Friday, July 29, 2011

The Friday Forum - July 29

I'm sure the intense heat we had in July forced the black-eyed susans to bloom early. Even today, after a week of "normal" summer temperatures, we are expecting a brutal heat index again. When I went outside early this morning to put out fox food, I had a short steam bath.

I stopped by the local Nordstrom store this week. I was meeting a friend for dinner in the mall, and it seemed like the perfect time to browse the beauty department (and return an eye cream that was rancid when I bought it). I was astounded that the once discreet sales representatives and product specialists had turned into vultures. The first one swooped as I entered the department. He saw me coming in from the men's clothing area where the door is located. "Are you finding everything you need?" I'm sorry, but isn't that a stupid question to ask someone who clearly just arrived? I looked for a counter manager I know. "They" usually won't bother you when you are accompanied by the competition. Unfortunately, he wasn't working.

The whole time I was in the department, I couldn't walk 10 feet before I was accosted by another one. They were way too aggressive. I wanted to look at the displays. I didn't want to purchase anything, but I had to explain myself at every turn.

I returned the rancid eye cream. The line's representative didn't lose a sale because I bought something more expensive in return. However, she wouldn't stop talking. She tried desperately to explain to me that I was wearing the products "all wrong" and that I needed to layer three of them for the best anti-aging results. If I didn't use the one I didn't want under the one I did want, the products wouldn't absorb properly. Huh? This was a brand I have featured on my blog many times; I know it pretty well. Moving on...

The final straw came when I stopped to look at the MOR display. A sales woman wearing a little shoulder bag (was she supposed to look like a customer?) came over and asked if she could help. I said, "No, thank you." She then persisted, starting to tell me about the MOR line. I said, "Thanks, I know." She kept talking. I had to walk off. I wasn't even allowed, it appears, to gaze at the merchandise in peace. I left the store. I was afraid to slow my pace for fear I'd be accosted again. When did that store's graceful customer service disappear?

Have you had similar experiences at any department store recently? How many times do you have a say, "I'm fine, thank you," to walk through a department at any store? I'd rather hear "Let me know if I can assist you" than "How are you today?"

This week, the arrival pace of the fall beauty collections gained momentum, and I'm expecting to see some long-awaited makeup, skin care, and fragrance very soon. I'm super-excited. I love fall makeup - even when it's 100 degrees outside!

It's time for The Friday Forum, our open chat. Did you find any deals you couldn't resist this week? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.

Don't forget the giveaway contest for Guerlain's Terracotta Bronzing Powder! It will be a nice addition to close out your summer. The deadline for entries is tomorrow, July 30, at midnight.

Photo by Best Things in Beauty

44 comments:

the Muse said...

I can honestly say that I've almost always had this problem at most major department stores. I cannot get away from them. They follow me, proceed to explain in detail what the smallest thing is used for (like a sponge tip applicator), and try to sell me everything under the moon. I am unable to peacefully look through a counter selection without being asked by at least 4 reps if I was ok, if I needed anything, have I seen the new Fall line, how about this eye cream, etc...

It's awful.

In most cases, I can be saved my an MA I know and normally work with thankfully but there are times I want to browse around and that MA is off or not available and that's when the aggressive, pushy ones shove in and start to try to sell me the world.

:(

It's to the point that I rarely bother at counter anymore and simply order things online as at least places such as Sephora have free shipment back if I hate something.

In Sephora I feel like a I'm criminal. This is a store I drop hundreds and hundreds of dollars at and whenever I walk in and touch anything I proceed to have SA's following me around or cleaning products after I touch them (like I have a disease or something) or worst they are as aggressive as a counter employee asking what I need several times.

And still by far the worst are small beauty shops like The Body Shop or Bath and Body Works which have far more aggressive than any store or counter I shop at. They are VULTURES.

I'm quite a polite, soft spoken person so maybe that's why I am an easy target but it saddens me that when I say "Just looking or I'm fine for now" that it doesn't get through for some reason and I'm still pestered to the point that I leave the store without buying anything or simply not bother going back and just order products online.

