We can honestly spend hours in Sephora just playing with the latest products we spot on our IG feeds. And after we spend way too long swatching, we normally leave looking like a multicolored unicorn, with a huge smile and a bag full of products. But then sometimes we’re faced with that dreaded feeling the next day, when we begin to question whether, in the daylight, that product really does suit our skin tone? Or, we’re left wondering why it doesn’t look as bomb as we thought it did when we were in the shop! So the make sure you’re never left in the same dilemma again, we’ve got the tips and tricks to save you serious cash and make sure you feel nothing less than satisfied with your next Sephora haul.
1) Before you go, do your homework
The key thing to remember is that the salesperson at the store is, after all, a salesperson. Keep in mind that although it may be their best seller, it might not compare as well to the same product from another makeup line. We love looking at MakeupAlley before we head to the makeup counter as there are literally hundreds of reviews from beauty lovers for almost every product. Another thing to keep in mind when you’re reading reviews is how a product will work for your specific skin type. Just think, even though your fav blogger has given it their seal of approval, they may have a completely different skin type – so the foundation that looked flawless on their dry/normal skin might be a hot mess on your oily complexion.
2) Always test out the product, but be careful!
How can you even begin to decide whether a product is right for you unless you test it on your skin? But, even though you obviously want to test it on your face, we would recommend testing it on your hand instead. As even if you use a disposable wand, it’s likely that another customer may have double dipped so it’s possible that the whole tube is contaminated. If you do want to try the product on your face (with some products you should!), make sure you clean it properly by using an alcohol spray. Most stores will have one on the counter available and if not just ask for one. This will help kill off any bacteria or dirt lying on the surface and don’t worry, it won’t ruin the makeup at all! Make sure you spritz every product, even powders or eyeshadows. For lipsticks, we would suggest wiping off the top layer with a tissue and then spray the alcohol solution.
3) If you’re investing in a product, ask the makeup artist to apply it to your face
If you’re willing to spend some serious dollar on a product, you really need to test it out on your face not just your hand. The best and most hygienic way to do this is by asking the makeup artist on site to apply it to your skin, as they’ll know how to properly clean the products. This is especially important if you’re testing out a foundation or primer as you need to see what the coverage is like on your entire face and if it improves your problem areas.
4) If a makeup artist applies a product to your face, PAY ATTENTION
Watch the makeup artist carefully and see how they apply the product – that glow may be a result of a bronzer and a setting spray, not just the highlighter you originally asked to try. Also be mindful with mascaras or lipsticks, as the applicator they use may be totally different to the product applicator, giving an entirely different finished look. Try not to get persuaded into buying things you know you already have, like the product’s ‘twin enhancer’ – you know you don’t need it and you’ll regret it later.
5) If the tester on offer looks old AF, ask for a fresh one
If you’re about to spend your hard earned cash on a new product, you need to see it in its full, original glory in store. If a salesperson tells you, that “the product is a little dry” or “is running low, but will normally look like…” don’t take their word for it. You need to see the full power of the pigment on your skin, not online or in an ad campaign.
6) Leave the store and revisit a couple hours later
Honestly, store lighting can make a huge difference on how your makeup really looks. Try testing out a product and leaving the store for a couple of hours so you can see what the product looks like in a more natural setting. Take a selfie and see how it photographs – will it look as snatched for Insta? Some foundations can give you flashback, making your face look white and patchy in pictures. This tends to happen when your foundation contains mineral SPFs like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, so watch out for these ingredients or you could end up looking like a ghost in pictures.
7) Don’t be afraid to ask for a liquid tester to take home
It sounds crazy that brands will literally give you a 5-day free tester, but as long as you genuinely have the intention of buying it, normally they don’t have a problem with handing out testers. If they seem slightly hesitant, simply explain that you want to see how the product reacts to your skin; everybody’s skin is different and can react in so many different ways. Using the product at home for a few days will give you a much better feel for the product and you can test its wearability too.
Don’t worry, all of us here at HBHQ have left the store feeling like we may have just splurged unnecessarily on products that haven’t really worked out for us. To make sure this never happens to you, use these tips and tell your friends! Have you tried any of these before? Let us know in the comments.