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Post in Beauty Confidential

Having a SA argue with you?

Does this ever happen to anyone? Okay wait, let me rephrase because that's probably happened to almost everyone here... does anyone have any stories to share when a SA disagrees with you or points out that you're basically, well..wrong about a product?


I have a few stories. One time at MAC, I wanted to exchange MAC Brave because it didn't look as great as it did when I tried it out in the store. I told the SA that I didn't like the color because it made my lips look washed out and had a pearly/frosty look to it. " Here's how our conversation went:

Me: I wanted to exchange a lipstick. When I tried it out at home, it looked different and kinda washed me out. Also, there's a bit of a pearly appearance which probably was the cause of making me washed out

SA: Oh no, this has no pearl finish, (swatches on her hand) See, none at all. It looks fine on you.

Me: ........well when I checked the MAC website, the description of the lipstick states "pink-beige with white pearl"

SA: I don't know, but I definitely do not see a white pearl here. (swatches again) I don't see anything at all. It's probably because this is a Satin lipstick.

Me: A satin finish just makes it semi-matte though, it's pearly.. the color itself states that there's white pearl..

SA: No, it's the satin finish. That makes it pearly.  There's no white pearl in the actual lipstick.

Me: .........I just want to exchange this lipstick for MLBB color.

I ended up getting MAC Cosmo. Ugh, that lady was annoying. Tried to sell me some lipliner too.


Another one was in Sephora, when I went back to exchange my MUFE Mat Velvet + because it oxidized on me, so I wanted a lighter shade.  I had 45, and wanted to get 35. The lady kept stating that the foundation is oil-free, therefore it does not oxidize, this does not happen, it's "basically impossible." She also kept interrupting me with "No's" when I was saying that I noticed the foundation got darker, and I missed a spot by my outer cheek, near the ear, so I was able to tell that, whoa, my foundation got darker. She also said that I probably got lighter over time after I told her that I just bought the foundation a few days ago. I just wanted to be like, LISTEN B---- and bring out my sassy side LOL


Anyone have any frustrating encounters? Haha

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Boo! Why would she try colors that aren't even similar?! Like, helllooooo??!! I can relate to how you feel though because I was into higher end makeup when I was a teen and I often encountered SAs that thought I couldn't afford anything and therefore did not treat me as kindly. When this would happen to me in Nordstroms or another store where I knew they made commission, I would say no one helped me. You judge me, I'll ensure you don't make a cent off my sale. 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Soooo this isn't about an SA at a store but rather a movie theater concessions employee. I want to share though because it happened mid last week and I still kind of can't believe it. Here goes....


Last Wednesday, the BF and I went to the movies. It was our little ode to Valentine's Day and we were finally seeing Wolf of Wallstreet; I couldn't have been in a better mood. Being that the film is 3 hours long, we decided to stock up on some concessions. When I approached the counter for popcorn, while my BF went to get a milkshake, a fresh batch had JUST finished popping. I politely requested that my large popcorn be filled with the fresh stuff and then went on my merry way to meet my BF at another part of the concessions counter. As I walked up, the same girl who had filled my popcorn was assisting my BF. That's when we heard her comment to her male coworker in Spanish something about a b i t c h. My BF, who speaks Spanish better than I do, and I looked at her and then each other. He squeezed my hand and said "Please don't say anything." I agreed because we didn't know for sure that she was talking about me, but seeing as we were the only customers in the area, it was kind of hard to believe her comment could have been about anyone else. She continued to make the milkshake (took like 8-10 minutes, don't ask me why!) and another female coworker, who was either on her break or off work, came over to my left to say hello to the girl behind the counter. That's when the girl behind the counter said again "Oh that's some b i t c h here" in Spanish. This second time, we were 100% sure she was talking about me. I looked from the girl behind the counter to the girl standing next to me. I raised my eyebrows and made eye contact with the girl to my left; she looked horrified and quickly walked away. Again, my BF says "Please don't say anything." My blood was boiling and I was hurt because a) I wasn't being a b i t c h and b) it was so nasty and inappropriate that I was in shock. Because I didn't want to ruin our evening, I agreed and we watched the movie. Fast forward to last Friday and I mentioned the incident to my coworker who says "AlwaysGlam, why aren't you going to say something?" When I told her the story, I again felt really hurt about the whole thing and  ended up calling the movie theater and spoke with their GM. His response couldn't have been better -- he was sure he knew which employee I was talking about and said he would review the security camera footage just to be sure; he apologized genuinely and profusely and he asked me what he could do to make it right. I told him I really wanted her to be reprimanded and it wouldn't hurt if he sent me some movie tickets. Our conversation occurred on a Friday and I received my movie tickets the next day. 


