In December 2018, the festivities are in full swing at one of America’s busiest department stores. London.
I was 18 years old and had no retail experience, but my qualifications in TV, film and stage makeup landed me a job as a beauty consultant for a well-known cosmetic brand.
After a quick introduction, I dutifully stood at the counter, holding a sparkling new brush belt, ready to make people feel beautiful.
On cue, a customer made a beeline and requested a foundation match. I worked on finding her perfect shade and applied it all over her face to make sure she was happy. I did. She examined herself in the mirror.
“I look a little flat. Could you add a little more bronzer?
Freya Barnes Webb, pictured, tells the horror story of her beauty customer service in retail.
When she kept asking for concealer, blush, lip gloss, I happily obliged and even complied…
“Your eyeshadow is amazing,” she says, looking up at me with puppy eyes.
“I wish I could do this on my date tonight.”
it did the trick. She finally made up her entire face and walked away as I applied eyeshadow.
I resumed my position at the counter when one of my colleagues, a brand veteran, dropped by.
“She does that to every new girl,” she explained.
Surprisingly, some people are trying to get refunds for counterfeit cosmetics.
I didn’t even realize the woman wasn’t buying anything.
Regardless of ulterior motives, the kind people were more than happy to help as a welcome respite from Christmas shoppers.
Their requests – “Give me this,” “I need one of these,” “Can I get a free gift?” – ring in my ears long after the shift.
Each day, some characters came over to do their makeup for the day. Treat the counter as your personal vanity. Smear on a non-sterilized lipstick tester. Apply mascara directly from the wand instead of using disposable mascara.
If they knew how many bacteria per square centimeter the average beauty tester had, they probably would have refrained — 200 times more than a typical toilet seat.
The department store where I worked is the shopping destination of choice for the ultra-rich in London.
FREYA face saver
- free sample? If you ask nicely, you’ll probably get one – I’ve given bundles to polite people.
- Ask for a dark foundation sample to use as a liquid bronzer. Apply a small amount (using a brush or sponge) to the edges of your face for a liberating sun-kissed glow.
- Save on tinted moisturizers by mixing 1 part foundation with 2 parts face cream. Try adjusting the ratio.
- Use lipstick as a creamy blusher. Rub the smudge between your thumb, middle and ring fingers, then tap the apple on your cheek and blend upwards.It fits perfectly on the lips, so you can get a more cohesive finish at half the price.
- Revive your dry mascara with a few drops of contact lens solution (or eye drops – the non-medicated kind) and swirl it around with a wand.
- If you want perfectly even wings, keep both eyes open when you look in the mirror while applying the liner. squint one eye.
It was an eye opener. Shortly after I started working there, an apparently wealthy woman ordered me to demonstrate makeup products to her assistant.
As soon as I start applying heavy black kajal eyeliner than the lady nods in her approval and points at the till.
I immediately tried to remove the piece, but she raised her hand with a sharp “no”.
After making the purchase, she ran off with one smoky-eyed poor assistant.
When I wasn’t dealing with qualified ultra-rich, I was manning the cash register, the hub of all Chancers.
Customers flocked to demand refunds for counterfeits of our products and foundations that had been emptied and refilled with cheaper products.
More often than not, I sniffed and told them I knew it wasn’t real and waited for their reaction.
Temporary embarrassment ends up requiring you to speak to the manager, who normally makes refunds, to avoid complaints to head office.
One thing I never got used to was the vandalism. One particular woman routinely roamed the halls, stretching her arms and slamming bottles of foundation and designer perfumes onto the floor.
The sound of shattered glass quieted the entire floor as they fell like dominoes.
Security guards escorted her out, but she returned the next week and had the whole thing redone.
Recently, I met a former colleague and was reminded of them.
It reminded me of a woman pumping foundation from a tester into a sandwich bag. Wild children chewing on lipstick testers while her mother transforms.
But it wasn’t all bad. There were many wonderful people who reminded me why I originally liked makeup.
My favorite was an attractive older woman who would drift and ask for me most of the week. She gave me her best life advice when I dressed her up.
Thanks to guests like her, I stayed 18 months. But in the end, even her visit wasn’t enough to make up for the rudeness of the thieves and chancers.
Greetings to all beauty consultants. As you know, it’s not as glamorous as it looks.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/beauty/article-11962021/Beauty-beastliness.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Beauty and the Beast | Daily Mail Online