Jun 212012

So you’ve decided to have fun shopping for makeup. But before you go and splurge, there are a few things you need to watch out for so you don’t get conned into buying a whole lot of stuff you don’t really need.

1) Sales people
They will flutter around you like moths pushing any number of products and shades under your nose. I don’t know whether this is a tactic they use to bamboozle you into buying a lot of stuff. All I know is that it can make you quite confused and disoriented and before you know it, you’ve bought shades you don’t care for and products that you could have done without, and you’ve spent way more than you intended to.
To avoid this,

  • Narrow down your requirements before heading to the shops. Even if you’ve not decided on a particular brand and product name, think about the qualities you desire in the makeup you want to buy. For example, if buying lipstick, think about which colour family you want, what kind of finish you need and of course, a maximum spending limit.
  • Once you reach the makeup counter, stick to your guns and only look at the product you’ve come there to buy.
  • If you do want to browse, plan one trip to the makeup shops just for browsing. Use a separate trip for purchases.

2) Billing
Recently, I noticed that every time I went to a makeup counter (especially the ones that are grouped together in bigger shopping centres like Central, Westside and others) the store assistants would write out the bill for a product before I had finalised my choices. The reason for this became apparent to me when I cancelled a product I had set aside as an option. It was a lip pencil and after browsing through a few other brands and colours, I’d realised that I didn’t need that one. The assistants looked a little disturbed at this and when I asked them what was wrong, they told me that the girl at that counter had already written out a bill. They were worried that she’d be unhappy now that it was cancelled. Why are they writing out bills for products that have not been finalised?! I realised then (silly me!) that they are not focused on helping you find the product that best suits you. They are focused on getting the bill from their counter paid for and listed in the system so they can get their commission. This is totally understandable from the store assistant’s point of view.
However, this situation is likely to cause you to feel kind of obliged to buy the product anyway because the bill’s been made already. This billing tactic is also part of the problem I’ve discussed  in point 1 above. You see, they flutter around you shoving 5 to 6 shades in your face all at once and then, as soon as you show a preference for any of the shades, they run to make the bill. And if you’re not careful to do a recap of the products and shades you’ve chosen, you end up paying for stuff you didn’t really want.
To avoid this,

  • Make sure that only one assistant is helping you
  • State clearly to the assistant that nothing is to be billed until you clearly ask for the bill
  • Do not allow them to keep aside the product that you’ve chosen but set it aside yourself
  • Go through the products you’ve set aside one last time before asking for the bill
  • Make sure that the bill is given into your hand and not carried to the cashier by the assistant.

3) Discounts and Schemes
These are sneaky little hooks that somehow make you end up spending double of what you had originally intended. Discounts can be a great way to save money or get more for what you’ve paid but they can also give you temporary blindness. Suddenly, shades look prettier, you discover that you just have to buy a product you didn’t even know about 2 minutes ago, you find yourself thinking that it’s now or never. IT ISN’T!
To avoid this,

  • First choose your stuff and make a note of the details of the products you’ve chosen.
  • Then tell the assistant you’ll be back in a couple of minutes and go out of sight of the makeup counter. Spend 5 minutes with yourself and then ask yourself whether you still really want all that stuff.
  • Go back and complete the purchase.

Most of the time you will prevent yourself from spending too much. Don’t worry about the discount ending. There are discounts throughout the year :-).

  2 Responses to “Beginner’s Guide: Shopping For Makeup Without Getting Conned”


    I just would like to add: swatching makeup or asking an MUA to apply it on your face doesn’t obligate you to buy it.

    This is a great post, Stephanie! :)

 Leave a Reply