All in all, she messed with the wrong b i t c h Smiley Wink 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Oh goodness, I'm not sure where you're from (I know we have quite a few Canadian members here on BT), but if this happened in the US, I think it was ridiculously foolish of this movie employee to think that Spanish is a safe "secret language" considering it is the second most widely spoken language here. I'm not a native Spanish-speaker but I am fluent, and I have experienced similar situations to yours -- I find them amusing if anything, and it just goes to show that underestimating people based on appearances is never a good idea. Smiley Wink

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I was thinking this also. The employee is stupid enough already to say something like that at work at all but to just assume someone doesn't speak a certain language because of what they look like is just beyond. You NEVER know.


AlwaysGlamorous, glad the manager dealt with it properly! I don't think I could have stopped myself from saying something in the moment :x

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

A SA from the skincare section at Sephora once argued that Clarisonic actually makes pores bigger. I have been using clarisonic for months and my pores are instantly smaller.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Well, never in person, but I actually *just* got off the phone with CS and I'm a bit disappointed. I placed an order for  a few Sephora eye shadow singles (3, so I got to include the palette for free, no promo code). I entered a separate promo code in the checkout (buxom foundation mini) and it somehow didn't go through with my order. I called CS within a few minutes and they didn't seem to believe me when I said the free palette holder thingy did NOT require a promo code, and that I had entered a separate code for an item that suddenly wasn't showing up in my order confirmation. And their turnover was so quick that he said they couldn't change or cancel my order. :-( I know it's just a sample, but the only reason I prefer to order online instead of in person is b/c of the samples + promo codes. Anyway. That was all a bit frustrating, being spoken to like I've never placed an online order before...but fortunately just a one off experience....normally everyone online/phone/in person is great!

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I went into my local Sephora at one point to find a new blush after running low on my previous go-to (Bare Escentuals Golden Gate, if I recall correctly) I was considering the Clinique Cheek Pop blushes, trying to decide which shade was closest and reading the back of the packages to see if there was anything in it I was allergic to. I was directed towards a shade that even the name was "Nude.". It wasn't even close to my old color by any stretch of the imagination so I hinted as politely as possible that while it was pretty, it was not what I had in mind. I even stated that I was "used to something a little more along the lines of this color" and held out the half empty container of my former favorite blush.


Acting about as pouty and in a huff as a little kid being forced to share, she tossed the Cheek Pop roughly back on the shelf shattering it and ruining the pretty Gerbera design in the process. That design is one of the things that had drawn my eye to it in the first place. She reached for a random BE blush shade that once again, wasn't even close in color to my old one (this time it was something hot pink that I can't imagine would have been flattering on me at all) and once again was a loose powder like I was trying to avoid. I tried to clarify that I had been looking at the Cheek Pops for the specific reason that they were pressed powder rather than loose is that the loose always seemed to end up everywhere periodically no matter how I tried to avoid it. She rolled her eyes, huffed at me then snatched the Cheek Pop back off the shelf. Not one of the colors I had been looking at, not any other shade to make a recommendation, but the same one she had just ruined.  


Without asking, she grabbed her brush that smelled like some Eau du Rancid Flowers perfume I would expect some little old grandmother to wear to cover the smell of mothballs and applied the Nude Cheek Pop in a method I can only describe as "stabby." I don't mean blotting, dabbing, buffing, stippling or any other method you might use to apply a product to a face. She was so aggressive in her application that even my young son (who was waiting very quietly next to me reading his book up until then) looked up and flinched visibly at each contact between her brush and my face as he watched. "There, at least this sorta covers up that nasty old one you were using. While it doesn't look quite as good as it would without that junky old blush on you, at least you look somewhat less like you have a skin condition that needs treating!" She made another huffy sound and stomped off, rolling her eyes as she went.