Thank god for online shopping.

Peaceful, no pushy sales reps, and I can do it in my PJS haha.

Great post!

Charlestongirl said...

LOL, Muse! How to use a sponge-tipped applicator? I love it.

Maybe we need to wear signs that say...

I'm fine today, thanks.
Please let me browse.
If I want help, I'll ask for it.

I guess I'll omit the buzz off part I really want to say.

Even more hilarious? When you tell them what they are receiving next - and they don't know!

Charlestongirl said...

One more thing, my friend...

That's why I shop online more and more. It's a rare day when I set foot in our dirty Sephora store.

Thanks for weighing in. Misery loves company. I do feel sorry for the gals who are given totally unrealistic sales goals, but they are going to get more out of me by being less aggressive.

the Muse said...

Hello there misses! How are you? :-D How's that knee?

Seriously, sponge tip applicator, true story! *insert rolling eyes here*

Sure! We can do them in neon paint lol!

OMG YES yes yes! Actually it's kinda scary they don't even know basic info about Fall Collections 2011. For example, earlier in July some counters hadn't yet gotten Fall...asking after it on counter since it's pretty much viral online...and I get BLANK stares. How is that possible?

You'd think they would know about Fall at the very least by June to train and prepare themselves for upcoming products.

Amen sister. Sephora stores in Manhattan particularly the one on 34th are disgusting.

It's kinda sad because it's not gaining anyone anything, it's actually scaring the consumer away and allow that customer to embrace and enable online shopping even more this in turn is why stores and shops close up :(

Eileen said...

VULTURES FIRST:

I've learned the art of the put down when it comes to the vultures. First, I just look the person in the eye and in a very cool and imperious voice tell them that they are crowding me, that they need to back off and give me some space. I then pointedly ask them if that is going to be a problem and continue to stare at them without so much as blinking. That kind of supercilious control usually embarrasses them and they scurry off. For the hard core, the put down is usually in order. I'll usually say something along the lines of, "You know, dear, I can't help but notice that you have some serious problems with your skin so here, let me give you my dermatologist's card. Perhaps he can help you because it's obvious that whatever you're using isn't working." I hand the poor SA a card and carry on as if the person were no longer there. I have similar strategies for various hard core vultures: skin care, make-up, clothing, etc. It's all in the attitude: excruciatingly polite while delivering the clear message of don't mess with me.

I did have one SA who was thick as a brick and just kept getting in my space despite my best attempts to get her to back off (there's a line I won't cross). So, I left and asked an SA at another counter to call the store manager. When the SM arrived, we walked over to the counter and in front of the SA I told the manager what the problem was and why I was taking my business to the competitor's store. That week I received notes of apology from the store manager, from the counter manager, and from the SA. I was also sent a selection of deluxe samples.

GOOD SA's:

In general, the places I shop have wonderful SA's who strike the perfect balance of professional curtesy and familiarity. Most of them are also very responsive to the standard, "I'm just looking." even though they have been instructed to make multiple contacts with each and every customer. I really don't mind their cheerful greetings and occasional follow ups. In my neck of the woods, the SA's know the difference between friendly and intrusive; between helpful and pushy. I know that in department stores, the cosmetic SA's receive commission and are under a lot of pressure to meet their counter's sales goals. So, I am doubly appreciative when they take the time to enjoy a genuine relationship with me that extends beyond what they can sell to me.

Like many of you, I'm a friendly sort who likes to chat with the SA's, but after we've dispensed with the cheery greetings and occasional air kisses, they know to let me "play" on my own for awhile. I'm a good customer and very seldom leave empty handed.

And, speaking of good SA's, I think I'll be visiting one of my favorite Dior ladies today to pick out a couple of the new Rouge Sérum. They are just so pretty!

Happy weekend everyone!

Sophia1105 said...

