Going to a department store/salon on the day of to save money?

posted 3 years ago in Beauty
Post # 2
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May

I was going to do this because the price to get a MUA is crazy high. Several hundred plus trials. not with my budget. Due to time constraints I can’t get to a mall and back to the venue to prep, so I’m doing hair and make up myself. FYI I’m not at good at either! try Clinique or whichever company you prefer. Free makeover and a salon for your updo can’t be beat. Saving $$$$ wins. 

Post # 4
Member
4043 posts
Honey bee

BelleEtoile:  I had my makeup done at Dillards by a Lancome makeup artist that I had worked with ahead of time. I just had to buy $40 in product. I think she did a great job and it saved me a lot of money! I was a little worried about how getting ready pics would look, but I think they turned about just as nice as others I have seen.

 ETA: Sorry they are so big…not sure how to edit them to a smaller size.

Post # 6
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I think it’s definitely a good option to cut the budget! Would you still have a trial though? If so, you’d want to make sure the MUA who did the trial would be working the day of your wedding.

I did something similar with my flowers for our registry wedding in January. I was getting quoted $200-$300 for a bridal bouquet, so I just ended up driving down to the department store florist and getting the exact bouquet I wanted for $90. 

Post # 7
Member
4043 posts
Honey bee

BelleEtoile:  I had my hair professionally done at a nearby salon. I found a great deal that was $90 for trial and day of, including tip (normally about $150-$200 where I live).

Post # 9
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

BelleEtoile:  OH ladies that say they spend 40 or 60 or whatever…… NOOOOOO!!!! Listen, there is a secret little world of etiquette that so many women don’t know but they should!!! If you’ve ever known anyone who works in cosmetic retail, ASK THEM!

I used to be a freelance makeup artist that worked for the big cosmetic companies- Dior, Chanel, Bobby Brown, Smachbox, etc. As a way to make some extra money, I would be hired to visit department stores and act as a visiting artist and help in sales. I had sales goals, typically anywhere from 1,000-3,000$/day depending on the day and how long I was there. These are generally the same sales goals that the counter staff has with the store. Not only that, but these ladies work on full commission or a lower hourly rate plus commission, depending on the store. 

I would occassionally get customers in my chair who basically wanted a cheap/free makeup application. This would drive me nuts! If they wanted to try a foundation on, fine. See how a shade of shadow works? OK. But a full makeup application takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and for those that spend less than 150$ I wanted to strangle them. That was time I could have spent recruiting customers, making a real sale, and meeting my sales goals.

Now before you ladies go “all customers are important” on me, know this- I’m not in there to make you feel super-duper special because you want to spend 40 dollars on a foundation or 20 on a lipstick. I’m there to reach a sales goal and get a paycheck. If I don’t hit that goal, I don’t get rehired. If I don’t hit that goal, I don’t get support from counter staff to push my product. Those little sales add up, but even on the busiest days, if all my sales were just the little ones, they wouldn’t get close to my goals. 

I’m not saying that you HAVE to buy a ton of things just because you took up real estate in a makeup chair. But for those that go in with the intention of a full-on bridal application and you aren’t ready to purchase 50% of the product being used, it’s a total breech of etiquette. And TRUST ME, those sales ladies will TALK and GOSSIP and NAME CALL as soon as you walk out the door. In the 15 departments stores and seven companies I have worked for, from management to stockers, this happens. It’s part of the culture (Nordstrom is the WORST in regards to managing staff and allowing this to happen).  I always remembered my customers that were serious buyers (I don’t mean they just spend a lot of money, I mean that they were specific, brought pictures, and didn’t expect a full makeup application for just a lipstick) and would LOAD them up on samples that I would bring into the store for me. Those are the ones that would get my extra love and attention. And as a passive aggressive move (and ALL sales, artists, counter staff do this, so I don’t really feel guilty), I would do a rush job on your makeup just to get you out of my chair. Because aint nobody got time for that!

And more logically speaking, that is not a great way to get bridal makeup done. Most of those ladies, while talented, have never had to do makeup application for editorials or photography or wearable makeup for both daytime and evening in one look. It is, for the most part, what you get for what you pay for. Trials allow you the time to see your look in multiple lights, settings, photography, etc. It gives you a chance to play with lip color, explore shadowing and contouring, and test out how different foundations perform on your skin under pressure. 

I am doing my makeup myself (obviously) but I intend on spending what I would have spent on an artist, just in product, when I go for my big shopping trip at Nordstrom. 

