Approaching the Designer Makeup Counter as a Beauty Novice

Believe it or not ladies, four years ago, I made my first department store beauty purchase, three years ago, I had never set foot in a Sephora and last year, I finally had my makeup professionally done for the first time.

It’s all easier and less stressful than you think

Sure I’ve had my experience with snooty sales girls who turn their nose up because I left the house with no makeup on at all, but they don’t deserve my business or yours, so keep looking.

The first thing you need to know is that they are there to help you and the majority of them will do a great job finding you what you need based on your own preferences.  I used to be afraid of the sheer amount of makeup that the girls behind the counter wear to work.

If they look wear a dark smokey cat eye to work, isn’t that how they will send me on my way?

Not if you don’t want them to!  This is their job.  Maybe they were practicing a difficult skill and want to present it, so the beauty savvy shopper will approach them for a lesson, or maybe they offered their face as a canvas to a practicing coworker before work.

Guide to mall makeup shopping for the beauty novice
Practicing on each other, to prepare for helping you!

My first time asking for help at Sephora, I asked for a natural look and I actually had to request to have more makeup applied before I left.

HAVE YOU SEEN WOMEN GETTING THEIR MAKEUP DONE AT THE MALL AND SEPHORA AND THOUGHT, OH GOSH, I SHOULD ASK THEM WHAT I HAVE TO DO TO HAVE MY MAKEUP DONE?

Sephora guide for the beauty novice

You’re not alone.  I always thought, they must have made an appointment, or it must cost a lot.  Not so.  At Sephora, 15 minute mini makeovers are free and the employees love doing them.

At the mall, you will likely need to schedule an appointment for a full makeover.  The sales associates are always happy to help you with how to apply a certain product on the spot without an appointment, but they will also give you a full makeover with their products for a minimum purchase.  I have used this service a few times, before weddings and charity events.  They want you to make a minimum purchase to cover the time spent with  you usually $25-40 depending on the counter.  It’s a good idea to spend your minimum purchase on what you will need to touch up your look throughout the day, like lipstick.  By all means though, if you are purchasing an eye shadow pallet and you would like them to show you how to apply each color before you leave, these little application tutorials are complimentary.

Sephora vs. mall counters

There are a variety of brands at Sephora.  If you already know which brand your interested in, by all means, hit that counter in the mall.  The Sephora employees know what’s in the store and can guide you based on price and beauty needs.

Sephora guide for the beauty novice
Sephora associates will narrow your endless choices and make it a more inviting experience.

I also enjoy the reward points system they have at Sephora.  I always save mine until I have 500 points for the best sample give aways.  If your after Nordstrom Notes or points where you usually shop, it’s worth considering where you buy your makeup.

Sephora guide for the beauty novice
More on the Sephora Beauty Insider Program

I also like the Sephora App.  It keeps track of my purchases and ‘liked’ products, which makes reordering online so easy.  I don’t have to know what the foundation color code is, it’s already in my history.  Also, if I swing by the store to ask a question and I’d like to pick up my products, I can pull up the app and match the colors.

SEPHORA WILL GIVE YOU THREE TAKE HOME SAMPLES WITH EACH VISIT- NO PURCHASE NECESSARY

Guide to buying makeup at the mall for the beauty novice.

Choose up to three samples per world: color (makeup), skincare and fragrance. This is a great option for products you want to try out at home a few times before you decide on a purchase.  I also use it for research.  I go in and ask which three products do they best recommend for what I’m looking to accomplish and then I go home and try them out for a full day and see which ones I like.  This is also an important feature if you are on a beauty budget.  You can go in and ask for help matching a foundation color and then take the perfect color with you to match at the drug store of your choice.  It will make it easier to pick out a comparable color if you have a small sample to hold up next to the bottles at the drug store.

Sephora guide for the beauty novice
For more tips on saving money at Sephora, check out the Krazy Coupon Lady’s 23 Insider Hacks from a Sephora employees.

Where is your favorite place to make your beauty buys?

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Kate Thakkar

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