Makeup Store Etiquette

The other day, I went to Ulta to get a manicure, pick up the perfume I’ve been wanting, and try (in vain) to get the eyeshadow palette I want. While I was there, I witnessed some truly awful behaviors. During my manicure, I mentioned somethings I saw while I was browsing and my nail tech went off the rail about some crazy things he’s seen people do in the store.

Here are a few stories of bad behavior (and what not to do in the store):

  1. I saw a middle-aged woman pocket 3 testers while I was standing beside her. I asked her if she really just put those in her purse. She got nasty and told me to mind my own business. I said her life must really suck if she has to steal the testers out of a makeup store. She threw them back on the counter and stormed off. Just because something is a tester does not mean it is up for grabs. Those are products that have likely been returned and the store can’t sell them so the only way to recoup the money is to set it out as a tester in hopes that someone else will buy the product afterwards. It isn’t so someone can have free makeup. Stealing is wrong, dammit.
  2. I watched a teenager try (and fail) to remove an IT Cosmetics makeup brush display. It was glued down. She had 2 friends covering her. Two sales people converged on them and started asking them all kinds of questions until the teenagers all but ran out of the store. Watching it from where I stood, it was quite funny. The teen girl got super pissed when she couldn’t pry that makeup brush up. The other two teenagers were sweating bullets. I know those brushes are crazy expensive and super luxurious. But is a $40.00 makeup brush worth the fines, time in jail, and a misdemeanor for shoplifting on your record when you get caught? Any intelligent person would say “no” here.
  3. I walked past half a dozen eyeshadow palette testers missing pans. When I asked about it, the employees said that people will come in and dig the pans out of the testers and steal them. Seriously? Is that really a thing? Like, do they carry some kind of depotting tool with them on the off chance that an employee won’t be looking while they pry a pan out of a palette?
  4. My tech had to watch as a woman and her daughter sat down in the nail polish isle, took off their shoes and socks, opened sealed nail polishes, and painted their toe nails. Another customer confronted them and upper management got involved. The woman used the excuse of “Well I was going to buy them…” so the manager immediately rang her up and asked for cash or credit. I can’t even imagine the kind of nerve it requires to literally sit your ass down in a store, open a product, and use it to do a full pedicure on your nasty feet. That is awful, disgusting, unhygienic, theft, and a whole lot of other things. Good on that other customer for calling that woman out. What the hell kind of role model is that mother being to her daughter?!
  5. Products opened and smeared on the plastic displays, the racks, the side walls, and the floor. This is especially bad at mass market retailers like WalMart with nail polish but also includes eyeliners, lipsticks, etc. If you do this, stop it. That is gross. That is vandalism. That is theft. Ugh. Finding sealed, uncompromised products can be difficult sometimes.
  6. Random products shoved into random places. Everyone has picked something up and then decided against it before getting to the register. Here is the thing: You can give it to the cashier. They will put it away later or hand it to someone else to put away later. They shouldn’t be going on a scavenger hunt in the produce isle to find wayward mascaras.
  7. At a nail salon (not Ulta) I heard an old lady yell at the nail tech. Literally screamed at him. He was beyond terrified and couldn’t understand what the hell she was yelling about. Another employee had to translate. It turned out that the woman had shown him an acrylic color she wanted (shade #9, a red) and he looked at it upside-down so he pulled shade #6, a pink. These two colors look nothing similar. One is a deep red, one is a neon pink. So the nail tech messed up. He should have paid better attention to what the customer requested. Here is where I had a problem though: That lady allowed him to do a full acrylic set in pink and only had a problem with the color once he was finished. She said something like “I didn’t know what he was doing!” But she let him put pink on all 10 nails before she corrected his mistake! That is on her. A reasonable person would have pointed it out with the first nail. Did she think that neon pink was going to transform into a deep red after the fact?! So she not only scared him half to death, but he had to do the first nail service, remove the first set of nails, and do a 2nd nail service. That is 3 service time slots, 2 of which he isn’t getting paid for at that point. When we were leaving, she had started screaming again about how she wasn’t going to pay a dime for the nails since he wasted her time. Unbelievable. I felt so bad for the guy. This nail salon only pays their nail techs commissions. So if she didn’t end up paying, then he didn’t get paid for 3 time slots that day. And I’m sure she didn’t tip either. 😡

FYI, employees at many stores are not allowed to call out bad behavior/thieves. As customers with manners and in pursuit of hygiene, it is up to other customers to call someone on their nasty nonsense. Reporting what you see to an employee often does nothing because they still can’t do anything about it. Does that mean I’m going to chase a thief down the street? Um… no. But while I’m in a brightly-lit and well-populated area, you better damn well believe I will call other customers out on being rude to the employees, stealing, vandalism, and other horrible behaviors. We live in a civilized society. This should not be a thing.

❤ Dee


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