Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reflection: Send in the Clown, or My Special Event Makeover?

I have a gut feeling that you already know where I'm headed with today's post. So here it goes...

Last Saturday I attended a special makeup event at my local Ulta. A week before the event I had signed up to receive a free personal makeup application with one of the traveling makeup artists who represented a well-known, mid-end cosmetic brand. While it's not one of my favorite brands, the company produces some wonderful items that I've used off and on for years. I'm very familiar with their products so this wasn't my initial introduction to the brand.

(Note: Out of courtesy I will not disclose the brand as this was a one-time incident and not consistent with my overall experience with this brand.)

I arrived at my assigned time and was greeted by an Ulta employee. Funny name was not on the RSVP list even though I had confirmed the evening before. But no worries! They made room for me. I was greeted warmly by a makeup artist and she immediately started applying an illuminating serum/primer and then foundation to my face. She set these products with translucent powder.

At this point, she handed me the mirror and asked what I thought. I had to be honest and tell her that I didn't think the foundation was the appropriate shade. It was very obvious that it was oxidizing into a deep orange glow. Give it 15 minutes and it would be even worse. She didn't agree, but offered to match it along with a lighter shade on my neck. It was immediate that her initial color choice was off. But she started to disagree with me and then solicited the opinion of several other makeup artists. The most senior artist stepped up and told her that the color wasn't right and to remove it. At this point, the first artist exited for her break and then passed me off to the senior artist.

After the first shade was removed and the new shade was applied, it looked significantly better. She continued and applied concealer and a heavy handed layer of translucent powder. My skin felt tight as I was not used to heavy powder application. I had mentioned that my skin was normal to dry, but I don't think that she factored this information into the product selection.

Next, the senior artist asked me what look I preferred for my eyes: natural or dramatic. I chose the natural option. However, she opted to use some very bright purples with extremely heavy eyeliner and thick mascara. Normally mascara doesn't bother me, but the way she had applied it was killing my eyes.

She continued with a natural mauve blush that worked well for my skin tone. The one positive thing!

But we headed downhill once she picked a lip shade. I wanted to try one of their newer chubby lip pencils that was receiving good reviews. The first color she selected was way too mauve (cool toned) for me. I told her that I preferred a shade with some warmer or neutral tones. She then chose a tangerine shade that oxidized into a dark rose hue. It was so bizarre, and she was puzzled by the reaction. She then removed it and applied a primer (eye primer?) with a white, pink hue to help neutralize any other colors on my lips. Next, she choose a baby pink shade and I was starting to get antsy. My lips looked hideous and they were getting quite irritated from all of the different products applied and removed. They were bright red!

It got worse as she continued through nearly every lip pencil shade. In the end, she just applied the original mauve shade. But it was completely off due to all of the layers of other products. My lips stung and I was not pleased with the results. But thank God the makeover was over!

So what are the big takeaways from my negative makeover experience:
  • Speak up immediately. If you don't think a color or product will work for you, voice your opinion before you get too far into the makeover. The artist wants you to be happy as you'll be more likely to purchase items.
  • Exit early, if needed. My mistake was continuing through the rest of the makeover. I should have found a reason to leave after the eye makeup was applied. Why did I make myself continue to endure a bad experience?
  • Don't buy out of guilt. My big confession. I did purchase something, but my conscious got the best of me and I returned it on principle.  
Will this negative experience stop me from future makeovers? Absolutely not!  This was purely a one-time incident. After 2+ decades of counter makeovers, I was destined to get one bad one along the way. However, I will be more selective on where I go for a makeover. Sorry Ulta.

What about you? Any makeover disasters? I'd love to hear your stories or lessons learned from these events. Drop me a line in the comments box.

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