Maybelline Queen

{October 1, 2013}   Hangover!!….Not Me!*wink*

Have a little too much fun last night? Brew yourself some coffee, pop a couple ibuprofen, and follow these quick concealer tips to transform your late-night cocktail hangover into a beautiful brunch face.

The Tools:

A concealer brush will pick up the pigment and place it exactly where you need it unlike your fingers, which absorb product.

Make sure you’ve got the right shade of concealer. The reverse-raccoon look does no one any favors. A yellow-based tone that is one shade lighter than your foundation is a good starting place. Test concealer on the blue veiny area inside of your wrist to determine the perfect opacity.

The Tricks:

Start with a clean slate: make sure you remove every trace of the smoky eye that looked so cute last night. Your dark circles don’t need any extra help!

Apply your foundation, tinted moisturizer or base. Concealer should be secondary, because you’ll be spot-concealing, and you don’t want to brush away your careful handiwork.

Whichever you choose, the placement for this hangover cure is the same: With your concealer brush, draw a triangle from the inner corner of the eye (the darkest spot on the face) straight down to the outer corner of your nose (where most of us have some redness) and up to the middle of the undereye area, then fill in.

Avoid taking your concealer all the way to the outer corner of the eyes, as smile lines can make a too-heavy formula look cakey (and most of the discoloration doesn’t extend that far, anyway). This is called The Triangle of Light: it’s where you want the light to hit your face to deflect any darkness. Now blend!

If undereye puffiness is your issue, grab a thin concealer pencil in your shade and drag across the undereye right in that dark line of demarcation at the bottom of your puffiness. This will give the illusion of bringing that area forward. You can also recede the puffy part by softly shading under the lower lashline with a light taupe. Bronzer also works well for this.

Boom! No more zombie-face.


Makeup is now a click away, but with the digital marketplace so vast and crowded, you’re sometimes forced to question the integrity of the makeup you’re buying. If you buy from a disreputable vendor, how can you be sure if a product is from the correct collection? Over the past few years, counterfeit beauty has emerged as a serious issue online and has fooled even the smartest of shoppers. This problem is a health-related matter as well—if you’re not using the real product, who knows what you’re actually putting on your face and body? While corporations have taken huge measures to help prevent counterfeiting and fraud, it’s also up to the consumer (you!) to be equipped with proper beauty knowledge. Become a proactive online shopper and you’ll never have to question your beauty products again!

1. Know the collections.

When you’re making a purchase, cross-reference all of the product data you find. Ask yourself: Did the brand really make that shade of lip gloss that season? How much did it cost? What color was the product? You can easily spot a knockoff fragrance if it is clear instead of amber or has a bright yellow hue—some counterfeiters actually blend urine (ew!) and alcohol in knockoff perfumes instead of the actual scent! Whether you have 10 months or 10 years of brand knowledge in your head, the Internet is still a valuable cosmetic database that has all the information you need. Do your research.

2. Study the packaging.

Do you know the difference between matte and glossy packaging? Do you know how certain brands always label their products? If the product photo doesn’t visually match the identity of the brand, search an image database and see if you can spot the differences. Remember that brands occasionally create specially designed limited releases, but trust your gut if you see any potential red flags. Observe with a critical eye.

3. Trust the source.

What site are you shopping from? How does it process credit cards? Do you trust the seller? Ideally, you should buy makeup online from well-known reputable sites such as,,, and These online retailers take expansive measures to protect against credit card fraud and identity theft online. If you’re thinking of ordering from a smaller, independent company, first ask your friends and family if they’ve had transaction experiences with that site. Protect yourself.

MaybellineQueen TIP

If you’re on the hunt for a discontinued beauty essential, it’s hard to resist clicking “buy” on an independent site that miraculously stocks the product. But think about it—who actually knows what condition those products are in? Instead, reach out to the brand’s customer service line first. Representatives can help you track down your favorite products or recommend better alternatives for you to try.