Oooo boy I'm sorry to hear about your experience but it helps remind me I'm not being fussy when I'm at a counter--I as well have unfortunately had far too many experiences like that. I recently went to a Nordstrom's to take advantage of their anniversary sale and quite frankly could not focus on the products I wanted to purchase because the SA would.not.stop.talking. Not even about MU, but about herself, her diet and exercise habits, etc. I would have left but it was the only time I had to get out there and I wanted to do more than just browse. I had quite a few items to get for myself and mother and it would have been quite a lovely sale for someone but it was really shrunk down because I could not focus on the task at hand (and yes I like to be very focused when I am deciding on colors! lol). I knew more about the line than the woman helping me, and she was the counter manager. This happened to me last anniversay sale as well, I don't think they understand how much all the chatter doesn't "create an emotional bond" with me, thus encouraging a sale, but rather diminishes my impression of them as a professional (and makes me less likely to purchase again in the future).

I am VERY tired of all of the unsolicited MU tips wrapped around an innocuous put-down ("have you ever wanted to learn how to make your lips look fuller?" and hence why I won't purchase anything from the Nars line--too many times it's happened from their SA's).

As I go MU shopping after a workout with little to no MU on, I understand this fosters an impression that I'm not the MU junkie I am in real life and hence obvious MU tips. But my biggest gripe beyond sales tactics alone is ignoring the word "no" as in "no, I do not want anything to be put on my face," "no, I am not interested in ___, I am only here for ___" or "I do not want to wear that shade" only to hear "Oh but let me put it on you, wait till you see how beautiful it is!" I wish I had your courage to walk out but my instant gratification kick wins out and I stay so I can get what I wanted. I get a kick out of seeing my fiancee's face whenever I tell him these stories, he's always shocked at what women can get away with in their passive-aggressive sales techniques. Sometimes I joke that I'm taking him with me as my bodyguard because of how much gentler and sweeter some women can be in the presence of man, but I don't want to put him through that too much!

kellinicole86 said...

I actually have the complete opposite problem when shopping in cosmetic departments. I clearly am standing around waiting to be helped and no one cares. The worst experience by far was an instance where I approached a counter which was not busy, had 3 ladies working at it, and they had to finish their conversation about botox before they helped me. Shopping for cosmetics has just become so stressful and anxiety ridden for me now that I almost always online shop. Which is said because I love going and just browsing.

Sounds like we could use an equal balance between are experiences. If only the had match.com for SAs, lol

Charlestongirl said...

Hi again, Muse!

The knee is all healed - probably the best part of my body now, thanks. If I could only wave a magic wand and have the other one done, no fuss, just done.

I know they get timely training at NM. Not sure what's going on at Nordies, but it's been bad for awhile. The Lancome reps there are particularly clueless.

Get signs printed...or we can all follow Eileen's advice. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, the "vultures" section of your comment left me laughing out loud. So perfect! If only I weren't so darn polite.

I agree of the good ones, like Kathy Shoreman. She is a gem.

Enjoy your Rouge Sérum! Let us know what shades you select.

Happy weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Kellinicole,

Oh how I wish I could experience what you have! I guess your reps had some serious issues to discuss, due to failure of those creams they were using. LOL

Charlestongirl said...

Sophia, sounds like you need to adopt Eileen's tactics!

What's interesting is that I usually go makeup-free. I wear jeans and certainly look "less than rich." I still get the hard-sell.

I have to believe that the stores are setting sales goals so high that the SAs can't meet them. So, they get desperate, and we all suffer for it.

BTW, I wasn't going to buy the MOR. I just wanted to look. I had already purchased it. I like instant gratification too. :)

the Muse said...

I am so happy to hear that!!!!!!!! My mum is doing quite well too but the humidity doesn't agree with her, she gets a bit stiff ;-D

I'm glad you're doing so well!

I've been to a local Macys (not on 34th) at the Dior counter where the reps have no idea about anything they are selling. It is REALLY sad.


I just have to reply to Sophia. I know what you mean. I like being social and talking to some of my regular reps. I've even befriends my mac guy whom I have dinner with and just hang out together. However, some reps can be overwhelming with endless chatter about everything and nothing at all. I def want a little quiet so I can choose what I want rather than being overwhelmed with endless chatter. I like a personal experience but def don't need to know about your boyfriend, your car problems, and your entire resume history.

