Survey Says… April 22nd, 2015

  • Your skin tone/coloring:
  • Do you find sales associates useful?
  • What was your best experience with a sales associate like?
  • What was your worst experience with a sales associate like?
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Your skin tone/coloring: NC20
Do you find sales associates useful? Usually not as I tend to know more about certain products than them. When I go shopping I tend to follow what I know on the Internet (blogs, Sephora, etc.)
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? The sales associate of MAC who sold me Fleur Power: For me the best blush up to date, after 7 years I still repurchase it!
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I would say most of the time I am disappointed by the advice they give me – that´s why I go shopping with my earphones on and I stick to my opinions… at least if the choice is wrong, the guilt is on me hehe

Your skin tone/coloring: MAC NC50 for reference
Do you find sales associates useful? Not usually, I generally know more about makeup than they do.
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? The person was just very friendly and not pushy, didn’t try to sell me every single thing at the NARS counter.
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? When I got matched at NARS when sheer glow first came out with a foundation 3 shades too dark, I looked like I had on a mask. Also, I’ve been repeatedly ignored at the MAC counters inside department stores.

I meant to add that I was actually followed inside Sephora (in a wealthy neighborhood), I had a product in my bag that I was planning on returning/exchanging with my receipt in my purse. I was browsing first and then I asked someone for help about a lipstick. Then someone else approached me and asked me if I had tried to beneifts tarte blush palette and I told her yes I thought it was terrible and thats when the third degree started. Then she mentioned to me what I had down in my tote bag, ie she had been looking into my purse and went on and on. I felt so humiliated and quite frankly I made a scene. I then called corporate and they put me in touch with the regional manager who gave me a 50 dollar gift card. Do you know when I tried to use the gift card (the same day that the manager gave it to me …she was also there that day) the cashier gave me a hard time about why I was getting the gift card etc. It was total harassment. The location was Sephora in Houston in Rice Village on Times Blvd. I’ve shopped at Sephora is cities all over the US before. Philly, Dallas, Austin, Orlando, Chicago, NYC…. never been treated like that.

Your skin tone/coloring: Fair.
Do you find sales associates useful? Hmm, depends. Sometimes. If they’re not too much in my face, they are helpful and nice to have them there!
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? Not one particular time, but at Lush the people are so nice and provide a lot of information about products without trying to push me to buy the product!
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I don’t think I have a bad experience. Only thing is I feel so stared at when I’m the only customer in the store, haha!

Your skin tone/coloring: Fair, cool
Do you find sales associates useful? Yes, some of the time (and, at Sephora, you need a nice SA to help you if you want a sample)
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? I can’t think of anything specific but the original SA’s at the Sephora near me were/are terrific and it’s almost like being with friends (makeup obsessed friends, which is even better), though some of the newer hires are not nearly as knowledgeable or personable)
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I guess because I have a thick hide and also because I don’t let people mess with me, I haven’t really had a bad experience per se. The worst I can think of is when Dior’s Bonne Etoile palette launched. The Dior SA at The Bay was took my name and was going to call me when it arrived. But she went on vacation and the person filling in for her didn’t bother. I nearly missed out on it – as it was, I got the last one in the store – and if I had, I would have been REALLY angry.

Skintone – NC15-ish
Do i find SA helpful – only when i’m hunting for something i cannot find in the store.
Best experience w/a SA – when they suggest something that i had no idea could be used a certain way or introduce me to a specific product from a brand that i’ve never used (and it turns out to be amazing – but this rarely happens these days… 🙁
Worst experience w/a SA – insisting on trying a product on me (when i clearly don’t want to), kinda guilting me (i’m Canadian, we tend to be overly-polite) into purchasing something that i know that i will have to bring back…

Fair/Cool
No, they are largely not useful. (I’m talking Sephora here)
I tend to avoid them if I can, so they’ve not been helpful.
When they just hang on you to try to sell you something. The problem is they’re SALES people, not beauty experts, so if you ask them a question about formulation or something that is off-script of the marketing hype, they can’t answer you. Although I’ve enjoyed stumping them at times when they’ve been especially irritating…

◾Your skin tone/coloring: NW-20
◾Do you find sales associates useful? Sometimes
◾What was your best experience with a sales associate like? A very friendly sales associate in Nordstrom at the Mac counter gave me a lovely makeover with bold colors on my eyes that I don’t usually wear. It was great fun.
◾What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I was treated terribly at the Nars
Flagship store on Bleecker. I collect Nars cosmetics and really expected more from them.

