…It’s happened a few times to me, but never to the extent of me feeling really upset leaving a department store, and never wanting to go back again. Beauty store snobbery is pretty common, and we are all very familiar with the snooty looks the overly made up counter assistants can give you if play around with their testers or shock horror even want a sample before you try! (Then they just go back to chatting with so-and-so from Dior…)
Today I experienced something totally different, I went into a department store in my home island of Jersey, a beauty hall that I have been shopping in for literally years, and have spent obscene amounts of money in here. Like ridiculous amounts. It’s easily in the thousands, and on 4/5 occasions I’ve spent in excess of £300-£400. I used to always go back this particular dept store/beauty hall (there are 2 others in jersey) because a couple of the assistants knew me and looked after me when I used to go. I was never a *nuisance* customer, I have never asked for samples, as a makeup artist and beauty blogger, always know what I want, I choose a foundation in about 0.003 seconds by swatching it on my hand and I don’t make a fuss.
My experience. Today, I went in and was probably the only customer in the beauty hall. There were probably 50% of the counters staffed and I did my usual of just approaching counters and picking and getting a product. Stop 1 = Lancome mascara. I know I’m getting more products, so I just say to assistant and she gives me the mascara and I walk about. Next stop = Dior, where two assistants from another counter are trying out and looking at products and the Dior assistant is just talking to them, doing her thing and does not even greet me or acknowledge I am there. I pick a mascara, she gives me the product and I move on again. I then walk past another counter, Creme De La Mer, and see the Dior lady whispering something to CDLM lady and they look at me, I believe it to be something about me having 2 mascara’s in my hands and maybe to watch me, I honestly felt like they thought I was a thief / shoplifter at this point, so obviously started to feel really upset and uncomfortable.
Ignored. I asked the CDLM lady for a lip balm, she half ignored me so I had to ask her again, she didn’t even offer any more help or say anything more to me, she just handed it to me and turned her back on me. By this point, I’m feeling like I should give it back to her and all the other products and leave but I really wanted a YSL foundation so I waved across for someone to help me as YSL had no staff either.
Fortunately this lady was absolutely lovely and she saved the situation from me walking out and making a formal complaint to me still buying a bunch of beauty products. She offered to take my products whilst I walked around, as she went to her counter, the CDLM lady walked straight over to her, and you know when you KNOW she was talking to her about me. I felt I didn’t want to be there anymore so I went to her to pay. She was so lovely and I could tell she already knew I was unhappy, so I told her how uncomfortable I was made to feel by that particular assistant, and how I have been a very good customer of theirs for a long time, and I wanted my comments passed on to her manager. She was apologetic and couldn’t have been nicer, but I just left feeling shakey, upset, embarrassed and really furious. Every single brand in there is sold in a department store 50m away so my business has gone there and I will never, ever shop in this department store ever again. Will they care? Absolutely not, but that is probably why their beauty hall was depressingly vacant on the brink of a bank holiday weekend, and I am left with a really bad taste in my mouth.
I am not alone….I am clueless to why this appears to be such a common occurrence too. Beauty store/ Department store snobbery: Maybe I have been lucky that I haven’t been made to feel like this before? I was a enraged imminently after this so I tweeted about it and the response I got clearly suggests I’m not on my own. A few men said that it’s impossible for them to shop in beauty halls as they get totally ignored too. It’s really sad. It extends from old-school beauty assistants being snooty into people you don’t know judging you on what you appear to look like…to them. I don’t wear labels all over my clothes, I wear trainers, jeans and I often look dishevelled and I really don’t care: this is me. If the assistants had looked a bit closer, maybe they would have noticed my expensive bag, My expensive sunglasses, my bags brimming with beauty products from the store I had just been to and the fact that my dirty trainers were Isabel Marant? (irrelevant but just underlining the irony here) I am just astounded by their ignorance and how little things like this can make you feel a bit…. worthless. I have sometimes had the whole bad service and ignorant assistant at MAC counters but I don’t get offended to the point of wanting to complain or vent like I have just now. #BeautyShoppingDrama OVER & OUT.
Have you ever been made to feel like this? Literally the first time for me, and hopefully never again. Share your beauty shopping horror stories! Who are the worst offenders?!