So here is the exciting second installment of my Sephora Diaries! Last month I got great feedback on my first entry into My Sephora Diaries here. This month I attended a special event hosted at many of the Sephora locations in celebration of the Pantone Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid.
For this trip, I decided to go to a smaller store location rather than the large one that I normally go to. This smaller one doesn’t have many of the high end or luxury brands (ie: Givenchy, Guerlain, or YSL) and from what I experienced, doesn’t have stellar customer service either.
I first encountered trouble when trying to book my appointment for the complementary Radiant Orchid makeover as described on the Sephora website. When I called, I was first told that there was no such event, to which I told the SA that I was looking right at it on the website, and just cant make something like this up out of thin air. After speaking with her manager, she apologized and said that yes there would be an in-store event however I would have to purchase $50 worth of products in order to receive it. Wrong again. On the website it clearly states that it is COMPLEMENTARY AND FREE OF PURCHASE! After arguing with the SA for a minute or so I mentioned that I was a VIB Rouge and I get complementary makeovers regardless. Hearing this, she backed down and told me that she would make an exception this one time…really? I wasn’t about to argue with her over it anymore as I figured this would make for an interesting experience to say the least.
When I arrived, the store was very busy. I grabbed the first SA I saw and told her that I had arrived for my appointment. She told me someone would be right with me. Five minutes later, the Benefit SA (not a Sephora employee) sat me down at the beauty studio and told me that someone would be with me shortly. Fifteen minutes later Katy introduced herself to me, and said that she would be handling my skincare as the Makeup Artist that was booked for my appointment was on her lunch break. First of all, if you know that you have someone booked for an appointment, why would you take your lunch break as soon as they arrived? I know that this cannot all be blamed on the MUA as she probably didn’t handle the scheduling, but there was definitely a lapse in planning on Sephora’s part.
Anyway, Katy began my skincare routine and mentioned how dry my skin was. I told her that I know I have very dry skin and haven’t been keeping up my skincare regimen the past week or so as finals were looming and it wasn’t the first thing on my mind. Katy was really sweet and reassured me that she would find something for me. She used the following products (in order of applicaiton):
- Ole Henriksen:Truth To Go Vitamin C Wipes – $15.00USD
- Sephora Collection: Liquid Moisturizing Skin Concentrate – $22.00USD – I really loved this product. It smelled great and I noticed that (aside from my problem areas) that my face stayed really moisturized through the day.
- Korres: Greek Yoghurt Moisturizing Face Cream – $32.00USD
Once the skincare portion was completed, my MUA Amanda arrived. She apologized for being late and asked me about my usual makeup routine, what I was looking for, any products I wanted to try, ect. I told her that I was looking into getting a new foundation and expressed interest in ones by Hourglass and Make Up For Ever. Amanda noticed that I had dry skin as well and said that we would try the Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer. The rest of the session went alright aside from a few things. First she kept commenting on my dry skin and it seemed like she was trying to make me feel guilty about it. “Ugh you should really take better care of your poor skin. Its just so sad!”, is definitely something that you do NOT say to your client. Its extremely rude and was this point very much redundant. Secondly, she kept skipping steps. An example was how she completely forgot about mascara before I mentioned it to her, then once I did (and applied it myself) she forgot to curl my lashes. More importantly, she was about to apply finishing powder when she hadn’t even applied concealer yet. She had literally finished everything, eyes, cheeks, and lips…however she forgot the concealer…really? I know things like forgetting to curl my lashes isn’t really a big deal, however it is part of the experience. Lastly, whenever she asked me a question regarding what products I have liked and tried, apparently I was always wrong. I mentioned how I liked the Urban Decay foundation to which she responded, “Eh I don’t really like that one, I would not recommend it.” Or when I told her that I really don’t like Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara because the formula was too plastic-y and too difficult to remove from my lashes, and she retorted saying that it is her best selling and favorite mascara and I was just applying it wrong. You do not say things like this to your clients!
The last straw was at checkout. On the Sephora website it said that you would receive a free cosmetic bag for coming in to the event. When the SA was ringing everything up I asked if I would get the free gift and she looked at me like I was crazy. I told her that I know that they have it and my friends had received one yesterday. She had someone come in from the back with the bag, and she explained to me how apparently they weren’t supposed to be handing these out yet. Again, what? At this point I was so done, I just wanted to go home. So I paid and left.
Here is the finished look:
Products listed in order of application:
- Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer in Green – $38.00USD for 1oz.
- Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer in Shell – $55.00USD for 1oz.
- Sephora + Pantone Universe The Eye: Radiant Femme Artistry Set – $48.00USD.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde – $21.00USD for .003oz.
- Sephora + Pantone Universe Rush Luster Cheek Sweep – $26.00USD
- Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes in Fair – $25.00USD for .12oz.
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light – $45.00USD for .35oz
- Sephora + Pantone Universe Venus Lure Lip Balm – $16.00USD.
- Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara in Noir – $28.50USD for .33oz.
For the Radiant Orchid Event, Sephora had a lookbook filled with a bunch of Radiant Orchid inspired ‘looks’ that I included below. My MUA and I decided on the ‘Exquisite Orchid’ look.
I would say that this has probably been my worst experience as Sephora…like ever. I have been to this location various times and haven’t experienced such rudeness like this before. I’m not sure if the people that I spoke to were new employees and were not yet knowledgeable of all the rules regarding customer service, but as is, nothing trumps the rudeness that was displayed and guilt inflicted upon my by my Sephora MUA. I’m not going to take this against the company, however I probably wont return to that location for any special services in the future.
What have your experiences been at makeup retail stores? Let me know down in the comments!