(This is about makeup.) (Also I run a makeup blog.)
I went to Ulta today to get the Lorac Unzipped palette. The first store I tried was out of it, and when I asked the sales assistant if she knew if they had any left in the store, she said no and it was discontinued so no store, anywhere, would have it ever again. Even if it was true, it was pretty ominous.
I quickly looked up the Ulta site and said that it was still in stock there and then I asked if she had the ability to check stock in other nearby stores. She told me not to bother trying other stores because, again, nobody anywhere would ever have this palette for sale again and that there were only TWENTY THREE left in Ulta’s warehouse in the whole United States — she added in the TWENTY THREE part forcefully and without consulting a computer, so I can only assume she used dark magicks to divine it. I called another Ulta from the floor of the first Ulta store, and was met with a very friendly sales associate who said, “Sure, we have it in stock! Want me to hold one for you up front by the register?”
Undeterred by reason, logic, or actual facts, the Ulta associate of Doom told me that the other store was wrong and I would not find an Unzipped palette there or anywhere else and that the website had probably already sold out.
I went up to the front of the store to purchase Stila’s The Natural palette because it was the last one in the store and I didn’t want to chance it at the next Ulta. There I was greeted by a cashier who had so much blush on and at such an extreme angle that the little hairs on her temples were a dark, dusty pink. She snorted derisively and said that all of Stila’s palettes were “too natural looking.” And then looked at me for a very long time before she scanned it, as if I was going to go, “Oh, okay!” And just not get it or something.
The second Ulta had Unzipped in stock (as well as the NYX Butt Naked palette oh god I can’t stop help) and all the people working there seemed totally normal and sober — not at all like they were on drugs and/or applied their make up in the dark with a leaf blower.
The entire experience got me to thinking about how really, truly stupid everyone is. Probably me included, but I like to think that I tend to keep my mouth shut so hopefully people aren’t overly aware of my raging stupidity.
Years of wretched department store/Sephora makeovers, terrifyingly incorrect recommendations from sales associates, and Youtube videos so bad I can only imagine that they are actually performance art pieces have instilled in me both a healthy skepticism and rampant paranoia.
If you are just starting out in makeup or just kind of suck at it still (represent!), it’s important you realize this: sales people, makeup artists, and randos with Youtube channels are, by and large, just talking out their ass. Constantly. They must be goddamn in love with the sound of their own voices, drunk on their godlike power to convince you that well, maybe this orange foundation WILL look good on you. Hell, sometimes even those little guides that come WITH the fucking makeup seem to be punking you.
If you want, you know, helpful help at a store, I would suggest asking friends of yours if they have had good experiences with a particular sales person/makeup artist/esthetician, then going to the store when they are there. Alternately, take a friend braver and/or more stupid than you to the store and push their body into the oncoming path of a sales associate and see what shakes out. If they end up looking like Jersey Shore reject, quietly run — do not walk — away from the person who did the makeover and it is a certainty that they will want to come after you next. Of course both of these tactics rely on actually having friends, so I’m pretty much screwed.
Online, try to find sites that are crowdsourced and populated with people who don’t seem like morons. Reddit has a few makeup subreddits that are pretty cool — I like /r/MakeupAddiction even though there’s a lot of Face of the Day stuff there that I don’t care about. Questions there are usually answered in a sensible way. MakeupAlley is a great place for reviews. Individual blogs are a crapshoot, but their comments are almost always horrible for some reason. Across the board, Q&A sections on Sephora are always hideously wrong — today I found a question about the texture on a silver eyeshadow and the answer had nothing to do with the question but instead was an indecipherable mess about how long eyelashes take to grow. Really.
In conclusion: trust absolutely no one, as they are probably all secretly makeup goblins trying to steal your gold coins and the remaining youth essence in your body.