{September 26, 2013}   DIY Lipstick Recipe!
 We love DIY beauty goodies and lipstick in equal measure. After seeing DIY crayon lipstick recipes around the web, I decided it was time to put my own spin on it. Trying a few different formulas, perfected the concoction, and came up with eight must-have color combinations using a trusty 64-pack of Crayola Crayons. And yep, this recipe is pretty safe. Crayons are made mostly of paraffin (found in most lipsticks or chapsticks) and non-toxic, food-grade pigments for a reason—if a kid decides to eat a crayon, it shouldn’t do much damage beyond a stomachache. Better than lead, right?Follow along to make your favorite (or favorites—you’ll probably want to do this more than once). They’re amazing for inexpensive gifts, too.

You Will Need

• 1 whole crayon or a combo of one or more colors, equal to one crayon. You can do 1/2+1/2, or 1/3 of three different crayons, 1/3+2/3 and so on.
• 1/2 tsp shea butter, available at Whole Foods
• 1/2 tsp any type of oil (olive, almond, jojoba, coconut). We used argan.
• Heat source. We used a candle.
• Large metal ladle
• Small metal spoon
• Container with a lid, such as a small empty lip balm jar, small Altoids tin, empty contact lens case, etc.*

• A drop or two of essential oil (we used grapefruit) or extract (like vanilla or almond) for scent
• Glitter, for sparkle! We used Lit Glitter in Liberace S2 in one of our combos


1: Choose your colors! You can pick one shade you like or mix it up to a desired shade. (For this how-to, I picked Gold + Red Violet and added some Lit Cosmetics Glitter in Liberace S2.)

2: Remove the paper wrapping from the crayons.

3: Put your oil and shea butter, plus a drop or two of essential oil if using, in the ladle first.

4: Add your crayon(s). If using just one single color, break it into pieces so that it melts more easily. If you’re mixing colors, you want roughly one crayon worth total (half + half, 1 /3 + 2 /3 and so on).

5: Hover the ladle over a lit candle (about 3 inches away from the flame) and carefully add in your ingredients.

4: Crayons will begin to melt in about 30 seconds. As it melts, slowly stir until all ingredients using a metal spoon. Make sure all ingredients are mixed together.

5: Remove ladle from heat.

6: If adding glitter, stir it in right after you remove ladle from the heat.

7: Using your spoon, pour the mixture into your container. Do this this extremely carefully, as the mixture will be very hot!

8: Let it cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

You can control the intensity of the finished product from more sheer to full-coverage. Apply it with your fingers for a tinted lip balm look, or use a brush and layer, layer, layer, for an opaque color.

*You can also do this over a stove top, using a double-boiler, instead of a ladle and candle flame.

**If you prefer yours in stick form, you can also buy any cheap lip balm in a tube. First, empty it. To do that, twist so that the entire stick of balm is dispensed, and pull off the product. Then twist the tube all the way back to the down position. When you get to step 7, use a metal funnel (will be hard to aim without this) and pour your mixture into the tube. Cool in the fridge, and you’re done!

7 Must-Have Colors!

The best part is experimenting with color! With a 64-pack of Crayolas, I mixed several custom shades. Here are our favorite combos I came up with!

(pictured top, in how-to): 1 part Gold + 2 parts Red Violet + Lit Cosmetics Glitter in Liberace S2
(above, left, on model): 1 part Melon + 1 part Magenta
(in compact, clockwise from top left): Sea Green + Turquoise Blue, Red Orange + Wild Strawberry, Wisteria + Mauvelous, Bittersweet + Peach, Silver + Violet, Magenta + Melon. Each of these was a 1:1 ratio.

One final idea: pour your crayon lipstick into a locket! Have you tried DIY lipstick of any sort? Show and tell in the comments!