Skintone/Coloring: Fairly light, very neutral; dark-featured.

Useful: Unfortunately, if I’m at a counter, they’re kind of necessary if I want an item, which is why I prefer stores like Sephora or ULTA, and unless I need them to look in the back/drawer for an item, I don’t have to bother. I always go in knowing what I’m looking for, and I don’t like being shown other products, or “similar” ones of what I want is out-of-stock.

Best Experience: I’ve usually had great experiences, but the one that comes to mind is when I went to a Nordstrom NARS counter, and there was only one SA, and a “floater”, and although the SA was with another customer, she excused herself to at least ask me what I needed. I had my list, and the “floater” got what I needed, and the SA rang me up, and tossed several samples in the bag.

Worst Experience: Again, a rare experience, but I was leaving the aforementioned NARS counter, I passed the Armani counter, and really wanted to buy 2 ETK shadows. Although there were 2 SA’s, and *both* kept looking directly at me (full eye-contact), neither said one word, as they were too “busy” trying to push product on a woman who was clearly not interested. The same “floater” from earlier asked if I needed anything, and I told her I wanted a couple of things from Armani, and she went over and told the SA’s, who just looked back over at me, and said *nothing*. After several more minutes, I decided to just leave, but as I was walking out, I told them they just missed out on a *guaranteed* sale, and only then were they willing to help me, but I declined. What’s even funnier is when I saw the same customer later in the mall, she was carrying a few shopping bags, but not one from Nordstrom…

Your skin tone/coloring: MAC NC15 (fair/light with warm undertones)

Do you find sales associates useful? Sometimes it’s nice to get other people’s opinions on things, and when I was first starting out wearing makeup the sales associates at Sephora were helpful in pointing me towards products I’d like. But now that I’m pretty well-versed in what looks good on me and what doesn’t, I don’t really appreciate the help. I know what I like and don’t like, and I hate it when sales associates try to push me into buying something I know I won’t like or ever use. And I hate being rude, so I usually end up buying it and then coming back later to return it when they won’t be there!

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? It’s in reference to the story below, I went to exchange a foundation and concealer at MAC (after being matched to completely the wrong shade) and the sales associate there was super helpful and nice, he didn’t push me, he tried out a bunch of shades and formulas to see which one I’d like best. He was super attentive and sweet and listened to exactly what I wanted.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? Oh man, I went to a MAC store to get matched to a foundation shade, since I’d never used MAC foundations before and the color selection can be very overwhelming. It was super dim lighting in the store, which I never understood, and then she matched me to a completely wrong shade. She didn’t even try a few shades on my cheek or something to see which one would be best, she just picked up a bottle and started putting it on. I thought it was definitely too dark, but when I tried to say something, she’s like “no this is right,” completely ignored me. She ended up selling me NW20 foundation and NC30 concealer. What the heck? The wrong undertone and way too dark foundation, and then a concealer with a different undertone than the foundation and even darker? I looked like I had a bad sunburn. I ended up going to a different store and explained my situation to the guy there, and he matched me to my correct shade of NC15, which is drastically lighter and less pink than NW20.

Your skin tone/coloring: Light with yellow undertones
Do you find sales associates useful? Sometimes, but I like doing my own research & I don’t like unsolicited opinions (SA: “This foundation is great for dry skin,” me: “Well my skin is usually oily, it’s just a bit dry from travelling, so can I take a sample of this one?” SA: “I don’t think that will suit your dry patches”…. 😐 )
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? The ladies at the Chanel counter at The Bay(Canadian store) in Edmonton are amazing. They’ve shipped products to me that weren’t in stock & as long as a pass a $50 threshold it’s free shipping (I’m in a remote area outside of their province). Linda in particular is very personable and lovely, and my mom & I end up chatting with her for half an hour each time we see her!
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I used to frequent Shoppers Drug Mart (Canadian store again) in my town until I was accused of intending to steal a Clarins toner almost 2 years ago because I took it outside the high-end beauty aisles (into the drugstore makeup area…). I was so offended I emailed the owner but their response was “they weren’t there, so they don’t really know what happened”. I’ve boycotted it since which is a shame because they have the best rewards program & it was the only in-store access to beauty brands like Lancome, Clarins, Clinique, Urban Decay, Stila, Benefit, etc. but I just buy anything online from Sephora or The Bay now.

fair/neutral-yellowish
sometimes, but not always
She bent over backwards to find me a product I really wanted, going to far as to call another store 2,000 miles away to get them to charge me and ship it to me because it was discontinued and unavailable online or in any other door in my area.

