That was what a girl said to me a couple of Fridays ago in a very well known beauty store and I was fuming! What’s wrong with having high standards, I asked myself and so what if I am critical? Was she implying that after applying several layers of primer, foundation, concealer, powder, blusher etc… that I couldn’t look any better? Did she feel that she’d worked her magic and that was it, the only option being for me to buy every product now, no questions asked?
To set the scene, I’d chosen this location for my make-up shopping as they have a good selection of brands and in my eyes they are therefore not biased to any one product – and I asked an assistant to help me locate the “perfect” foundation. I kept mentioning a certain brand that I really wanted to try but, because there were 5 make-up artists from a different brand standing around (who I found out were there for an event later on in the day and were clearly bored to death) – she made it very clear that I should be “assisted” by one of them, even though I’d already said I’d tried this particular brand before and I wasn’t that impressed.
Anyway, after applying all the layers of make-up as above, I looked in the mirror…and, embarrassingly, I wasn’t that happy with what was staring back at me. You know when you go “Oooh… (furiously scanning your face like The Terminator would do)… Mmm, yes that looks nice”. Well, this was exactly what I was doing… but at the same time what I was actually thinking was that I looked a bit yellowy and matt – when I’d specifically said that I wanted a “glowing” (youthful) look! Now call me picky, but if I’m spending money on something like foundation then I actually want some “vaguely evident” results. I don’t want to look as though I’ve gone to Boots and spent £10! What’s the point in spending the extra £50??
So I had a choice: either say, “Yes it’s lovely I’ll have it”, or dare to be honest and say “Actually I’d like you to start again and try something else!” That’s the problem with make-up shopping, once the assistant has found you, in their opinion, the “perfect” match of foundation for example, you’re made to feel as though you have to automatically buy it. It’s not the norm to go from counter to counter getting them to make you up and then go to the next place to try again.
However, once the girl helping me had uttered the “You’re very critical” comment, I made my mind up – I was going to try something else and I didn’t care how long she’d spent making me up! So a little sheepishly, I approached another girl in the shop (who worked for the store and not a specific brand) and told her what had happened and she said the make-up did look a bit mask like! OMG – I’d nearly spent £40 on that!!! And it took her 3 attempts to get off the under-eye concealer the other girl had used, it was so thick! Anyway, cutting a long story short she selected several products from different brands, which was exactly what I wanted and I left happy and “glowing”. If I’m honest, the youthful “glow” I’m after is probably only achieved after using several jars of exceedingly expensive face-cream or something altogether more “industrial”… like a chemical peel! But as I’m not into bee-keepers hats (do you remember the episode of SATC where Samantha had a chemical peel before Carrie’s book launch party and because her face was peeling so badly after she’d had it done, she had to wear a black veil over her face in bee-keeper fashion – and was told to stay away from the food at the party as she was putting people off!). On second thoughts I might put that off for a little while…!!
I was mentioning my make-up experience to a good friend of mine and she said a similar thing had happened to her when wedding dress shopping the other week. She’d booked viewing appointments in several stores and in one very well known bridal shop. After being given their “book” to browse through, she said that there weren’t any that caught her eye. The assistant then replied, “You’re very fussy aren’t you!” Er… yes she is very fussy!!! She’s deciding on the dress that will be worn on one of the most important days of her life, spending possibly the most she’ll ever spend on a single item of clothing and she wants it to be absolutely right! My friend didn’t want someone simply stuffing a book in front of her and basically saying “Pick one!” She did end up however, having the most wonderful experience in Browns Bridal shop in London (www.brownsfashion.com). She was pampered and taken around the whole store, being shown exquisite dresses (with exquisite price tags too though, unfortunately)…. She hasn’t made her final decision but she did fall in love with one dress there – it sounded amazing!
At the end of the day I think we’re well within our rights to say, “I’d like to try something else please” or “No, I don’t like any of those dresses” and not feel awkward or guilty about it. We’re all thinking more about how we spend our money at the moment and if we decide to part with it, we want to know we’re getting the best for our hard-earned cash.
So I think here’s one for my list of New Years resolutions: next time I’m in a situation where I’m feeling pressurized to buy something and I’m not 100% convinced (especially when the refund policy is slightly questionable), I’m simply going to smile and say “Thank you so much, I’ll think about it!” – Well that’s the plan anyway…