What are the top three best things that a retail associate can do to help you at the makeup counter?

What are the top three best things that a retail associate can do to help you at the makeup counter? Share what you find works for you best!

I like when they acknowledge me and ask for help – but then are totally happy to leave me alone if I say I’m just looking. I also LOVE when they’re knowledgeable about their products. I think it’s great when they’re able to offer samples or to try a product on you as well.

Thanks to CeeBee for today’s question!

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Rachel Avatar

Honestly, as mean as this sounds, the best thing they can do is leave me alone unless I ask for help. I know a lot of people don’t like approaching them, but I usually know what I’m doing and if I don’t, I’ll ask. I get annoyed when they follow me around the store and repeatedly ask me if I need any help.

JJ Avatar

I was going to comment this exact same thing. They best thing they can do is leave me alone until I ask them for help with something. And to NOT stare at me while I browse. I’ll leave the store if they annoy me.

Mallory Avatar

I totally understand what you ladies mean, but having worked for a cosmetic counter, managers expect you to connect with the customers. If you guys think it’s rude for an associate to come up to you, we also talk about how rude it is when customers get annoyed when we approach them. We are only doing our jobs. IMO πŸ™‚ If someone says that they are just looking most of us say, “Well, let me know if you need anything.” Though, I know that there are much more aggressive associates as well.

Amy Avatar

This is really old, but I don’t know if you’re aware that our managers DEMAND for us to ask customers if they need help. Most of us will leave you alone if you say you’re looking, but some associates are stalkers and I get that.

And some customers actually expect to be asked if they need help, and if they don’t ask anyone and we don’t approach them, they get upset for being ignored.

Erin Avatar

I like when an associate will recommend a product for my skin tone but doesn’t push me to buy anything… also when they give out a catalog, store card, etc. so I can keep it in my purse.

Jules Avatar

Shade match well for your skin tone and be honest when there isn’t a product in their brand that suits you, let you go outside or leave to test the colour or duration of their product and go above and beyond to find the answer if needed.

John Avatar

1. Definitely be knowledgeable about their products. (I.e. I hate it when I mention a product and they’re like… uh which one’s that again? Or… do we still carry that?

2. When they can be honest and say, “no this doesn’t look good on you.” Basically, to not always agree with everything I say, just so I’ll buy their products. For example, an associate from NARS tried on the Laguna bronzing powder on one side my face, and on the other side (at my request) she tried on the Laura Mercier Bronzing Powder in Dune Bronze, and we both agreed that the LM looked better on me. I love when they aren’t pushing their products!

3. When an associate treats me like a buddy. Like when he/she greets me by name and sends me samples of products from their brand and other brands that he/she thinks I would enjoy. Like today, I received a letter from Nordstrom, Clarins counter, with their new foundation in my shade. That was thoughtful and just makes me more open to shop there.

Becca Avatar

definetly! I hate it when I go to MAC and I know all the names of the new brands, and they mix them up and don’t know what I’m talking about!!!
I also hate it when they follow me around, I like it when they ask me if I want help once, and then wait until I come to them!

Yumi Avatar

Pretty much if they don’t act snooty and answer my questions, I don’t mind even if I have to prompt them a bit. And if they aren’t too pushy about making the sale…I’ve ran into some horrible ones needless to say!

Christina Avatar

1. acknowledge my presence
2. leave me be if i am clearly browsing & don’t need help
3. give suggestions when they are asked to, but don’t try to up-sell for the sake of making commission/making a sale

LM Avatar

1. Offer assistance without pushing.
2. Know the merchandise and be able to answer questions.
3. Do not take my info to inform me about sales and then do a mass email that CC’s my email to every customer you have…

Molly Avatar

I love honest and knowledgeable employees. I hate when they bs with you when they don’t know specifics about products as opposed to just saying they don’t know and grabbing someone who does. I love assistance when it’s needed like not knowing where a product is, or if I’m looking for lets say a natural neutral blush the employee gives me options and lets me play with them. I hate being hounded.. like at counters in department stores. I don’t have the problem in most in line stores.

On a side note I do find problems with MUAs giving me a the same foundation each time at least when it comes to MAC. At one store I;m NW15 the other I’m NC something.. ugh sorry for the rant


celyna Avatar

I totally agree!!! I hate to be ignored when I am wandering around a counter. I feel it is rude and bad customer service. If someone acknowledges me when I walk in I am more likely to purchase something. I get everyone is different but they need to ask if you need help. Sorry to vent but I was ignored recently at my MAC counter.