{September 24, 2013}   Building Your Makeup Kit (Part 2)

Do you want a kit that works best for you? Then let’s start with the bag. A makeup kit may be all about the product, but how it’s stored and transported are huge factors to consider. The life of a makeup artist is often location-based, and lugging an oversized kit around only to use a few items is a common, easily avoidable problem among young artists.

When first thinking about makeup storage, ask yourself two questions: 1. What is reasonable for you to carry? And, 2. Are you bringing product you really don’t need? I try to address these questions by using three different bags for my work: one for New York, one for Los Angeles, and one internationally. My NYC kit is much smaller and portable compared to my L.A. kit, which I can easily drive around in the trunk of my car. My international kit is always durable and in-flight ready; made up of slim, easy-to-pack palettes and TSA-approved sizes that stand up to the rough-and-tumble life of travel.

There’s a Caboodle case and piece of Louis Vuitton luggage for every kind of artist’s lifestyle, but often the appearance of the bag itself can lead clients and co-workers to make assumptions about your experience in the industry—unfair yes, but a reality. That aside, remember that professional makeup cases are not purses, and you don’t have to carry an expensive designer label to lead a successful career. Rather, clear functionality, ease of portability, convenience, and price take higher priority than aesthetics. When in doubt, keep it simple and keep it clean.

Your kit’s organization system should work for you in the present, and still accommodate future career (and product) growth. Options abound from bags and briefcases to old-school tackle boxes and tool kits, but once you decide what fits into your budget and artistry, you’ll have the foundation on which to build not only your kit, but your career as a makeup artist. Let’s review a few industry standbys below.

Train Cases and Tackle Boxes

When it comes to organizing makeup, people have adapted anything from scrapbook cases to tool boxes. When I first started doing makeup over seventeen years ago, the old fishing tackle box or Caboodle concept was big in the industry. A tackle box’s basic structure is a compartmentalized container that has sectioned-off areas of different shapes and sizes—allowing you to keep yourself as organized as actual fishermen. The great thing about a tackle box is it does not take up much room and forces you to make decisions about every item you buy and bring on a job. I love the Camera Ready Pro Makeup Case by Japonesque or the Sephora Embossed Train Case.

Carrying Cases and Backpacks

If you’re looking for an option to hand carry instead of roll, opt for a special artistry briefcase or backpack. Unlike wheeled alternatives, these bags are great for travel and transport because they prevent less wear and tear from the constant hauling and lugging of frequent travel. The carry-on sizes are engineered with multiple pockets and pouches for maximum storage space, and are easy to separate into categories while keeping your makeup safe.

But it all comes down to preference. A backpack can be great in a city setting with mass transit, but it does not allow you to carry much more than your must-haves on your back. A carrying case or briefcase allows for easy organization, but keeps your hands full and can be a heavier to lug around all day. Most come with a protective shoulder strap, but back or neck strain may be an issue as well.

Popular brand briefcases such as the Make Up For Ever Make Up Bag and MAC Cosmetics Carry All, or many of the hands-free backpacks such as the NC Squared Bag and Zuca’s Artist Backpack are all excellent options for the makeup artist who understands how to edit his or her kit.

Luggage and Roll-Aboards

Any piece of luggage can be converted into a makeshift kit holder if you commit to editing down your product and using some imagination. I prefer suitcases that are waterproof with hard construction and durable wheels, ideal for protecting your product—snowboard brands like Burton or Etnies make great options. These cases stand up to wear and tear and can take a beating for hardcore travellers. Their designs feel young and fun, and they have enough room to fit anything I need and want with me. You can bring your luggage to any office supply outlet and create your own variety of boxes and holders, or you’ll find many options from makeup artist brands such as the Clear Soft Packs from The Powder Group or the Clear Actor Bags from Stilazzi (more on this in Part 3).