*rolls eyes*

on that note I also have had the same experience as Kellin where I am simply ignored....and they are either chatting with each other and just not bother asking if I need help or even ones that are alone at a counter and just ignoring me completely.

Larie said...

Vulture SAs totally put me off. I've also had really rude ones who don't seem to realize that they need to cultivate good customer relations. I was once buying a gift for my mom (at a Chanel counter), and explained that I was looking for a pretty, pinky nude lipstick. The SA was obviously not interested in helping me, but there wasn't anyone else there and she didn't seem to want me to touch things on my own. I said that my mom liked the Rouge Coco line - she has Gabrielle, and loves it. The SA instantly snapped that "Well Gabrielle isn't a pinky nude." I was taken aback. Yeah, Gabrielle is bright red, I realize this, but why would I try to buy her something she already has anyway? My fiancé was with me, and he was astounded that this was how a Chanel representative chose to act. Needless to say, I smiled, stepped away, and made straight for the Lancome counter, where I purchased a lipstick and a blush and some other random things. The Lancome SA was totally sweet and even gift-wrapped it for me. Such startlingly different attitudes!

I guess it's because I'm younger and look even younger than I am, but I am often assaulted by pushy, rude SAs. Oh well. My money's the same as everyone else's! I'm not very confrontational by nature, so I usually just flee until the rude SA is occupied with someone else. Gah.

Charlestongirl said...

Hey Larie!

I'm not sure age has anything to do with it because young gals are known to spend more on beauty products than my age group. Sounds like you ran into an arrogant Chanel rep. Thankfully, you found a nice Lancome one.

Many reps don't want customers to touch testers because of the well-known failure by customers of basic hygiene. Unfortunately, that puts off those of us who are clean. I try to ask for a Q-Tip if anyone is "there." Last year, I published some horrifying statistics on the percent of testers contaminated with bacteria. I know of one product specialist who had to discard literally EVERYTHING on her display because of one customer. Amazing.

Anyhow, I digress. Once you find a good one, ask that person to escort you through the whole department. It will be much more pleasant.

Bunny Masseuse said...

Man, I kind wish I had a vulture at Nordies in Anchorage, AK. I went there the day before I was slated to leave and was blatenely ignored, rep was next to me doing a makeover and the ladies just looked at me across the counter as if either I didn't want anything or they didn't think I could afford it.

I wasn't even in my fishing getup either... so I left empty handed. I wanted 2 of the polishes they had there, that we didn't have local to me at home, but I had to walk away before I wasted any more of THEIR time.

Ugh, otherwise I've never had bad service in Alaska before! Crazy.

Charlestongirl said...

Gosh, Bunny. You'd think they'd be begging for customers in sparsely populated Alaska!

Larie said...

Oh, true, CG, the idea of how dirty makeup testers can be actually creeps me out a bit, so I usually don't swatch anything until I have an SA's attention and they can "sanitize" their products (every little bit helps, right?). At the time, I was just pulling out lipsticks to see the actual bullet colors versus the color "swatch" on the label. I have met plenty of sweet SAs though, so I'm always still hopeful when I walk into stores!

mkdallas said...

Hi, charlestongirl! This is my first post here, but I love your blog (as well as the Muse's)and read it daily! After reading aboout your dismal SA experience at Nordie's, I had to chime in. I have basically stopped buying cosmetics at the high-end mall stores because the SAs are so pushy of late. The biggest perpetrator where I live is Neiman Marcus...omg, they honestly swoop down on you if you so much as hesitate for a nanosecond near their display. I adore perusing the newest offerings and love to swatch as I do. I can't remember ever leaving NM's makeup area without purchasing at least a lipstick, yet they seem put out that I want to be left alone to check out the products and make my own decision about which one is right for me. I can understand needing a conversation when purchasing skincare, but for goodness sake, I'm 53 and know how to use/choose a lipstick. A recent example occurred at the cle De Peau counter at NM. I was interested in one of the Extra Rich lipsticks at a very steep price of $60. I was particularly interested in a semi-matte nude color. A male SA practically leapt over the counter to correct me on the color, by grabbing my hand and swatching a shimmery burgundy shade on it. Even after I told him that I knew what I wanted, he had trouble accepting my choice, lol, and was positive that his choice was a better one for my coloring. Be that as it may, why would I buy a shade that I know I'll never wear because it's too intense for me? I swear, I felt like saying, "thanks but please STFU and take my money for the nude one, so I can run away from you as fast as possible." Whew...thanks for letting me vent! On the flip side, even though the local Sephora has some issues, they seem more content to let me wander and swatch on my own. I've found that one good way to steer them away is when asked if I need some help, I reply, "No thanks. I really enjoying looking around on my own but what's your name if I have a question?" As the others have said, thank goodness for online shopping!

