Beauty Counter 101

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The department store makeup counter has been around for generations—and as enticing as online shopping is, going to the beauty counter is still a rite of passage for young women with their moms. But it’s also a daunting experience, especially if you don’t have much experience wearing makeup or if you’re worried that you’ll spend beyond your personal budget. The makeup counter is a great place to learn about new techniques and new products, or to get your makeup done for parties. We’ve all heard of those nightmare scenarios when you exit the makeup counter buying things you don’t actually want or with a look that you’re not comfortable with—and we want to help you prevent it. As Marc Reagan, Director of Global Artistry of 3.5 years knows, we want to make you feel good in your skin. “We want to bring out your best features—maybe even before you see them in yourself,” he says.

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Reagan also trains many Bobbi Brown artists, so he’s helped out with this guide to getting the most out of your Bobbi makeup counter:

  1. Tell your makeup artist what you want to learn—and be specific about the occasion or purpose. “Let’s say, you’re a teenage girl and you want to get a new back-to-school look that your mom would like, too,” Reagan explains. “Just be clear: I want to learn how to my makeup for school, so that I still look like I’m enhancing my face without wearing too much makeup.” Want to learn how to strobe or need a new foundation? Your makeup artist can and will help with that, too.
  1. Trust your makeup artist. Every Bobbi Brown artist at the counter is trained to do your makeup, in addition to knowing all the tricks and turns of the products. They want to help you look and feel your best—so if you’re uncomfortable with any products or looks, just let them know. “Don’t be intimidated when you go to a counter,” Reagan says. “Learn to use the formulas and ask questions. That’s the difference from online shopping.”
  1. Don’t use your fingers. Now, Bobbi is a big fan of using her fingers to apply makeup—even though she loves her brushes. But when you’re at the counter, you’re using makeup products that are tested by many people daily! Ask for a disposable brush or sponge from the makeup artist, or just have them do the application for you.
  1. Ask for a business card. Of course you’re a discerning shopper—why else would you wear Bobbi Brown? But we know how easy it is to outspend your budget at the counter, so feel free to ask for a business card and come back later.
  1. Be prepared to take your makeup off. If you come to the beauty counter with a full face of makeup, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to take it off when the makeup artist demonstrates products on your face. That might feel uneasy at first, especially if you have plans afterwards, but be assured that your makeup artist will apply blush on both of your cheeks.
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