How to be a Pro Beauty Shopper

Beauty counters can be intimidating, but properly investigating products that work for you can make your purchases much more worthwhile. With various large chains such as Sephora, Mecca, Myer, David Jones, combined with online stores it can be very difficult to navigate your way around. Finding exact products in a world of thousands of colours and formulas can be tough. To help you out, here are some of my tips for exploring the big big world that is the makeup industry.

1. Use the Sales people (As long as they seem adequate): Most salespeople are well trained when it comes to the products in the store, and in reality they are there to help you. Simply ask ''Excuse me, Can I have some help with a few things?'' and most of the time they are more than happy to help. Guide them in terms of what you're looking for, and in return they should show you multiple options for you to choose from.

2. Go in with a plan: ''If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.'' 100% true! If you randomly decide to go into the store thinking ''Hmm.. maybe I want a lipstick... or a blush?'' you're setting yourself up for a whole lot of time-wasting, money-wasting and indecision. Plan before you go; think about what product you want, what colour you want, what formula and even what brands catch your eye to avoid aimlessly wandering around the store.

3. Use your smartphone while in store: Use your phone to look up product reviews on the item in question. Chances are, you’ll find out rather quickly how good (or terrible) a product is while looking at online reviews. Moreover, if reviews are mixed, try focus on reviews that are from people similar in skin type and tone to you to make decision making easier.

4. Don't be afraid to say no: If you get stuck with an assistant who is using her powers of persuasion to convince you that the foundation 3 shades too dark is your ''perfect match''... don't be afraid to say no. If they show you a product you don't quite like, simply say ''Thanks, but can we try something else?'' to avoid wasting precious time and money.

5. Know your ingredient labels: Especially on skin care products, know what comes with certain ingredients. For example, if you’ve got dry skin, you should run in the opposite direction of benzoyl peroxide, which can cause excessive dryness, but works wonders for acne.

6. Sign up for rewards programs: Many companies have rewards programs, like Mecca's Beauty Junkie program

that rewards you on a point system based on purchases. If you’re going to be shopping makeup counters often, don’t miss out on the rewards! Plus, often times they’ll give you sneak peeks of products and send samples, so you’ll be able to try items before buying the full size.

7. Request samples first: If something is able to be squeezed out of a tube or bottle, in can be made into a free sample. Most stores are happy to provide you with free samples if you simply request it!Getting a free sample before committing to a purchase is the perfect way to ''try before you buy''!

8. Learn the lingo: Familiarise yourself with different words of the trade dependent on the products you are looking for, to help assistants easily find what you're looking for. I.e think about; sheer/lightweight, medium/full coverage, undertones, texture, formula, brush/felt tip etc

9. Go without wearing makeup: Brave the world and head to the store without wearing makeup so that you can test out products at the counter. Testing out of the products without other makeup on your face interfering makes this process much easier.

10. Know when to splurge and when to save: There are certain products that can be purchased at the chemist, and there are others that should be splurged on. These may differ depending on which products are most valuable to you, but it is also a good idea to investigate what is considered at a higher end store ''a good price'' for certain products vs ''a splurge''.

E.g A well priced eye shadow palette at Sephora might be $80, verses a $120 palette which would be considered a splurge.

Hopefully this helps you all navigate your way! Good luck on your makeup adventures!

Olivia xx