She refused to allow my return because I had returned another, expensive item two weeks prior. She said it was suspicious and the store had the right to not accept a return, despite the fact that I had receipt and had purchased it 3 weeks prior. I wound up having to reach out to corporate and speak to district manager because this sales person had also called other doors in the area and warned them to refuse my return because. That was a crazy.

Your skin tone/coloring: NC30
Do you find sales associates useful? Depends what store I’m at… Everyone at Lush is very knowledgeable about the products. I also find the employees at MAC in my local Bloomingdales to be helpful. Sephora not so much, I feel like a lot of the SA’s don’t know much.
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? During the Nov VIB sale, there was an associate from Anastasia who showed me how to do my brows. She was very helpful and showed me how to properly use the products.
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I no longer go to the MAC in my closest Nordstrom bc the employees are always chatting amongst one another rather than helping customers.

Your skin tone/coloring: Warm Medium Tan (BECCA Olive; NARS Stromboli)
Do you find sales associates useful?: Sometimes usually I don’t approach them though
What was your best experience with a sales associate like?: Whenever they go out of their way to find a product in the back for me or they let me use a clean brush to try out a product
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like?: At an Estee Lauder counter I was trying out a foundation and she asked whether I wanted some blush so I said yes. She applied it super heavily over my entire face…I was basically red. She then got upset when I POLITELY stated it was too much for my preference and requested a make up wipe. She was rude from that point forward, I bought products too and I’ve never been back to that counter since.

■Your skin tone/coloring: Fair (MAC NC15)

■Do you find sales associates useful?
No. I find them intimidating. If I were left on my own, I would calmly and reasonably look through the products to identify which one I’m interested in, try it on without feeling like I have to hide behind the shelves, and make the purchase that I’d be content with. I find that when sales associates approach me, I feel rushed and pressured into more impulsive purchases that I end up returning. I feel like I’m being constantly watched, and it’s very uncomfortable.

■What was your best experience with a sales associate like?
Usually when sales associats leave me alone and only interact with me when I ask them for help.

■What was your worst experience with a sales associate like?
I was buying very expensive lingerie in a little boutique in downtown Toronto. It was one of those where the bell rings loudly as soon as you walk in, though the boutique is tiny and the cash register directly faces the entrance, so they couldn’t possibly miss a customer anyway. I was looking at nightgowns, and the sales associates/owners of the store were looking at me, sometimes leaning their heads together to whisper something. I was trying to spend over $200 for a gown at their store, and they were looking at me like at a pesky child. The strangest part was that I’d already purchased expensive things from them before, and they knew me…

Your skin tone/coloring: Very fair neutral; auburn hair, hazel/green eyes

Do you find sales associates useful? I’m assuming we mean just beauty department/stores sales associates. The answer is “sometimes.” A knowledgeable associate who isn’t pushy is very helpful when I’m looking at a new product. It really depends on the associate, and how well they are trained, and their own experience with makeup. I find makeup counters to be worse than stores like Ulta and Sephora. I find counter employees at department stores to be much more pushy and less likely to listen.

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? It was a Nordstrom associate in another state, and over-the-phone. I was looking for one of the MAC Red, Red, Red Collection eyeshadows, and it was sold out everywhere I tried. Lotus told me here on Temptalia to try this one Nordstrom’s. The associate was so nice, and tracked down the last one they had. She took an order for it over the phone, and shipped it to me immediately. I made sure I wrote the store after and gave her name and great praise.

My local Sephora is great about not being pushy. They have even told me NOT to buy something till I’ve tried it, and instead gave me ample samples of a few things to try out.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? Nothing so horrible it stands out, but I’ve had them ignore me because I didn’t look like I had a lot of money (I didn’t, but you’d think they’d want what I had). Some are lazy and just ignore you because they don’t care. On the other end are the pushy associates who just want to push products and make commissions, and don’t give a hoot as to what you really want. Associates who don’t listen.