Professional Artist Cases

On the other side of the cost spectrum are professional artist cases. These makeup cases have become a common sight in the industry. Companies like Zuca provide many options to protect and organize the tools of your trade and travel in style. The best part is the inside of the case is organized for you and you need only add in your product in a way that best fits your makeup application and clients. Many brands including MAC and Inglot Cosmetics have developed their own versions in partnership with Zuca that have added artist details. Companies like Stilazzi are changing the way artists think by providing them customizable kits to fit every need and every price point. These can come designed in hard or soft materials and can be tailored to meet the needs of every artist and every job. Each of these options allows for maximum organization with minimal effort.

Premium Cases (The Professional Cabinet)

And then there is the Rolls-Royce of makeup kits—the professional, big-sized, all-in-one cabinet. These traditional cases are perfect for large jobs, like in film and television, or for the artist that wants to have all of their product on set with them. The largest cases have tiered drawers and cabinets to organize tools and product. Traditional options are available from companies like Kryolan and pro resource boutiques like Alcone, Cinema Secrets, and Frends and can be found in countless shapes, sizes and materials, allowing you to master your own kit set up.

{September 19, 2013}   Building Your Makeup Kit

When it comes to being a savvy makeup artist, the big secret is: it’s all in the kit. Like your portfolio, your makeup kit is constantly evolving, expanding, changing, and what you have or don’t have in your kit can separate an expert from an amateur. Sometimes the hardest reality of putting together the perfect group of products is letting go of personal favorites and instead focusing on those practical essentials with time-tested benefits, versatility, and value.

Whether you want to work as a professional makeup artist or just put together a complete collection for yourself, an understanding of the industry’s processes and procedures will help you develop and maintain your kit like the leading artists.

Getting Started: Think Big!

Building your kit is an exercise in decision-making. Before you even think about buying product, you need to ask some larger questions about your artistry: What kind of makeup will you need for the jobs you’re working? How will you carry this makeup and organize it on set? How will it travel?

There are a lot of concerns to face all at once, but just relax and let your mind think through your kit creatively. It takes time, resources, and planning to create a master collection of artistry staples you can always depend on. While complete starter kits are available for purchase, I believe the ability to get your own custom gear together allows you to work as a true professional.

You’ll undeniably need to assemble a selection of various products, pigments, tones, textures, and tools, but it’s not about buying every eye shadow or lip pencil available.  Most important rule: only buy what you know will have the versatility and durability you need. Once you have this set of basics, you can then learn to edit and refine for each job—bridal, editorial, HD or FX, etc.

It’s important to think about your clients, too. What are the specific demands of shoots and locations? How about direction or themes your clients are aiming for—do you have the products to achieve them? Do you really have what you need to design, apply, and maintain this particular makeup?

Putting together a kit plan might take you a day or even a few months, but a huge investment like this is no joke. To help brainstorm various scenarios and answer the above questions, get a designated kit notebook. Draw your fantasy bag. List your dream career and goals. Write down 10 new products you’re excited to test out. Your kit is a reflection of your artist self—think big and ambitiously about your potential and the products that can help make that happen. And when you’re ready, let’s dive in.

Ready to get started? Stay tuned for Part 2: It’s in the Bag!

Have you ever wondered how clean (or dirty) your makeup is? We already know makeup counter testing samples are a breeding ground for who-knows-what, but what about the stuff we use everyday at home? Cosmetics have a shelf life, and even before their expiration date, products can grow bacteria—which in turn can cause irritation and even infections on your skin, eyes, etc.

That’s why we love BeautySoClean‘s chemical-free makeup sanitizers, which are easy to use and loved by pros. Incorporating them into your routine will help ensure safer products and healthier skin. Here, we explain how to use the line—which won’t dry out cosmetics—to keep different types of products bacteria-free and safe.

Products in Compacts

(powder or cream eye shadow, blush, bronzer, concealer, etc.)



Use: Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist


The spray-on sanitizer helps to remove bacteria (oils that have built up over time) from any compact-based product. Keep in mind that powder compacts that haven’t been sanitized properly can change in texture or dry up over time. BeautySoClean won’t be able to fix what’s already been damaged, but it can help to protect new compacts from going bad!