Amanda Avatar

I had the same experience at the MAC counter yesterday. I went to Bobbi Brown instead. I waited 20 minutes to ask be asked if I needed help, was approached by two different girls as they were ringing people up and was told it would be a few minutes, and then they both went to different customers. I had enough so I went to BB (my favorite, but I was hoping to save money with MAC.)

Brittney Avatar

Not to be pushy in products – nothing is more annoying then have you selling me the latest product when i probably know all about it from temptalia anyway – just wish they would ask before they go to do their shpeal
To be knowledgeable – this is just a given for me
Be respectful of my knowledge – i love it when they ask questions in regards to application or anything really so they can help me build on my knowledge of what i am buying… Love it! πŸ™‚

MakeupMonster Avatar

* First of all, she/he shouldn’t be pushy or trying to convince me to buy a certain brand because they get paid to sell that certain brand.
* Next, I’d like the associate to ask me what I’m looking for in a product and what products I’m currently using.
* And I like the service at our Amsterdam MAC Store to try the makeup on your face or feature you use the makeup on. The advisors are honest and they have never tried to push me to buy something I didn’t ask for.

Honi Avatar

I love when theyre knowledgable about other new items in the makeupworld and able to compare and discuss that in response to what I’m considering buying or what I’m looking for. And willingness to offer samples are a definite yes for me, just makes me think they really want to try to help me find something that works for me rather then just sell sell sell.

Nicole Avatar

No. 1 Listen. When I’m looking for a new color / product and need advice from the sales assistent, I normally have expectations about which characteristics the prduct should have and which not. So please listen and give me the best advice.
No 2 Honesty. If a color don’t compliment my skintone I want to hear that and not oh that’s such a bestseller, everybody has to own it.
No 3 Time. If I need recommendations I want to try a product and take my time to make a desicion. If I get a free sample for skincare that’s phansastic.

tracy Avatar

give samples, and a smile would be nice, in england you have to beg for any sort of a sample and the sales assistants are so miserable, i order most of my products on line because of it. i refuse to give my hard earned money to people like that.x

Michelle Avatar

-acknowledge me and then let me browse;
-answer any questions I might have, and provide me with important information; and then
-help me choose with colors and choices that are best suited for my skin, complexion, and wants/needs.
Bonus points for when sales associates go beyond their particular brand and suggest something from another that might work better for me.

condesa Avatar

I love when they are kind and respectful and leave you alone browsing; then I like when they come quick if you call them for help (hate when they say they’ll be with you in a sec and then don’t come and maybe you’re in a rush) and I like when they can teach me something I don’t know already (it rarely happens, as often I know much more than them, but when they are more prepared than me, I am happy to learn!!).

GinaTheresa Avatar

To add to your three – I love it when they can recommend a new color I would have been too afraid to try on my own. And I love it when they give their honest opinion if something really suits me or not. If you can find an honest MA that you know you can trust – it’s like pure gold! On the flip side I hate it when MAs try to sell you something you totally don’t want, and won’t let it go!! I have certain counters I always avoid for just that reason.

aclineo Avatar

There’s basically one huge way customer service can improve at makeup counters — STOP SELLING SO HARD! It actually makes me feel bad whenever I ask for advice on something without purchasing because I can’t always afford it . . . :0(

the_izzle Avatar

I especially like when they try products out on you. I took my girlfriend to the local MAC store to get tested so we could find out her shades and put together a list of the things we wanted to get for her.
The MUA never ever budged from her position and just stood there talking about the products. My girlfriend was totally turned off. Thankfully I am regular so I spoke to the Manager who was able to rescue a sale.

Chelsie Avatar

I wish some of the Sephora associates I’ve come across were more knowledgeable. It seems like every time I go into a store, I know more about the products than they do–and they end up learning something from my purchase!

Cassykins Avatar

I like being greeted, I like when someone makes themselves available for my questions should I need, but what I love the most is when they acknowledge that I am wearing makeup and therefore probably don’t need to be treated like a novice. I don’t know how many times I will go in with something “complex” on and have someone try to introduce me to the amazing wonder that is mascara. No way! When a MUA will treat me more like an equal, that is a true sign of a good shopping experience.