■Your skin tone/coloring: light
■Do you find sales associates useful? Not for the most part. I only want what I want, not usually looking to be sold on something else. I’ll occasionaly ask for advice if I want thier opinion between two products and some of them are really talented, but they aren’t usually a big part of my shopping experience.
■What was your best experience with a sales associate like? I had a massive crush on a male makeup artist at MAC when I was in high school. He totally knew it and thought it was funny. He used to sell me crazy makeup and give me samples of silly things like Magenta Pigment. haha
■What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? The day my mom got incredibly unflattering foundation applied at Estee Lauder. Nightmarishly bad. I’m still upset. It aged her about 15 years.

Your skin tone/coloring: Medium/Tanned

◾Do you find sales associates useful?

I do when it comes to Sephora but at other stores like Shoppers Drug Mart, I don’t. I feel that with stores like SDM and The Bay, the sales associates just want you to buy a product and most of the time, you can’t return the product.

◾What was your best experience with a sales associate like?

One time at Sephora, the sales associate gave me a bunch of samples from a skincare line and deluxe samples too. She loaded me with about 8 samples. Best experience ever.

◾What was your worst experience with a sales associate like?

I was at Shoppers Drug Mart and this sales associate was telling me how good a product was, it was PUR Minerals and she said that I could return it. Needless to say, I was stuck with a kit that I hated!

Skin: Light neutral
Do you find sales associates useful? Usually. I frequently have sort of open ended shopping lists, like “I’m looking for a fairly lightweight concealer.”
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? Just last week during the Sephora sale, the Clarisonic rep helped us pick out a Clarisonic. She didn’t try to upsell us; after we talked to her about our skin types, she recommended the Mia 2 instead of the more expensive options. And sure, brush heads aren’t super expensive, but she tossed in an extra one because both of us were going to be using the thing.
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I’ve mentioned this before, but it was the collective sales staff of my local Mac store who all looked at me, like “what’s this old lady doing here.” I haven’t gone back.

Skin tone-Fair with cool undertones
Do you find sales associates useful? Not usually. For the most part they are either judging for what you look like and think you don’t know anything or give you the wrong answer if you ask them something. I’d rather make the wrong mistake myself.

Best experience? I haven’t really had one.
Worst experience? In Kohl’s I had a manager lecture me about how I can’t sample the sample products. She made me feel so degraded that I called and reported her. First of all, there are sample products out for a reason, that were filthy by the way, and second, they had q-tips and stuff to test them with but all of the displays were empty. It was humiliating but they did make them go through training so it didn’t happen again.

Your skin tone/coloring: NC35 Neutral
Do you find sales associates useful? Sometimes they can be, I just don’t like when I feel like they’re trying to sell me a ton of products
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? I have 2 that stick out, 1. I wanted to get the Nars audacious lipstick in Vanessa because its my name lol but I need to see colors in person so I went the the Nars boutique in the West Village NYC the MUA/SA was so nice and helpful, she showed me the color right away, color matched me for a sheer glow foundation applied blush, bronzer, concealer and some skin care and never once pushed a product. 2- was during a back to MAC exchange the MUA helped me pick out 3 colors I would have never picked on my own and then I ended up buying 3 more lol
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? Sephora Makeup Forever MUA I was interested in buying some artist shadows and the MUA pushed so hard I bought 3 colors which when I got home I realized I didn’t like and ended up returning them all :/

Do you find sales associates useful? No. 99% of the time, they know less about their own brand (past products, future collections, etc) than me. They usually try to sell me products that are not a goo match for me or that I don’t want. They general just repeat the brand’s marketing blabla with zero added value. I do most of my shopping online because having to deal with sales associates bothers me.

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? I know 2 good sales associates. They are knowledgeable about their brand, they help me try on products without being pushy at all, and they’re very personable. They have great techniques and they give me good tips for better application.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? There have been many. The associate who sighed when she saw me approach the counter (I wasn’t dressed in Chanel I guess). The one who insisted that Thierry Mugler doesn’t make makeup and never has. The one who was rude when I asked for an LE Dior palette (I actually complained and the beauty department manager called me). I went into a department store wanting to buy something and came out empty-handed because of a poor customer service experience many times.

