Retail Guide: Department Store Makeup

I am a sucker for anything in pretty packaging. That being said, I find myself coming home with products that will “transform my skin” but in reality, they’re a waste of money and worthless. I have learned from my mistakes and assembled a guide so you can make the most of your department store experience.

1) Go in with a Plan

  • Always go in with a product in mind. Do a little research beforehand to figure out what product you are actually looking for. This eliminates any impulse purchases (I’m looking at you, blue eyeshadow) or walking out with something you do not want.


  • When it comes to face, it is crucial to sample it before you commit to a product. The eye cream may feel great when the professional applies it, but it could cause a reaction. Do not be afraid to ask for samples! Brands have tons behind the counter and (usually) have no problem giving you a few. 

3) Make Friends

  • Being friendly with the artist is very important. If you find a buddy, ask for their card. By establishing a relationship, it is easy to get help and find out about special promotions going on. 

4) Browse Brands

  • Like I said above, it is important to do research. Find out which brand does what best, then go in for the kill. Do not feel tied down to one brand.

5) Mascara

  • Do not waste your money on high end mascara. Invest the extra money in a nice foundation or powder. Drugstore formulas are just as good (or better, I promise)! Covergirl and Maybelline have some fantastic mascaras. 

6) Return Policy

  • Always check a store’s return policy. That way, if you take the product home and hate it, $30 isn’t down the drain. Nordstrom has the best return policy, especially when it comes to cosmetics. 
Sophia Brahos

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