The Right Way To Visit A Beauty Counter (And Leave With Stuff You Actually Need)

No more heading home with stacks of stuff you'll never use. Here's how to hit up the beauty counter and leave with the best buys.

Burberry Prorsum Womenswear Spring_Summer 2015 - Backstage Beauty product

We don’t know if it’s the bright lights, the dozens of mirrors magnifying every flaw or the rows of beautiful cosmetics all neatly lined up in a row, but there’s something about beauty counters that can make a girl loose the run of herself, agree? Before you know it you’ve landed home with three foundations (all in the wrong shade), an expensive new eyeshadow palette and some miracle cream that you’ll probably never use, but there are five ways you can nix that habit and take home the stuff you need instead.

1. Know what you’re after

Tot up a mental list of the products you need before you trot off to the shops. Not sure what you’re shopping for? Decide on your needs. If you need to combat sensitive skin arm yourself with a little research on the products and ingredients that fix it. In the market for something that’ll make you glow? Check the web for reviews and recommendations so you’ll know what to ask for when you get there.

2. If you don’t know, ask

So you’re lost in an abyss of lip liners and haven’t a clue what you’re looking for. Even the most beauty-savvy get overwhelmed when there’s a billion products to choose from. The fix? Grill the counter staff on the best one for you. They’ll have expert knowledge on all of the products, meaning they’ll be able to point you in the right direction when you’re way confused.

3. Know what suits you

Think a product makes you look more Cruella de Vil than Cara Delevingne? Don’t be afraid to say so, and always ask for the product to be tested on you if you’re unsure of the shade. That way if an overzealous sales assistant tries to pass off a canary yellow eyeshadow on you, you’ll be able to say “actually, I think mauve is more my colour.”

4. Get the facts

Counter staff love to chat about how deadly their products are, but make sure you separate the fact from fiction. If their foundation really will solve your oily skin problems, ask them why. If that new eyeshadow primer is gona make your shadow last ’til dawn, get them to explain how. Make sure the assistant is able to back up those “wonder product” claims with some hard evidence before you whip out the plastic.

5. Try before you buy

Don’t wanna commit to that pricey product? You don’t have to make a decision right away. Take home samples, see how it looks in different lighting, figure out if it suits you, and come back if it’s something you really, really want. That beaut eye palette will still be there tomorrow. Promise!

Pic credit: Burberry