Coral Avatar

I’m the same about them acknowledging you right as you enter the store but not being pushy when you say you don’t need help, and being knowledgable about their products.
But I would also appreciate that when I go into a counter to say buy a foundation, that they wouldn’t try to shove a concealer, powder, highlighter, bronzer, and blush down my throat. And get offended when I decline. I know they’re trying to upsell but I’m not trying to dropp 200 bucks in one trip.

That and annoying membership cards. If I say I don’t want to sign up drop it. I’m not going to change my mind if you ask 15 more times

Lauren Avatar

1. politely acknowledge my presence
2. but leave me alone unless i ask for help
3. provide samples

seriously, if she does this, i’m probably dropping a hundred + anyways, so it’s a win win

Evelyn Avatar

Definitely to acknowledge ALL customers and ask if they need help plus to be very knowledgeable about their products. I’d definitely consider it a plus too if they had a good eye for colors that work for the customer (and also ask you about lifestyle so they’re not trying to bronze you within an inch of your life when you don’t actually like to walk around bronzed!) lol

leesie Avatar

Acknowledgment is definitely the most important for me. I recognize that counters/stores can be very busy, but I am likely to get frustrated and leave if no one at least says “hello.” It’s also important that they not hover obnoxiously if I say I don’t need help. I won’t name names, but there’s a store whose associates do this /all the time/, and it drives me crazy.
Also, it definitely goes a long way if they know about their products and where to find what you need. Going to a store looking for something specific and having the associates look at you blankly is never a good sign.

Denise Avatar

1. Be nice to me,
2. give me suggestions about something I’m looking for
3. have time to test a product on me and not be in a rush

πŸ™‚ great question!! it’s really hard to find a nice person to help you out at the makeup counter.

Viola, Killer Colours Avatar

Oh! I love it when they’re open minded and happy, and dare to talk about other stuff than just the product and how much you should buy it. You know, exchanging a few words about nice trends or such. Bonding a little bit! I know that makes me buy atleast. haha.

kate Avatar

now i’m a business manager for a global premium cosmetics brand in the UK who i adore to work for…
being on an extremely large account i do have a number of girls i need to manage and keep up to date training wise.
yes i do agree with that sales people from an array of retail areas can be pushy but in particular with our brand it is a company expectation to welcome each and EVERY single customer without ‘stalking’ them or being pushy.
it saddens me when you do get the customer who thinks you are going to force something on them after a single ‘hello’ and smile that they can sometimes be abrupt and rather rude it can be a bit demotivating but thankfully they are few and far between.

Please note, beauty advisors have a ‘reputation’ for being snobby and stuck up but we certainly are not all like that. If you did have a bad experience, shop else where and don’t give them your custom and give a second chance to another counter – i’m sure you will be happy once you make a ‘click’ with someone

Kalex Avatar

I just hate it when they’re not knowledgeable. I went into my Sephora the other day to test out the new Dr. Jart BB Creams and got, “BB Cream? I’ve never heard of it”. Then when I asked another SA if they had the new “Honey” Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment she had no idea what I was talking about either.

Vivian Avatar

If I go in and start browsing the products, please, just leave me alone. It seriously makes me want to leave as fast as I can when they ask if I need anything, I answer I’m just looking and they stand by my side and comment on everything I touch.

If I go in and start looking around and don’t approach anything in particular, kind of just stand there, it’s nice if they come and ask me if I need anything.

It’s nice when they’re helpful and nice even if it doesn’t look like I’m going to make a big purchase. I’m more likely to feel comfortable and start looking around and maybe even buy more than I initially planned to. If they’re rude or seem completely uninterested because I just asked for something cheap, I’ll probably just get that and leave. (I suppose everybody likes to feel welcome and some sales people don’t realize/care for such a simple thing.)

Jenn Avatar

If an item is not in the drawers, check the stock room or tell me another store near by that DOES have it in stock. Don’t just tell me “We don’t have it. I don’t know when we’ll get it.”

Dorna Avatar

1. Know their product line at least as well as I do, and be really honest. The people at my MAC really understand that some of their ‘deals’ and products are hits and some are misses, and I really like that.
2. Offer to make a sample. I hate it when they’re not understanding about that, which is why I like sephora!
3. I do like to be approached and not ignored, but I also like it when they happily leave me alone if I say I’m browsing. I don’t mind if they come back and check to see if I need anything a few minutes later, but once this lady at a dermablend counter was awkwardly hovering over my shoulder like I was gonna steal or something! it totally turned me off from buying anything.