Oh and very recently, I went to a Dior counter looking for the new Nude Air foundation and the SA told me with a condescending tone that Dior wasn’t gonna come up with a new foundation so soon after the Star launch. When I informed her that Nude Air had already launched in Europe, she said it would take at least a year to get to the States due to FDA regulations, lol! It’s hilarious but I wouldn’t find it funny if I were a Dior sales manager… I actually reported that incident to one of the 2 great SAs I mentioned (she’s at a Dior counter).

Your skin tone/coloring: Light/medium neutral leaning ever so slightly warm, dark hair amber eyes

Do you find sales associates useful? No. As a makeup artist who spends most of her time researching products, ingredients, and stores, I need know help and 99/100 times I know more than the associates. I’ve had boyfriends who know more. The only time associates know the products is at MAC or if Sephora has a Brand Ambassador there

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? I can’t honestly think of one. I’ve worked retail and I know what it’s about so I guess I just have a bit of a cynical view in that many associates look at me like a sale, not a person.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I was helping my boyfriend find new skincare and this sales associate tried to tell me everything I was saying about products was wrong and that “there’s no way physical/mineral sunscreens break me out” or that “the first aid beauty ultra repair cream didn’t break me out” and tried to sell me a product for my boyfriend whose skin is just as sensitive as mine a product filled with silicones and unnecessary ingredients (any sort of fruit/essential oil in products is a no go-these rarely serve a purpose besides a fragrance/texture)

Sorry for the rant lol

Your skin tone/coloring: Porcelain.
Do you find sales associates useful? Depends. At the Sephora I usually go to they’re really awesome: knowledgeable, friendly, generous with samples, and super helpful with recommendations.
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? Pretty much every time I go into my Sephora.
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I went into an Ulta close to me. It was 20 minutes before anyone even greeted me. I asked a few questions and was met with “I don’t know” and no offer to check on the answer. When I checked out (I bought 1 nail polish) my pre-paid gift card was declined, and she REALLY LOUDLY announced that my credit card was declined, like loud enough for the other 5 people in line to hear and turn to stare at me.

Skin tone – Porcelain with pink undertones
Helpful SA: Yes, the lady at the Elizabeth Arden counter in Myers Australia showed me how to put my eye shadows on properly – without expecting me to buy a product. I did return and buy their Misty Teal duo which is gorgeous.
Worst Experience: With my daughter in law, who was looking for a lipstick, was “pushed” into buying a Revlon lip stain (which was NOT what she wanted) for $30 – way overpriced. I convinced her to take it back immediately as it was not a good product, over priced and not what she wanted. The lady was way too pushy.

Your skin tone/coloring: Light olive skin, dark hair & eyes

Do you find sales associates useful? Sometimes. When I need help finding products they’re usually really good about that.

What was your best experience with a sales associate like?
I’ve had two. Once a long time ago, when I was frowning at a very colorful palette and had NO idea how to use it, I asked a Sephora SA for ideas. She ended up doing a look on me that was both very colorful, fun and very flattering. Another Sephora SA spent time patiently finding a dupe for a lipstick for me.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like?
Hmm…worst? I never veer toward Laura Mercier counters anymore–the one time I did I felt like the SA’s hovered. The SA’s in MAC stores aren’t very approachable–every time I’ve gone in one it’s like they pretend I’m not there. I work in retail too–I can understand not wanting to lose your voice after talking to the hundredth customer for the day but you can meet someone’s eye and smile.

Your skin tone/coloring:
NW15, N1
Do you find sales associates useful?
I actually do when I’m too lazy to research smth myself or see smth that I haven’t heard of before. That said, I can easily determine how much a SA knows about a product/brand within a first minute, so I just politely brush them off (I’m really good at showing that I should be left alone 🙂 ) if I see that they don’t know much.
What was your best experience with a sales associate like?
The girls at our MAC store are my makeup friends :), so any visit there is a good experience. They know their stuff, know what I like and what I don’t, what would suit me, so it’s basically almost like coming to friends saying “show me what’s new” or “I need this today” and the fun begins 🙂
Also, our only little NARS counter in the city has a great guy as a brand representative, so it’s always great to see him and talk about the brand and what he recommends, cause you can see he knows his brand really well and loves what he does and I commend him for that, considering how guys in the beauty industry are looked at where I live (sigh).
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like?
Oh, the usual, being looked down at, based on how you look and what you wear. Gets me every time 🙂 We have a chain of stores similar to Sephora, so SAs there can be really helpful when they like how you look and just treat you like a pest when the don’t. I learned to look through that when I do need assistance, cause once I get them to talk to me, they realize how I like makeup and that I know quite a lot and start being helpful and involved.

