Let me share a little known fact about myself – I am not confident when it comes to makeup. I am one of those people who does what they know, but doesn’t venture too far off the grid, because heaven knows what might happen. I don’t know why this is – my mom is a whiz with makeup, but I’ve never felt overly confident or daring. Now, that’s not to say I don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole of Instagram and YouTube videos, because I DO. I just struggle to recreate their techniques on myself. Skincare – I’m all over it. Makeup – not so much. After seeing Kelsey‘s live makeup tutorial on Instagram + Katie’s recent makeup post, I decided to take a peek into my own makeup bag and realized that tons of my makeup was old and I had been wearing the same gross stuff for years. I knew that stuff needed to be replaced, but I’m intimidated by the loud music at MAC and the abundance of products at Sephora. Also, is it just me or is everyone that works at those places flawless? After using what I had in my makeup bag to get ready for our recent military ball, I was like..attention must be paid!
So I ventured into Sephora by myself. On a Saturday. I swear there were probably 400 customers packed in there, people getting their makeup done, and I had all these thoughts running through my head like….You moron – why didn’t you do this on some random Tuesday and not Saturday?! But I was already there and so I just sucked it up and approached a woman who didn’t appear like she was already helping another customer. What I had replayed over and over in my head was to just explain that I needed new makeup since what I had always used was old. I don’t know if it was just over-stimulation or what, but I squeaked out “Hi, I really need something for my face.” Okay so yeah. We were off to a great start. From there, I felt like I couldn’t suck the words back into my mouth fast enough, so I think I followed it up with “I mean, like makeup. What I have is really old and smells kind of weird at this point and so I just would like a makeover.” If walking out of the store at that point was an option, I would have ducked for cover and ran.
Thankfully, the girl didn’t laugh in my face (though maybe she was laughing in her head – who knows), and was pretty much like, “LET’S DO IT!” She explained she just wanted to use this little machine she had in her pocket to scan my face to get a color match and then we could go from there. The machine itself was pretty cool and she scanned it in a few different places, then brought it all up on a screen for me to see. She patiently explained every single aspect of the products that popped up (in the color shade I would need) and asked what my skin was like – oily, dry, combo, etc. She also happily answered all my questions and even laughed with me when I said I was willing to invest in quality products, but didn’t have a month’s worth of rent to fork over on new stuff.
As we went around the store and sampled products on me, she would walk me through what the product was, what it was supposed to do and how to apply it. One time she was like “Okay Kait, watch in the mirror, I swear you can easily do this too.” I know this probably sounds incredibly cheesy, but it felt really good to 1. Have her call me by my name and 2. Hear her explain the entire process start to finish and make it feel so attainable for me at home.
For each product that we sampled and I liked, she scanned it into the device she was carrying around and created a list of each product, the color and the price to send to me in an e-mail. I think by the end I had over $400 worth of product I had liked and she said “This is kind of expensive, but let me be transparent – I don’t want you to feel pressured to buy any of it right this minute. I’m happy to send you this e-mail so you can have it, think it over and decide which products you want to start with and then build from there.” I don’t know why, but at that moment I just wanted to hug her. There is truly nothing worse (in my opinion) than feeling pressured into buying a ton of products on the spot.
I ended up going with Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation and Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Concealer to start, but I’ve already order bronzer and this highlighter. It’s safe to say that I walked out of there feeling a little bit happier and a lot more confident. I’m so happy that I pushed myself to go in there and agreed to letting my Sephora artist (Aiko was her name – she’s at Honolulu at Ala Moana and ROCKS!) take the lead. For what it’s worth, Sephora has absolutely no idea who I am and didn’t pay me to write this or sing their praises, but here I am, because my experience was so genuinely good.
Have you ever had a customer service experience that changed the game for you?