What are the top three worst things that a retail associate can do that'll get you to run from the makeup counter?

What are the top three worst things that a retail associate can do that’ll get you to run from the makeup counter? Share what you find turns you off!

I hate when one brand will rant about another brand or put it down.  I’d rather hear about what makes your product great than why another brand sucks.  I dislike it when associates gossip in front of customers or talk about customers as they leave.  It also encourages me to leave quickly if there is no acknowledgement.

Thanks to CeeBee for today’s question!

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Dusty Avatar

Ha! This is a hilarious one! I agree on your points though. I’d say my top three are:

1) Being ignored or talked down to.
2) Hearing them gossip about a customer or another employee.
3) Trash talking their job or making other big statements about their personal life that I don’t want to know. I just wanted to buy some lipstick, I don’t care that your boss thinks your stealing money from the cash drawer… Wait. ARE YOU?!?!

Chau Avatar

same here

1st – being ignore or given a “do-you-have-money-to-buy-this” look (well, if I don’t why I bother spending time at the counter)
2nd – dispute other brands
3rd – did bad makeover job

Joyce Avatar

Cellphone usage, no acknowledgment because of worthless chatter, unprofessional customer service. I’ve had people talk to me like I’m a child or a casual buddy and that just doesn’t fly with me.

shontay07108 Avatar

1. Watching me after I said I’m just looking
2. Trying to sell a product to me (I’ve done my homework)
3. Trying to put something on my face after I said, I don’t want to try it

I, too dislike it when people put down other brands. I was at Estee Lauder and they were talking smack about Mac. Come on, I don’t need to hear all of that. Tell me how awesome your lip gloss is instead.

I don’t recall hearing gossip at a counter, but that wouldn’t bother me. I’d think it’s funny. To each his own, eh?

alex Avatar

That’s too funny. I had an employee at the MAC counter in Saks talk shizz about Bobbi Brown products after I mentioned that I had to return something after an allergic reaction… I think they get competitive in stores where there is a sales quota/commission involved.

Mabeline Avatar

I think that’s funny when one brand speaks badly of another brand, especially when the two brands are owned by the same company. Oddly enough, I don’t think the SA even realizes this.

MochaKnitster Avatar

#1 – Ignoring me (I am a WOC) or assuming I cannot afford the products I’m interested in
#2 – Not knowing how to color match WOC (‘m beige w/strong yellow/olive undertones)
#3 – Not knowing what the products are made of (such as brush fibers) or offer to help me find out if a product contains something that I’m allergic to (like lanolin)
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate my local MAC store – everyone is so nice and they really know their stuff!

Sandy Avatar

I totally agree with one and two. SAs have suggested products other than what I tell them I am interested in, “because this is a lot cheaper, probably in your price range,” when I make twice as much money as they do! My worst experiences with this, and with people who don’t know how to match women of color, have been at MAC. This really makes me angry and I will not purchase from these brands.

Lisa Avatar

Wow, people should NOT assume how much someone can afford! Its so ignorant! Im a SA and I work at a boutique and I *hate* it when my co-workers do this! Its embrassing…

Denise F. Avatar

Pushy, loud ones; that talk over you, or fellow employees.
Ones that want to take up all of your time,by overselling.
People who put their coworkers down and yell at them,in front of customers.

Krista Avatar

1) Being ignored
2) When the sale associates follows your every move when you’re looking/swatching the products
3) When you ask a simple question and they answer you in a rude way.

clementine Avatar

2. THIS. LOL, I can’t even explain how often I’ve gotten uncomfortable and just powerwalked away from a counter because the associates keep following me around. I mean, I know it’s policy to a certain extent, but there’s a difference between making sure you’re available and insinuating that the customer is untrustworthy.

FlyingBuffalo Avatar

1. Completely ignoring me.
2. Talking down to me, or acting like I might steal something (I look young)
3. Giving me a not-so great “makeover”…

CeeBee Avatar

First, if they have an “attitude” or are condescending in any way toward me. If you think you’re too good to take my money, there is no way in heck I am giving any of it to you.
Second, if they have dirty fingernails – ewww! Or really badly chipped polish…
Third, if they have WAYYYYY too much makeup on – having 39 million different products on your face doesn’t actually make you an expert, it just makes you look like a drag queen out on the town.
Likewise the super tantastic saleswoman I saw in St Lukes last month – I just could not take her seriously, she looked so far removed from anything even remotely close to my idea of normal. It was sort of horribly fascinating to see…

Kelly C. Avatar

Many counters require SAs to wear a certain number of products on their face, irregardless of how much they might actually prefer to wear. So I try not to jump to conclusions on that fact alone. If its very poorly applied, fine, but ‘too much’ may be out of their control.

CeeBee Avatar

Hey Kelly & Paula, I totally get what you are saying and I’m sorry I’ve given the wrong impression – it’s not so much the fact that they have so many, it’s actually how it’s applied and the overall end result.

I have 13 different makeup products on my face today (I counted!) and I don’t look like a Vegas showgirl about to hit the stage. I fear I’m expressing myself poorly again but my point is that sales assistants wearing over the top editorial style makeup when they’re selling to the average woman on the street (or someone looking for advice on how to enhance their features with a little bit of makeup or a natural look) can be a little off-putting. Even to a makeup fanatic like myself! YMMV of course.

LM Avatar

1) hygiene issues (use your imagination)
2) incompetent and/or pushy (any form of rudeness)
3) the dreaded ninja perfume spritzer

(honorable mention: wearing more makeup than a… umm… “working girl”)

Amanda R Avatar

LOL @#3! Nordstrom is SO BAD with the perfume ladies. I know the fragrance associates are often paid by commission, but perfume is not an impulse purchase (at least not for me). If I want to buy perfume, I’ll do it myself, because I can guarantee that I probably won’t like whatever it is that you want to spritz on me.

Jennifer Avatar

1. Being ignored
2. Having that look or body language like they think they are better looking than I , therefore I couldn’t know anything about make up.
3. Putting on all the wrong colors or trying to sell more way more products that I don’t even want.

Missy D Avatar

1.When you are ignored because they are busy. I understand that the store is busy but a “hi welcome to the store” makes me feel a lot better than just being utterly ignored.

2.When there is clear hostility amongst the employees. I’ve been in stores where its obvious that person A doesn’t like person B because they’ve been sleeping with person C or some other crazy scenario. Keep the personal life off the clock

3.When they come off as trying to sell you something when its obvious that that item just isn’t for you. Ex:A pink lipstick makes you look like you have cotten candy lips but she says “Oh no, you look so fab! You should buy 3 tubes of that”

Coral Avatar

Being talked down on. Just because they work at mac or a chanel counter or urban decay doesn’t mean they’re in a higher class than me

Also if an associate walks up and just sprays a perfume at you. Twice I’ve had bad allergic reactions because pushy sales people walked up and either sprayed me with perfume or started rubbing some gross lotion on my arm

Liz K Avatar

Stand over me closely watching/or asking every 3 seconds if they can help
Push a product when they can see I am just browsing/not interested
Talk down to me or act like I don’t know what’s good for me
Talk to other SA’s or customers about nothing important when I am in line waiting to be rung up/waiting to pay

Kimberley Avatar

If they don’t acknowledge me, or when they do, they give me one-worded answers if I ask a question. Almost a… ‘Pretty Woman’ moment, when they judge you not to be worth the presence in their store!