I should clarify here that because my son has an anxiety disorder, something like the way she was acting towards me and what she said more than enough to set him off in a panic on their own so both together was even worse. "Mommy, did she really say you have a disease in your skin? Mommy, are you going to need medicine? Mommy, are you going to need surgery like Grandma Gladys did?" I tried to explain to him that I don't have skin cancer like Grandma did, I don't have any diseases on or in my skin, the SA was probably just making a joke even if it was a bad one to make, and yes, it was mean of her to say but she didn't mean it get the idea here. Even with everything I did to convince him otherwise, her words stuck in his head and he couldn't shake them. He was so worried that he began to panic when I said I would do this another day and that we we were leaving. He kept insisting I *HAD* to buy it, and we couldn't leave without it. I finally figured ou that because of her words, he became convinced that that blush somehow prevented the skin diseases like the skin cancer that had taken my grandmother a few years ago. I tried to placate him by saying I would get one mainly in a last ditch attempt to calm him down and grabbed a shade I thought to be a better match but he was so upset by that point that no other color would do. The shattered one she had tossed into the shelf display was now the only safe one to use in his mind and no amount of explaining would relieve his fear. Isn't it just *joyful* how an oncoming panic attack distorts everything? (And I mean this with the utmost sarcasm) 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Wow! I would have spoke to a manager about her! She was out of control. I would have had a hard time not saying somethi to her like stop touching me. That's the kind of stuff that makes you have anxiety! I feel bad for your son what an awful experience. I would almost forward your experience to upper management it was that awful.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

My heart broke reading this! The way you were treated is so disgusting, and how it affected your son too. I would report this SA, there is no excuse ever to treat a customer this way.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

@jen81 & @angel7594 The only reason  I didn't go to management right then and there was because interactions involving any sort of confrontation - whether anticipated to happen in the future, imagined possible confrontations that might or might not happen, or actually happening right this moment kinds - are all high on the list for anxiety triggers. Yes, it would have given me satisfaction to absolutely tear into her about how she acted, how it made me feel and especially for the affect it had on my son then to follow it up with management as well, but it would not have been worth it in the amount of additional anxiety it would cause for my son because of the SA. I just decided the sooner we were out of there, the better and I would deal with it the next time I went in. However, I haven't gone in in weeks because I was and still am so furious about the whole incident that I thought it'd be better to wait until I could cool down. That way, I would at least be able to speak rationally about it when I went to the manager although even close to a month later, if not more so, I'm still not convinced I can do "calm and collected" or "rational" even now.


For the record, I ended up never even exchanged the broken blush! Since it was shattered anyway, I just crushed up the few larger chunks that had remained intact, mixed it in with the remnants of the old one it was supposed to be replacing, and used some water to compress it back into the pan I could use it up. Short of (finally!) going to a manager to bring this to their attention, I have refused to shop at that Sephora since then, order what I need online and if a return is necessary I do so at the next nearest Sephora more than a half an hour away.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

@WaterlilyKariI understand completely as I am a mom to a 2 1/2 year old. I wouldn't have wanted to cause further stress to my kiddo either. I think it would take me about as long to cool down also.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I totally understand☺ Sometimes just getting away from a horrible experience is what we have to do, especially when children are involved!

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Wow, some of the stories on here are truly awful. 


This isn't too bad compared to some of the others on here, but it still left a sour taste in my mouth, and I haven't shopped in a MAC store since.

I wanted some new foundation and went into MAC because I'm quite fair and they're known for their range of shades. A male SA came up to me and I just told him I was in the market for some new foundation, and asked if I could be colour matched.


"Oh, honey." he starts talking to me like I've got a terminal illness, "You are so pale. You're like a vampire. You're going to be our absolute lightest shade."

Gee. Thanks.

I'm very non-confrontational so I said nothing and continued with the process. He took the palest foundation and slathered it all over my face, then took some powder that literally looked white and caked that on as well. He then declared that now, "you look a little less dead!"


The funny part was that I looked into the mirror and looked more dead now than I did when I walked in. I was caked in the whitest makeup which masked every little tone in my skin. I looked alive when I walked in there, I didn't look that way going out.


