I went shopping with a slightly less enthusiastic-about-makeup friend, and god love her, she shuddered when I approached the Make Up Counters in Harvey Nichols. She was mortified that I was browsing when they (the Sales Assistants) were standing there [like vultures].
I’m make up savvy enough to say no to something if I don’t want it, but I am not immune to some pleasure – especially when someone has spent a lot of time with me, it’s impossible for me to leave with nothing.
But then this is rare. I don’t know what other people experience at Make Up Counters, (this is TOTALLY OBJECTIVE, and every brand must have thier star staff and crap ones) but there are counters where people are friendly enough and do their job, like getting you what you want, describing the products (Shiseido, Chanel, YSL for example), some counters which are just plain irritating to visit (Clinique, MAC!!!!! – I’ve resorted to mail order with MAC) and some I just love to visit (Nars, Shu Uemura, RMK).
Ok the standard counters? They’re the ones where I know I will be served within 10 mins or so, and the consultant will be friendly. The irritating ones in my experience are like MAC and Clinque – I can turn into stone for all they care, I am NOT getting served.
In all fairness, when I visted the Liverpool store the consultants were friendly – but they were a new store back then! But generally I like them there and I have been four times altogether!!
In my store in Manchester (there are three counters and no standalone stores) I have literally been the only person there *tumbleweed goes past* and there will be 5 SA’s chatting about their night out, and reapplying fifty tons of eyeshadow and bronzer……and totally ignoring me. And there I was with a £200 shopping list in my hand. There is definately a sense of….superiority and it is intimidating and uncomfortable to shop there. I have never had a MAC consultant offer to try something on me, even when I bought a concealer, she slapped it on her own face, and said “There.” – well, that will help since you are 5 shades lighter than me!
Clinique – well, I don’t find the SA’s there professional Make Up Artists in all honesty anyway, but I certainly don’t like to be ignored for 30 mins!
The counters I love? I used to be totally addicted to my local Shu counter – the staff was what made it so special because they were genuinely talented artists and introduced me to a lot of new things. Sob sob, a lot of the staff moved on 🙁 but we will always have the memories, and about 100 Shu eyeshadows….
I also love my local Nars counter because of one member of staff who always spends a lot of time with me and does not pressure me into buying a load of crap. It is like therapy getting a make up done by her! RMK is another one of my favourites, because I adore the Manager there who is bubbly and friendly and also adopts the none pressure approach.
Its all personal of course, every counter is different, I wouldn’t judge a brand just by its staff, but it makes a huge huge difference if you hate the staff or love them.
Does anyone have any loves or hates?