SKin tone/coloring: I consider myself medium (the medium brown shade of the deep spectrum) but the makeup industry considers me deep.
Makeup forever face & body 12, kat von d 71 for reference. MAC doesn’t really match me, NC50 is too dark for me until I get a tan. But for mac I am wearing NW43 in the studio sculpt foundation.
It didn’t match me until I spent a day at Aquatica.

Sales associates sometimes are useful. At Sephora. Especially.
Best experience: with a male sales associate, we had the same skin tone, he wore makeup, he was very polite, and he was recommending me a lot of products that I would never even consider. mainly from Nars.I find that the sales associates that are makeup artists (on the side), and the ones that you can tell who are REALLY into makeup, have a passion for it, and are not just there to work are the ones that give the best advice.

worst experience was when I was younger. I was at a MAC counter taking a look at some of the eyeshadows on display and I was swatching one of the darker pink shades (its a permanent color, cannot remember the name). But one of the fair skinned ladies ran over to me and said, ” Honey, you canot wear that you’re too dark.” most hurful thing ever said to me. And then you have those that are kind of pushy and ask if you need help, or try to make your decision for you.

SKin tone/coloring: I consider myself medium (the medium brown shade of the deep spectrum) but the makeup industry considers me deep.
Makeup forever face & body 12, kat von d 71 for reference. MAC doesn’t really match me, NC50 is too dark for me until I get a tan. But for mac I am wearing NW43 in the studio sculpt foundation.
It didn’t match me until I spent a day at Aquatica.

Sales associates sometimes are useful. At Sephora. Especially.
Best experience: with a male sales associate, we had the same skin tone, he wore makeup, he was very polite, and he was recommending me a lot of products that I would never even consider. mainly from Nars.I find that the sales associates that are makeup artists (on the side), and the ones that you can tell who are REALLY into makeup, have a passion for it, and are not just there to work are the ones that give the best advice.

worst experience was when I was younger. I was at a MAC counter taking a look at some of the eyeshadows on display and I was swatching one of the darker pink shades (its a permanent color, cannot remember the name). But one of the fair skinned ladies ran over to me and said, ” Honey, you canot wear that you’re too dark.” most hurtful thing ever said to me. And then you have those that are kind of pushy and ask if you need help, or try to make your decision for you.

Oh, and another situation: The sales associates telling you there is no sale going on at the time. (ULTA). It seems as if they want to be secretive about it in store.

Your skin tone/coloring: light warm

Do you find sales associates useful? Depends. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? Last time at the MAC counter when I was checking out the Toledo collection the mua who did my make-up was SUPER helpful.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? When I was shopping for a dress for my fiancé’s wedding I really got treated like a poor girl and got a backseat to the older clientele. Not nice.

Your skin tone/coloring: Fair/light, cool

Do you find sales associates useful? Sometimes

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? Someone asks me for help, once, in a reasonable tone of voice. Helps if I need it; goes away if I don’t. If I try to make eye contact, come help me. Don’t block my access to the merchandise, fiddle with a phone, get snobby or frosty with me, don’t upsell, don’t throw out empty compliments, don’t attack me with perfume. I’ve never had this experience.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? It’s so hard to choose just one. The Sephora Badgering experience, where there must have been a store meeting and now associates descend like starved animals onto the customers asking “to help”, so that no one can shop in peace. The Chanel experience where non-food waitresses ignore you with extreme contempt because they’re convinced it’s elegant. The MAC experience where people yell “CAN I HELP YOU” because the music is too damn loud to think much less shop. All together, I walk out in frustration, before I’ve completed my purchase, about 30% – 50% of the time.

