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What's the least scary department store make-up counter?

(28 Posts)
ScarlettCrossbones Tue 14-Jun-11 11:40:20

My lips are disappearing and I just need to run in, get some advice about the right colour to make them look simply as though I HAVE lips, so the merest rosy-brown-y colour, then run out again as fast as I can. The only other makeup I wear is mascara, because my eyelashes were disappearing too. Ah, age. grin

I've very occasionally had a makeover in the past but the girls on the counter have always turned me into an over-made-up panda-eyed starlet - they want me to look just like them! - despite my protests.

Please, which counter has sympathetic middle-aged women who won't intimidate, laugh at me or recoil in horror when I say I usually wash my face with handsoap ...?

doglover Tue 14-Jun-11 11:42:33

Watching with interest ......................

dottyaboutstripes Tue 14-Jun-11 11:48:23

I think it's random - the Dior counter always looked scary to me but I got a really lovely (and young, gorgeous) assistant who was fantastic. My local Clinique ladies are very friendly and can't do enough for you, whereas another Clinique counter I went to recently had such a b*tchy, nasty woman that I walked away. Maybe you need to lurk & watch to see how they treat others?!

ShatnersBassoon Tue 14-Jun-11 11:52:27

Something like Boots No7 might be your best bet. I always feel more intimidated by the women at the premium brand counters, although I really don't know why.

Having said that, the nicest make-up counter experiences I've had have always been at Clinique. The women have told me about their camping trips, their children's stupidity, their varicose veins and various other normal things. They're not so intimidating when you remember they're simply shop assistants who are obliged to apply a heavy mask of make-up every morning.

blossoming Tue 14-Jun-11 12:12:46

Have you every been to Bobbi Brown? I had such a good experience there recently.

c0rrnsilk Tue 14-Jun-11 12:13:50

Chanel are friendly

MadameOvary Tue 14-Jun-11 12:15:57

Benefit are good IME.

Bucharest Tue 14-Jun-11 12:22:52

Clarins are lovely.

(have tried them in both Boots and John Lewis and without exception they are very normal)

I fled to them having been turned into David fucking Dickinson/Pippa Middleton tango'd woman by Estee Lauder. The lovely Clarins lady said "oh no, we do natural here, we don't do orange"

That said, I want some rouge coco lippy so am venturing to Chanel next week.

WhereonearthamI Tue 14-Jun-11 12:51:49

Had a makeover at Bobbi Brown and it was horrendous. Eye shadow halfwayup my forehead, with blusher not far below. I know I'm not an expert, but it was very, very strange.

However, the Dior counter at Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow. Manned by a bloke when I was there two weeks ago which made me curious, and as I needed some foundation and cover-up I thought I'd give it a go. AMAZING. Not only did he make me look nice, he didn't try to flog me anything more than I'd asked for (even though he did use blusher on me, but just to show how it would look), and he suggested that by spending money on the base I could use cheap everything else.

I'd go back there if I could afford it!

ScarlettCrossbones Tue 14-Jun-11 13:02:48

Ah, Whereonearth; fortuitiously, I'm in Glasgow! I think I will seek out that nice-sounding man ... a lot less intimidating ...

Pagwatch Tue 14-Jun-11 13:16:45

Go to spacenk.
They have lots of ranges rather than one so they are less biased.
Plus I always leave their with loads and loads of samples of all sorts of stuff.

It looks scary but they are lovely.

bellavita Tue 14-Jun-11 13:21:01

I had a make over at the Sue Devitt counter in Harvey Nicks in London. The make up lady was bloody fabulous.

ellangirl Tue 14-Jun-11 13:29:29

Bobbi Brown at Edinburgh John Lewis are always lovely. Have been to one in London though and the man there could not have cared less. Benefit once made me look like an oompa loompa then claimed it was only the effect of the store lights. It wasn't hmm.

Tolalola Tue 14-Jun-11 13:35:16

Origins are lovely, ime. Clarins can be v. nice or a bit snotty, depends.

Estee Lauder and Benefit are two to avoid, ime.

mosschops30 Tue 14-Jun-11 13:40:43

Clarins are usually lovely. Can also recommend the lady on the chanel counter in boots in cardifc, she is amazing

nicespam Tue 14-Jun-11 13:42:56

i love the way estee lauder say 'welcome to estee lauder' and go along with the sell iywkim! it's fun

LadyWithNoManors Tue 14-Jun-11 13:44:56

At my local Benefit counter they don'y have a make-up lady they have a make-up man. Very beautifully applied make-up he has too. smile

fraktious Tue 14-Jun-11 13:58:16

It totally depends. I had a lovely man and lovely woman at Estee Lauder as well as an awful one, a fab Laura Mercier (middle aged) woman but another who made me look like death, a scary woman at Mac and another at Bobbi Brown, Dior intimidated me, YSL made me look so different I hardly recognised myself and not in a good way and Chanel was a wonderful experience but really complicated and I ended up with far more being done than I asked for....

So it depends.

polyhymnia Tue 14-Jun-11 14:06:09

Agree with everyone that they vary and there are good and bad working for all brands - even brands I'd usually recommend like Bobbi Brown.

I have always found going to Space NK for makeovers a pleasant experience.

titferbrains Tue 14-Jun-11 14:13:01

Try finding a gay guy to do the makeover? I have been to a nice guy at Trish Mcavoy in Selfridges and he was extremely helpful and patient. Better at listening to yr needs as they don't put on a full face of slap everyday... I hardly ever wear make up btw but using tips I have gathered from make up counters, (I can also recommend Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier) I usually get compliments when I do wear make up - which is the point no? You want to occasionally make the effort and feel you've made yourself a bit prettier smile

seemsiwasntloved Tue 14-Jun-11 22:02:13


seemsiwasntloved Tue 14-Jun-11 22:02:46

As in cosmetics....not the other type of mac!

CoffeeIsMyFriend Tue 14-Jun-11 22:06:51

I was in NY and got accosted by the campest, most beautiful man at the Benefit counter. He used some products on me and I loved the result. He also did the same to my friend - but in different colours according to our hair/skin tone. The difference was fab.

Anyway, I always use the hi light, the mascara and blush thing from Benefit now.

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 14-Jun-11 22:12:45

Ok, so my advice would be:

a) people are people - some are nice, some aren't.
b) pick a counter that has people working on it whose makeup you like. Tell them what you're looking for
c) {and this is not meant to sound nasty!} Toughen up. You're asking them for a service, one that they are paid to do. Why should they laugh at you or intimidate you? If they try, it says more about them than it does about you!

If you're looking for lip-coloured lips, I'd try Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier or Nars. All are well known for this. Have a good shop!

MeAndRoo Wed 15-Jun-11 14:59:13

I LOVE the Benefit counter in The Glasgow Fort, they are really friendly and they don't push you into buying anything smile MAC in House Of Fraser on Buchanan Street can be a hit or miss but generally have always been helpful smile

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