Saturday, August 22, 2009

Beauty Reflection: Time to Brush Up Your Beauty Routine

It's that time of year again when students head back to school. I'm sure you remember (or are even participating in) the annual event. For me, when late August hits, it is my reminder to go visit a department store beauty counter and brush up on my makeup skills.

If you haven't stopped by a counter in 2009, why not take this as is opportunity to peruse the latest fall makeup, restock on your basics, and get a lesson or two. Here are some tips to make the most of your visit:
  • Pick your counter wisely. While I love experimenting with many brands, I usually get better hands-on advice from several lines. In particular, I love the practical tips and tricks from Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy, and Clinique. I know their job is to sell products, but these three lines also seem to educate me along the way. This is extremely critical if you haven't used much makeup in the past and want to be able to reproduce the same look at home. Nothing is worse than to buy new products and then get home and not know what to do.

  • Try to get an actual makeup artist, not just a sales associate. There is almost always a combination of makeup artists and sales associates at each counter. And each job has its function. But don't assume that just because someone is standing behind the counter means that he or she is trained in the line. In fact, it could be someone from another line who is covering while the artist is at lunch. From my experience, I find that most regional artists who travel between stores are more adept at instruction. I try to seek them out, if possible. And don't forget to ask for a business card so you can call about any questions or concerns.

  • Make an appointment or go during slower mall hours. If you want the best service, call ahead to ensure that a makeup artist will be available when you arrive. For some counters, you can actually make an appointment. If you're a last-minute girl, go immediately after the mall opens. Just avoid an hour before closing, lunch time, and holiday weekends. If the counter is busy, ask for a convenient time to come back. I've been known to circle through the shoes and accessories departments to waste 10 to 15 minutes. It almost always pays off.

  • Don't feel obligated to purchase everything. When I make an appointment, I try to purchase at least two items in exchange for the one-on-one time. While this is an unwritten rule, I think it is reasonable, if not expected. Of course, if you have a horrendous experience, just walk away!

  • Ask for samples to try at home. If I'm trying a new foundation or moisturizer, I almost always get a sample before committing to the purchase. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my skin is uber-sensitive and sometimes it takes a couple of days for a reaction to surface.

  • Relax and go in with a positive mindset. Smile and don't be intimidated or afraid to ask questions. Remember that is your personal beauty time, so make the most of it and enjoy the experience!

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