask them where a certain product is b/c they keep changing the interior of the store. Though thank goodness there’s only a few of them. Others are extremely helpful and nice to me.

In Sephora and the Mac counters they are nice 90% of the time. The places that I feel more uncomfortable are the high end counters like Chanel and Armani. I think a lot of how they treat you is the confidence factor. It honestly should matter how you look to how they treat you but they are in the beauty industry and looks are cared about more.

About ten years ago, I went into a MAC store for the first time. I had purchased plenty of MAC from the counter in Macy’s, but I was really excited to be in an actual MAC store, and I was prepared to spend a good amount of money. The girl that worked there kept pushing lots of brown eyeshadows at me, and I just wasn’t interested. When I expressed that brown tends to make me look tired, her response was, “You want to know what DOESN’T look good on you? That eyeliner you’re wearing.” While I’m usually a pretty quick witted woman, that comment left me speechless. Luckily I had the presence of mind to push my younger sister out of the store before she punched that chick in the face. It took me quite some time before I would venture into another MAC store again.

At my drug store in my hometown. This old witch who hated kids and teenagers was the Cosmetics Manager and generally the person working the floor on slow days. To list two incidents:

-I had horrible skin in middle school, but didn’t wear makeup. However, I wanted to wear foundation for a costume. Lady said really snottily to my mom “Are you sure you don’t mean ‘concealer'”

-My friend’s debit card didn’t go through, Lady accuses her of having stolen it

And in general she’s just rude as anything to teenagers and follows them around to make sure they’re not stealing or anything.

People tend to practically throw products my way so I’ve learned to evade them. I usually don’t wear much makeup when I do go shopping, but I guess I look like a nice ripe customer for the picking. It get so bad sometimes that I purposefully avoid swatching or even looking counters cause I’ll know I’ll be ambushed by an employee trying to sell something.And when they do, and I say I’m just browsing, they get all mad and disappointed.

Umm earth to cosmetics employees: Stop being so damn aggressive!If we need help, we’ll tell you!

I remember last year I was in a superdrug in the UK and the employees there are usually very nice, but this one time I was looking at some lipstick testers and I was swatching it and this lady came and pulled from my hands in and said in a very rude way that it was not a tester! so I told her that it was already open when I tried it and it was placed in same area as the testers are, but she just ignored me and was saying no. She was very rude about it mind I was 19 at the time and was wearing a head scarf ( I don’t know if that had to do when anything) , I just came out of the shop but looking back I really wished I called the manager and complained about her, but at least I know what to do if I ever countered someone like her. 🙂

I have had more uncomfortable experiences at MAC than good ones I always feel like I am not welcome as if my money wasn’t worth the same as other people I remember once I had just got out of work, long day at work was wearing a plain T-shirt and some old jeans ( I had been painting a set and building props so I looked dirty to say the least) well I went to MAC had a list of things to pick up and enough money that is how I usually shop well the girl there did not even want to take my list she told me that they didn’t carry the things I needed and that maybe I should go to CVS or something I was so hurt I asked to talk with her manager and ask for them to see my profile once she realized how much I had already spend and how much I was about to spend she turn all shades of red I just walked out of the store and never again came back, I love MAC but really it seems like all girls who work there dont want to work there 🙁

I completely agree. When I did shop at MAC counters and stores, I ALWAYS seemed to have to deal with women who made me feel as though I was inconveniencing them when I asked for any form of help! I’ve only be to one counter that I actually liked, and unfortunately I visited it while on vacation so it’s not near by. Their customer service really needs a makeover!

I was talking with the girl from the Armani counter about the Eyes to kill eye shadows, kowing the names of all the shades, etc (showing her I had some kowledge) She proceeded to explain me how to put on eyeliner and which color I should choose to match my eyes because I wasn’t wearing a lot of make up that day. I never asked her for this information (which I already knew) and even though she could have understood that I had some make up kowledge she assumed I didn’t kow anything because I had almost no make up on.

