Finding your beauty at makeup counters

Complimentary makeovers? Yes, please.

By Jane Bokun

I discovered a love of getting my makeup done by professionals when I lived in Louisiana.
Before that, it was trying my best trying to color match the least expensive base and lipstick that always went over my lip lines. When I moved to the city of crawfish etouffee and alcohol-ladened Hurricane drinks, I thought the women were beautiful.

They had their makeup done for every occasion. Coffee? They met with designer dresses and faces full of the latest color palette – done by their personal makeup artists who came to their home to freshen their faces. I should also mention that we met through our children. Besides outstanding made up faces, many of them had lots of children.

I had to find other ways to keep up. I wasn’t winning in the children or makeup departments. I only had one child and had never even thought of not doing my own makeup. Sometimes, they would lend their makeup artists to me, and I have to say it was great. But the answer to my woes came in the form of makeup departments or dedicated beauty stores like Ulta Beauty.

Ulta stores are chock full of all things that promise hope in the form of cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, hair products and much more. If they could do plastic surgery, and it was in a sterile environment like an operating room, I’m sure there would be a line of people wrapped around the store.

We love doing makeovers,” says Ulta consultant Ariel Alvarez.  Customers go into the chic store, sit in a makeup chair and get their makeup done by professionals with all the new knowledge and it’s free.

“You can do it anytime you have a special occasion or want to learn the latest,” Alvarez says.

She has suggestions for those over 60.  For example, why not try more colorful eye liners like bright purple or mahogany brown instead of the same old charcoal? Try new blush as well.

“The (French Name) blush in crème instead of powder is very youthful,” Alvarez says.

Crème blush instead of powder? Mind blown.

Customers leaving the makeovers agree.

 “You feel good when you leave the makeup counter,” says Pam Grkinich. “They give you a free redo and you feel great.”

At the Macy’s makeup counter, where they also are eager to do makeovers, there are also people who will share the latest tips free of charge. They have all the top brands such as Kiehl’s, Lancôme, MAC, Origins, Shiseido, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Yves Saint Laurent, and more. There’s even a new makeup called Beauty Counter that may be less harmful.

I took this problem to the experts at Macy’s: for a long time, I noticed had a lip problem. My upper lips were puckered and wrinkled. I wanted to check out the lip counter at Macy’s and see if they could show me how to perfect my aging pout.

They showed me how to use moisturizing products with hyaluronic acid to moisturize and exfoliate my upper lift. It worked. But if it didn’t, I had secretly planned surgery.

Consultant Christa Mamer says before you embark on a new makeup routine, think about the face that’s under it. Is your skin dry and wrinkled, or oily and pimpled? Mamer says she has products to soothe your skin and make it ready for new colors.

“Our (Parisian name) skincare by Lancôme of Paris strengthens the epidermis,” Mamer says.

“I do need my epidermis strengthened,” I thought.

I had the thought that enters every woman’s mind when anyone shows any beauty products.

“I need that.””

“We have a hyaluronic acid product which lifts and firms,” Mamer says. “We’ve sold out twice do you want to preorder?”

“Sold out twice?” I thought, I’ve got to preorder,

Then, I saw the price: $130. “I will preorder later after I’ve come to my senses.”

Or, when it’s just a luxurious, complimentary makeover.

Like all the other women who come to the makeup counter looking for relief, I was thrilled.

“I do makeovers at cosmetics stores all the time,” says Doretha McBride.

“I love it and the price”