How to get out of a speeding ticket.

Gita came running into work punching in at the time clock with a few minutes to spare. Nevermind the blood shot eyes, last nights curls, the smell of stale alcohol and crumpled clothes. She went to an all night party, woke up and was an hour away from work so jumped in her car and was driving 80 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h. zone. When asked why she was driving so fast she said in her sing song voice that she was on her way to work at the makeup counter and had just woken up and couldn’t be late one more time or she would be fired. She said “At least I didn’t drink and drive last night!” When he told her to be careful driving and no ticket she gave him a big hug with a wet kiss on the side of his cheek and told him to come to the counter to ask her out. Even hungover Gita is still adorable.

Best time to not get a makeover? Sunday morning.

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Crazy Customer of the Day. A little crazy mixed with mad.

Or abbreviated form is CCOTD. Yeah of course we are jam packed when this happens when I see a young 20 something semi cute girl with her older 50 something mom waiting for help and holding bags. Sometimes you can answer a question real quick when you are in the middle of a makeover  so they don’t have to wait. But other times it’s like….(Geez, why did I bother to try to help in between my customer and it turns into a bigger than life thing that requires a little more than a quick answer.

Here we go… Young Customer: I just got my makeup done at another store and spent over $50.00 and I hate it. Can I return it all here?”

Me: No, you have to return it to the store you bought it at. But besides that, you have to make a purchase when you have your makeup done so the only thing they can do for you is exchange it.

Y.C.: But I hate the makeup. I told her natural and it’s too much and I have to meet my fiance’s parents for dinner and ……blah blah blah excuses.

Me: (trying to be nice and understanding even though there are customers 3 people deep) If you want to hang on for a few minutes when I get done helping the people in front of you I will tone it down for you and change it to what you like.

Y.C.: I don’t have time I have to meet them in 1/2 hour.

At this point I don’t know what to say. Sometimes I just have a blank stare.

But you did have time to come to our store to try to return all your cosmetics after you got your free makeover from another store. What you should of done is tell the person who did your makeup how you wanted it changed before you left the store. I can understand if it was a crazy look but it actually did look pretty and natural. I know you know it’s wrong which is why you didn’t bring it back to the place you bought it at. And even thought I could of maybe changed it a little to make you feel better….I ‘m not sure that’s what you really wanted and that was all I could offer.

I’m sure going to a counter and getting gawd-awful makeovers can be another post entirely.

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Makeup Stealer and the “Woot Woot Salute”

Unfortunately there are a lot of makeup stealers. Mostly we don’t see them doing it. Sometimes they take testers which to me is so gross. Why take a used lipstick with no cap on it  only to have it dry out and other peoples nasty germs on it. So when they do get caught it’s so exciting because for once they didn’t get away with it.

Take the last girl who looked a little suspicious with her converse running shoes, baseball cap pulled low on her head and three big handled shopping bags as she scoped out the counter and tried to avoid us not wanting any help. You can ask only so many times because they want to be left alone. So as soon as we weren’t looking she swiped 6 eye shadows, a few brushes, and a handful of  pencils just to make it worthwhile. Now we aren’t allowed to confront these shoplifters when it happens but we do have to call LP. Which is short for “loss prevention.” Once they have them on their camera they wait for them to leave the store. They can’t say anything while they are doing it because they might pull it back out and therefore haven’t stolen anything. So once they open that door and walk out security hits the door and they take off running.

When “Miss Shoplifter” opened the door she knew what would happen next and started running as fast as her sneaky little feet could go dropping the two fake bags to throw the heat off her trail. While that didn’t deter security who were still sprinting across the parking lot  she decided to cross the busy street and they had to let her go because if she gets hit by a car it’s their responsibility. Once she crossed the busy intersection and thought she was home free she jumped on the wall, gave her “Woot woot salute” you didn’t catch me and jumped off the wall onto the concrete ground…..and then silence. When she didn’t come back up they ran over to check it out only to find out she knocked herself out unconscious on the cement ground with all the makeup  scattered across the ground next to her motionless body and they swear was a silly grin left on her face. Being the good security guys that they were, they called the ambulance to help her bruised and battered body and ego so she could later be arrested.

I’m guessing they probably found drugs on her too because who would do the “woot woot salute” unless you were totally home free in the privacy of your own home.

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Prom Season is here! Let the teenage angst begin.

Yep, every weekend for the next month is prom makeovers from the minute we open till about mid afternoon. We are usually booked more than a month ahead so when frantic teenagers are calling a few days ahead to make an appointment we sadly have to tell them there is no more room. But it doesn’t stop them from coming in anyway to try to get squeezed in because they just can’t do it on their own. Which I guess is a compliment to us, but please lets try to make it a little less crazy that day by just doing a few little steps as follows.