Yay, my question! I should answer this myself…

I am 17 years old, and how I am treated greatly depends on the amount of makeup I am wearing at the moment. I have been completely ignored by the girls at MAC, merely because I didn’t have makeup on. I asked her repeatedly for help but she just walked away to help another customer. I was so mad, I didn’t return until now, three years later. They probably didn’t recognize me. My makeup skills had greatly improved, and now, whenever I go in, they treat me like a friend.

There is no excuse. It shouldn’t matter if I looked like I’m 13 or 89 years old, or if I’m a guy, bald, in sweatpants or fancy clothing – they should treat everyone with the same respect. If I worked for MAC or any other makeup store/brand, I would rather lose money for a stolen product, than to lose a potential customer by treating her badly – but that’s just me.

I’m 19 now, and I used to always get discriminated against when I went to my local Lancome counter. When I first started wearing makeup on a regular basis (around age 15-16), my mother wanted me to wear “good” quality foundation because previous drugstore foundations always broke me out. When I would go own my own to repurchase my foundation/powder/eyeliner, none of the sales associates would pay attention to me or bother answering my questions when I asked about other products or new collections. At even a younger age, I would go to Lancome to buy my mother lipstick as a present, and she would wait of to the side so my purchase would be a “surprise.” Even when they had zero customers, it was extremely hard for me to get waited on. I was probably around 12-13 at the time, and although I was a younger customer, my money was the same as any other person’s (granted, at that time, I wasn’t making the money on my own). It even got to the point that I would have to carry cash in my hand and kinda “flash” it to the associates to let them know that yes, I can afford this makeup, and yes I’m actually going to buy something. Nowadays, I only buy eyeliner from Lancome, and it’s partly because of these past experiences. But even now when I go to SOME Mac counters, I feel like I am sometimes discriminated against because of the way I look. I’m a college student and more of a jeans-tshirt-sneakers kind of girl, and I know that this makes me look like I’m just browsing and not going to buy. If nobody even talks to me and offers to help me, I’ll simply leave and not buy. I don’t like giving my business to places that make it feel like they won’t help me because of my age and/or the way I look.

I’m Asian and when I ask for foundation shade match. The sales people give me something way tanner than my skin shade. I’m East Asian that have skin learn toward the light side. But they think all Asian is yellowish tan.

I always ask for foundation samples from Sephora or other high end counters before I buy full size. Not that I’m cheap, but foundations tend to oxidize in the afternoon, so I need samples of different shades to try on to make sure that’s something I want. (Although I know I can return the full bottle if I don’t like it, it would be a waste and makeup store lose money). Sometimes when I ask, sales people think I’m trying to get freebie. I went to one Macy’s Clinique counter to ask for BB Cream, the lady worked there said “it’s a high profile product, we don’t give out sample here, you can try Estee Lauder”. Geeeez, don’t talk to me like that, I have got 5-6 REAL BB creams from Asia in my makeup drawer, I am just curious how Clinique BB cream perform.

It was at the MAC counter at Nordstroms. Completely not like Nordstroms but from reading the comments, not that atypical for MAC. I went on 3 different occasions and each time was ignored and finally begrudgingly helped. I bought a lipliner and a brush. Felt like my make-up was a little too conservative for them (I am much more adventurous now). That was about 15 years ago and I haven’t bought a MAC product since. I worked in retail for many years and understand that you can have a bad day but 3 strikes and you are out. I don’t hold grudges against people but I do hold grudges against brands or stores that have poor customer service. Guess now I am the one discriminating against them because I almost broke down this week and bought a MAC 217 brush but just couldn’t do it. I ended up ordering from Hakuhodo.

I’ve been ignored or not taken seriously many times. I noticed, that if I wear high heels and a nice makeup the SAs treat me just like every other customer. But sometimes I go shopping after school and with plain makeup, flats and a backpack they treat me like I’m wasting their time.

Oh yeah…I’m in my 20s but I guess I look young so I do get ignored at those higher end counters. I went to my local Dior counter once to get matched to a foundation. I was really interested in the new Dior Forever one…the MUA matched me to a shade and everything. I wasn’t quite ready to drop that much money on a foundation without trying it out for a few days, so I asked for a sample. The MUA told me that I had to buy something previously to get a sample. What a load of crap…I never knew Dior had that sort of policy! And so I marched to another counter asking for a sample.

