Beauty tips: getting a good beauty counter makeover

Makeup counter makeovers – the source of many good times and a hell of a lot of bad ones. Done well, it can leave you feeling absolutely amazing and convince you to part with your hard-earned cash to buy the products they’ve used. Done badly, and you might end up looking like a TOWIE extra crossed with the Bride of Chucky, which let’s face it, isn’t going to do it for most of us.

After some rather ‘interesting’ experiences over the years, I’ve come up with a few fail-safe tips that should result in a makeover you’ll be happy to skip out of the store in, rather than one that will have you running to the nearest Boots for some cleanser.

Have an idea of what you’re looking for – are you hunting for a specific product? Looking for the perfect summer foundation? Want to know which products to use for a smokey eye? I like to approach my counter makeovers like a hairdresser’s trip – you usually know what you’re going in for. Or at the very least have some sort of idea! Not only will this help the person working with you pick out the right products to apply, but it means you usually won't end up leaving with an armful of stuff you didn't actually go in for.

Book in advance – some counters offer makeover services which can be booked in advance. Bobbi Brown is a great example of this – they have a whole menu of things you can book in for, all with different time limits (some free, some with a minimum spend). If you walk in off the street, most counters will always try to help, but they might have less time to dedicate to you.

Pick an assistant who has makeup you like – if given the choice, try to find a makeup artist/counter assistant that you like the makeup of. It might sound a bit harsh, but I often find it to be the best tip! Everyone has a different idea of what they like their makeup to look like, and if you find someone who seems to be on par with what you like (barely there, strong brows, mega lashes, big on bronzer, whatever) then hopefully you’ll be a good makeup match.

Be honest – I think a lot of makeovers often fail due to the fact we’re too embarrassed to say no, or to say we aren’t happy. Take a look in the mirror, and if you don’t like how something looks, ask for them to change it. Whether it’s a foundation that’s not the right shade, a shadow that just doesn’t seem *quite* the right colour or maybe a smokey eye that has just gone too far, get it corrected before you leave. Almost all counter makeovers are offered as a part of the sales process, so if you’re not happy, you’re less likely to buy the products they used, which defeats the whole process (especially where the sales assistant is concerned!).

Check for hygiene – this is a biggie for me as no-one wants to end up with an eye infection from the previous person who sat in the chair. Make sure brushes are sanitised before you get started, throwaway mascara wands are used and pencil products are sharpened and cleaned. If you’re not happy, say something – it’s better to walk away than end up with a used mascara wand coming too close to your eye. (Incidentally, most counters are great with this, but it never hurts to make sure!).

Are you a fan of makeup counter makeovers? Where have you had a good/bad one?

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