Pavithra Avatar

1. following me around/watching me as if I’m going to steal something.(pet peeve at ALL stores).
2. talking down to me when I ask about a product. Or ignoring my question. i.e. condescension.
3. over-advertising a product, especially when they don’t appear to know anything about it.

Natalie Avatar

HAHA, I’m actually with you on this one!
I hate when people follow me around constantly asking me do I need help.
If I needed help, I would clearly seek it.

I also do not like when it is assumed I cannot afford something, because I look really young. (I MEAN YOU MEAN LADY AT THE CHANEL COUNTER!) Oh the greatest satisfaction came when she rang me up, and I spent over 300 dollars. HAHA, they shouldn’t assume!

Linnea Avatar

Kind of agree. I don’t mind when they ask if I need anything, and I say no. But leave it at that? If I make eye contact, then I need you again!

Sheena Avatar

That was always something I did when working retail. Ask if the person needs any help and if the answer is no, reply with a please let me know if you need anything. I never followed closely unless someone was acting extremely suspicious.

Tekoa Avatar

A lot of people don’t like being ignored. Being ignored is not good. But I wish SA’s would leave me alone. I have social anxiety and having someone talk to and/or look at me is incredibly uncomfortable. I understand someone in Sheena’s example working retail has to greet me. I can tollerate that. But please give me space.


1. Never having anybody actually work at the counter. Or no one is working at the counter and someone from another department who is clueless about the products has to assist you.
2. Automatically saying a product is sold out because they don’t want to go in the back to look for more of the products.
3. While the associate is helping me they tell another customer that they will be with them because we are almost done. This makes me feel as though I’m not important or that I am being rushed, which I hate.

Jill Avatar

Definitely agree with #2. I was at the MAC store in Vegas with a friend last year and we were buying a lot of different things, because we don’t have a MAC at home. She asked for the Belightful shimmer powder and the girl looked it up in the computer, and it said they had them in inventory, but they weren’t in the right drawer. Do you think she bothered to look anywhere else in the store? No. You KNOW you have them, and we’re two customers buying at least $100 worth of products each, but you don’t even bother? That was awful customer service. Instead, they called a department store all the way across town, and sent us there. I was really put off by that.

That was really the first bad MAC experience I ever had. I used to live in Columbia, SC, and the associates at the Belk store for MAC used to be wonderful.

Paula Avatar

Regarding number 3, the associates have to say something to the other customers that are waiting as a way of acknowledging them. They aren’t trying to rush you out of there but department & store management really push that sort of thing. They don’t want to possibly lose a sale.

Elizabeth Avatar

i’ve never had any trouble at my local MAC counter but i find every time i go to the cliniqu counter they’re ether rude, no were to be found, or extremely reluctant and seemingly frustrated to help me find something at a lower price. the last time i went in i was looking for a small travel sized three step face kit to try the products out and after taking 20 minutes to get to me the associate was not very happy about helping me find a smaller size of the products even after ihad explained my reasoning. so i just left and got the exact same thing from sephora for more than half the price. sorry that was more a rant then a list. but you get the gist.

Biddi_NZ Avatar

I hate when people at counters at stores look down to me, and I will never ever buy something off a s.a that has trowled on there makeup or who looks orange (clinique I’m looking at you) like I’m gonna take advice from someone who looks like they charge by the hour… Do.. Not.. Want

dani@callitbeauty Avatar

1. no acknowledgement. i’m BIG on this one.
2. only caring about the sale. if i find the SA isn’t really listening to what i need and is more concerned about getting me to spend money, then i leave.
3. this ties in to #2 as well. but recently i had an SA tell me what skin type i was just by looking at my face and within 5 minutes of speaking to me. she was wrong. she just reeked of pretentiousness and i had half a mind to tell her i actually knew what i was talking about.

Leah Avatar

I know exactly what you mean! I’m a makeup artist and I took my boyfriends sister into Clinique to get some foundation – I knew exactly what skin type she was and which foundation we wanted so we just needed to colour match and the sales assistant undermined every last thing I said! Needless to say we went to another department store!

Holly Jane Avatar

putting down another company instead of education people about their own is the WORST! It says to me that either 1:You don’t know enough about your products to be able to actually tell me about them or 2: There isn’t actually anything good enough to tell me about your product. It happened to my friend at an Elizabeth Arden counter, they said that SK2 burns your face off, I laughed (as an SK2 fan that uses it everyday) and said that if it did I doubt anyone would sell it and vowed never to buy any EA stuff again!

Shirley Avatar

1. Being ignored because I don’t have any makeup on. Just because I don’t have any on at the moment, doesn’t mean I’m not looking to buy!
2. SAs who don’t know their stuff and try to BS you. I had a SA insist that the Chanel Summer 2011 collection only included 2 lip glosses, just because the 3rd tester wasn’t there.
3. SAs that wear so much perfume that when they go to demo a product on you, you end up smelling like whatever they’re wearing.

Ingrid Avatar

Wow, I’ve never had anyone talk down another product! Sounds awful.
For me, I really dislike it when they seem to be hurrying or disinterested.

I’ve been to MAC only like 10 times, and almost each time it was really bad. Mostly they just act like they’re better than you, like you couldn’t possibly know what you want, and like giving you their time and attention is a chore.

The couple of times they started being nice was when I started off saying I’ll buy this and that, but can you help me choose this and that. Otherwise it’s as if I don’t exist until I’m at the register with my products.

This happens a lot when you go to department stores I think, and I avoid Selfridges or Harrods in the UK like the plague. It might be because I look younger, but come on.

Anita Avatar

1. Watching me like a hawk. I understand you’re only trying to be helpful, but I just want to have a look at things for myself without having someone staring at me. (Please?)
2. Asking “Would you like to try that on?” every single time I pick up a product, and before I even get a chance to see what I’m even looking at.
3. Insisting on trying product on me, even when I already said no.

Bottom line, I hate pushy sales associates. I just want to be able to check things out for myself without someone staring at me, I know what I like and what I’m looking for!

Jessica Avatar

i hate when i walk in shops and they just look at me!
i went in one mac shop and all they did was look at me didnt help just looked.. i just walked out!

i hate when some of them talk down on me, like that i dont know what a product is,

Yolanda Avatar

1. Seeing me walk up to the counter and the MUA walks away and totally ignores me
2. Having someone just coming off their smoke break to assist me with product application etc( hand sanitizer just doesnt cut it)
3. Assuming because I have large eyes that I need heavy eyeshadow from lash line to brow ( imagaine Mimi from the Drew Carey show)

Amber Avatar

Haha, LOVE this. Kinda fun coming from the retail side of things. I’ve been guilty of talking about a customer after they left… but it’s always when they’ve been extremely awful to me (ex: when one woman told me that I was incompetent and that I was a bleeping retard when I told her we didn’t have a certain shade because it’d been discontinued). As far as hovering over customers, I admit when it’s busy I tend to forget who I’ve talked to and will ask the same person a few different times if they are looking for something, lol.

My reasons would be:
1) Completely ignoring me
2) Asking a question that requires a response, but not actually listening when I answer (ex: “Those colors look so good on you. What did you use?” and then not actually listening when I tell them)
3) Trying to sell me a product when I’ve already told you I can’t use it because I break out/allergic/ect.