Bunny Masseuse said...

@Charlestongirl: I agree, you would think! I made up for the loss of no purchase, I hit the DFS in Seattle in the C gate area? and got myself 2 Dior travel items that I have not seen elsewhere and are only DFS available.

Anonymous said...

Hi, love your blog - and I think Sephora is the WORST offender. I also feel like a criminal there and can't stand telling all 10 salespeople I'm just looking and have them follow me around. I'm a 40-something professional person and I don't think I have a big sign on me that says "Likely shoplifter!"

The best store to browse in my area without being attacked is actually Neiman Marcus. If you say "I'm just looking" they leave you alone but are never far away if you actually need something. I have also had the experience in Nordstrom of being told I'm either doing something wrong or that I need all 27 elements of their skincare system or the foundation won't "work right." Argh! I refuse to buy anything at Nordstrom or Sephora brick-and-mortar. Great post! And back off, salesladies! - Angela

Victoria said...

Wow! I have a a horrible Chanel counter experience too. I was looking for a waterproof eyeliner and walked around looking at all the counters. I stopped at the Chanel counter and this woman who was much older than me ordered me to sit down and she would put some one me.

As I'm sitting there, she comments on the fact that my eye lides are red~ish and I look tired (not really any eye makeup on). My response was that I was tired. She's was like well that's not an excuse to look it....you look like you're in your mid 40s (i was 31 and look younger most people say). She then puts some concealer on my eye lids and was like there, not you look better. I was so shocked I didn't really know what to say. Though, I left the counter and didn't buy anything and she's the counter manager I'm told!

Sophia1105 said...

Thank you, Muse, for understanding the balance between brief, cordial conversation and just too much. Shopping for make-up requires focus ;) I can't have mine disrupted.

Liliana said...

I am quite lucky, in Seattle, both Nordstrom's and Macy's SA are understanding when I say "No, thank you, I am just looking" and let me in peace. Same for Sephora. I find SA in US much better than in France, for department stores and Sephora alike, being more helpful and less pressuring you into buying something, but generally customer's service is much much better here, in my opinion.

I suppose each of us got a bad experience at some point in time, for my part, I hate being ignored while several SA are agglutinated with one client or together and make me feel I really bother them with my question...

I got the illuminating powder from EL and I think is love (but not sure yet 100%) :)

Have a nice weekend, ladies :)

Deb said...

Oh, it so great to see that I am not alone!! Especially to see that beauty bloggers are ranting about this. And what I mean by that is when well known beauty bloggers are displeased, then something is wrong. I spend a pretty hefty sum of money yearly on cosmetics....mostly high end stuff. But I don't go to counters often enough to establish a relationship with a SA or MA. I am 55 yrs old and I know what I like and what I want. Period. I know my flaws, what my skin responds to, what it doesn't respond to, what types of products work for me, what don't, etc. I do hours of research reading blogs and so forth before I ever set foot in a store so that when I do go I know exactly what I am looking for. Having people lunging at me and badgering me is just intolerable. I don't believe in making demeaning or humiliating comments to them but I do politely and firmly tell them I am just browsing and will ask for help if I need it. If they continue to pester me, I just leave. However, I've noticed over the last couple of years that even that doesn't work any more. So I mostly just shop online with vendors that have a generous return policy. Bottom line: if you continue to shop in person at places that have bad customer service or pushy SAs, then you really have no grounds to complain. Why? Because you are there....shopping! Cut them out or put up with it because all indications are that high pressure sales tactics are here to stay. Do I like it? No way. But you all have to know that large companies are only interested in the sale. And if you continue to patronize them, what possible motivation do they have to change? Just something to think about.