Step 1: Hold mist about 6 inches from the product surface. Spray once.
Step 2: Let it set for 10 seconds.

That’s it! Your makeup is now sanitized and safe for use.

Products in Pots, Tubs, or Tubes

(lipstick, lip gloss, mascara wands, pencils)



use: Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes


The wipes are made from the same formula as the mist, but designed especially for makeup items that residue might stick to—like lipgloss and mascara wands, lipsticks, etc. And the material is “non-woven,” unlike, say, tissues, so it won’t leave remnants behind on the product (which might happen on say, a lipstick, if you sprayed and wiped it with a tissue). In particular, lip glosses with wand applicators are at risk for attracting bacteria. After eating and reapplying gloss, food particles that were stuck to your lips (bacteria included) might end up pushed to the bottom of the tube, contaminating the product. Yikes. Bonus: using the wipes helps mascara go on clump-free!


Step 1: Wrap one wipe around your product, and thoroughly wipe from base to tip.
Step 2: Let it set for 10 seconds.

Done! Your product is clean and ready for use.


Note: BeautySoClean recommends sanitizing your products everyday before application. Doing so will keep your makeup clean, safer to use, and help it last longer.

The no makeup policy. Say what? It’s sad to think about, but some people are restricted from wearing makeup at work or school; such rules exist at some private schools, military posts, hospitals, medical facilities, and even restaurants. On the plus side, going naked from the neck up saves time in the morning! But for a lot of us, there are also those days when the idea of full-frontal facial exposure would be (almost) reason enough to fake a sick day. Even if you have to go bare day to day, you can still bend the rules … at least a little. Here are some tips to achieve an easy, natural look—also perfect for those who want a break from an all-done-up routine. 

Creamy, Natural Skin Secrets

Stay away from dry and powdery makeup because it can look cakey. BB cream will give you a dewy finish and help camouflage redness and enlarged pores; I recommend Too Faced Beauty Balm. For a creamy natural-looking complexion, you can also mix foundation with a daily moisturizer and blend it into you face. Imperfections won’t completely disappear, but you’ll be left with a radiant glow that looks anything but phony.

Barely-There Eye Enhancers

Because shadows and liners are a dead giveaway, these lash tricks are something every beauty sleuth ought to know. If you want darker lashes, apply a light coat of brown mascara after using a curler (like the Billy B Beauty Eyelash Curler). This helps to open up and spread the lashes. To add depth and shine to a bare eye, dab a small amount of Vaseline (or a petroleum-free balm like this shea butter–based version from Sula) onto clean lashes—it will also moisturize the follicles and promote growth.

The Subtlest Brow Tamers

Well-groomed brows are the first step toward a great face. But unless your name is Cara Delevingne, you’re going to need a little help filling in the blanks. Forget the precarious pencil—we love the Tinted Brow Gel from Anastasia. The mascara-like formula tints the brow hairs rather than the skin, and even helps keep strays in place. An old tube of clear mascara is a good solution for taming brows, too. 

The No-Blush Cheek Flush

Even though our cheeks take up the most space on our face, they are one of the less conspicuous places to add a little color—emphasis on little. Stay away from red and fuschia blushes and stick to a brush-on bronzer for an instant authentic glow. For the most natural look use a no-fuss pressed powder formula that’s a couple of shades darker than your skin tone. Hoping for something more rosy? Try a sheer, balmy cream like Korres Cheek Butter for a controllable, dewy flush. It leaves your skin with that fresh-from-the-gym wash of color. 

The Sheerest Long-Lasting Lip

When pretending to go au naturale on the face, the last thing you want is for lipstick to give you away. The secret to a fabulous natural-looking pout is a stain with a light tint (I like Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain). So save your mattes, shimmers, and semi glosses for another day! A stain will last for hours, and if you really want an understated shine that no one will question, top it with chapstick. To even and define the mouth, find a lip liner that matches your natural lip color.