Yazmin Avatar

Lolzzz she called you a retard cos the shade was discontinued, i was in a supermarket when i heard a lady complain to one of the SA that the fact that they had no brocolli left was disgusting. Sometimes customers are funny lol

Carrie Ann Avatar

The worst is when they’re too pushy and don’t leave you alone, even when you tell them you’re just looking. Being ignored is also a huge turn-off. I will just leave. The other annoying thing is when they’re chatting about their personal lives in front of you. They should save that stuff for when customers aren’t right there at the counter.

Hayley Avatar

1. Following me around or asking if I need anything more than once, even if it’s a different person asking me the second time.
If I’m not at the front of the store or on the ground crawling around and crying hysterically just leave me alone and I’ll get what I came for.

2. Trying to have a conversation with me.
Not OHAI YOU SHOULD TRY THIS NEW PRODUCT or LOL I LIKE UR TOP but a long, drawn out conversation. Mmmmhhhmmm it IS weird that we’re both wearing green nail polish and yep, I saw Inception too but we don’t have to be best friends now. I actually had a girl in Sephora that stopped me and a friend to comment on some necklace I was wearing then somehow linked that to when she lost faith in religion. wut.

3. Not knowing what’re they’re talking about.
If I ask you where something is or if you can get me a blahblahblah just be able to do your job. Please.

Em Avatar

1. Talking to other employees too much and ignoring me
2. Blatant selling and continuing to try to sell me stuff after I’ve said no.
3. not giving me free samples 🙁 haha no I’m joking I can’t think of a third….

Em Avatar

oh just thought of it! my 3rd is just plain rudeness. I had a SA tell me a few weeks ago that I was the lightest shade in a foundation but that I should really get the shade darker cos ‘no-one wants to be that pale’.

CeeBee Avatar

One, that’s an incredibly rude thing for anyone to say (about being pale) and two, that’s why there are poor, misguided souls walking around with glaringly orange faces. Because they listen to sales assistants like that.


Mabeline Avatar

1.) When a sales associate talks down to me even after I reveal to them that I am a makeup artist. They STILL assume that just because I’m not wearing any makeup that I don’t know how to put on any.

2.) Laziness! I hate it when I ask an SA if something is in stock and they say no right away, without even checking. Sometimes it is a new product that they aren’t even aware they started carrying, and they don’t even bother to ask anyone about it.

3.) I haven’t had this happen at a makeup counter but I avoid SAs who pressure me into buying more than what I want to buy. I have had one person who made me feel guilty for buying so little and implying that I was wasting their time.

It’s not a big turn off but I’m surprised when brands bad mouth each other despite being owned by the same company. For example: Estee Lauder owns MAC and I find it odd when one talks smack of the other. If you go to the Estee Lauder company web site, you can see all the brands they own: http://www.elcompanies.com/our_brands/our_brands.php.

Annika Avatar

1. Watching over me like a hawk as if I would steal something.
2. Talking down to me as if I didn’t know anything about makeup (my expetience us that I often know more about their products due to Youtube and the sell assistant haven’t done their research because for them it’s only a job)
3. Having to much and tacky make up on. I don’t want to take advise from someone whos tast I don’t trust.
Bonus 4. If they recognize me from before, implying I spend to much time at the makeup counters. Leave my makeup addiction alone.

Marie Avatar

Wow, I just can’t chose three! There are so many things a retail associate can do to make me mad.

Hhuumm, let’s see:
1) Not being aknowledged, ie they talk among collegues, and do not once come to ask me if I need anything. I even had some talking trash about me, thinking I couldn’t hear them. I could. I left.
2) Being too pushy to sell me something. If I say a polite no, it doesn’t mean I’m not sure, it means no.
3) Treating customers differently based on their look and apparent medium income. A customer is a customer; they should be treated the same. And retail associates shouldn’t assume you can’t afford luxury brands because you’re wearing jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers.

Kimmy Avatar

Number 3 here is a huge one for me. I work in cosmetic retail and I make a point to never ever assume a customer’s budget based on how they look, or how they are dressed, or how much makeup they are wearing. If they couldn’t afford high end makeup or didn’t wear it regularly, they wouldn’t be in our store!

stacey Avatar

I actually never have a problem being ignored. If fact, everywhere I go, someone at the counter cant wait to pay attention to me and ask if I need anything. It is almost like a need for a desperate sale and the high end stores like Saks, Berdorf Goodman, etc. I just want to look first, ok?….Then I will ask you if I need something. In fact, I get too much attention..to the point I want them to go away.

Chester Avatar

I strongly dislike it when they try to sell a product to me even after I said I’m not interested. I don’t like when they don’t know their products or the next upcoming collection. I don’t mean they have to know about the next 5 collections by heart but just the next collection, re products in the collection, launch date, (estimated) prices. And probably my biggest pet peeve is when I know more about a product than they do and they try to argue me. First, it’s their job and they should do it properly. Second, just because I’m the customer doesn’t mean I’m clueless and agree if they mistake a banana for an apple.

Audrey Avatar

1. Being treated like I can’t afford a certain brand’s products/being ignored

2. Having an SA lie about what shades match my skin tone! I’m super pale, and have been sold the wrong shade of foundation many times (MAC seriously needs to get some lighter shades)

3. Critiquing an aspect of my makeup/skin routine that isn’t what I came in for. If I’m looking for eyeshadow, don’t tell me I need bronzer. I want makeup that works with pale skin, not makeup to hide it.

Michilicious ~ Avatar

Ooh, this is a good one.

1) Being too pushy. Sure, I’ll appreciate an “hello” when I walk into the store and I understand if you want to see if I want help… But after that first time, It’s just annoying and awkward when they keep trying to let them help me ALL. THE FREAKING. TIME.
I’ll come to YOU if I want help, thanks.
And don’t watch me every minute as I’m swatching… I’m not going to steal anything -__-
Atleast I don’t think I’ve experienced the random ninja perfume spritzing or lotion rubbing… Like, wtf? D:

Looking down on me. You see, I’m 14. I’ll describe a scenario to make it more clear what I mean. For example, when I had been going around a store and looked for whatever I wanted to buy, then this woman who I think owns the store comes up to me and is like “Seriously… Just let me help you. You’ve been going around everywhere looking at Lancôme, Dior… I don’t think you’d spend $80-100 on a foundation”. That kinda insulted me. Yeh, I’m young, but I have money, you know. And I probably have more make up skills than you, bitch. (Sorry, hee hee…)
There was also the pushy part. She tried to get me to leave and forced a thick beauty magazine of their offers and stuff me and told me that I could come back after Christmas. I ended up leaving the store, then going to look for my sister and mum, and later going back to the store buying a bunch of things.

Uh, yeah, that’s only two but those are pretty much my pet peeves that I can think of right now :L

Marjolein Avatar

I hate it when they act like you’re a retard and don’t know anything about make-up! Or when they don’t expect you to buy anything and so they pretty much ignore you. And when they give really bad advice..

Jennifer Avatar

1) It seems like a basic thing, but I absolutely hate it when the staff are unknowledgeable about their own products. At my MAC counter, one staff member in particular will brag about how she’s been there so long, but every time there’s a new launch, she isn’t familiar with the products and I often find myself having to thoroughly explain/teach them to her and I’m not even a MAC artist!

2) If the staff are gossiping loudly and ignoring me instead of asking if I need assistance.

3) I also hate when then constantly try to get me to look at certain products if I say I’m just browsing or only interested in one particular item.