I already answered once but something new came to my mind while reading other people’s comments…. There have been some saying that it might be your attitude or confidence making the difference, and in a way I guess I agree. However, I hate that I do.

My sister, who is 22 years old, looks quite young for her age. She has long blond hair, a bit of a baby face, she’s kind of short and always wears very natural makeup. She dresses very conservatively and in quite visibly expensive clothes, though, so it shouldn’t be a matter of “looking too poor to buy anything”. The problem is that (these are her words) she only gets good service when she acts rude and extremely demanding. After many years of snubbing from the personnel, she feels this is the only way to get their attention.

So, this leads to quite an unpleasant situation for both sides: her (the customer) feeling like she isn’t good enough to shop as herself and the salesperson suffering because of a rude and basically bitchy customer. Even if it’s about attitude, is it okay that you should act mean to get good service? Since normal confidence wasn’t enough… She’s plenty confident so that wasn’t the case, either. The whole situation just feels so messed up to me.

Discriminated against? Yes and no. I live in Texas, and while I live in a casual city, generally, people are judged on their appearance as an indicator of their spending ability. If I feel like that’s going on, I don’t get particularly offended because clearly, the SAs are the stupid ones.

That said, despite how I’m usually dressed (casually), and the fact that I’m older and overweight, I only have one purse and it’s obviously expensive. Like, really expensive, and not a brand that is typically knocked off. Smart SAs who notice that are very nice to me.

MAC SAs always have attitude. I have to take complete charge of the situation to keep them in line. I find Dior SAs to be especially pushy.

I always get treated well at Chanel counters. They must know their purses 😉

Usually I don’t let the SAs ignore me. I command their attention, not in a rude way, but I just go right up to them if they aren’t busy (or say “excuse me could you help me when you’re done with your client?”). I ask a lot of questions, drop some lines that make them know I’ve done my research and I’m serious about buying makeup. I think its also important to establish relationships with certain SAs that you click with so you always have someone to help you (coordinate going in when they are working, usually they are super helpful with that because it helps their commission. I even email with a couple of mine!)
The only time I’ve been treated REALLY poorly was when I was Back2MAC’ing and the SA could tell I wasn’t going to buy anything (which I was like IDGAF about because I spend lots of money on MAC all the time, I can get my “free” stuff!)

I don’t find I am discriminated against. Usually the sales associates are pretty helpful. Although I do go to Mac a lot and most of the people who work there know me now, so that helps. However, I did have a weird experience once with a sales associate who was selling those spray tans in a can. I am fair (NW 20) and the guy kept giving me dirty looks and kept offering to spray my skin. And then he followed me for a bit around the makeup counters with the stupid fake tan bottle.

that’s really creepy, at that point I would talk to the management of the store or mall security, or maybe I would just cuss him out

I am 37 but I guess I look younger than my age because I am typically ignored unless I am carrying my Louis Vuitton hand bag. I guess because the hand bag supposedly carries more money than my typical Coach.

As a beauty advisor at Macy’s, I always greet anyone near my bay whether there stopping to look at something or merely passing by. The only people I sometimes avoid are groups of teenage girls with their VS or Forever 21 bags and vapid sense of self, any children! I am human as well, so there are days were I will not ignore; but leave a “potential” client to browse for themselves if I feel there not going to buy anything. Only on off days though!

For sure. It still happens too. If you go into a very expensive department store like Barney’s or Neimans, and you aren’t dressed to the hilt, then sometimes you don’t get any service. It is especially hurtful when it’s blatant, like when they greet everyone that come to the counter and offer to show them some colors, but you get barely a look.
I used to work at a Neiman’s in LA while in high school and floated to different departments. I worked in handbags one day where all the other regular salespersons would hand off the customers they thought wouldn’t buy anything to me. In that one afternoon, I sold 4 Chanel quilted handbags to these customers that others deemed not worthy of their time. You can’t always judge a book by it’s cover.

Definitely YES! Each time I was at the MAC counter, which is why I no longer purchase makeup from their counters or stores (only online).