I've had SAs at Sephora give me attitude while returning a product as well, but nothing that has escalated into a debate (fortunately). 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Those are the type of remarks that get under my skin more than anything! It's almost like... passive aggressive? how he would make condescending remarks but with a smile on his face, like he's trying to help but in reality, it's just rude 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Exactly, well said. It was incredibly rude. Nobody deserves to have anything about them put down. I happen to like my fair skin, it isn't a disease. He acted like fair skin was a terrible affliction that needed to be cured instantly in the nearest tanning salon. 


Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Right! Newsflash, not everyone has to be or wants to be tan! I am also extremely pale and I'm always put off by "oh wow you're REALLY pale you're DEFINITELY our lightest shade!" comments. They act like they've never seen a fair person! lol 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I know right? I happen to like my fair skin! As inconceivable as that may be to some people. Smiley Tongue 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Amen! I can understand the gentler version of "can we test a couple shades to see which one matches best?" and if they happen to grab the lightest shade at that time to test along with another one or two, ok. That gives both them and me the chance to look in the mirror and say "I think this one is closer/not close enough/too light/too dark/too warm toned/too cool toned/whatever. But to imply or even outright say we look diseased or dead? What part of that makes them think we'll want to come back again in the future? I embrace my fair skin and know many others who do as well! It doesn't mean I am dying just because I'm not dousing myself in spray tan until I looked like an Oompa-Loompa.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

My blood boils when I hear the "oh honey" Grrrrr!


I am so sorry this happened to you. As other have mentioned, MAC is a really uncomfortable environment.


I do not wear red lipstick. Ever. Tried it. Hate it. Do not like. Every time I go in to restock some of my go to shades like Brave or Modesty a pushy SA tries to get me to try a red because I need to "be bolder" in my make up choices. Why can't you just give me the lipstick I want and leave it at that? I hate unsolicited "advice".


Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I almost always have bad experiences when I shop at MAC counters. I look pretty young, so I think that inclines SAs to keep their eye on me. I always feel like I'm being watched as if they think I'm going to take something when I shop at the MAC counter in my local Macy's.

Anyway, this one day, in late fall/early winter, I went to the MAC counter with a few lip liners in mind. I was approached by an SA who asked if I needed help. I said something along the lines of "No thank you, I'm just looking at the lip liners, I have a few in mind." to which she asked which ones I was looking at. I told her I was thinking Spice and Chestnut. I felt extremely uncomfortable as she stood there right next to me, just watching me swatch the tester lip liners without saying a word. I wanted to take my time and swatch a bunch of them and decide. But I felt like she didn't trust me or that she was rushing me, because she wasn't offering help or giving her opinions, just standing there completely silent, breathing down my neck, watching me swatch lip liners. It was awkward because I felt rushed, she wasn't speaking at all and it felt unnecessary because there were other customers she could've been helping. 

Anywho, I rushed and bought the Spice and Chestnut without even thinking because I was just too awkward and uncomfortable to stand there while she breathed down my neck. I'm extremely socially awkward, so this encounter was probably weirder/more uncomfortable for me than it would've been the average person. I tried to keep that in mind, and blow it off. 

As she was ringing me up, I asked "Do you know when the Magic of the Night collection will be here? I'm really interested in that Oh Darling Skin Finish!" and she looked at me like I had 13 heads and literally said "I have absolutely no clue what you're talking about," with suchhhhh an attitude I was shocked! Before I could respond, another SA chimed in and told me when it would be on their shelves. I am so happy that she did, because that other SA reeeeeally made me feel stupid. 


In general, I always feel like I'm being "judged" when I walk into MAC. I've had numerous pleasant experiences with MAC SAs in their stores, but never at the counters. I've heard that MAC is extremely selective with their employees and that their hiring process is INTENSE. If that's the case, I don't get how they let so many rude people slip through the cracks (no offense to anyone who may have worked at MAC).  I do know that they have soooo many amazing employees but I've just had so many uncomfortable exchanges with SAs there! 


Re: Having a SA argue with you?

You definitely aren't alone. MAC has always been one of those places where I feel judged the second I walked through the door. I never have felt welcome when shopping there. It is such an uncomfortable environment. 



They aren't all bad, I've definitely met and been assisted by some nice SAs, but the negative experiences are more frequent and leave a really bad lasting impression.