Lately, I have been into makeup because of You Tube. You tube has helped me learn about makeup and make me comfortable enough to go into any store for purchasing. I can name quite a couple of beauty gurus that I follow but I won’t because this blog post isn’t about them.
This is about my recent experiences with Sephora. Could it be described like a makeup world Odyssey? Perhaps but my viewers that is for you to decide.
On January 14th I went into the SoHo New York Sephora Store. I was planning for a trip to Ireland and wanted to look glam. I needed a setting mist for my makeup. I wasn’t sure which kind I should get but I needed one immediately as my trip was in the nearby future. Surprisingly, this particular Sephora store had a Makeup Forever Boutique. I wasn’t interested as in the past I had sent Makeup Forever emails and phone calls to ask them about ingredients. I am the person that cares about what is on my face. I don’t like any animal derived ingredients such as Glycerin or certain Acids which can be derived from either beef or pork. I mean I don’t consume these animals in my diet why would I want it on my face? Or maybe it’s against my religion to utilize? Shouldn’t these big companies care about their customer’s beliefs?
So I asked two individuals about a makeup setting spray and both ONLY suggested the makeup forever setting spray. One was a guy, without a name tag, who was nice but confused when I asked him about the ingredients. I will call him the Brunette. I looked at the ingredients and the only ingredient derived from an animal was lanolin which is derived from sheep’s wool. I said as much to the individual and he just gave me a blank stare like he was overwhelmed. He did ask somebody to come over and help me with my questions. This new guy with Blonde Hair and piercings came over. How was he a leading authority on makeup when he was wearing nothing? This was behind my understanding.
He started off saying that Makeup Forever was part of the LVMH Group. I was like sure I know that it’s part of the Louis Vuitton family. He was surprised by the fact that I knew what the acronym stood for. I also told him that I knew Benefit cosmetics was also part of the Vuitton Subsidiaries. Then he was told me that the European Union doesn’t allow for animal ingredients and testing. I was like I did my research and found that out recently but I didn’t understand why Makeup Forever couldn’t tell me that when I was purchasing from their website. Like shouldn’t a huge makeup giant and a French one at that take the time to train their employees about their products? While I am conveying all of this to him his demeanor which wasn’t that friendly to begin with became downright frigid. His response “Maybe you shouldn’t buy the product then!”. I told him you know what with $40 a pop as a consumer I had a right to be picky and also to ask questions. In the end I told him I WOULD THINK ABOUT IT.
So the Blonde’s tantrum wasn’t professional but I guess the fact that I knew a lot about makeup didn’t sit well with him. The pissing contest made me very angry. I still had only one suggestion for a makeup setting spray from a store that claimed to have more than one recommendation. So yet again I started browsing. This time another associate dressed in Black came over and asked me if I need help. NO NAME TAG CHICK was like why don’t you try “Make Up Forever’s Setting spray”. At this point I told her I found it strange that they only had one product in the store. I was like as a consumer I like more than one suggestion. Chick’s mouth fell open. She then told me that the Sephora didn’t have that many setting sprays. I ended up getting SmashBox Primal water even though the sample I had received from Birchbox had made me realize a long time ago that it didn’t match my skin type.
I went to the cash register and even though they were so many associates it took a while for a paying customer such as myself to be acknowledged. I have no idea why one register needed three Associates. The Chick went behind the register and starred at me like I was a leper. Finally, I was called by Yadira and I told her I liked her lipstick. I asked her which brand it was. She told me it was “NYX” and I was surprised that she was wearing drugstore at work. Normally the store you work for encourages you to wear the Brand they have on display. Anyhow I had to make a return as well. That was done and then she was like is that all. I gave her the Smash Box Primal water and while she is ringing me up she is too busy talking to her coworker. Brunette from my earlier conversation was talking about how the Blonde thought I was just giving him a hard time with my questions about Makeup Forever and the Blonde had thought that I wasn’t going to purchase anything. Instead I had purchased Smashbox and they had lost a boutique sale. This was a loudly spoken conversation with a group of associate close by which I overheard. My disgust was increasing tenfold.
Meanwhile Yadira didn’t even offer to redeem my beauty insider points. She yelled at me for not having my beauty insider card on me. I was being chastised like an unruly child even thought it was a paid purchase. I had to ask her about redeeming my points which she should have offered. While I am looking at the Gucci perfume she yelled that is 250 points. OKAY, I know I have enough points to cover that. Plus, I am not deaf YOU KNOW. I was interested in Clinique’s concealer and there wasn’t a sample in my shade. ONLY alabaster was the color they offered and I am a tan or beige which made me even more upset. I guess their main niche and market is the alabaster girls. It seemed this specific store was only stocked on Make Up Forever. I had wanted to purchase Kat von D’s liquid lipstick and they didn’t even have all the shades on display to even try or purchase. Then Urban Decay’s single shadows were all out of stock too. Like Are you kidding me? What kind of store is this?
Sephora as a luxury brand ultimately failed in this transaction. I could have easily spent $100 dollars and they lost money. The consumer was treated badly which isn’t a concern. No name tags on their associates and a manager who should have appeared while I was asking these questions was absent. At the Wall Street location, the manager was readily available and even offered by the Associate who was helping me. Does that mean when I want instant gratification I should go to that store ONLY? Or as an inconvenienced customer only buy online? I guess even though it’s my money this exclusive store doesn’t cater to the greenness of my money. It doesn’t matter to them that I am also a VIB beauty insider. Kat Von D I know you are exclusive to Sephora and I love your Brand but I won’t be purchasing because of their nasty customer services. Plus, they don’t even properly stock or display your products. Kathleen Lights is the one who introduced you into my world and that is why I really liked your brand. The other brands are readily available on their individual sites but alas Kat you have lost a customer. UPDATE: Kat Von D Does have a website now that ships products directly. I just received this news and am back to being your customer Kat. This must be a new addition to your site as last time it mentioned it was only exclusive through Sephora.
Brace yourself for Part Two of this mind numbing Odyssey.