#1.  You can show us the picture of your dress but do you really want to match the color exactly?  Bright screaming teal eye shadow or hot pink shadow because thats the color theme of your attire? It’s better to bring a picture to give us an idea of your look because “smoky” eye color to me might mean something totally different to you.

#2. Don’t have an attitude when you come in or take your anger towards your mom out on us. Of course we want you to look jammin’ but if you are a little bit demanding or just plain rude we just might have to step away a little more often to help other customers and you may never get out of there.

#3. Don’t try to text while we are doing your makeup. We need your eyes closed when we are doing your eye shadow. Not squinting and wrinkly so you can read your messages.

#4. And most important. Don’t have your mom hovering over our work and commenting on every little movement. If you have so much to critique……do it yourself.

We love doing prom makeup and making you look drop dead gorgeous. But we love it even more when we get the “nice girls”.

Just a few more weeks and then….oh yeah…..June wedding makeovers!!!  I think I’m beginning to like prom even more.

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Forget the makeover….how ’bout a makeunder!!!

Sometimes customers come to the counter and  have so much makeup spackled on that even we are afraid of them. It can be focus lips that are lined so dark with too light of a lip color you’d think they stepped out of a Playboy photo shoot where they are trying to do the “sexy pout” but really is “epic fail”. Or the ones who try to do the smoky eye but forgot to blend so it ends up looking like two scary black holes with super arched drawn in Baby Jane eyebrows and crazy clumpy black lashes trying to compete with the rest of the eye because the more the shadow, the more the mascara.

crazy makeupThey know what they  want when they come to the counter and they think they’re “da bomb”. I guess they get stuck in something from the past or maybe they’re trying to cover up something. Sometimes it’s so eccentric it’s just dang  freakin’ frightening. You can’t say “I love your makeup” when it’s so hideous. And when you try to do something more natural on them….they just can’t wrap their head around it no matter how many people tell them it looks so much better now… and well….not like a crazy lady. How do you politely tell someone they need a “makeunder”?

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Butt Dialing? Who knew? Cell phone accidents.

Sitting in the back office/stockroom Gita was on a roll talking about her personal and intimate escapade with her latest conquest that make you slightly uncomfortable but uncontrollably laughing all at the same moment. When she got off her chair she realized she had been sitting on her phone and the phone had accidentally called “him”. Her phone rang about 30 seconds later only to inform her that her latest conquest had heard everything and that she had accidentally “butt dialed” him. Sorry, but I have never heard that before and when I try to conjure up that image in my busy little head I can’t even envision it. How is that even possible? I get that every digit was not dialed and it must have been one touch dialing but even that seems a little difficult. So lesson learned. Make sure your phone is somewhere that it can not accidentally call someone at any random time to hear any inappropriate conversation that you intended for no one else to hear.

On a side note, the next escapade lasted longer that 30 seconds so maybe it was a good thing he heard it.

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Charlie Sheen Crazy. One of our new makeup codewords.

With Charlie Sheen being on the nightly news and every late night show  I feel like I’m glued to the T.V. daily  because I don’t want to miss a single thing he’s said or done. I just can’t help myself.  Hence, a new codeword was created at our counter today.

For all our crazy customers you are awarded the “Charlie Sheen” crazy codeword. If we start talking or laughing about “Hey did you see what Charlie did last night?”, it’s really not about him but probably about the lady who’s putting her fingers in the eye shadows and trying to smear them on her eyes in big bold unblended streaks. Or if you hear “Did you see Charlie today?” that’s our clue to answer yes or no if the customer we are helping is a crazy one or not. “Yes I saw Charlie”…..crazy. “No I haven’t yet”…….maybe not crazy.

Sorry Charlie.

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No….Bad Return!! Bad Customer!! a.k.a. The makeup returner.

Oh yes, there are some legitimate returners. They got the wrong product, we put the wrong one in their bag, it was broken when they got it home or a friend gave it to them and they didn’t like it. But seriously? The majority are just plain wrong. We know when they are lying because we just do. Just like a policeman knows all the excuses for speeding…..we hear all the phony ones about why they don’t want the makeup.

When you say the pencil doesn’t roll up anymore….that’s because it’s empty. When you say the foundation color didn’t match but it’s more than halfway gone…..we know you just want a new one. When you say you just got it last week, but the register says it’s over six months because it can’t be tracked and it’s in an old worn out discolored grimey box….we know you just need the money.

Sometimes the conversation goes like this.

Unhappy Customer: I want to return this foundation. It’s the wrong color.

Me: Would you like to try to get the right color?

