For some of us, approaching a beauty counter can be a daunting affair. We are overwhelmed by the number of products available, and while greeted with a beauty advisor (BA) who asked how she could help us, we really don’t know what to say besides smiling politely and randomly touching products on the counter.

Don’t be intimidated by BAs, who are there to help. To make the your experience at the makeup counter a more fruitful one, follow these four tips.

1 . Share your skin concerns and beauty desires

beauty counter

From past experiences with other products that you have used, or even the observations you’ve made about your skin, you probably would have figured out your skin type, skin tone, and even allergies. Share the concerns and observations with the BA.

For example…

  1. You want to try that newly-launched luminous foundation, but you have oily skin and/or you don’t fancy the glowy look. She may be able to advise if the new foundation may suit you, or perhaps she will recommend an alternative foundation that has oil-controlling properties that suit you better. She knows the products best, but will be able to make the best recommendation only if you share with her what you need.
  2. You like the look of bright orange lip colour, but you’ve not been able to find one that you like. Show her pictures of what you’ve seen and she may be able to recommend an orange lipstick that has an undertone that suits your skin tone.

2 . Do your research

If you’re visiting the beauty counter with the intention of checking out a specific product, read up on it first. If online reviews are diverse, make a mental note of the limitations you’re worried about so you can check them for yourself when you see the actual product, or ask the BA about them.


Some things to research for online before heading to the store:

  1. Is this a hydrating or mattifying product i.e. does it work for my skin (for skincare products and base products like foundation, primer, concealer)?
  2. Has this product worked well on people that have a similar skin type as me?
  3. Does this product’s shade (for colour products like lipsticks, blushers, eyeshadows) suit those who have the same skin tone as me?
  4. What are the pros and cons of the product?
  5. Does the product contain any ingredients I may be allergic to?

3 . Ask the right questions
shopping for products

Be specific with your questions so the BA knows exactly how she can help you. Here are some examples of questions you can ask at your next trip to a beauty counter, which you should alter according to your needs:

  1. From feedback you’ve gathered, does this foundation easily oxidise?
  2. I have (insert skin type here). Will this work on me? Do you have any other recommendations?
  3. I have tried (insert name of product from brand) and it worked/didn’t work for me. I’m now looking for an eye cream that will work well. What would you recommend?
  4. What nude lipstick shade do you think would suit my skin tone?

DV Tip

'Skin tone' is just one of the many variables you can highlight to the BA. Other variables can be, lasting power, finish (matte, shimmery, satin), type (powder, cream, gel/water, stain)

Click to the next page for some important tips on trying products at a beauty counter.