A Cosmetician’s Rant (Warning: Weak)

For those of you who purchase cosmetics – please, a few tips:

1. Red lipstick is not pigmented with cow’s blood. When I correct this misassumption for you, please refrain from rolling your eyes, or looking pityingly at me, your entire demeanor saying “She just hasn’t discovered the conspiracy yet.”

There is no conspiracy. No company uses cow blood as a pigment. They probably used FDC Red #3, seeing as how it’s much less expensive and easier to obtain.

Really. I’m not shitting you here.

2. When you ask me to help you select a foundation, I’m obliged to select one that I think will look good on you.

You are fish-belly white (I can empathize, as I too am fish-belly white), and you have acne prone skin. I can tell this because you are pale and have acne. This doesn’t make you a bad person; it just means that a tan colored foundation for a “Normal” skin is just not going to work for you, irrespective of how “Cheap” it is. It’s going to make you break out worse, and look like you’re wearing a kabuki mask.

Also, when I select a different product from the same brand that’s a more appropriate color and formulation for your skin, that also happens to be $1 more expensive than what you’ve chosen, it’s not because I’m trying to scam you. It’s because it’s a better product for your coloring and skin type. Furthermore, choosing a “tan” color foundation will not make you look tan. It will look nasty and gross. No matter how many different ways you ask the question, I will not change my answer. Tan foundation on a fish-belly white person looks bad. Also, when I suggest getting a foundation in your color and using a bronzer to add a sun-kissed glow, don’t sneer at me about “How expensive” that’s going to be. Look, it’s the middle of winter – you can probably get away without the bronzer until spring and until then you can save your pennies until you have the $6 a bronzer costs.

I will never say that tan foundation for a normal skin is a good choice for you, regardless of your outraged indignation.

3. If you have done 27 processes on your hair in the past month including highlighting, cool-aid, permanent wave, and some sort of weird sparkle thing, most recently applied last night, and you ask me which bleach you can use that wont “Fry” your hair, guess what – I can’t help you. ALL of the bleaches will fry your hair.

Further, when I tell you that I can’t recommend a bleach type product for you because there is a distinct possibility that your hair will either break or fall out should you choose to use one, it’s not because I don’t like you, or I’m trying to be mean. It’s because I don’t want you to come back in 2 days with big chunks of hair missing, or a really unfortunate color on your head.

Yes, this means that I “Really don’t want the sale.” This is because crying teenagers are really not my thing. Suggesting that you allow your hair to calm down for a few weeks is not the “Most heinous injustice in the world”, it’s a practical piece of advice.

4. Finally, for those of you who really, really want me to do a cartilage piercing with the piercing gun – piss off. Whining, wailing and whinging will not change my mind. We won’t do it. This is because the gun shatters the cartilage, which can lead to a big, disgusting, nasty infection. Look – I have a whole binder full of disgusting pictures to dissuade people such as you.

I don’t care if 3 of your friends got it done at Claire’s and had no problem. This is not Claire’s, and we will not do it.

Mom’s – be advised, you stepping up and demanding that we do it “Or else,” makes you and idiot. I am advising your daughter not to have a procedure that can be hazardous to her health. I don’t give a flying rat crap if it was supposed to be her “Birthday Present”. Fine – take her to a professional piercer who will do it with a needle. Yes, it is going to be more expensive. Tough shit.

Frankly, it’s a matter of store liability. No one at my establishment is interested in getting sued because 60% of your daughter’s ear had to be amputated.

All other inquiries are welcome.


Your humble cosmetician.

When I worked at a jeans store, I had to regularly debunk the “Tommy Hilfiger is racist” crapola. I had people actually swear to me that they had seen him make the offending comments on Oprah with their own two eyes.


Ah! But what is FDC Red #3 made of? Hmmm???

Well, it’s certainly not cow’s blood, anyway.

Hey alice, you don’t happen in live around Oklahoma, do ya? I’m lookin’ for an honest cosmetician in the area…

(And we Okies aren’t as stupid as the people you described :wink: )

Sorry hon, I’m in Canada, which would be a hell of a commute for cosmetics.

I’m happy to recommened brands and products here, but for colors, you’re on your own. :slight_smile:

I had no idea women nickel and dimed cosmetics like that. Then again, my sisters used to actively search for small flaws in clothing to get discounts. Scary stuff all round! :slight_smile:

[hijack]Whatever happened to our location tags? Anyone know if they’re coming back?[/hijack]

It’s made of people! Soylent Red #3 is made of people!

I know they say that cosmetics are a big rip off, and that the cheap stuff is as good as the expensive stuff. In some cases, I think it’s true. But I swear, when I ask a beautiful woman which brand she uses, they invariably say it’s one of the expensive ones. It really DOES make a difference. Cheap make-up looks teen-ager-y.

Yeah, cosmetics and haircuts are two things I don’t pinch pennies on. Of course, some cheaper items are just as good, but when you’re talking about foundation and lipstick you really can’t scrimp and look good.