Ashley Avatar

I’ve went to my (MAC) makeup counter only a couple of times because each time was awful

First time: The associate would NOT leave me alone. She said “I dont have anything to do so I’ll just sit here and watch you…” umm how about not? She wouldn’t leave me alone about wanting to try different lipsticks on me..I just had to leave without buying anything and I didn’t even look at everything i wanted =/

Second time: The sales associate was just plain rude

Third time: I asked about a certain pigment (I think Vanilla). The two ladies said MAC didn’t even make it. I told them they did, and they just looked at me like I was stupid…didn’t appreciate that either

So leave me alone, be nice to me, and KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SELLING and don’t look at me like I’m stupid when I ask about a product..

Lauryn Avatar

Ashley: Had that happen a FEW times. Including when I went back to get “Chic-A-Boom” lippie.. ANd, when i asked for a Boudoir Hues palettes (see my comment below), was told no such thing.. Yea, thanks.

Kumori Avatar

Glad you made a blog about this. I’m going to interview for a position for cosmestics counter soon so its good to get some insight from the customers.

emi Avatar

This may be rude but when ever I go to the MAC in OR I always know more about MAC than any person that works at the place. It drives me crazy. They dont even know about lipsticks when I ask. I worked for clinique and its just so important to know what you work with!

Ryan Avatar

Don’t ask me if I need help every fifteen seconds! When I say, “I’m just looking,” don’t roll your eyes like I’m not going to buy anything. You’re working in retail– TRY to analyze when I need help, and actually ask! Bring the needed products, if I’m looking at blush, bring a brush! Also– don’t do my makeup worse than I would!

Tracey Avatar

Many people are saying the same things and I agree:

I like to be left alone to browse but it is nice to have an available assistant should you need help.

The assistant should know their products.

The assistant should be friendly.

These things are pretty important to me as I’m partially sighted and need help reading the names of products although the colour side of things I’m OK with so can swatch for England! πŸ™‚

meme Avatar

I also like to be left alone to look and play. Maybe just acknowledge they are there AND when I DO need someone still BE THERE for me…hate the nod then they ignore when you do have ?’s. Also, I really like the sales rep to load me up with samples, esp products I want to try before I buy. Ditto with you on liking to have a sales rep who KNOWS their product line(s). I am constantly amazed at the difference between Sephora stores in the skin care area where you can tell that you know more than the person working that area of the store does. I really like to visit one Sephora over another to talk skin care when I am in need of a new product or want to try a new one and find my fav sales person is there who does not recommend the standard things always. He looks at my face, hears what I say, asks the right questions, honestly tells me what he and others have found from even a most prestige, well used product (such as when he told me to save my $ on skin cleaning wipes from Philosophy – they burn and you cannot use them around your eyes at all, then guided me for my next time I want to try some that are up from drugstore brand of same to Ole Hendrickson’s cleaning wipes as what he finds are the best. He also is good to tell me when he knows of something that his store does not carry in house, but is available on line that he thinks I might like. I REALLY miss (with the recession) having lost the only local dept store chain that had a real make-up counter section. I buy a lot more on line now however when I don’t get (or use) any sales rep help.

Martha Avatar

Well, some people steal samples, some others open products, and is part of their jobs not only look after clients but make sure the products are in good condition for selling. I think ladies here are a little hard on them.

Lynn Avatar

I understand what you all are saying, but there are things you have to understand back. You may browsing, but we don’t know you and we can’t trust you. We are required to watch you for the safety of our product, the testers and the BNIB. Sephoras and Ultas get stolen from like you wouldn’t believe and the store is responsible for that loss, again this goes for testers too. Additionally, these are businesses, not your playgrounds. You don’t buy, the store closes, you go back to ordering online and hoping you like the product. Sorry for the rant but this post got my defenses up.

CeeBee Avatar

Lynn, I understand the point you’ve made and to some extent I agree with you – though in my opinion, counters can be laid out with testers readily available and the product stored in cabinets or drawers away from general public access and stores should invest in better security rather than treating all customers like potential criminals.