{September 10, 2013}   Back To School Beauty Must Haves

Back to school means one thing: shopping lists! After you’ve scored pens, protractors and book covers, you can move onto stocking up on beauty essentials. These six must-haves are perfect for fall. If you’ve already graduated, no problem—consider these extra credit for a no-fuss morning routine.

Brows: Isaac Mizrahi for Tweezerman Tweezers

This year, the popular grooming tool line tapped the eponymous fashion pro for its Limited Edition Designer Series Collection. The result is a line of slanted tweezers that, in true Mizrahi fashion, get glammed up in bold colors and fun patterns.

Teeth: Go Smile ON THE GO Teeth Whitening Pen

As a student, time, and money aren’t always on your side. But with a price point under $25, Go Smile’s whitening pen is convenient and effective at brightening teeth. Just brush it on and let it sit for 20 minutes to do the trick. After a couple of weeks of daily use, you should notice a difference. Bonus: The mint flavor keeps breath fresh, too.

Hair: The Tangle Teezer

Okay, so it may look like a medieval torture toy, but this handle-free brush is as gentle as they come. The product first launched in 2007, but thanks to recent press including this story in the New York Times, the web is buzzing about it again, and for good reason. The secret is in the flexible bristles, which get through the most tangled locks without causing damage or pulling. Its been heralded as a lifesaver for coarse hair, and is especially great for those with extensions.

Nails: HIPPxRGB Highlight

Want to change up your mani in a pinch? Apply a coat of HIPPxRGB Highlight over your current nail color, and you’ll get iridescent dimension and shine that looks like you got a full-on polish change—or try a thin swipe down the middle of the nails for a different effect. The formula is also chip-resistant, which means it works well on its own for neutral nails that glow as they catch the light.

Face: L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer

Long nights of hitting the books can lead to under eye bags, or worse, blemishes. With this one crayon, you can fix all of that. Use the fine point to cover up acne spots head-on, and the side of the crayon to tackle larger problem areas. The super-pigmented formula contains liquids and waxes, so the product blends really well, and because it’s lightweight it dries with a flawless finish.

All-Over: rms beauty Raw Coconut Cream

A multi-purpose cream that’s like a little miracle in a jar. Dab a little over your eyes to remove even the most clingy waterproof mascara, while conditioning lashes in the process. You can use it pretty much anywhere to hydrate skin—all over your face, on dry elbows and knees, cuticles, and hands. If you’re feeling crafty, try it in this two-ingredient DIY hair mask.

One of the essential techniques to learn for any makeup application is contouring—and although it seems intimidating at first, it’s actually fairly easy to master.

“When you contour, the underlying idea is the same, no matter what skin tone you’re working with.” “Contouring is all about playing up your natural features.” Practicing and playing around is the best way to discover what works on your particular face.

To recap, there are two main techniques in contouring: lowlighting and highlighting. Lowighting refers to using a darker color wherever there’s an area of the face or feature you want to recede or de-emphasize. Highlighting is the opposite: using lighter colors on areas you want to emphasize or bring forward.

Here’s how to perform basic contouring and highlighting on the cheeks, eyes, and nose.


If you’re a beginner, try out the technique on the cheeks first—it’s really simple. Start with a clean base. Then, using a medium angle brush, apply a matte shade, on the hollow of the cheeks (or right underneath the cheekbone). That’s the lowlight, and every time you do a lowlight, you want to balance with a highlight.


If you’re adding luminizer on dark skin, a bronze-based product, rather than something pearl-based. “This will give you more of overall natural glow. If you’re color is too pearly, on dark skin, it can look like you have a line of frost”.


Here, light contouring on the nose, using the same lowlight and highlight shades used on the cheeks (see above) Starting at the inner corner of the brow, brush a small amount of the lowlight shadow along both sides of the nose. Then apply the highlight down the bridge of the nose. To finish, blend the two together with a clean brush.