Shannon (Lipstick Musings) said...

I simply cannot believe that someone had the nerve to tell you (YOU!! of all people) that you don't know how to use products correctly. That's not merely stupid...it's rude, offensive, and completely out of line. To try to make a customer feel ignorant is totally unacceptable.

This is precisely why I try to develop a good relationship with the SA's at the lines I prefer. I can have them grab items from other lines if I need them to, I don't have to explain my likes/preferences to them, and they don't mind if I'm just looking occasionally because they know I'll be back soon to purchase.

I've made a point of really getting to know the SA's at my local Chanel and Dior counters and at the Laura Mercier counter at a mall I only visit occasionally. They know me by name (and at this point, they even know my daughters' names because we spent so much time at the mall while we were all out of school this summer), and I know what's going on in their lives. The other SA's in the department know my preferred lines and greet me when I walk past, but don't try to push anything on me.

Of course, when I go to other malls, all bets are off. I, too, get pushed, prodded, accosted, etc. by overly enthusiastic SA's throughout the department. On a recent visit to Dillard's at an unfamiliar mall, not only did I get a really, really bad makeover at "Line X" by a girl who had no business applying makeup, but got pushed into making a purchase from another line that I ended up hating. At my regular mall, this would never have happened.

Of course, I went into Bloomingdale's the other day and was looking at a display for 5 minutes before the SA's stopped their personal conversation long enough to greet me and ask if I needed help. When I replied that I was interested in the new collection, the girl smiled, said "Oh, okay" and turned back around to continue her discussion with her coworker!

Lately, it seems as if it's nearly impossible to get good service in retail. I have no idea what's up with that.

Charlestongirl said...

Wow...that rant touched a nerve.

My thanks to Mkdallas, Angela, Victoria, Liliana, Deb, and Shannon for your thoughtful comments. I ran out of time to respond to everyone today. Loved your input!

lizzybee said...

I am so thankful you finally raised this issue! I thought it was just me all this time! I've been "assaulted at Nordstom's, Saks, Sephora, and any Macy's upscales cosmetic counter. I am old enough to remember the days when, after swatching and sniffing at the product display area, I would look about for someone to wait on me and would usually have to wait or go find someone. How things have changed !! I suppose this economy coupled with the competition of online stores, the SA's really are under the proverbial gun. You have a terrific site and I love it here! Thanks for all you do. Beth in Pgh xo ;-)

lovethescents said...

Awful experience for you! Poor you! I usually have trouble getting SAs attention as I usually have our 8 month old and 3 year old in tow. People stay away. Plus, if I'm on the cell phone, SAs usually don't bother either, or they get the finger (not the middle one, but the index....as in, one minute please). Want to borrow my children?

Wanted to buy the new EL Illuminating Shimmer powder gel stuff you featured this week but I couldn't get the SA's attention. Oh the irony! I waited for 10 minutes, which is long enough. Probably a good thing because when, oh when, would I wear a highlighter?

I did end up buying Chanel's Rose Envolee palette. I'd been hoing and humming about it lately, but when I swatched them, I was sold :-)

Enjoying another night in Guerlain's Nuit d'Amour. Aaaaaah! Gorgeous flowers. Do you know that one?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Eileen said...

Hi Lovethescents,

Isn't Rose Envolée beautiful? I get complements on my eyes every time I wear it. It's not complex, edgy, or trendy. It's just a straight forward example of understated elegance that seems to open up the eye area with a soft warm glow. And that smoldering plum is a to-die-for liner. For extra evening drama, try smoking it over Chanel's Aqua Yeux in Cassis. It's drop dead gorgeous.