Lynn Avatar

That’s one reason I specifically used Sephora and Ulta as my examples, we don’t have the luxury of being able to store product under glass, so as a result we are required to do what is called “customer servicing” which literally means shadowing customers and engaging them to make sure the don’t steal. We don’t care if you’re in sweats or trendy clothes carrying a Coach bag, you’re gonna get “customer serviced”, because the big wigs make us. Sorry. :/

CeeBee Avatar

OK – we don’t have Sephora or Ulta stores in NZ so I’ve never been in one – but I have been “stalked” around a department store (and not a high end one at that!) and it was awful. In the end they confronted me and accused me of stealing and when I pulled my store bag and receipt out and handed it over to them, they just glanced at it, handed it back and walked off without a word. No apology or acknowledgment at all.
I know they’re just doing their jobs but it still sucked.

Catherine Avatar

I don’t know if ANY of you ever work at a counter but they don’t have a choice to push products and to keep asking if you need help. They’re there to make CASH! And if they didnt, they will loose their job!

Amanda Avatar

I had a positive experience at the Bobbi Brown counter at my Nordstrom yesterday.

1. The girl was friendly and said hello but waited until I asked her for help. Once I approached her, she was friendly and listened to what I wanted.

2. I told her I wanted a night look, and she was able to work with what I told her I had already so that I didn’t have to buy too many new products.

3. She walked me through the look step by step, answered questions honestly, and didn’t push any products on me at the end.

I ended up buying more than planned BECAUSE she was so good!

t.l. Avatar

Greet me, be honest if something will not work for me, and be knowledgeable. As a beauty advisor, that is how I treat my clients. But as for being hounded while looking, that comes from the management and that is how you are trained to sell. I have been reprimanded because I left clients to browse and didn’t hound them, because management thought I was ignoring them and not getting the sale. In fact, I got the better sale.

Mariella Avatar

I would agree with the comment about samples of products or at least applying the product on me so I can see how I like it on me and my face/colouring. I also appreciate a SA that LISTENS to me, to my concerns or what it is I’m looking for rather than trying to sell me the latest or newest item that they’re pushing on everyone from 15 to 50. I also like attentive help but not someone hovering when I need some time to look around.

Mallory Avatar

1 dont follow me everywhere and keep asking me if i need help 2. when i do need help treat me with respect cough cough it seems like workers at mac everywhere treat u llike ur 5 and totally ignore you 3. do ur research and know what ur doin

Janalyn Avatar

Yes definetly not following me around is one, being honest about their products and not try to just sell me something to make their commission, and lastly just being friendly and helpful with a good attitude. It turns me off when I can tell a salesperson is having a bad day.

Kirari Avatar

1.) Actually listen to me. If I say that I don’t wear lipgloss during a consultation, don’t try to force them on me. If I say that I’m not interested in certain colors, chances are really good that I’m not interested in certain colors.

2.) Look at me. If a MUA is going to recommend certain products, then they should base their choices on would actually work for me, not what is popular at the time, or what they wear. Nothing aggravates me more than MUAs that insists something is the perfect shade for me when it makes me look like death warmed over. Even worse, are the ones that will try to promote foundation shades that are obviously way too dark.

3.) Be courteous. If I say politely that I’m just browsing and will ask if I need help, please don’t cop an attitude. Its amazing how many tantrums I’ve seen thrown over a smile and a “No thank you, I’m just browsing.” Yes, I know most MUAs work on commission, but do they really think rolling their eyes and huffing are going to land them a sale?

Lauryn Avatar

You know what? They can lose the attitude. Seriously. I realize we all have bad days, however, i’m always NICE and i don’t need the issues with a previous customer taken out on me, and the “holyier than thou crap can stop too. I love how i get that treatment until i whip out my Mac Pro card.. yea, thanks… 2nd, please know your products. I had an associate at a MAC counter literally BARK at me ” There is no such thing and you don’t know wht you’re talking about, go to the MAC Store and make up a palette” when i asked if the counter had the Boudoir Hues palette. I wrote the store manager and let them have it. Retail is hard work, and i know that, but the attitude needs to go.

jamie Avatar

1. Know their product completely, along with the benefits and allergy info.
2. Have a great, friendly and knowledgeable demeanor.
3. Be as excited about “playing” with makeup as I am.