Jennifer Avatar

Correction: worse than being originally ignored is when I go in and ask for assistance and am treated rudely by the staff, the staff seem annoyed, or if they avoid me when i’m asking them to pull products.

Susana Avatar

I hate when the employee knows less than you about the product and she doesn´t give you any reason to buy it.
Of course, I don´t like when they talk about antoher brand and put it down.
But the worst thing is when she is talking with another employee and takes A MINUTE to hear you, but during this minute, she continues talking with the other…

Mariella Avatar

Acting like they’re doing me a favour serving me…it’s like that in a few of the very high end stores here with exclusive lines. For crying out loud, you’re a sales clerk so don’t act as though you are lowering yourself by deigning to serve me because I’m not toting an Hermes handbag! The other thing would be sales clerks who hover over me as though they think I’m going to steal the samples or something. The third – it’s a toss up between those who are so engrossed yakking to their co-workers that they can’t see I am waiting for assistance or those who try to sell whatever is the product du jour with some automaton type line delivered like a robot….nothing to do with what I want or need but this “Here..you must buy this. It is the latest development from our company and every woman needs to have it” – just a very scripted, meaningless “company line” developed to sell me whatever it is they’re trying to push that month.

Cassia Avatar

1. Trying to convince me, seeing I am ridiculous with that color.
2. Offer other things, specially when they dont have what I am looking for.
3. Say sorry “sold out” simply because they are busy gossiping…:-(

Friederike Avatar

1) ignore me (happens rather often at Chanel counters)
2) tell me things that arent true about their products (for example, an estee lauder scrub was sold to be as including AHAs and being almost like a microdermabrasion treatment, while I later found out it actually isnt true and almost as doof as a drugstore scrub, but not even as good…)
3) giving me a not so good makeover/ recommendation, that doesn’t match my skintone/ type.
I LOVE to buy makeup, and always expect salespeople to make an effort, otherwise I could just order everything online. I really love to learn new ways of applying things and how I can combine new makeup with makeup I already own. Mac is doing a great job here!

Kali Avatar

When I see a SA standing around twiddling their thumbs and the counter is filthy. I used to work at an Origins store front and every minuet of spare time was spent cleaning. Customers would always comment on how clean the makeup section was, and how it made them feel better about us applying products on them.

*Adding to that, my BIGGEST pet peeve is when people let their kids smear their grubby little hands and dig their nails into the testers. Every time this would happen we would have to replace the testers. I know it sucks to return beauty products, but its better to buy and return if you can then contract pink eye!

Ashley Sarah Avatar

I hate it when associates gossip on the floor whether its about their life or a customer. I dislike when you hear them swearing in front of customers too. I think it’s very inappropriate! I like it when they ask if I want help with anything but if I say no, please leave me be. I will ask you if I need something later on. lol.

condesa Avatar

1. when they start arguing nonsense in order to push the sale or when they wanna appear they know more than you and they really are ignorant (Example: i left the store when the SA insitsted the Lancome Genifique serum was DIFFERENT than L’Oreal Youth Code serum: I just had spent 20 minutes with both products’ ingredients list to show her they ARE identical. Pity that Genifique cost 70 euros MORE that it’s brother product. she would not admit I was right and kept arguing Genifique was far better. I left without buying anything. it was so utterly stupid of her!).
2. when they don’t give samples – they claim they don’t have any – but you know they drawers are full. Oh wait, you need them to sell on ebay… therefore you cannot give them away. Pity that the very steep Retail Price I pay encomprises all marketing and promotion stuff – inlcuded samples!! no samples? you will not see me again. ever.
3. when they are rude to customers (even if it’s not me) or when they talk their private stuff among them but so loud you can hear it all: so unprofessional.

CeeBee Avatar

Heh, I wondered about the Lancome/L’Oreal serums – I wasn’t ever going to buy either of them because of the ludicrous “science” they used in marketing these – but even the bottles look the same!

Lauryn Avatar

1- Please talk to me like I am a person. Also I may not be dressed to the 9’s today when i visit your counter, but that doesn’t mean i don’t have any money to spend. I respect you and the work you do. I do understand retail can be ridiculous, from people sticking their fingers in EVERYTHING, to trying to rip off everything not nailed down, but, Please give me the respect you would want if you were the shopper/customer, treat me like you would want to be treated and we are all good.

2- Please talk to your friends, answer a text, eat your lunch etc on your own time, I hate it when I’m in mid-request and a gaggle of your friends come in and youre GONE.

3- Please, listen to me. I know how my skin is and what has worked in the past. If i tell you that creamy cleaners cause breakouts, please don’t bring me yet ANOTHER creamy cleanser and INSIST it will work. Please don’t roll your eyes when i tell you I use Origins/Philosophy/Dove/Soap/Comet on my skin.. Just offer good guidance and or suggest alternate products.

Gina Avatar

I agree about being ignored! It happens to me at perfume counters in Macy’s. Around Christmas time, I was trying to buy cologne for my boyfriend, and was ignored for literally a half hour while the associate catered to women older than me (I’m only 20, so I’m sure they assume I’m broke and just looking). And once I went into the Body Shop, and was so put off when the associate tried to sell me their brushes, while bashing MAC’s and Sephora’s. Needless to say, I left empty handed!

Eesha Avatar

1. Being ignored by the SAs, no acknowledgement
2. Trying to sell a product that I have not asked for.
3. Hearing trash about another brand, I would rather like to know the make of their products.

aradhana Avatar

i agree with a lot of these posts!
1-acknowledgement is good, but i can’t stand too much attention! i kind of prefer to be allowed to browse, swatch a million products, and come to some kind of decision or at least formulate some questions for the retail associate. i’ve never bought any product based purely on the ‘this product is so great’ attestation, unless of course i was on the look out for that product in the first place….
2- acting like you don’t know anything, or that they know your skin better than you.
3- acting like something or other is store policy when in fact it’s just something they made up/ don’t feel like doing etc…

Liz Avatar

1. When you know more about the product than they do.
2. When they talk to you like you’re stupid or you’re a child.
3. Definitely when they harass you. When one SA asks you if you need help and then 4 other employees do too, I’m “Just looking! Ill ask if I need help!”

Christina Avatar

1)Ageism. I have a baby face despite being in my mid-20’s and I have noticed that once a sales associate notices me they hesitate or help out the older lady even though I have been waiting longer. It’s a shame too as I only visit makeup counters when I have plenty of money to burn.
2) Being ignored or having my needs ignored. I want to hear about a particular brand not the one you like the best.
3)No one at the counter, this happens to me every time I go to my local NARS counter.

Shilpa Avatar

1) no acknowledgement for sure, and talking down to me. Its only happened once or twice, but enough to be annoying.

2) I HATE when SA’s group my skin into their THREE skin types of dry, normal, oily/acne prone (or whatever their groups are). I don’t fit into ANY of them. But the SA will insist that my skin is one of the three, and I should only buy products for that skin type – its actually infuriating!

3) If a SA applies make up on me in a way that is out of taste – i know that is personal, but i’m talking really out of taste. For example, lining my already full lips outside of my natural lip line (happened at chanel of all places!) – don’t want their advice or their help!

my experiences at counters/sephora/ulta/etc have mostly been positive. I’ve become good friends with a few SAs that are just so nice and knowledgeable! I haven’t totally given up a brand b/c of the above reasons, but I will avoid one or two particular SA’s b/c of above reasons!