As for Nuit d'Amour, now there's an intoxicating smell if ever there was one. Rose Envolée; Nuit d'Amour--sounds like you've got some romance on the agenda ;-)

Wear your new Chanel quad with joy. Enjoy your weekend.

Joey said...

This reminds me of that awful Estee Lauder encounter I had with my mom - the one I told you about! She made me feel insignificant, unintelligent, and then angry - which then led to feelings of guilt for getting angry at her!

In general, I do not understand why SAs think it is ok to be so aggressive. I shy away from those people, and thus they lose potential sales. A knowledgeable rep who knows to let a customer breathe, play, and ask her/his own questions is the rep who sells the most!

I'm sorry you had such an awful experience! *hug*

Laetitia said...

I'm so sorry you had an experience as rancid as your eye cream! Sometimes, I enjoy the stress free experience of e-shopping over venturing into the store. I can play around with my cart as much as I want, and there's no one to try and "educate" me. I certainly hope that eye cream wasn't nano gold.

I've had similar experiences at NM and the others. What really shocked me was when I was in the Vitamin Shoppe - with a list in my hand - whipping through the aisles as I purposefully assembled my basket. Every aisle I was asked if I needed anything. Maybe the economy isn't doing as well as we've all been led to believe? Next time, e-shopping!

On a (hopefully) brighter note, how did your Sisley master class go last weekend?

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lovethescents and Eileen,

I skipped that whole Chanel collection at Nordstrom. I am saving up for next week's Chanel feast. :). Hope you love your new goodies, Lovethescents!

As for those fragrances, my to-try list keeps getting longer and longer...

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Joey,

No one was rude to me the way that woman was to you. I found the whole experience annoying...that's all. You are the one who was really mistreated. I just can't understand why a rep would do that.

Next time, ask someone else for the department manager after verifying with the rep who wouldn't show you the shadow that she was refusing to show it to you. That could be Catbert fun!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Laetitia!

I hope to write about Sisley this weekend. Stay tuned.

It was definitely NOT Nano Gold that was rancid. I think one problem stores bring on themselves is storage under bright, hot, display lights. Drives me to distraction. In their zeal to promote products, they light them up. If a cream with any propensity to smelling like, say, fish oil is stored that way too long, it's going to turn.

I talked to a friend who was a beauty manager at CVS about this. Drove her crazy that she had to store the better lines under hot lighting. Even in boxes, they went bad. She saw it (and smelled it) more often than we would guess.

I often ask if I can have a product from a drawer or backroom storage. Better chance it will be fresh. I am sure I'd be considered a pain in the tush customer if I didn't spend so much. :)

Anyhow, that eye cream, which really works, is history. The last one I had been using turned last January when it sat unused for a few weeks after my knee surgery. Turned into a fish store in a jar. Had to throw it out. I was willing to start fresh because it was effective, but fresh wasn't fresh. I'm betting it sat under those lights for months. The line is great, but not well promoted in that store.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lizzybee!

I'm chuckling because I do remember those days. I fact, in Macy's here (not beauty), if you want to buy something, you have to try to find the single, invisible, overworked clerk who can ring it. Recently, I saw an All-Clad French skillet that was so cheap I couldn't leave without it. One clerk for the whole kitchen department! She was very nice, but couldn't answer any question. I felt sorry for her, just standing, ringing purchases all day.

lovethescents said...

Dear Eileen, I wish I could see what you've done with the palette! I'm forever in the still learning phase. I do the muted shimmer in the inner corner to the middle, then the pink from middle out, and the white as a highlighter above my brow bone. The dark plum I use as a liner. Not sure how else I can play with this as I have such deep-set eyes....

Nuit d'Amour is being d/c'd, you know....very sad. Charlestongirl, did I not send you a touch of Nuit d'Amour? Let me know...

Charlestongirl said...

Wish I could help, Lovethescents, but those pinks are not good eye shadow colors for me.

You may have! I am still working my way through them, rationing to one a day so my nose knows what it's smelling. :) So much fun!

Glosslizard said...