Post # 11
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

BelleEtoile:  I totally agree with the value incentive to purchase product. Here are a couple tips to maximize your time in their chair. 

1. Go on a weekday morning, preferably Tuesday, for a trial. Those days are the slowest. If you get there in the morning, they aren’t panicking over the time you take in the chair or rushing you to get out if they see another customer. And they aren’t hitting a hunger wall (they usually take their lunches from 1-3, so anything after noon service typically declines). Also, this gives you a chance to see your look all day and critique/tweek things.

2. Find out when they are “in gift”. Cosmetic staff have to “presell” a certain amount as sales goals. It’s a good way to stagger the costs of products and they will always appreciate the presell. Staff sometimes have contests on how many people they can get up in a presell and it bumps their numbers. Presell, if you don’t know, is when you basically give them CC info and they delay a sale until the “gifting season” starts. Of course, it’s an honor system where you make good on your commitment to purchase a product on the day of the sale. The hold your items and call you when you can pick up your things. A counter is “in gift” when they have a promo like spend 100 and get a gift. If the timeline works where you can wait a few weeks to get some of your product, then do it. They may also throw you a couple extra freebies if you inquire about other products, but don’t feel committed to buying them. 

3. Don’t go to sephora. Stick with a department store. They are cleaner and service is better, hands down. Also, cosmetics cost the same no matter what store you are in. Go to the highest end store near you. The sales staff are hungrier because they typically make more in commission. They also deal with higher spenders so typically have better customer service because they never know if the woman in their chair is a waitress or a millionaire. For example, I live in Boston and have a gazillion department stores near me. I only shop for cosmetics at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. I also am a school teacher/ bartender and make less than 60K a year. But they think I’m fancy. 🙂

4. BRING PICTURES!! 

Post # 12
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

BelleEtoile:  Also, remember you can also buy skin care. You don’t have to buy just makeup and just from their line. Though they have brand sales goals to meet, they can also cross-sell products form a different line. 

I personally buy a lot of my shadows and lips from allcosmeticwholesale.com. I stick to department stores when it comes to skincare, foundations, mascara, and new things I want to try. 

Post # 13
Member
4641 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I was considering this as the hotel I’m staying in is right around the corner from a high end department store. I decided against it because I didn’t want to be in a department store on a Saturday, let alone my wedding day Saturday. I like the quality of work they do, but not for an application that needs to last me all day and night.

With that being said, the counter I typically buy my makeup from offered to do my wedding day makeup because I spend so much on a regular basis and always go in to try out their new products when they come in. They offered to set aside a time so I wasn’t waiting around, I declined because of the environment alone.

Cost-wise, I was able to find a mua who doesn’t do ‘bridal’ as in her rates are the same no matter the occasion so this definitely helped my decision making.

Post # 15
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

BelleEtoile:  I HATED working in the Nordstom stores, but I like that they have higher end lines and they are never so busy their counters are messy like Macys. And the PP has a point that going to a makeup counter on your wedding day Saturday morning could be just shy of a disaster if it happens to be busy.

Kiehls is carried by Nordstrom, I think. I do know that if they don’t have a product you want, they can order it from another Nordstrom and ship it directly to you for free. I don’t recall who gets credit for that comission, though.

As far as hiring staff, Nordstrom doesn’t really “care” about makeup expertise- they care more about salesmanship. That’s generally seen in most stores, though. Which is why getting makeup done at a counter can be kind of a crapshoot. Yes these people are trained in cosmetic brands they work with, yes they probably have a passion for cosmetics in general (pretty much everyone drinks the Kool-aid so to speak). But NONE of them are actually trained makeup artists, unless you stumble upon the rare person who is. MAC has slightly higher standards on makeup application and skills (they have “schools” that they send their people to annually), but I don’t love their makeup. Their foundations tend to oxidize more than others, making color matching a pain. And the sales people always looks so scary- I was always a little afraid of the MAC girls. I’m all on board with Chanel and Dior products though. I will say this, though. I know a lot of women who came up from the Nordstrom cosmetic/skincare/fragrance departments to be account executives for lines. 

If you are interested in switching skin care lines, I LOVE Peter Thomas Roth, a line that is carried in most Nordstroms. I only say this because I have my doubts about Kiehls (and they test on animals, something most people don’t know). But to each their own.

Anyway, are you good at makeup? Would doing it yourself really be that much more of a disaster? What I used to tell my customers at these stores that would purchase things I knew they didn’t have a lot of confidence using right away, go home, open a bottle of wine on a Monday night, when you have nothing to do, and just play with your makeup. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  coffeedrinker.
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