UC: No, I just don’t want it anymore.

Okay, which excuse is it? Wrong color or you just don’t want it. Just say so in the beginning you don’t like it and you are returning it so you don’t have to lie your way out of it. It’s not a big deal really. But if you tell the truth in the beginning you won’t get caught up in your “which excuse is it” story.

One lady tried returning her fake lashes. Let me rephrase that. One lash….One clumpy, old, stuck on glue, mascara-d, hot mess lash. The other one was missing. She said it wouldn’t stay on. That is disgusting. Why not just try returning your used underwear because you couldn’t wear them three days in a row without washing them.

Another day this lady tried returning two empty boxes that she purchased about a month ago. First of all, we would of known it was empty by the weight when we were selling it. Second of all, why did you wait a month to bring it back to the store? Wouldn’t you figure it out right away? Third of all, who does that?

Trust me we’ve heard it all. We know the regular returning customers. They might buy a few colors for some weekend night and then return it the following week like it’s “rent  a cosmetic”.  We tend not to be very helpful with the constant returners who never keep anything and waste your time because in the end it will come back against your numbers. We’ll acknowledge them but not really sell to them and brush them off to the other unknowing artist. And yes, we have a codeword for them too.

There’s a reason why we have testers. You try them on to see if you like them. Don’t take your product home and then try it on once and return it. You don’t know how many times I’ve heard “I only used it once” or “I barely touched it” because that does not make a difference. We don’t resell it if you touched it once or a hundred. We have alcohol to sanitize the products and granted the lighting isn’t great but you are certainly welcome to go look outside with the mirror so you can see it in different lighting.

So stay tuned,  as pretty much every day is some crazy customer return  story.

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The Dirty Little Secret they don’t want you to know….

Three little words. Average Unit Sale. Or in short…..A.U.S.

Yes we all have goals. How do you expect these companies to make money? We just can’t play in makeup all day and do free makeovers.  We want you to buy. And the more the better. They would like you to average around a $45.00 A.U.S.  So when you are working with a customer and she is loving everything you are showing her and 30 minutes later it’s a $150.00 sale you feel good. Only to have it come crashing down when someone walks up to the counter to say “All I need today is a…._______” which promptly drops your numbers to less than 1/2 of what you put all you blood, sweat and tears into just a few minutes earlier. Oh and the person who just wants a sharpener…..really? You came all the way to the mall to get a freakin’ sharpener. Don’t be surprised if your sharpener, sponge, powder puff is not in stock. I have seen way too many times someone walk over to the drawer pretending to look diligently for the item only come back to report that we must be out of stock, all the while thinking, I’m not going to let this customer ruin my numbers. Sad but true.

The A.U.S. should be an indicator that you are doing your job and showing the customer everything without clerking. But all it really does is lead to bad customer service. The poor 15 yr. old who is standing there in line holding a midnight black pencil that she had to get all by herself because everyone avoids the pencil wall like the plague and no one wants to ring it up should not be penalized when that is really all she can afford or want. That pencil may be something she saved her allowance up for and is a really big deal for her because that pencil ain’t cheap. A.U.S. or not I’m going to smile at her and make her feel like she just got the coolest thing since sliced bread.

If you really want a cool trick to get help fast is put a couple expensive makeup brushes in your hand like you are seriously interested and see how fast the salesgirls will swarm around you to grab that potential sale. Then you can ask about what you really came for.

But stand in line with a bag to return or a lipstick tester in your hand and you might as well put an  invisible cloak over your head.

Just saying.

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Yep Ginger has red hair. Actually it’s not just red…’s flaming tomato fake purple red. Ginger wears 6 inch stilettos. Flats don’t fit into her vocabulary. Her skirts are short, her tops are revealing and her makeup is oh soooo sexy. Ginger has a night job as a dancer. She has tatoos, piercings and I don’t want to know what else. Even though she looks like the most intimidating person she loves to talk and put makeup on every face she sees  and can make the most timid person come to life after she’s through with them.

Sometimes she has funny smells. I don’t know if it’s what she ate, drank or if it comes from her clothes. One time I had to bring a customer over to the counter to show her something right where Ginger was and it smelled like a really bad stinky fart and I was breathing through my mouth so I wouldn’t have to smell it. I didn’t want the customer to think it was me so I calmly said “I’m so sorry but that wasn’t me.” To which she replied….”I think it was that girl standing here who ran away so quick”.  “Yeah okay so let’s just step away to the other counter” I said. I guess that could happen to anyone anywhere.

She carries a wicked bucket list and dammit……I secretly want to look like her face with all that oh so perfectly designed multidimensional makeup. Just without the smells.

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