Polly Avatar

I hate when they look at me as if I don’t deserve their products. I’ve worked hard for my money, so be polite, or I’m leaving. This is particularly at MAC. The only other higher-end place I’ve been to was Bobbi Brown and the lady there was very nice.

zombiilove Avatar

1. Being incredibly pushy and asking me five times if I need help. Once is sufficient and you can stay close if you want, but don’t stare me down and interject yourself into my browsing.

2. Not acknowledging me at all.

3. This one is slightly more subtle: If I get that high and mighty attitude (you know the one, they look down their noses at you and are incredibly snotty) then I’m so out of there. I’ll never in my life understand why women who sell cosmetics at a department store counter get such over-inflated egos. It’s not like they’re curing cancer to feeding starving children or cultivating world peace. They’re selling eyeshadow….overpriced eyeshadow….

lily Avatar

I was at the Chanel counter in Nordstrom, Pentagon City when I saw the most offensive act ever commited.

I was asking the MA about a lipstick when a British woman came up and asked her where the restrooms were. The MA replied in a mocking faux British accent. APALLING!! The woman was very insulted and I was just shocked!

Frances Avatar

I really don’t mind if a product salesperson isn’t particularly good at makeup him/herself. I mostly dislike pushiness and rudeness, that REALLY puts me off buying makeup (especially since makeup is hardly a necessity).

So on that note:

(1) Assuming that I am not a serious customer, because of my ethnicity. I’m genuinely not being paranoid about this, it does happens. Not often, but it immediately puts me off.

(2) Being overly pushy and patronizing. I love friendly advice, but please don’t talk down to me.

(3) Ignoring my presence. I don’t expect you to prostrate yourself at my feet, but just say Hello! and we’re good. It’s very creepy to have you refusing to acknowledge my existence when I’m right in front of you :-O

PJ Avatar

1: An SA overly made up– so harsh under the bright lighting!
2: Someone who tries to sell me the whole seasonal collection- I don’t have that much time or money!
3: Tie: SA who tries to talk me into applying a product Ive already vetoed; and SA who doen’t seem to know as much about their line as I do.

Dorna Avatar

1) watching my every move after I say I’m just browsing.
2) I always hated it when they didn’t take me seriously… this got better as I got out of the teens though.
3) When they have no idea what they’re doing/talking about. RUN!

Chloe Avatar

I also dislike when one company puts another company down. I feel that a lot of makeup companies and even YT gurus are always trying to talk negatively about MAC and comparing it against other brands. I still love MAC to this day, however, I’m completely open to other brands and I don’t discrimante against them. I just wonder why the beauty industry seems to be so critical of MAC. Just wondering….

Linnea Avatar

Agree on the no aknowledgement.

Also, I dislike when they don’t even ask for your concerns/what you’re looking for. But most of all, I dislike when you take the time to be honest about your concerns, and then they show you a product that doesn’t even address them! Ahh!

Chris25 Avatar

I would have to say that ignoring me would be the biggest peeve for me. I am 5′ and look like a 12 year old (I’m 26), so a lot of places (esp MAC) think that I won’t spend money. Whenever a cashier/SA is grouchy I don’t like that, but I used to be a cashier/SA, so I understand that it is difficult to stand for hours (I developed knee, foot and back pains while working in retail) and deal with rude and mean people. I don’t hold that against them. I understand how it feels.

LuvJaime Avatar

1. Acknowledge me as a customer, and refrain from social-life-chit-chat if you know a customer is around. And when you do make the sale, don’t do the “good riddance” turn around and proceed to carry on with your chit-chat.

2. Most sales associates “expect” you to purchase something when you walk up to their counter. Don’t hover. Allow me to swatch and play with the products — they’re called “testers” for a reason.

3. And if you do “expect” me to purchase, product knowledge is the key! Some would play it off as “but the shade is really pretty!” even after I asked for ingredients or for which skin type the product is suitable for.

I don’t expect the red carpet rolled out beneath me when I walk to a counter.. just good ol’ excellent customer service! Unfortunately nowadays, that’s hard to come by.

Miriam Avatar

I started getting into makeup in 2008. I thought going to the department store would be a good place to start. Nobody offered to assist me with products at Clinique, Estee Lauder, or Lancome. I felt very out of place. Till this day, I have never purchased anything from either of those brands. Condescending and rude retail associates with a bad attitude make me run. On a positive note, ever since I discovered your blog and youtube’s beauty community, I’ve become more confident and wise when I go out to the store. It helps me to deal with pushy sales associates by telling them I know what I want because Temptalia helped me decide 🙂 So thank you for that Christine!

Erin Avatar

1. Lying to me that a foundation looks “amazing” and “perfect” when clearly it is too dark/orange.

2. A salesperson from another line comes over and doesn’t know the products. Always happens when I have questions!

3. I do like suggestions, but I don’t like pushy sale lines.

Nora Avatar

I really just hate being talked down to. I know what I’m there for. I know I can apply concealer with a brush. I’m familiar with the brand. If I can say this and they’ll let me do my thing, great, but if they keep pushing it it’s a HUGE put-off.

Amanda Avatar

1) My number 1 pet peeve is when the staff follows me around the shop and watches my every move even after I’ve told him/her I’d prefer to look around on my own
2) Inability to understand English and this happens sometimes when the counters hire foreign workers
3) Insufficient product knowledge

Sheena F Avatar

1) No acknowledgement at all
2) In contrast to number 1, I hate when they follow me around even after I have said that I’m just browsing or still trying to decide.
3) Boasting about how awesome their skincare line is–wait for it–while THEIR skin is all jacked up.

Sarah Lynn Avatar

1. Being ignored. It doesn’t make sense especially if I know you work on commission.
2. Not properly sanitizing brushes or products prior to putting them on my face.
3. Stalker status.

Lizzy Avatar

1) Being Ignored or treated like I know nothing about make-up
2) Complaining about work/customers etc.
3) Lying to me. I hear “Love my nail polish” or I have “awesome skin” (If they mean it, it’s nice, but every make up counter I go to in SF says this to me. I find it hard to believe each one means it.) OR Telling me the blush they just put on me looks “Amazing!” when I can see it and it doesn’t…

Ana Avatar

Smokers. It is disgusting. I worked at Lancome for a while and it was overwhelming how many girls from other counters would go smoke a cigarette, go back to work and not even wash hands/attempt to not make them stink. I wouldn’t let someone touch my face with smoker-fingers. Gross gross.

Sarah Avatar

Wow, I must be really lucky! I’ve had really great experiences at my local cosmetics counter… I guess the only things I can complain about are being left alone *too* much(sometimes the local Macy’s counters are woefully understaffed through the week) or having someone be pushy about selling me product and putting it on my hand when I said I was just looking (I’m looking at you, Bloomingdales Benefit counter!) But most of the associates near me are really friendly and helpful without being pushy or in my face. Which I guess is a bad thing, since it makes me want to buy more!

Rosanna Avatar

What makes me run for my life is when they try to sell me a product (such as foundation or a powder) whose color does not match my skin tone! Number two is, when they try to sell me what’s “trendy” rather than asking me what I like. Finally, it drives me nuts when their make-up is wrong for their face (as in wrong sculpting for the face shape, wrong color for the skin tone, messy make-up).

