Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to - Make-Up Shop and Swatch

Make-up counters can be a little daunting with pushy sales assistants, broken testers
and super bright lightening.
Over the years I have picked up lots of tips when it comes to in-store sampling to hopefully make cosmetic
shopping for some a little easier.
My top tip is to never buy anything there on the spot even of you adore the shade once swatched
go outside and view it in the natural light as the shade artificial lighting may show you is 
often very different from reality!

Contrary to belief that the jaw line is the best place to swatch foundations, believe it or not the neck
is the where you want to apply the shade that you think matches you the best,
then reach for one shade deeper and one shade lighter.
The colour swatch that disappears into the skin is the shade for you, don't be afraid to step outside
into the natural light to judge properly...better to look a loon once that what around with a tide mark
for months on end!

The rules for concealer are pretty much similar but you want to apply the swatches to the back of your wrist,
you are looking for the most natural match as possible but truthfully one concealer is not all that suited
to the entire face - for the under eye reach for a liquid that has pink undertones to counteract the blue
tones of dark circles and for blemishes aim for a cream based concealer that is yellow in tone.

Setting Powders
Every one should own one true Translucent powder by this I mean a snow white powder that completely
disappears once on the skin, some drugstore brands do offer Translucent powders that are more orange
than anything else, avoid those like the plague!
Look for true white powders be they pressed or loose and gently brush on to the back of your hand with your finger tips if it disappears completely and doesn't feel heavy/cakey on the skin snap it up!

Don't you dare swipe one of those nasty germ infected lipstick testers anywhere near your lips
and while we are at it don't let anyone on a make-up counter attack you with one, they may use a lip brush but who knows where the tester has been to prior that...yuck!
The easiest way to determine how a lipstick will appear on your lips is to apply a little colour to your fingertips as this is the place on your body that best mimics your natural lip colour.
Odd yes but I've just saved you getting herpes of the lip haha!

The same rules apply for lip gloss as they do lipstick but I recommend applying to your middle finger
and using your thumb to mimic a smacking movement that way you can determine just how sticky/tacky
the lip gloss will be on the lips.

Blush and Eyeshadows
If you look closely at samples of pressed powder products in stores such as blushes and eyeshadows you will see that the in most the centre of the pan will be deeper in colour and have a shiny film.
That my dear friends is the oil from various people dipping their fingers in so if you swatch there and then
you will not have a true representation of the shade.
For powder products to get a true idea of the colour I suggest swatching on the back of your arm.
The best thing to do is to scrape a little of the yucky film off, then swatch using a fresh patch of colour.
Just don't let the shop assistants catch you I doubt they enjoy this method haha!

Under no circumstances do you apply a mascara tester to your eyelashes, even if there is disposable spoolies
at hand you have no idea if anyone has double dipped and an eye infection is never sexy!
Truthfully without applying a mascara there really is no way of telling if you will like it or not
and as you have no idea how long a tester has been open for you can't really judge the formula.
I'm afraid when it comes to mascara your best bet is to read as many online reviews of whatever mascara
that grabs your attention and pray that it works for you.

One of the easiest products to test in-store, simply draw a line on your arm or back of hand 
and judge the formula that way.
You are looking for creamy yet well pigmented pencil liners that do not tug or pull on the skin, for liquid liners you are searching for something that gives a good sharp line, has good pigmentation, dries quickly without bleeding and does not alter in shade once dry.

Do you have any make-up shopping tips?

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  1. The lipstick and lipgloss ones are so helpful!
    I literally get shivers when I see women full on grab a lipstick and smear it on their lips!! GOD only knows who's been there before them.
    And I swear a few women pop to some counters for the sole reason to touch up! x

  2. These are great tips! In my local Superdrug my friend and I actually followed a sales assistant about as she was applying testers of everything to the orange mess of her face - INCLUDING LIPSTICK, ewwh! x

  3. If i'm thinking of buying an expensive foundation i always take a little pot of my current foundation that i know if the right shade. Once in store i put a drab of that on the back of my hand and i swatch the shop testers against that.
    Jules x

  4. These are so helpful. I actually think sometimes its good shopping when its busy because your less likely to be pestered.