Contouring and highlighting the eyes can really make them pop. For this look,start with  a lowlight shadow, applying it into the crease and blending well. Then counter that with a highlight brushed right along the brow bone.

For darker skin,choose a highlight shade that has yellow or orange in it. “If you pick a product with too much of a cool undertone,”it can look ashy once it oxidizes, as though it’s floating on top of the complexion. A peachy shade works well on dark tones, because it will blend in and give you a nice bright pop.

Finishing Touches

To complete the look, add cream highlighter to the higher plans of the face—the cheekbones, brow ridge, and down the bridge of nose. Lastly, layer on the lips. Done!

{September 10, 2013}   Help! Im At The Makeup Counter!!

The glass cases, the ladies in black, the bustling shoppers — department store counters can be daunting. Not anymore. Follow our handy guide before you hit the stores and you can keep the experience fun and easy.

If you’re a seasoned pro and know what you need, a quick trip to Sephora or an online visit to a site (like our Online Boutique!) are quick, easy solutions. But if you want a little more hand-holding and guidance, your local department store is a great option. Some of the most talented artists and friendliest salespersons work at department stores, and if you’re looking for a new foundation (or anything else), they can be invaluable.

Communication IS Key

Establish what you’re going in for: to explore new stuff from your favorite brand? To get matched for your perfect foundation shade? To learn about the latest skincare? Or maybe you just want to replenish your mascara. Know this before you walk in so you can effectively communicate your objective. Good phrases to use:

“Thanks, but I’m just playing around for now. I’ll let you know if I have any questions.”

“I just need to grab a couple of my staples real quick. Here’s what I need: […]”

“Can you tell me about [product I saw in a magazine/on TV/etc.]?”

Consider the other side of the counter

Obviously you’re never obligated to purchase something you don’t want or need, but be careful not to waste a salesperson’s time if you don’t intend to buy. If you just want to look at shades before you buy them online, you need to communicate this to them so they will leave you to your own devices rather than waste their time trying to sell you something. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant and take up a table ordering water for hours, would you?

If they spend a lot of time with you and you absolutely don’t find what you need, thank them for their time, ask for their name or get their business card, and (if they’ve been helpful and you like them, of course) tell them that you’ll come back to them when you need help next time. Don’t feel bad about not spending money if you both tried to find something and couldn’t. It happens.

Sample etiquette

Don’t just go to a counter because you want free stuff. If that’s your aim, sign up for Birchbox or Beauty Bar’s Sample Society. For $10-15 a month, they’ll send you deluxe samples in the mail. It’s not exactly free, but it’s cheap and fun and a great way to try things you might not otherwise have picked out.

However, it’s perfectly legitimate to want to try things before you buy them. This way you can make sure a product works for you and that you don’t have an allergic reaction. If you have a specific product in mind, you can express this to the salesperson by saying something like, “I’m looking to get matched for a foundation and take home a couple of samples so I can figure out which one I like best.” That way everyone’s expectations are on the same page, and the salesperson can show you a few different foundations without doing a long, involved application/demonstration process. They will give you their name or their card, and you should go back to that salesperson if you end up wanting to purchase one of those products.

How to get a makeover

The idea behind this service is that you can try new products and learn tips and tricks from a makeup artist. You can use the services for a big night out, but remember that it is expected that you will buy the products that you love. You should expect to buy 2-3 items minimum.

Think of it like this: not purchasing after a makeover is like going to a fancy restaurant and not tipping. Nobody is going to chase after you screaming about the check, but it’s worse than impolite. If you’re not willing to drop money, ask a skilled friend to do your makeup instead.

All this may sound daunting, but in the end, it’s simple: just be a good person. Respect other people’s time. Communicate your objectives clearly and politely, and don’t let anyone push you around. If you just follow those guidelines, you’ll have a ball at the makeup counter, walk away with some great stuff, and nobody will groan when they see you walking up to the counter next time!

et cetera