The skin you have is pretty much not going to change.
When I first started working at the brand I was super diligent with my skin, and it was awesome. I had good skin to begin with but now it was super soft and glowy. But that was with a 10/10 effort. Now I do like a 2/10 effort and it’s really not a drastic enough difference for me to care. I saw this again and again with customers.
You definitely can see a difference with great products, don’t get me wrong, but you aren’t going to get new genes.
“Miracle” products are pretty iffy.
There’s a lot of money to be made off of people’s insecurities. That’s where companies get ideas for the new products they are going to make–what people wish they could have. It’s not as if they’re in a lab doing research and following the science. They’re trying to fit the science into the demand. If it’s a reputable brand, you’ll probably see an improvement, but that’s compared to doing nothing and it won’t outlast your use of the product.
That said, there’s probably a cosmetic that can help with anything.
If you have dark circles under your eyes, get one of those blue pens that off set the darkness and then cover it up with concealer. There’s special foundations now for people with acne, that look completely flawless when they’re applied right (get a nice set of brushes, especially a stippling one for foundation).
The only skincare things that really matter are exfoliating and moisturizing.
Exfoliating does 80% of the work, moisturizing does the other 20%. Both are worth investing in a higher end product. Cheap exfoliators have square-shaped granules that make tiny cuts all over your face where bacteria can get in. A perfect exfoliator should feel very gritty (ideally one that can’t be used everyday) but your face shouldn’t feel raw after using it. Or get a Clarisonic.
And moisturize, the more moisturized your skin is, the less likely to wrinkle. People with oily skin may have it bad in high school, but in the end their skin ages at a slower pace than dry skin.
Get rid of zits while you sleep.
When you feel one coming on, dab a mask on it that’s meant to help with bad skin. You can use any of them as a spot treatment even if it’s not marketed that way. Using toothpaste for this purpose isn’t bad, either, just more drying than a specialty product would be.
I have thick eyebrows so I never thought I had to do anything with them.
Wrong. Everyone looks better with a little filling in. Powder works better than pencils (actually my favorite is those Smashbox pallets).
Never pay full retail price for a beauty product.
The very least you should get is some kind of gift with purchase or a generous handful of samples. It varies from brand to brand but there is always something your sales person can do to sweeten the deal. At my store it was ridiculous, especially during the holiday season, there were just boxes of stuff in the back we could give away.
Shimmer can make you look greasy in pictures.
Instead of putting highlighter on your cheeks when you know you’re going to be in a lot of pictures. Trace it lightly down only the very center of your nose. You’ll only see it from a straight on angle and it will make you look healthy.
There’s a huge disparity in knowledge and skill between sales people.
If you’re looking to really address a problem, buy a new skincare regimen, or get a makeover, shop around for the sales person you work with–don’t just stick with the first person who helps you. At most brands, you can schedule an appointment, ask for a time you can do this with the counter or store manager, or someone who’s been with the company a long time. They’ll know the products the best and be able to match you up perfectly with the ones that will compliment you.
If you are nice and conversational with staff, you will get like, a million times better help (and free samples).
It also helps if you aren’t shopping at peak times when there are a million people in the store.
Big retailers don’t know shit about what actually goes on in the stores.
Marketing lives in NYC as a part of Estee Lauder (who own like, 90 beauty brands–probably including the one you use) and they would constantly update Facebook and send email blasts out promising items we didn’t even have in stock at the time. The stores are kind of islands from the company. The sales people are more likely to be knowledgable (via thousands of first hand accounts) than marketing promises, listen to them.
Red lipstick makes you feel powerful.
I never wore lipstick before this job. Lipstick was an old lady thing. But, with endless hours to mess around with beauty products, I started wearing it at work. People treat you differently. In a good way.
If you’re not excited about work, dress up for it.
Every time I put extra effort into my appearance before work, the whole day was so much more fun. People wanted to interact with me more, which made me happy, which made me better at my job.
When you’re in specialty stores, ask the sales people what their favorite products are.
This is a great way to cut through the BS because you aren’t putting them on the spot to make a sale or fix an unfixable beauty product you have. You’re asking someone who has likely used the entire line which ones are the best, in her opinion.
Eye makeup should not crease.
I have very deep set eyes so I know how common this is, but this means your eyeshadow is cheap and/or you need to use an eyeshadow primer. This should be a non-issue.
Female friendships are the best thing in the world.
This was the best job in the world because I’d go to work everyday and basically stand around putting makeup on myself and others while gossiping with my friends for 8 hours. Is this a beauty secret? Well, the most beautiful people are happy, smiling people. So, yes. Get yourself a group of great people and find a hobby you love (even if it seems vain to call makeup a hobby). It will radiate.