How Experts Shop for Beauty Products

Giving you all of the goss.

Shopping for beauty products can either be a therapeutic experience or a stressful one. When it becomes stressful, it is often due to the fact that there is an overwhelming selection of products on the market, and we are all so unique that no one brand or product can ever truly be perfect for everyone. However, it then becomes clear how someone who is new to makeup or hairstyling may find themselves in a challenging situation.

In the years since I have graduated from makeup enthusiast to professional makeup artist and hairstylist, shopping for beauty products has been divided into two separate experiences; purchasing products for my kit versus browsing for myself are very different situations, but I have learned a few tips and tricks in the former situation that have definitely applied well to my personal shopping experiences. Change the way you shop for beauty products with these ~insider~ tips:

Know Where to Splurge and Save
Invest in foundation, save on mascara. Buy the multi-use product instead of that liquid lip. While a splurge is acceptable now and then, in the interest of budgeting, question how much you truly need that product before handing over your hard earned moolah. It is also important to consider the quality of your product. If you need to repurchase a certain item several times, then perhaps it is time to invest in something higher end.

Don't Skip the Reviews
 Retailers like Sephora and ULTA have e-commerce sites that allow their customers to easily navigate and review the products that they’ve purchased. This creates a whole database of the lowest-rated, to the best-selling products they offer. It is a great tool to use when looking for new products to try out or to see if other people are experiencing the product the same way that you are.

Find the Sale Bin
Product sales are a great opportunity to buy in bulk, try new colours, or pick up a palette. Items like mascara or lip gloss have short shelf lives, so buying two or more can save you a bit of time and money. When cosmetics go on sale, it usually is because a product is being discontinued or was limited edition. It is a great opportunity to stock up on favourites while you find new alternatives. Sales are also great for novice makeup artists to pick up quality palettes at a bargain.

Brownie Points
Sephora and ULTA both reward loyal customers with points based on how much they spend at their stores. They are redeemable for different things, however both reward systems give you an opportunity to try out new products or services at no additional cost.

Research and Be Ready
Speaking from my experience on the cosmetic sales floor, it is just as frustrating for the sales associate when a customer is looking for something specific like foundation, but has no idea where to start. I recommend that you know these four things before you step into your local makeup store:

a.     Is your skin type normal, oily, or dry?
b.     Is your hair fine or coarse? What type of curls do you have and is your hair chemically treated?
c.     Do you have allergies to any food or chemicals?
d.     What is the look that you are trying to achieve? Do not be afraid to bring pictures!

Ask and You Shall Receive
To expand on the last point, doing the research also allows you to ask the right questions. However, it is understandable that even after doing so, the vast selection of products is overwhelming. Most associates are trained in asking you all the questions in order to understand your needs. Do not be afraid to elaborate. When you know the kind of look you want, you can ask, “does this product achieve this look?” Other questions you can try might be are: “What are your best selling items in this category?” “How are people liking this product?” and most importantly, “How do I use this product correctly?”

Imagery via Topshop Beauty


~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~
Alyssa Manuel is a professional makeup and hair artist in Toronto, Canada as well as our Senior Beauty Editor.
 


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