Elizabeth Avatar

1) Being pushed into buying a product: I want to see what you have, but I don’t need to feel like I HAVE to buy something. I understand they live off of commission, but I want to feel like I’m getting what’s right for me, rather than what’s going to inflate their paycheck the best.

2) Being disrespected: Don’t talk down to me as if I’m inferior intellectually.

3) Being unprofessional: I’m here to buy a product, not listen to your trash talking other guests/co-workers. Also, ignoring guests is rude, and intolerable.

Dainty Darling Digits Avatar

Being ignored, unprofessional behavior (such as talking bad about co-workers, other customers, their job, etc), not knowing their product line at all (specifically, products in new collections- I’ve gone to a counter and forgotten a name and the employees can’t help out at all?). And if you can’t do your own makeup or you look like you are MADE of makeup? I understand you work at a counter but there is a wrong/right way. Ooh, also when they talk down to me as if I know nothing or follow me around.

Yazmin Avatar

I hardly ever get any crappy service ever since i started going on the days where my fave make up artists are working. Otherwise in the beginning i got really crappy service.

e.g The LOOK they give you when you walk in, its like oh no, its you again. Just because im not wearing a business suit, doesnt mean im not entitled to buy MAC.

Then there Impatient behaviour. I asked this blondie MUA at Mac, i wanted a gold eyeshadow, something a bit rich that would go with everything, she just said look at the eyeshadows, and when i asked for her opinion, she huffed and puffed, my best friend said to me in our second language that she had some attitude considering we had spent over £200 quid together in that store.

and the last but not least. WHEN THEY DONT LISTEN TO U. i know the foundation shade i want isnt the exact shade from me, i want to be a bit more paler than i am, thats why i want the shade higher. Or i know that the lipstick might nt suit my skintone, but i dont care, gimmi now. Im paying for it, not you!

Tania Avatar

I agree with the acknowledgment part, I understand if there s too much people waiting but if the store is basically empty and they are just gossiping I shall leave or demand no-one get a commission.
Second is if they are too pushy, especially of a new product that it would seem like I know more about it than them or if they tell me to buy “x” product because it looks so good on someone else.
Watching me very closely like if I’m going to steal something.

Shweta Avatar

1) i hate it when they convince customers to buy products which are either not required by the customer or the wrong shade/ color etc because of the unavailability of correct color or shade
2) being looked down upon
3) ignored

leiris Avatar

It bothers me when I say I’m just looking, and then they keep bringing products for me to look at and won’t let me just browse.
On the flipside, I don’t like it when they seemed bothered to show me a product when I ask.

Jackie Avatar

I am MAC artist.

And we are told to check back in with costumers who are just looking so they don’t feel ignored.

Also when people are just looking ask if you need help trying on stuff so you don’t double dip in lipglasses or mascaras and if ita a cream product get a spatula to get out the product to try it out.

Also ladies insist on not wanting my help and then buy a foundation that is way to dark or to light and then come back the next day and is mad cause the girl sold her the wrong shade. When they wouldn’t even try on the foundation at all.

This is a two way street we are all makeup lovers who are trying to do our job.

Jessica Avatar


I think that there are some things a lot of us have to remember:

-Samples. Sometimes, companies don’t send samples to counters or beauty stores. I don’t work at a counter but I work in a cosmetics shop and we often get gift with purchases (pretty good trial sizes of products with the purchase of something from the same brand). As far as other product samples (skincare, foundation), I, personally, don’t tell customers we don’t have any because I’m a sample hog and took them all home for myself but for the simple reasons a) we truly don’t have any in stock or 2) we are out of sample cups/lids/boxes/what-have-you.

-Product knowledge. I was hired to work in a single department. I know my stuff because Ive worked in this department for years and I have a genuine interest in what I sell so sometimes I will do my “homework” when I’m not on the clock (reading blogs, watching YT videos, etc). Because I work in this department, I don’t get the training other associates get on makeup brands and skincare lines so I don’t know much about what each product does and all 4 billion ingredients. A solution to this would be to do my own research on ALL the cosmetic and skincare lines we carry but to be honest, I don’t get paid enough to do this AND it wasn’t in my job description 🙂
For those of us (yes, I’m including myself) who “know more about collections/products/previous items/discontinued lipsticks than SA’s,” the reason for this is because we are beauty junkies who love to follow Temptalia, liveournal communities, etc., so we often know this before any of the MA’s/SA’s have even had a chance to go to training or seminars. We shouldn’t expect every MAC artist to know what “Cockatease” lipstick looks like or what was included in the “Salsabelle” collection because for all we know, they probably weren’t even around when those products launched.

I’m still a customer myself and a lot of what the other guys and gals have said has happened to me or STILL happens to me. I don’t like being followed around or asked 30 times if I am “finding everything okay?” Unless of course the SA has bad memory and doesnt recall asking me a first time 🙂

Naomi Avatar

Here in the uk customer service is pretty much non existent anyway but the advisors that work on the Mac counter in a very well known London department store must have taken extra lessons in bitchiness & rudeness. Still, when they’re looking at me like I can’t afford their products I just think I probably have more money in my purse than they have in their bank account & then go & spend my hard earned dosh at the illamasqua counter instead :o)

Adrienne Avatar

I hate when I know more about their line and they know close to nothing it is VERY awkward and unhelpful.

Usually nordstrom is great but a few months ago i was purchasing a pricy handbag and throughout the entire transaction the SA was wanting me to open a second nordstrom credit card. Even though I said multiple times I wanted to use cash. It totally turned me off and made me feel sad after the purchase just cus the whole transaction was just about how I was paying booo

lily Avatar

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner! This lady tried to sell me a $42 Chanel blush, but paired with her bright blue eyeshadow and feathering red lips, I did not buy~

Yazmin Avatar

lmfao thats the absolute golden one. A recent visit to a mac counter, one of the ma’s who looks down on me, looked orange. actually she was orange. A little girl with her mother in mac said really loudly, mummy shes dressing up to be an oompa loompa. i couldnt stop laughing. I heard her say to the client she was with that this was the new tan looked endorsed by mac haha


Kara Avatar

Can i just tell you at my local MAC counter they have pissed me off to no end. i HATE going there anymore. i only go unless i NEED something, i would rather pay the shipping then go there. I had made an appointment a month in advance to get my makeup done for my wedding (dec 31st) i had my hair done at the mall along with my nieces. she was my flower girl. The mall was packed & apparently closed early that day i had no idea. I was 16 weeks pregnant carrying around a 5 year old thru the mall to race to the mac store for my appointment when i show up and they refused to do my makeup bc i wasnt on “the list” i said but i made an appointment a month in advance. they said were doing walk ins only now and were booked until they close.i couldnt believe they turned me away. There were people getting their makeup done and they appeared to not be going anywhere nearly as special as me. i ended up having to do my own makeup on my freaking wedding day! to this day i’m still disgusted. LOL sorry rant over-

Leticia Avatar

I agree with many of the comments; lack of acknowledgement, rudeness and pushiness are definite turn offs for me, as well as that “you can’t afford these products” look! I also hate a lack of interest or knowledge on their products – even though I definitely don’t like to be pushed, there are times when I do want some help and an indifferent or lazy attitude is such a turn off!

thelovecatsinc Avatar

1) at bobbi brown counter:
went to get a concealer, the assistant applied it to under my eyes, had a look in the mirror.. i thought it looked a bit cakey, told the assistant and she said i didn’t look after my skin properly. nice. i said i wanted to see how it would look in natural light so she just said ‘ok’ and proceeded to turn her back on me and ignore me! i was just left sat in the little chair… shocking!