I recently went to Nordstrom for the Anniversary sale as well, and the pouncing was just jaw-dropping! I usually don't have this problem at my SF Nordstrom, but this time I couldn't walk 15 feet without being chatted up or offered a makeover, I felt like an invading germ under attack by a bunch of white blood cells! :P I wonder if it's specific to the sale, since usually the SA's seem much less aggressive!

In San Francisco, I usually shop the makeup counters at Barney's NY or Neiman Marcus and I find them to be wonderful about offering help without pushing it!

Clarisse said...

Hi everyone! I know how you all feel since things are rather similar here!I am just lucky to be a Sephora customer who knows everybody(almost!) in my local shop so that when I go in they just say "Hello how are you?" and let me wander around and I ask my favorite SA when I need something, an explanation or an advice and as for Shannon, they go from one brand to another for me and it's great!
But I remember my first experience of "vultures" was in 2000 in Bloomingdale's in New York city: I was discovering Isabella Rossellini's brand (and I've been such an admirer of her!)and suddenly a boy and a girl arrived, asked me if I wanted to see something in particular, I replied I was discovering the products, the boy offered to make-up my face, I was so glad, and when I left half an hour later, I had bought foundation in capsules, several eye-shadows, lipsticks, lipgloss etc...without even realising it! It's only when I was accosted by other sales girls in other departments that I realised that it was a sales policy...which was copied one or two years later in France:-)
I liked my IR products though: they were good stuff since they lasted me a long time (so many of them!!!:-)

Eileen said...

Hi Lovethescents,

I also have deep set "cadaver" eyes LOL so here's a suggestion that works for me. I use the peachy pink as an all-over lid color and bring it up to just above the crease. I use the pink tinged white as a highlighter on the brow bone. I use that beautiful pink as a bridge between the other two colors. I apply it just above the orbital bone then blend it (fading the color out as I go) down into the crease and up onto the brow bone area. It's a technique that will make your eyes look huge. As for the deep plum . . . Ah, that plum! It's such a beautiful liner. I smoke it all along my upper lashes and about half way under my lower lashes. I also like to fade it out into the >. I don't know what your coloring is like, but I'm fair with peach undertones, dark moss green eyes, black lashes and brows. I can't get enough of palettes like this one.

Hi Charlestongirl,

Although Le Blanc wasn't really suited to you cool, blond, blue-eyed beauties, Chanel's up and coming release is a whole other matter. Your teaser pictures had us all drooling--especially poor Lovethesecents :-) I can hardly wait to see your goodies!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone.

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, I am drooling over the upcoming Chanel collection. I hope it looks as good on me as I envision. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Clarisse,

I don't know if there are cultural differences from one country to the next. I know you can buy so many cosmetics in those lovely pharmacies we really don't have. We envy you.

Oftentimes here, makeup artists are selling on commission too. I love the ones who show you nice techniques, but don't put on the pressure. I go back to them over and over again.

You reminded me of so many discontinued brands. One makeup brand I really liked was Calvin Klein, with all those fab neutrals. I never understood why it wasn't a huge hit (in either incarnation).

lovethescents said...

Thank you so much, Eileen, for taking the time to explain your technique. I wish I could see the end results! I'll definitely try that.

Dear Charlestongirl, I'm so glad you're having fun :-) Do let us know what you end up loving....so curious! (as usual)

Ebontien said...

Vultures! Oh gods you've hit the nail on the spot!

Murale (a Canadian version of Sephora) is owned by Shopper's Drug Mart. Walk into a Shopper's, great service. In fact every year, Lou Lou magazine votes Shopper's over Sephora easily.

However in a Murale...I was approached by 5 people. It wasn't a busy day and they were all hanging around the cash register. Each of them just had to come and pester me about have I heard about this or that? The fourth one was by far the rudest because after I said "Why thank you, yes I'm fine and know about the promotion of the day" he just stomped off in a huff like I hurt his ego and should have been grateful he was taking the time to ask. I admit my voice was a bit strained by the time he came by but it was ten minutes after his predecessor. I like Shopper's just fine, where I can browse in piece and they don't work on commission. Not to mention the SAs there aren't so uppity because you don't look like the right kind of customer.