There are some people in life who you just have to put your trust in. Your doctor, for example, or the sports physio who tells you that although they’re inflicting huge pain on you right now, actually it will all be for the best. Sales assistants on make-up counters fall into this category for many – but should we always trust them?
I’m not going to fall into that trap of banging on about how orange and overly made-up they all are, partly because I suspect the brands they work for actually encourage employees to pile on the cosmetics. However, when it comes to their recommendations, I know loads of people who have been caught out. My flatmate, for example, has skin as pale and porcelain as they come, and is constantly fobbed off with orangey base concoctions that just don’t work for her.
The thing is, it’s quite hard to argue with someone who supposedly ‘knows their stuff’ and who tells you over and over again that this is the perfect shade for you.
Recently, I had an experience at Gatwick Airport’s MAC counter where I decided to treat myself to some duty-free Studio Sculpt foundation. Since I hadn’t been colour matched for the brand before, I asked the sales lady to help me out.
“I’m going to try NW25 on you” she told me, brushing some onto my jawline. Since I had a (slight) summer tan at the time, the colour looked about right. “I’ll take it!” I told her, so she fished the product out of a drawer, bagged it up and sold it to me.
Job done? Well not quite. About 10 minutes later, when I looked at the foundation in my bag, it turned out she’d given me NW30. Although this was a bit of an annoyance, I thought it couldn’t be too much hassle to go back and swap it over. I was wrong.
The sales lady in question simply insisted that NW30 was the colour I had tried originally, and as she rolled her eyes and spoke to me like a simpleton I eventually got too embarrassed to argue. BIG MISTAKE.
I tried the foundation, and as expected, looked like an Oompa Loompa who’d just come back from four weeks in the Sahara.
Never mind, I thought to myself, I’ll go and change it at a local MAC counter. In fact, it wasn’t so local, as it involved me taking a tube to Oxford Street, but hey-ho, I thought, at least I won’t be the colour of a Capri Sun. Again, though, the woman refused to take the foundation back, telling me my only option was to buy a new one. As if I have money to burn!
By this point, I was really annoyed, so sent an arsey email to MAC asking them to sort it out! The UK email address, in case you’re looking is CONSUMERCARE-UK@gcc.maccosmetics.com
I have to say they’ve redeemed themselves. Although the response was slow. they did send me the replacement product I requested, which showed up at my office yesterday and is perfect.
So the moral of the story is – don’t let the make up ladies convince you into a bad purchase, and if it does all go tits up, write a sternly worded email!