The first time, I went in to repurchase a lipstick, and as always it was crowded. I’m patient so I waited around for 30-45 minutes to be assisted. Three customers later when I was finally next, a young caucasian sales associate looked me in the face and walked right past me, to help another caucasian woman standing near me at the counter (I’m African American). The customer being helped knew that I was next and politely stated so to the associate who smugly stated, “She’ll be ok. How can I help you today?” I could do nothing but stand there in disbelief! The helped customer and I were so outraged that we both spoke to the person in charge who apologized to me and immediately took care of my needs. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time someone had reported this kind of behavior from that associate. I’m not sure what became of her, but I haven’t seen her since this incident. :-/

Despite these issues, I decided to step foot to this counter yet again during my lunch break one day and was burned once again! I went in on a Monday because I was in the mood for a new pink lipstick, and when I arrived I was glad to see no one else there. However, my excitement quickly subsided because the two young ladies at the counter didn’t even greet me let alone offer to help. They looked over when I walked up and continued their “important” conversation. I went on to swatch a few lipsticks and noticed the advertisement for Viva Glam Nicki, so I picked it up to swatch. Suddenly I could feel I was being watched. I looked up to both associates carefully watching me but continuing their conversation. I brushed it off, sat the lipstick down on the counter and inspected my swatches. To my surprise, one of the associates walked over when she thought I wasn’t looking and literally snatched and hid the Viva Glam Nicki tube behind the counter! Her actions made me feel as though they thought I was trying to steal a USED lipstick! After all that, I decided not to buy anything else from this counter. I just couldn’t justify spending money at a counter where I was treated like a common criminal! I haven’t returned since.

I’ve been to other MAC stores and counters with bad service, but this counter was by far the worse! I never hope to relive those experiences, and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone!

yikes! that would put me over the edge if someone assumed I wanted to steal a used lipstick, I’d call them out on that

When I was in Europe I noticed the service at the Mac and Sephora stores were very poor. I was in the Mac store and opened one of the drawers to find the shade I was looking for and the women there stomped torwards me in disgust like I was throwing all the products in my purse! She basically told me in broken english that I was not allowed to touch the drawers. The MUA were generally very unfriendly and not helpful. I have not had this problem in the states or Canada, the sales associates have been very friendly and kind to me. Especially at Sephora where they treat me more adult although i’m only 15.

Most of my experiences shopping at MAC have been good. There was one time back when I was about a week or so away from finishing high school and I wanted a new lipstick to go with the badass rose colored highlights I was about to add to my hair after I graduated (private school banned hair dye in unnatural shades). So I go to the MAC counter at my local nordies with my best friend (who happens to be a male, and gay but of course he’s almost always assumed to be my boyfriend) I’m not sure if having him along changed the attitude of the SA. The SA came by after a few minutes of me poking around the lipsticks waiting for assistance, asks if I need anything, and I asked her to sterilize some shades for me (I think I was holding dubonnet, rebel, and ladybug) which she did and then just brought them back to me in front of a mirror and left to go help another customer. This was good and all, but I like to have the SA stay and give some input if she can, and there wasn’t another SA working the counter so I understood and went about trying on shades. After my friend and I decided on what to buy, I’m pretty sure I waited about 10 minutes for her to ring me up, which wouldn’t take long to do at all but I wasn’t sure how to address her, I was hearing talk of “blush and lipliner” so they must have been doing a full face makeover. My friend and I just came to the conclusion that we waited too long just to ring up one measly lipstick and just left. I don’t know if the SA thought I was just screwing around trying on makeup and was being passive about it, if she was mad I brought a man near the makeup, or if it was just a result of being understaffed that day.

Most mac employees are great nice people, the problem lies within the company. As much as they say they are make up driven its all about numbers when a customer wants a one item purchase it hurts the employees numbers bringing ipt down, not discriminating against any customers but the item being purchased. Thats why i feel the customer service isnt always up to par not saying this is the right way to go about it. But the employees get write ups even if they are bringing the money in, but if they dont have enough items up to the standards of the company its still a write up.

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