Like most beauty lovers, I love nothing more that looking in the mirror and seeing an upgraded version of myself. Since I am not a makeup artist, I do find that I struggle in creating some of the looks – I mean you wing eyeliner – that are popular or making the rounds on Instagram these days. So, I do what any red-blooded woman in the midst of a midlife crisis does. I schedule a beauty appointment at Sephora in the hopes that one of the experts can help me achieve major cat eye status.
As a Sephora VIB, all I have to do is make a $50 minimum purchase to get a “free” beauty consultation. Since I was turning the BIG 40 in August, I strategically schedule it on my birthday thinking:
1. I get to look all glam for my birthday celebration that evening
2. Spending $50 would be easy seeing as I was going to do a mini-splurge anyways on myself on my big day.
This is the first time I was going to go for a makeover at Sephora, so I was pretty stoked. I walk in at 12pm sharp and I am greeted by one of the ladies as I walk through the door. She asks my name and promptly sits me down in one of the vacant chairs next to the cutest girl. She was fresh-faced and calm and she smiled at me through the mirror. I smile back seeing my reflection and the first thought that came to my mind was that the lights beaming down on me made me look like I didn’t have any eyebrows.
Damn, my fair-haired ancestors.
My beauty consultant comes by and asks me what look I am going for today. I told her, that I typically aim for a more natural look, but since it’s my birthday, I might want to take it up a few notches. She wishes me a quick Happy Birthday (wonder how many birthday makeovers she does in a day?) and then takes my color IQ or whatever you call it with that little machine that they place all over your face and then proceeds to fly around the store finding all the things to make me look beautiful.
As she picks up products, she drops them off on the counter next to me. So far, she has landed on a Lancôme foundation, Laura Marcier pressed powder, Nars concealer and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Dip. She also must have noticed my browless forehead.
Fresh Faced Beauty next to me looks down at the Lancome bottle and tells me that foundation is very expensive. I ask her if it’s any good and she just shrugs and leaves it at that. I am so not good at the chit-chat thing. Her beauty consultant has all the products laid out in front of her and the first thing that caught my eye was the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. It looked so fiery and sexy that I immediately thought maybe I can request to have a look made with that palette.
My consultant comes back and places the NARSsist Unloaded Palette in front me. This is where it starts to go downhill. You see, if I were more of an assertive person, I would have told her that I already own that palette and that for that reason, I wanted to try something new, but I let it go and this is, precisely, also where everything started going wrong.
The NARS palette has a range of earthy and fiery colors that are right in line with my look, but she immediately went to the darker colors and when she began to smoke my eyes out with the darkest brown shade in the collection, I knew immediately I didn’t like it. I sat there watching her dip into that color repeatedly and never told her that dark colors are not my style or that I’m really not looking to go for a look so outside my comfort zone. Just sat there, silently watching her pack on that color.
It didn’t matter that when all was said and done she created a beautiful wing liner or contoured my cheek bones to perfection. That the NARS lip pencil in Cruella she put on my lips was the perfect red for my skin tone and that I added it to by online basket the next day or that when I got a Sephora gift card for my birthday, I also ended up buying the very same Anastasia Beverly Hills Cheek Trio blush she used. All this didn’t matter at that moment because all I wanted to do was get the hell out of the store.
She must have picked up on how uncomfortable I was because when she finished with me, she asked me if I would like her to lighten the eye look a bit, but desperate to just be done with this experience, I told her no. That it was fine and I thanked her and went to pay for some items I had picked out in advance.
This is ultimately more of a tale of caution, that a beauty horror story and it’s not because this consultant did a terrible job, it’s because I was a terrible customer. I told her what I wanted and never expressed any of my concerns during the process or guided her to the colors or products that I liked. All I did was sit across Fresh Faced Beauty and lament how beautiful her makeover was going compared to mine.
That really was not fair to myself or to my beauty consultant. In the end, I told her I liked the look. I led her to believe that I was a happy customer and that I was going to give her a good review. She would never know that I felt so uncomfortable with the amount of black eyeshadow I had on that I put on my sunglasses before I even left the store or that I washed off all the makeup the minute I got home.
It’s been about a week since my failed beauty consultant and I have decided that I will give myself another chance at redemption. Yes, you read that correctly. Not the beauty consultant or Sephora, but myself. I am going to walk in there and ask them to create a look with a few products I have been wanting to try and prove to myself that I am not a pushover or people pleaser because in the end, it’s not always about makeup, right?
Till next time, my friends.