Your skin tone/coloring: NC30 -NC37

Do you find associates useful. It depends. I do my due diligence when it comes to researching on products. But I always need a second opinion when it comes to shade matching, my skin color changes drastically, so I do need a hand with finding the right match

Best experience with a sales associate: Sephora SAs that give out samples of a foundation/primer. Other than the impossible task of finding the right shade, my skin can be very sensitive, so I really want a sample before I dive in into a full size product

Worst experience: A few years back, I walked in barefaced into a MAC counter at the Bay (When I don’t wear makeup, I can easily pass off as a teenager) and was looking for a couple of eyeshadows. I asked for options on what would look great, and the assoc would just look bored and told me “to pick whatever I liked”. It was an exhausting process, since I had no clue then. I asked her to try it on me, and she did a very poor job. I ended up buying the eyeshadows and returning them at a different store.

I avoid Shopper’s drug mart, the Bay and especially Holt Renfrew (upscale Canadian dept store), they tend to follow you around when you’re trying to browse. And I find that at Holt, and not just in makeup, they can be really judging if you don’t fit the “look” of their usual clientele

Your skin tone/coloring: NC45
Do you find sales associates useful? Sometimes, especially for colour-matching and for comparing formulas (of foundations, moisturizers, etc). I find them most useful in non-commission environments.
What was your best experience with a sales associate like? He colour-matched me, told me how to use the product, and was generally great.
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I was just getting into makeup and Iwanted to conceal my dark circles. I was at a counter for a brand that has a reputation for good concealer and has an extensive colour-correcting system. I asked an SA to help me choose a concealer, and he essentially told me that I HAD TO prime, colour-correct, conceal, and set, and if I wasn’t prepared for those steps I should walk away. I was intimidated, so I did walk away!

Your skin tone/coloring: Like NC10 or something

Do you find sales associates useful? No, I know my thang. Usually they can’t help me choose what to buy. I have Temptalia and Makeupalley, I don’t need no SA.

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? Several years ago when I didn’t know anything about makeup, and one of them could actually find a foundation pale enough for me. She really knew what she was doing.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? Most of my experiences with them are useless or worse. When they try to sell me a NC15 foundation when I already know it’s too dark, also I remember when they asked if I don’t wash my face because I had acne at the time. They usually don’t know a thing about what they’re doing, hehe… Many of them are nice though, and they know more about when they get stuff in stock again, etc.

Skin tone/coloring: Light neutral in actuality but looks fairer than it is (face is darker than most of the rest of my skin).
Do you find sales associates useful?: Absolutely. Sometimes you can’t express exactly what you want and a knowledgeable sales person with a true passion for the products can ask the right questions to clarify and direct you to the best choices. However, I find one product/brand settings helpful only when I know I want something from that brand…hate the hard sell behaviors.
Best sales associate experience?: At my local MAC counter. I wanted to get away from mineral foundation and didn’t know where to start. He asked great questions and listened between the lines to,find me a great option and was able to explain to me why I thought I had trouble finding the right shade and texture to achieve the look I wanted. His invaluable advice and choices pretty much started me down the road to full blown makeup obsession and gave me a great starting point for how to refine my makeup goals.
Worst experience with a sales associate?: Haven’t really had one. The closest I’ve come was in my local Ulta. The associate was fabulous but in the middle of asking her a question, some lady stepped in front of me and interrupted me mid-word to ask her to help her find a specific product. I had no idea I was invisible! The only thing I wish the associate did was to politely tell her she’d be happy to help her as soon as she finished answering my question. Instead, she cringingly followed the lady to the requested display to show her the product while shooting me the “I’m so sorry face” (can you tell I manage a retail store?). She did come back to help me though.

Your skin tone/colouring: Neutral, very fair.

Do you find sales associates useful? Not really. I usually know more about makeup than them and specifically about makeup on me and my skin. It bugs me when they start doling out unsolicited advice, even though I know they’re just trying to sell stuff. No, I don’t think people need oil-free everything, no I don’t believe your tinted lotion will magically match my skintone, and no, I don’t think I should wear a darker shade of foundation to “warm up my skin tone”. I’ve a drawer full of bronzers for that. And the best one: NO. Scientists have not *re-engineered atoms and molecules* to be bigger than my pores, specifically so that your primer won’t break me out. Please.