Re: cheap makeup

Thank God I need so little of it to enhance my goddess-like beauty. :wink:

There are some people in the world that are blessed with really perfect skin. They can put the cheapest crap they want on their face and it still stays smooth and clear. These people number in the amount of 2. In the whole world.

For everyone else, it makes a difference.

You complement my skin. You notice how fresh and clean it looks. You ask what I use. I tell you and you sneer “Well, anyone could have good skin if they spent THAT much on products.”

Yes, that is correct. Anyone could - so shut your damn mouth with your complaints. If you’re too cheap to by good quality products, then you’re not allowed to complain about how the cheap ones don’t work as well.

And don’t give me some lame-ass arguement about “I’m a student!” or “I’m a single mom!” or whatever. Sometimes the difference between the cheapest product and a much better one is $2. This is a product that will last 2-3 months if used correctly. Assuming you can afford cosmetics at all, you can scrape together 1/3 of a cent a day to get something that’s not going to look crappy and make you break out.

I used to work for Clinique and they told us (on the sly of course, don’t want to lose sales!) that foundation, powder and lipstick you should always buy at a counter, but mascara and eyeliner were pretty much exactly the same as the drugstore brands.

I forget about eyeshadow, though. I pretty much stick to that rule of thumb, except for when I’m exceptionally poor.

And I used to work at Claire’s and we’d use the gun for cartilage peircings. But then again, Claire’s is the evil empire, so the fact that they’d do something dangerous in order to make money doesn’t suprise me in the least.

I should move to Canada. If that were the only difference here in the States, I’d buy nothing but counter stuff. The difference here is more like $6 for drugstore foundation vs. $20 for counter foundation.

For someone like myself that likes to experiment with different colored eye shadows and liners, that much of a price difference tends to add up, which is why I’d tell people to go with expensive foundation, blush and lipstick, but go to the drugstore for the other stuff. Trust me, my eyes look the same now that I wear Revlon eyeshadow and mascara as they did when I wore Chanel. And it’s a HUGE price difference.

I’m with you on the quality foundation though. That’s why I always buy the more expensive stuff.

Or else what? Are they gonna jump over the counter, brandish the ear ring gun and start piercing indiscriminately? Sheesh.
SDMB “Insane customers and other people in general who are insane” threads still blow my mind. I simply can’t imagine dealing with people with such complete disrepect and contempt. Yikes.

Oh yeah, the forbidding of tan foundation on ghostly white skin: Preach it, sister! Especially when the foundation ends abruptly in a ruler sharp line at the jawline. Claaaasssy!

Aha! I was puzzling over that as well.

Well, to clarify prices (and to assure you that you probably DON’T want to move up North:

For foundation (ie - liquid, in a bottle) we sell Cover Girl (the brand pale acne girl wanted) for about $10.50 a bottle (case). The Cover Girl product I was trying to steer her towards was $11.75 a bottle (case).

My store also sells Marcelle (which is a Canadian company - I don’t think they have distribution in the US). For the same sized bottle, Marcelle is about $14. ($2.25 more). It is an excellent product for those with acne prone skin as it is totally free of fragrance, additives, etc. It’s also an excellent product for those with sensitive skin for the same reasons. Additionally, it provides nice coverage and feels better on the skin than CG.

I don’t have any foundations that are $6 a bottle. I have pressed powders starting at about $4. The brand is NYC. The quality is, well, you can imagine the quality - you get what you pay for.

Regarding counter brands being $20 - I wish. I use Elizabeth Arden, which is $34. We also sell Iman which is $30, Lise Wattier (also Canadian) which is $26 and Lancome which is $40.

Regular old Loreal is $22-$24.

Trust me - Canada is not the home of cheap cosmetics, sadly.

All that being said, there are other, less expensive options (such as tinted moisturizers, concealer with dusting powder, etc) that result in a nice finish, and I can certainly respect people trying to budget. However, if you ask for advice, don’t get cranky when you don’t like the answer or the price of the items suggest.

Another one of my faves is “Ooo, I love that eye-shadow you’re wearing - I want that exact shade!” So you get the product, tell them the price ($18) and they balk. Ok, so you show them 7 other, less expensive products in very similar shades and they object becasue they’re not IDENTICAL. Listen lady, if you want identical, pony up the $18. Otherwise, bite me.

You’re talking Candian money though, aren’t you? If it’s $1 Canadian isn’t it like $1.5 US, or summat? :confused:

It’s currently about $1.30 - so, the Lancome foundation would be about $30.

I used to use Cover Girl and Maybelline, and cheap drug-store stuff, exclusively. Then I started to break out, and I’d **never[/b[ had acne. I went to a dermatologist and she told me to use Clinique-brand products, because they were hypoallergenic and the best for sensitive skin.
I’ve been a loyal Clinique customer (for foundation and blush) ever since.
I still buy the old stand-by Maybelline mascara in the pink and green tube, though. :slight_smile: