November 17, 2010

Shopping Pet Peeves: What Cosmetics do You Hate Shopping For?

It's a public holiday in Malaysia today so make a cup of tea and let's have a chit chat session on...

What cosmetics do you hate shopping for?

I hate shopping for concealers. Not because it's tiring looking for that perfect match but because it takes me a good 5 minutes to drill it into the MA's head that I am NOT looking for an undereye concealer - I am looking for a normal concealer to cover spots and blemishes.

Whenever I find a concealer I sort of like and wish to try out, I usually turn to find an MA hovering at my shoulder with a smug and pitying look of, "You poor child, you are so innocent, you don't even know what you are looking for". They usually sweetly advise me that the shade/ formula I am holding is inappropriate for concealing undereye circles with an offer to initiate me into the Mysteries of Concealer.

Don't condescend to me, damnit. I may not be wearing any makeup -- I usually go barefaced whenever I am looking for a foundation or concealer -- so I may look like a cosmetic innocent but I know exactly what I am looking for.

When I finally get my message through to them, the realisation is usually followed by a horrified look on the MA's face as they blurt out, "You... don't want to cover your dark circles?" as they brandish a tube of XYZ undereye concealer in one hand and a paintbrush in the other.

Lord grant me patience! Of course I want to conceal my panda eyes/the bane of my life but I already have a perfectly decent undereye concealer and am in the market for something to cover my spots and scars.

Of course, I might be overreacting a bit as my panda eyes are a sore spot with me. But, I do like MAs who pause to ask what exactly am I looking for instead of leaping to conclusions.


CucumPear said...

My first impulse was to say mascara, but you make a good point about concealer shopping, I've had that kind of experience, too (which baffles me, because I haven't needed to conceal undereye circles until recently).
With mascara it's more that nobody will listen when I say that (a) I don't want a gimmicky wand, (b) I especially don't want a rubbery, spiky or comb-shaped applicator, and (c) I really do want the blackest black available (they'll try talk me into not buying black liner, too).
I understand that the MAs are there to help and make suggestions, but like you said: if I explain what I'm looking for I expect to be listened to.

Askmewhats said...

Hmm , it would be eyeshadow! Because I have difficulty choosing which one I"ll purchase as there's so many choices!!!

kuri said...

Now that you mention it, I don't like shopping for eyeliner products for tightlining. Because almost eyeliner product on my upper lid smudges, it annoys me when people recommend a product that I know doesn't work for me! Even a lot of liquid eyeliners smudge on me.
I'm still bitter about MAC's penultimate liner - super smudgey.

But in general, I don't bother to ask to SA's, as I usually know the products better than they do.

Jazz said...

Same in my case: concealer. And I sometimes hate shopping for blush as well. SAs, MAs would look at me and start suggesting things that I don't want despite me telling what I want. They will drum into me how this shimmery blush would look good on me, how this red red blush would look cute on me. As for concealers, they'd put some concealer on me and it looked dreadful! Reverse panda eyes even. Sigh. Most do their 'assessment' under yellow lights and it doesn't translate well in natural light. I learned to stand firm on my decision.

Tine said...

Believe it or not, I do not like shopping for lip products. Weird, right? And it's got nothing to do with the sales staff too. With eyeshadows, blushers, foundations, powders, etc, I could just easily swatch it on the back of my hand. Easy peasy. With lipsticks or lipgloss however, I try not to swatch my hand because it does not really reflect the true shade. They say you should do it on the tip of your finger. Not keen on doing that either, in case my finger's not-too-clean or if someone's actually swiped their lips with it.

Haih ... fussy, right? :P

Anonymous said...

I hate it when the SA follow me from behind and watch every move I make whenever I walk around the store. Sometimes I want to shout at them "Why are you following me? Do I look like a f**king thief to you"?

Kahani said...

I hate shopping for skincare or foundations. Conversations usually go like this:
Me: Does it have dimethicone?
SA: Dimethi-what??
Me: Nevermind. Can I see the ingredients?
SA: Ingelidiants?
Me: Nevermind... *walks away grouchy*

Shay said...

I don't like to shop for base makeup.

Choosing the shade is difficult (even with the SA/MA) as most beauty halls and shops are fitted with yellowish lights and they don't look the same under natural light.

Eli said...

Cucumpear: Ooh, yes. Shopping for mascaras is a nightmare, what with the new whirly gigs they have lately. I wish that they would sell mascara refills -- just the tube without the brush because you sometimes come across a great brush which you would like to reuse.

Nikki: That isn't a prob! =P

Kuri: So what eyeliner do you use? My best friend swears by Majorca Majolica but I haven't tried it.

Jazz: It took me ages to get the hang of gracefully getting out of buying products I didn't want.This is why I quite like Stage Cosmetics MAs, they are helpful without being too pushy.

Eli said...

Tine: A Chanel MA once told me to swipe the lippie on the back of my hand to "clean" it before trying it on my lips. I shuddered and asked her for an earbud instead.

Anonymous: It does feel like you are being stalked by a lion.

Kahani: And... sometimes when you ask them for the ingredients list, they reel off the ingredients mentioned in the promotional brochure with an expectant look at the end. That's when you feel like saying, "Not those ingredients! Bad dog!"

Shay: I had that problem too until I figured out that I should go for a shade darker than what seemed to match my skin in the shop.

kuri said...

I'm using Kate's SuperSharp liquid liner; it's simple but reliable. I've been meaning to try Majorca Majolica some time.

Isabel said...

This isn't going to be a direct answer to the post but a a general gripe about shopping for cosmetics.

Most cosmetics counters (in Malaysia at least) do not have have SAs that are properly trained to handle make up savvy consumers. What they do is to simply churn out a standard marketing spiel which might have worked way back before the unleashing of beauty bloggers and the wealth of information on the internet. Nothing is more annoying that having an SA walking 2 inches behind me and saying "This is our new eye shadow" Yeah, I can pretty much see that it IS an eye shadow!

I usually do a lot of research online before I even go to the cosmetics counter. The companies really have to step the training of their SAs in terms of being able to answer questions about the products and actually listening to the customer's needs.

For that reason, I'm inclined to purchase stuff online these days. I go to the cosmetics counters simply to check out the stuff IRL and to swipe colours before I make the online purchase.