  5. These tips are so helpful. I always try to walk away from the shop and if I'm still thinking about it in a couple of days I will go back because sometimes I feel so pressured by some of the sales assistants I could buy anything! xx

    1. Me too! Also, you get time to try out the product for wear/colour/etc.

  6. Really great tips! I absolutely hate foundation shopping as I always seem to pick up the wrong shade, I will definitely be testing on my neck next time!!

    Jo xx

  7. Great post....As much as I love makeup, I HATE shopping for it!

  8. Great tips to know! I use many of them and are veru useful to anyone who want to buy or to sell makeup .... but when I go to some beauty corner or shop I still watching the "amazing techniques" of the "nice beauty assistants" that are trying to convince me to buy something that they don't even know how to use it .... :D

  9. These are really useful tips!

    Thank you for saving me from the perils of "lip herpes" (not that I'd EVER let them near me with testers)!!!! Ha ha! :) xx

  10. The girls at MAC near me tend to do this anyway - but for lipsticks, you can probably ask if you can get something to disinfect the bullet with (most counters should carry a spray) and clean it like that.

  11. Love this, I hate the pressure of pushy sales assistants. The times I've come home with make up that looked fine at the counter but was totally the wrong shade for me in normal light.

    I'm learning to be a bit more firmer in my old age!

    Jen xx

  12. That's some great advice, thanks for your help! Xo

  13. I always get so confused when the sales person is constantly bugging me with products to try ( i like getting good suggestions but some of them just want you to buy the whole store ). And the problem is that i don't go to shop that much so i have to buy at that moment.

  14. Great tip about testing foundation on your neck - never heard it before but makes super sense when you think that you go to the stores with the foundation ON your face ;) I never use and I don't own face powder though, I still don't know why is it useful.

  15. These are fantastic tips! Honestly i always feel a bit intimidated when im shopping on counters, mainly because of the hovering assistants, and difficulty in finding your shade! xx

  16. This is really helpful, especially the part about lipgloss and lipsticks! I've never used the testers on my lips but have always just swatched on the back of my hand - I've never thought to just use my finger tips, so thank you!

    I want to go shopping now so I can try it out haha! :)

  17. So useful! I hate foundation shopping as the sales assisstants always try and give me the wrong colour so I end up with one that's too dark, I always as for a few different shade samples so I can try them and I find the best one :)
    Rosalie x

  18. This is so helpful! I always feel really stupid when ever I try to swatch something, like the shop assistants are all going to stand around me in a circle and laugh!

  19. Thanks for the tips, especially the one about the foundation. I always feel so stupid when trying to take a swatch and the assistants are just standing there looking at you xxx

  20. oh thank you very much for sharing these tips here. there are some aspects i never thought about before..especially that the fingertips have a similiar skin tone like our lips. very good post!

  21. Most helpful post I've seen on many blogs in while. Thanks so much! I was in MAC last week and actually saw a girl pick up a lipstick and apply straight on her lips from the bullet. I nearly fainted. Some people have no idea what nasties can hide around a make-up counter. And to be honest, the cleanliness of the MAC counter I went to was really quite poor. Smudges of make-up were everywhere and it just looked quite bad! x

  22. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. I hate using anything that anyone has ever used. I don't usually try makeup before I buy it and if I do it is always on the back of my hand. I do not like to waste money so I want to ensure that I like what I am buying. Really great tips :)

  23. Great post lovely! I also tend to make sure I have hand wipes on me when I go make up shopping so I can swatch to my heart's content!

  24. Gret tips i hate testers in stores they are so germfilled and horrible!:)

  25. Some of the eyeshadow testers in Mac are appalling, the oily hard bits are rank! x

  26. this was so helpful! thanks :)

  27. Thanks for the tips, loving the new layout - especially the cat!

  28. Great article. I do all of these things now...better to be safe than sorry!! Thanks for calling attention to this :)

  29. Very helpful!A great post!Thanks~

  30. This is such a fab post! I for one hate going to beauty counters as the assistants are either so snooty or dying to help! Thanks for these tips I will surely be putting these to good use next time I hit House of Frasers/ Debenhams beauty counters!

    Jo x

  31. this was so useful! really great idea for a post!

  32. This is a very helpful post, spesh the lipstick bit,

    Pipp xx

  33. Great tips, especially about the translucent powder and the lipsticks! Notes have been taken haha


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