I don’t go to the makeup counter unless I want to play around or test a product I plan to buy, and I understand that most counter reps get paid commission, so I won’t waste their time if I’m unsure. At the same time, I don’t need samples or gimmicks to attract me to a line, so I am honestly irritated if the first thing the rep mentions is a bonus or gift. Your line should speak for itself, and you don’t need to manipulate me into meeting a purchase minimum or quarterly free gift. I’d rather have an awesome, high quality product that I can use everyday, and fun, friendly reps who understand what their products really do.

Sharon Avatar

1.Say hello to me.

2. I’m ok if they ask me right away if they can help me find whatever it is I’m looking for, as long as they don’t try to push things on me I didn’t come looking for to being with.

3.Offer me samples or a quick try at some products that might be suited for me.
I have some crazy allergies so trying things first works the best for me if I have never bought it before.

Laurel Avatar

I don’t need the associate to push me, but I want them to be available if I need to ask them something. I hate running around the store looking for an associate or following them around trying to ask them something.

SAMPLES! And I don’t mean only when I spend over $100. If they see me pondering something, offering a sample would make me more likely to purchase after using the sample, plus then I would be more likely to buy from that associate.

Don’t pressure me. I’ve been in Sephora where I had already chosen a foundation and put it in my basket and I’ve had an associate for another brand tell me why her’s was better and the foundation I had already chosen was crap, then cake the makeup on my face and tell me how great I look. Also, telling me that I need anti-aging skincare when I’m not even out of college yet is ridiculous, even after I’ve told them my skin is sensitive and doesn’t like anti-aging stuff.

CeeBee Avatar

First, they should be approachable, friendly and offer to help but not be pushy or snooty.
Second, they should have product knowledge – know colours, shades, formulas, products benefits, prices, quantity, etc. And they should know enough to remove testers when they are out of stock of a certain thing or at least know when more is arriving and take my name and number to notify me when it arrives!
Third, leave me alone if I tell you I’m just browsing. Don’t try and push a sales pitch on me and please don’t follow me around like I’m about to shoplift something if I happen to be dressed down!

Marianthi Avatar

1. I love it when they do not “dog” me after I tell them I just browse.
2. I greatly enjoy when they are knowledgeable about their products. In Greece we do not receive new products/lines as fast as I would like, so when I ask “do you have this…” or “When is this coming…” and they stare at me with lost eyes, I just walk away. I guess this has more to do with their managers not informing them, though.
3. Despite my budget, I am LOYAL to Sisley. Because their head MUA recognizes and greets me every time she sees me, and most important for 1 1/2 year when I was unemployed and could not afford anything (and told her), she would still contact me and offer me all the free specials as if I was a regular buying customer. And this means A LOT to me.

Airisu Avatar

1.Acknowledge/greet you but let you browse on your own.

2. When they’re not only knowledgeable about their products but also about deals/sales. For instance, I was at BBW today and had a coupon for a free item and the RA there was so nice, she scanned the most pricey one for free. She even offered to do several transactions so my friend and I could get a better deal! Now that’s good customer service. πŸ™‚

3. When they’re, overall, nice to you. Like they complement you on your makeup or your outfit OR they remember you from a previous trip – to me it’s nice that they took the time out to notice and make a personal connection with you , it makes me want to seek them out the next time I go there.

Chester Avatar

I love it when they ask if I need help but leave me alone if I want to take a look at the products on my own. When they really listen to me and advice me on the products that I’m asking for (advice for a lip stick in a better formula or shade rather than try to sell me a lip gloss). And when they know their products. Nothing turns me off more than clueless SAs.

Christopher Avatar

I’d say the number one thing is to not treat me like I’m four. It seems every time I go into a Sephora, and they see me looking at something, they always ask, “Do you know what that is?” Uh… no I just go around the store picking up random things that I have no idea about, and then throw it in my basket. The saddest part is half the time THEY don’t even know what that product is, so they have no room to question me haha.

However, when an associate comes up to me and asks me if I’ve seen the new shades of that product for a new collection, however, that’s when I don’t mind being questioned.

Luckily the Sephora, MAC, and Lush locations that I prefer to go to are all in the same mall where everyone is really kind and knowledgable.

