4 Things a Makeup Counter Salesperson Doesn’t Want You to Know

No. 1: Germs are everywhere :

While most makeup counter artists and salespeople clean the makeup brushes (a common breeding ground for bacteria) after they use them from one customer to the next, you can never really trust any brush that isn’t yours, says one former Estee Lauder artist.

But “it’s not the brushes consumers should worry about, it’s really the products themselves,” she says. “No matter how many times a day the sales rep cleans them, people love to come stick their dirty fingers in the colors to test them. It’s amazing! Women walk right up to the counter, grab a lipstick tester and put it right to their lips. I think that’s one of the most shocking things about working at the counter — the general public’s complete disregard for bacteria,” she concludes.

No. 2: You can get a refund on almost anything

While the return policies differ, most big department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s are notorious for giving full refunds or store credit back for products that have been used — and used more than once. You can test a makeup product several times before you decide whether it’s right for you.

One former salesperson said that Nordstrom’s policies are so lax that they were even giving cash back to a man that they knew was stealing perfumes off the counter of the nearby Macy’s and “returning” them to Nordstrom. Why? Because “they didn’t want to make a scene in the store.”

No. 3:  They play on your insecurities

Do you feel special when a salesperson says you are pretty or goes on about how great your skin is? Well, for the most part, they are complimenting everyone.

“Usually if I compliment them, they open up about what they are looking for,” says one former makeup artist. She says she found that women were “shy and self-conscious” and that with a little “boost” from her, they were more likely to talk to her about their skin or makeup concerns and buy products.

No. 4:  They make things up

“Cosmetic training in a department store or beauty supply focuses mostly on sales and not about product knowledge, which is unfortunate,” says one former counter makeup artist.

“We do learn mediocre product information, but that doesn’t come until several months after working there, so we spend the first couple months making stuff up or sharing our limited experience,” she says. “I would generalize that most beauty advisors know a little more than what the average woman does about beauty,” and the ones that make “good money” off commissions are “sales people, not beauty experts,” she concludes.

Originally published on TotalBeauty.com

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Posted on June 3, 2011, in Professional Tips, World Beauty and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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