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? I don’t really know! I’ve met loads of lovely sales people. Off the top of my head, the Dior lady who foundation matched me was wonderful, I was genuinely guilty when the foundation didn’t suit my skin. There’s also a girl in Urban Decay who’s amazing, she’s very friendly and helpful. And I guess the best experience (although I don’t go there often) was a lady at the Smashbox counter who gave me lots of samples to take home to my sister after I told her she was sick in bed and had to bail on our shopping trip. That was super nice and again I felt bad when I didn’t like the foundation.

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? The girl who sold me Mac Cyber years ago claiming it was a different finish version of Rebel which I’d wanted to buy, because Rebel was out of stock and she didn’t want to lose the sale. I was really upset when I got home and hated Cyber, and couldn’t return it because I don’t live in the US and it’s not easy to return stuff here. Also MAC is like twice the price here so I was out the equivalent of thirty dollars. I was pissed off, but luckily my friend traded for Odyssey, which I like. I’ve researched all mid/high end purchases now and am much more knowledgeable and less likely to listen to sales people. I still am not a huge fan of MAC now, and I think a lot of it is to do with that incident. I also once met a really rude girl in Bobbi Brown who insisted my foundation match was wrong, claiming both times I’d been matched (by their sales staff) that they had made a mistake (the same mistake both times, apparently), and even going so far as insisting that the foundation shade range was ‘unreliable’ and I must have been matched to a bad batch of foundation that was not the colour it was meant to be. Everyone was wrong but her, even the foundation itself, and she wasn’t even matching me, I was just talking to her in store. She wouldn’t believe that I was just wearing a lot of bronzer that day (like always, lol). It was really weird and kind of rude, so I gave up and decided to find a different foundation. Now I use Double Wear and I’m much happier.

Your skin tone/coloring: Extremely fair with a yellow undertone

Do you find sales associates useful? Only if I’m trying to find a specific product, usually. Other than that I trust my own judgment more when purchasing,

What was your best experience with a sales associate like? I once had a long conversation with an Ulta associate who shared my unfortunately oily skin. She recommended me a great gel cleanser at a good price, which I still use to this day!

What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? A Sephora associate once laughed at me when I told her I was wearing Revlon foundation. She asked, I answered! Yikes.

Your skin tone/coloring: Fair
Do you find sales associates useful?: No, I rahter find them annoying.
What was your best experience with a sales associate like?: The sales associate was discrete and she only helped me when I asked her. Otherwise she left me looking and trying products wihtout interrupting.
What was your worst experience with a sales associate like?: She was following me at every step making me feel like I was some kind of delinquent. This happens quite frequently actually…

My color/tone is fairly neutral but very pale! people think I am a lot tanner than I actually am… I am super pale and usually the lightest color in ranges..

That being said, I do not like sales associates for color matches and the like.. they always make me look like an oompa loompa lol also 8 feel lime they just push products that are new and not necessarily the best thing for me!

At ulta one time, this sales associate was so nice and helpful and helped me find my favorite foundation! She listened to what I wanted and was not annoyed that I didn’t go with her first pick of foundation for me.. she really worked with me.

My worst experience may have been at sephora and I just felt ignored and unhappy.. it was packed though, but still haha

■Your skin tone/coloring: Yellow toned, fair.

■Do you find sales associates useful? No, usually not. I know we all have different opinions, but I HATE when associates try to “push” products.
I also am surprised at how inexperienced sephora reps are (at my store at least) It’s like they have never watched a youtube video, they lack creativity. And they can’t shade match to save their own lives.

■What was your best experience with a sales associate like? A rep in a JCP Sephora literally got me hooked on face products. She was not pushy, and really picked out products that I liked based on my needs. I walked out of there with every product she used on my face (foundation, highlighter, primer, eye primer, bronzer, coutour, brushes, ect..) No rep has EVER helped me out like she did, and to this day she is still that helpful! If more reps were like this- and tested prodcuts so they actually knew the good/bad about them, make up associates could actually sell us products we love.

■What was your worst experience with a sales associate like? I have over heard IT cosmetics reps at Ulta pushing their products on people, when they perfectly described what they were looking for as products from another brand. The same rep refused to show me to products other than IT brand.

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