Niki Avatar

1. A no pressure sale, if I say I am looking I left alone but when I need assistance they are there to be helpful.
2. The are knowledgeable about makeup, makeup application and are willing to share this information.
3. If I am interested in product, they give samples and also if I buy a product and don’t like, I can take it back hassle free.

lily Avatar

#1. Acknowledgement! I went to MAC the other day and was surprised to be greeted as soon as I entered. Most of my makeup counter experience has been hoofing around with product in hand, searching for someone to take my money!
#2. Samples! Once I went to the Chanel counter for the launch of their new coco shine line and wasn’t offered a single sample. I came there specifically for the launch, at least let me try the product!

Marie Avatar

I can understand if the associates at Sephora don’t know about every product from every brand that they carry because they have so many but I think what’s more frustrating is going to say, a MAC counter, which specializes in a SOLE brand, and they can’t answer questions for you or they don’t remember certain shades. I find that much worse and annoying. I know the SAs at my local Sephora have even been so kind as to look up a product online for me or even call other retailers to help me find what I’m looking for if they don’t carry it in their store. This helped me sympathize with them around Xmas when even though they were flooded with customers, a certain SA didn’t know about a product I was looking for, but she still helped me as best as she could. πŸ™‚ Now, when I’ve been at the MAC counter, I’ve gotten “Uh, was that limited edition or which line was that with because I don’t remember that one? Maybe you can look online for it?”

studiodummies Avatar

1. take notice that I’m standing there waiting for them – it’s frequent in Sephora and MAC – I realize they are busy, but just a quick acknowledgement that I exist might be nice – I try to be patient but will end up leaving if I’m standing there like an idiot for 10 min. or more.

2. Really know their product and be able to give a clear, honest opinion about what I should use if I’m asking for something specific – and also show me or tell me how to use it properly to get the best out of it.

3. I would like to be able to check things out and not feel guilty if I don’t purchase something. I don’t know – there’s many times I will go in and they will ask me or show me something and I’ll ask to try it, but then if I say I like it, but yet don’t buy it, they look/act either bothered that I asked about it or disappointed in some way I – I’m not wealthy and sometimes I will go to buy 1 thing, but want to try something for next time.

Leticia Avatar

I agree itΒ΄s a much nicer experience to shop for makeup when the associate is kind, helpful but not pushy and knows the lineΒ΄s products from A to Z.

cloroxcowgirl Avatar

Showing how to use products, or what products work well together is really helpful to me. Just taking the time to be courteous and impart information is appreciated (it’s their job, afterall). Not being pushy is a definitely plus, and free samples are always nice too if you are on the fence about buying a product.

Pawsha Avatar

1. Leave me alone until I ask for help.
2. Know your products, so I dont have to explain when your getting them.
3. Give me a cotton pad with remover on it to get the 47 different lipstick shades I just tried on off my lips, so I still have lips when I leave with all the lipstick I just bought.

Sherrie Baldwin Avatar

The 3 best things a retail associate can do for me at the makeup counter is:
1) Tell me the truth if a color is not right for me
2) Tell me about their newest products and give me samples
3) NOT tell me that this is not their regular counter but they would be glad to show me something comparable at THEIR counter

stacy Avatar

I dislike being ambushed by 8 people in the same store who just want me to buy something. Then I say hey, I am just looking honestly, I just want to know what you have. They walk away with out a word. I like the girl at the MAC counter who’s very helpful and patient. I don’t like sephora that much they always seem to have an opposite polarity to me. Like I’ll walk in there knowing what I want and I can’t find it and I get frustrated because no one was around to help…

exotic_ambrosia Avatar

1.) Shade match CORRECTLY. Give me a handheld mirror and let me go outside in natural light to check the color match! Most stores have that dim lighting that makes everyone look so much prettier but isn’t good for color matching!
2.) Tell me of any upcoming deals/sales/promotions/collections πŸ™‚
3.) FREE SAMPLES! The ladies at the counters where I live are really good about giving samples. They don’t pressure me to buy foundation/skincare, instead they give me a generous sample and tell me to try it out first πŸ™‚

Anya Avatar

I’m fairly clueless when it comes to deciding on new shades, and I’m really, really pale and ‘yellow’ based in complexion, so I stick stubbornly to my ‘usual’ shades. But if I want or need something new, the very best thing ever is a very knowledgable Sales rep who understands color.

Also wearing inspirational makeup! A gal at my local Sephora had the cutest daytime glitter look that she enthusiastically showed me how to do, and I’ve been rocking it on fridays!

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