2) chanel counter:
went to get a moisturiser for my mum, asked how much a certain one was and the lady said (in the most patronising way possible) ‘are you sure you want that one? it is quite expensive you know’. as i had just got paid and i had plenty of money in the bank, i thought this was extremely annoying!

safe to say i’ve never went to either of these counters again, i hate rude service!

Jeanne Avatar

1. Knowing less about their products/brand than I do (I’m not a professional makeup anything, there’s really no reason for me to know more than them)
2. Treating me differently based entirely on appearance. I’ve gone into department stores where when I’m more dressed down and I get completely ignored, and on other days when I’m dressed up and carrying an expensive bag they can’t wait to get their hands on me.
3. Trying to sell me their most expensive product after I’ve already committed to buying something. Just because I can afford to buy one thing from your brand doesn’t mean I can afford to buy everything!

Rachel Avatar

1. Following me around the store, eyeing my suspiciously. Just because I’m young and have an eyebrow piercing OBVIOUSLY means I’m going to throw all your products into my purse when you’re not looking.

2. Not knowing their information. I went to one MAC counter where the associate had never heard of Vanilla pigment and didn’t know any of the brush numbers. I felt like I was speaking a foreign language to her. Another person matched me as an NC15 before I knew any better, so I ended up buying the foundation. I have the most obvious NW skin ever. And THENNNN that topic somehow came up at a different store and the associate absolutely refused to concede that the MAC warm/cool system was backwards, and acted like I didn’t know what I was talking about at all and obviously was wrong.

3. Basically I already covered this in #2, but I hate when associates act like I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Kas Avatar

I once had a lady who was working at the Dior counter hound me and my friend. She asked if we wanted help a good 5 times in a period of 10 minutes. It didn’t help that she was at least 6 and a half feet tall (I kid you not). We know you’re on commission but back off. We almost complained.

Tara Avatar

1.Being ignored because employees think a person won’t spend money for one reason or another. Once I was totally ignored at a MAC counter and I was going to buy something but ended up leaving and buying it another day(at another store).
2. Employees watching me after I said I’m browsing.
3. When an employee tries to sell a person something that isn’t what they’re looking for b/c they think the customer doesn’t know about makeup b/c they are too young or too old. A lady at a counter sold my mom a tinted lip conditioner advertising it as a lip stain. They are opposites!

Katie Avatar

I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with sales assistants. Went to buy some Elemis as a gift for my Mother and got completely ignored by the assistant who i guess just assumed i wasn’t buying or couldnt afford the products. When i eventually asked her where abouts the product i wanted was she seemed a little taken back that i knew what i was talking about!

Also the Bobbi Brown counter near me was rather stuck up and patronising which completely put me off even thinking of buying anything from that counter (not the entire brand :P)

I’d give a big thumbs up to one of my local Benefit counters though. They are always so helpful and I rarely leave empty handed! They nearly always recommend the right products (except for some kind of gorgeous, yuck!) and are never pushy. If all counters were like this i’d be permantly skint!

Rachel Avatar

I completely agree with what your saying. Especially the customer thing, I always think if you were talking about them what stops you from talking about me. I guess other things for me is when they don’t acknowledge you and when they try and push products on you. Some times that is a good thing but if your saying you have the perfect thing for zits does that mean you think I have alot of zits? lol
Good topic today!

Sarah Avatar

I completely agree with you Christine. I was at a Napoleon Perdis counter once and I was asking her how their prices and quality compared to MAC. She kept saying that MAC is bad quality, especially for the price. I wholeheartedly disagree.
I believe that a company should be able to compare itself to other companies without bashing them.
Just my two sense.

Sarah Avatar

But other than a company bashing another company, I hate being talked to like I don’t know anything about makeup just because I’m young. And I also HATE it when a associate is trying to push me to buy everything just so they can get a commission. I’m okay with recommendations but otherwise, I’d rather pick out what I want in peace

Janice Avatar

My biggest pet peeve is a SA who’s make up is not good. i don’t mean they aren’t wearing much or too much but uneven, bad color for their skin. I really don’t want advise from someone who can’t apply make up on themselves! I’m always surprised to see it, but it happens quite a bit.

The only other thing is when a SA thinks b/c I’m not wearing much make up or dressed down I’m not important.

Kathy Avatar

That second one is my biggest pet peeve! I sent a rant to MAC about that once – got a mascara for my trouble.

If I find an associate who is really helpful, I get their card. I’ve even called to see if DeMario is at Gwinnett Place just because I’ve seen him be amazing to difficult customers. The ones that you build those relationships with become great resources for information and can steer you towards or away from something that’s wrong for you.

Yumi Avatar

1. I hate being talked down to/looked down on, but who doesn’t? Don’t call me anything like sweetie or honey, that’s an instant turn off for me! And just cuz I like to spend my time looking around doesn’t mean I’m going to start shoving the entire store into my bag! Just being rude in general I guess.

2. I don’t like being given suggestions that I didn’t ask for. E.g. “Hi I’d like to try this LM foundation.” “Oh why don’t you try NARS/MUFE/Lancome instead? They have great foundations too!” That’s nice, but I specifically asked for LM. <_<

3. I don't like being stalked, but I don't like being ignored either. It's a fine line I guess. I'm okay with not being acknowledged as long as I can get help when I ask for it.

Julia Avatar

I am such a MAC junkie but it seems like every time I go to their stores they don’t have enough associates to help me(I live in Denver,CO). I am a very quick shopper and do my research before I go but I feel for as much money as I spend there, I should get a little assistance.
I also can not stand it when a SA passes judgement on you based on your style that day. I am usually a girly girl but on some days I like to shop makeup-less and in sweats. I have noticed a major difference in the level of service I get. NOT COOL!!
I also hate when you state EXACTLY what you are looking for, state that you aren’t interested in anything else and yet they still insist on upselling you. I know they are in sales but no means no!

queenfrostine Avatar

I’m pretty hard to offend as a customer, the only thing a sales associate can do to truly discourage my business is to hover aggressively. I’m the type of shopper who likes to be left alone to browse and can’t stand it when an associate keeps trying to engage me after I let them know I’m fine. I think i’d actually prefer being ignored to getting someone’s undivided attention. Thankfully the associates at my local Sephora, MAC and Ulta all seemed to have learned that I tend to spend more if left to my own devices and give me plenty of space. Apart from associate hovering, I think the only thing that really bugs me is someone bitching about another customer, though if it’s clear that the customer was unusually difficult I tend to be pretty forgiving of that too. Blowing off steam after a nightmare of a guest is something I can relate to, just being catty about your clientele though is not attractive. No one wants to have to worry about what the associates will be saying about *you* when you walk away.

jaime Avatar

UGH. just today i was in a CCO and attempting to browse shit while the 3 employees stood talking to each other staring at me everywhere i went, including right behind me while i’m trying to look at stuff. gtfo. it made me want to throw everything i had down on the floor and leave.

resham Avatar

1. I hate it when they ignore me or sometimes give me that “can you afford this” kind of look. I may not wear everything from top to bottom branded, but that doesn’t means I am a pauper!! Who are you to judge!!

2. I may sound a bit controversial here, but when they favor people from certain part of the world over others…(should I say Racism??)

3. When they are busy chatting with fellow counter girls and not paying attention to their own job.

Denise F. Avatar

Sephora’s make their employees go through their sales system.Greet,guide,go,get back. There are steps to each one of these points. They’re more hellbent on following at some of the Sephora in JCPenney stores; I used to work at one of those. The 2 full time women,under the management were control freak, biatchy, ***holes!!! They hated me, because I was nice to everyone, did the best make overs, knew all the products and did the daily cleaning lists. I had a lot of repeat business.They used to say and do things to me; and others to upset us.To get us to fail,made them happy.The manager they hired, did not come from a cosmetics background.She applied make up, and felt like she injured people with brushes in the process. She was so heavy handed.If you go into and Sephora related store, and you notice; you will find a lot of these things about the company,by shopping there. They ask if you want a basket, so they can add on to what you have, while you shop. They ask if you want to sample fragrance,so they can sell you it.They ask if you want an add on to buy now,so they boost their sales. It’s all about sales. The JC Penny Sephoras are not worth it.Don’t waste your time in these. Skincare sits there forever,under the hot lights and breaks down, as well.Mean,pushy women.

Denise F. Avatar

I really hate it, when you have s/a’s who use the word awesome, like 5 times, while yer shopping.It’s even worse for me, when it’s a high end store. I hate when they give you the dirty look, as well. When I don’t want to be bothered too much, I do dress down at these stores, and skip the make up. And, I hate it when you get a s/a who explains application poorly and talks to you, like you will not be able to do it. I hate it when they accuse you of not knowing something as well. Especially when you really know it, and you wind up getting angry about it, and outdo them, by what you know. I also hate lack of cleanliness w/ brushes, and store testers. If it’s not clean, don’t try to put it on me. If it stinks like a farm animal, I don’t want it anywhere near me.

shantinini Avatar

1) noticing me walking into the store but looking away as if ‘nah she cant afford this’

2)being rude or acting like a wannabe..yea i know you re mac makeup artist but you dont own the world

3)trying to push products although i said no earlier

Lisa Avatar

As an SA please know we HAVE to follow you around. My manager expects me to keep an eye on customers (espically ones that are young), I hate doing it but its necessary. And sometimes if its dead I will follow customers around because i badly need the sale and don’t want someone else to get it (another employee). So yeah, sorry about the pushiness…

JC Avatar

1) When they assume I’m new to the product (like MAC, for example) because I don’t wear make-up usually.
2) When they follow me around/watch me like a hawk from across the store. It’s irritating.
3) An SA that says things like, “That’s an amazing lipstick” but not actually know how to use it or what to use it with…

Monique Avatar

I randomly walked up to the Armani counter at south coast plaza because the lipsticks caught my eye. An SA litteraly stood right by me, didn’t say a word. She was just hovering over me and I asked to try one on, she snatched it, cleaned it for me but still didn’t say anything. I just walked away

Pawsha Avatar

1. When they continue talking to another associate instead of helping you.
2. Try to sell you something that you know you dont want, and continue to do it.
3. Randomly reach to your face to put something on you.

Dani Avatar

1) Too much attention.
Watching my every move like a watch dog. It’s OK to greet and ask if I need help with anything, but if I said I was just looking, let me browse… When I’ll need your assistence (again), I will let you know.

2) Too little attention.
I understand in some huge stores they cannot immediately pay attention to every single person that enters the sales floor, but if I’ve done my homework and obviously I know what I’m looking for, be there to help me with the decision/add suggestions if asked. I also think it is ridiculous when no one is on the register. Hello, want my money?

3) Not knowing their stuff and beig too pushy about other stuff
I hate when it’s obvious the SA does not know the products they are carrying and sometimes myself as a customer (watching YT, reading MU websites) I know better – WHAT?! You either do your job properly or say you are new there and ask a more experienced collegue to assist. I also hate when you clearly state what you are looking for and they keep on pushing products that are not for you and/or they are told to sell to every single customer. People have different needs and your job is to help them choosing right products for them. Also choosing does not always mean purchasing. There are testers for a certain purpose.

And this is totally random, but sometimes I go to a counter totally sans make-up if I am looking for beauty products, because I wanna know how it will work on my complexion. Neither I see an eyeshadow for the first time in my life, nor I always walk around without make-up or I am clueless how to apply everything. I just came with my bare face, OK people? Is it just me? 🙂

Eva Avatar

1.) Trying to sell me more than I came in for. I really limited myself with the Quite Cute collection but the SA seemed to think I absolutely needed the blush and a lip-liner to go with what I purchased. I did my homework and knew exactly what I wanted, and it wasn’t powdery blush.

2.) Patronizing comments–I hate being talked down to. I look fairly young for my age but still–sometimes SA’s comments sound like they don’t think I’ve got the cash for what I came for. I’ve left MAC counters legitimately feeling bad about myself–that’s not what makeup’s about!

3.) Ignoring me. One time, I could see exactly what I wanted but the SA kept looking over at me and then turning back to her (definitely casual) conversation with another employee. One step behind the counter to get what I wanted and she was over in a flash, though. 😉

I love MAC, but the girls at my local counter at Belk are a tad snobby. Nine times out of ten I end up making a beeline for Sephora.

Sydney Avatar

Being very young, I’ve only been going to makeup counters for about a year, so I haven’t really had any bad experiences. The SA’s are always so polite and helpful to me. I’ll remember this question if I ever do have a bad experience, though!

MakeupMonster Avatar

1)I don’t like it when a sales assistant talks to me like I’m a baby that doesn’t know anything about makeup or skincare. Especially when they start telling plain lies. I’m a beautician… Come on!
2)Being followed around the store when I tell them I don’t need help and I’ll ask when I need something. What do you don’t understand about “No, thank you… I’m just looking”?
3)Trying to push me to buy something I don’t need and don’t want.
I did my homework, I know what I want and I know what I need.

Melissa C. Avatar

It annoys me that they ignore me especially in MAC i guess they think im not important enough or something cause im younder but still u know!!

Jen Avatar

The only thing I hate is when the Urban Decay girls say, “Hey let me just fill in your eye brows for a minute” while you walk by. The sad thing is, my eyebrows were already filled in. I don’t like when sales associates assume you will like something similar to something specific you are looking for and it’s never similar.

Gina Taylor Avatar

One of the biggest issues I have with the makeup counter, is the SA trying to get the customer to purchase more than what they came in for. I realize the SA’s have goals to reach, however, there are times where a person comes in for one or two things, and the SA is putting on teh pressure for them to purchase other things. Again, I realize they have goals to meet, but at the same time, I would rather my customer purchase what they came for, and because I gave them superior customer service, come back and purchase some other things at a another time.

amy Avatar

i had a makeover from nars and the woman told me i had rosacea (i forgot i had put on blush before coming in)which in technicality she’s not a dermatologist and unqualified to make a diagnosis, but told me the best way to combat my skin condition was to buy a cream from nars that was nearly $85. i have not bought from her counter since.

Alison Avatar

1. Smothering me. Maybe I don’t want to talk about this or that or answer all your questions. Maybe I’m just browsing.
2. Be deceptive. I’ve had a MAC counter lady try to persuade me that a different gloss was EXACTLY THE SAME as perfect potion when I could clearly tell it wasn’t.
3. Be distant: As in not there or totally unavailable because they’re too busy scowling/ignoring/texting/talking on the phone, etc.

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