In my quest to push myself out of my own comfort zone and try new things I decided to try the Nordstrom cross brand makeup beauty stylist last weekend. Nordstrom offered this to me after hearing that I am doing (Re)Generation Who. Since I’m about to be in a video with Tom Baker and more it’s safe to say that I should get my shit on point. Supposedly they set me up with their best makeup stylist and called out managers to help me and it was a Thing.
But they fuckin’ failed so badly that It’s almost like they studied how to fail and put some serious work into it.
My idea was to just audit my current routine and do a small update if there’s anything new/better out there today. Since I was literally out of my normal foundation, concealer and brow pencil, budget-wise I knew it’d be an investment, but I wasn’t looking to spend more than $200 max. It’s not like I’m Freddy Krueger. I knew it’d be a higher price point than a simple refresh due to having to restock my usual Go To items. My foundation is normally about $50 on its own because I’m allergic to so many things.
What I didn’t expect was to emerge with a badly done look that was very ugly and did not fit my needs. I was also pushed into a surprise $495 bill which was brought to my attention only when I was paying.
Yep. 495 fucking dollars. Can I get a “What the FUCK?”
I think we can all agree that most people, myself included, don’t need more than $200 of makeup unless they are just collecting it. Even if you have to buy the nicer shit due to allergies – nobody needs $495 of makeup in order to look good for an event.
Let me explain how this clusterfuck went down.
Nordstrom beauty stylists are free – you just pay for what you buy and they are not supposed to be pushy. At first I was having a great time. They were friendly. We were laughing and having fun. But what it really was was that they had figured out how to say what I wanted to hear. At the time it seemed like they were just cool people and were not pushy. What it really was was some Next Level Shit pushy that doesn’t seem pushy until you pay and leave and realize you’ve been dogged.
What they were really doing is getting me relaxed so that when they switched me out to ridiculously-priced items in front of a “friendly” audience I’d accept it because I wouldn’t want to embarrass myself by saying It was too expensive.
My husband never says anything negative about my appearance unless I am having a major issue and need to be told about it. For example, if I have peeling skin or crusty concealer on my face he will tell me. I can have a wide range of looks and he won’t notice which is better or worse – he says it all looks great.
However in this case when I got home he exclaimed how bad my makeup looked.
And he was right. The lipstick wasn’t on my lips right so it created a bizarre deformed shape. The eyeliner was hurriedly done. It had smudged in random areas around my eyes where it had bled and not been cleaned up.
I don’t even want to post this pic because they made me look so SO BAD. Here’s just one of my eyes. See how the liner is smudged underneath and the inner corner has white sparkles on the inside? This is actually the better eye. The other one has black dots underneath where the liner smudged. My face is swollen in random parts from the allergy and the makeup is a trainwreck. The brow filler wasn’t even taken through my entire brow – look at that huge blank spot on the bottom. What did he do? Just draw a fuckin horizontal line? Check out that bumpy-ass eyeliner. Apologies for the hair in the shot. I wasn’t exactly thinking this photo would ever see the light of day:
He couldn’t even put lipstick on properly. Look at how lopsided this is. I guess he had no idea how to color in the lines in his coloring books as a kid:
This was just 10 minutes after leaving the store. Sweat and wear didn’t even come into play yet.
The stylist made oblique claims that he worked on models at Fashion Week and knew Laura Mercier personally and so forth. He showed me a picture in his phone that in retrospect – those ladies weren’t fashion models and their makeup was like prom makeup. Maybe he did some people’s makeup during fashion week in the same way I’ve done my own makeup at home during FW, but there’s no way they had anything to do with high end shit.
The foundation was ok. It was on my face, I guess. The eyeshadow looked like a kid hit the inner corners of my eyes with chalk. It was totally unblended and created a very unflattering appearance of a hard vertical line on my eyelid. The blush was on so subtle that there was no way in hell it would show up on a camera under bright lights for filming.
The entire idea behind this exercise in stupidity was to have a face that doesn’t disappear on camera under bright lights!
There’s no way they looked at the email I had sent them beforehand at all where I detailed out my allergies and my need of simple ingredients. They immediately put 3 highly-fragranced kinds of face cream/serums on me. It was a great head game strategy he was using. Tell me one of them wasn’t as good and then sing the praises of the other 2. This way the customer mistakenly feels confident that he’s giving a real opinion instead of having planted a fall guy in order to strengthen his sales pitch.
By the time I got home I was having an allergic reaction to God knows what. My eyes were puffy and it felt like someone had doused my face with alcohol and lit it on fire. A day later I am still experiencing painful issues with my eyes.
In the store the makeup looked ok. The lighting is rather dim (probably intentional) and when they send 3 people over to tell you how stunning it is it’s hard not to believe them. I’m now convinced that this is planned. They must have a routine where they send other sales people over to coo over you to strengthen the sale.
I can’t see how, with a chunk of liner missing on my left eye and black smudges in random places anyone would say that looked good. I’m also really disturbed that they guy used his hands and almost no brushes on my face. That’s disgusting and not professional.
I ended up leaving Nordstrom with a sloppily-done face of makeup that was far worse than what I’d wear on a lazy Sunday and a bill for $495. I’ve woken up from naps with better makeup than this.
One of the serums I was willing to try as a splurge purchase. The guy asks me if I want to get the “slightly larger” bottle that comes with a free gift. What he didn’t tell me was that this “slightly-larger” bottle was 120 fucking dollars while he simultaneously threw the second bottle of $100 serum into my bag that I didn’t intend to buy.
I noticed later that these serums were the main ones in their current front page marketing campaign, so it’s obvious to me that this was sales-driven and not service driven. There was no focus on who I actually am or why I was there. Which is a shame for them, because if they had paid attention they’d know that if they fucked me they’d end up here with this story on my blog that gets 6000+ unique readers per day.
But really, they shouldn’t be doing this to ANYONE.
They seemed to be avoiding lower priced items like MAC and pushing Chanel and YSL which are double the price. If the manager who set this up knew who I was, the stylist clearly hadn’t paid attention to any of that. I kept telling him during the session why I was there and he still didn’t seem to get it and instead directed me to friendly conversation.
You can imagine my surprise when the bill was rung up and had ballooned from a reasonable number to $495. They made sure plenty of “friends” were there to put subtle pressure. I did not expect that after the friendly conversation we had been having.
The manager came over and asked how it was and honestly this was so beyond fucked up there was nothing I could say. I would not ever be coming back. She can’t fix this. Once you lose my trust it’s done. I was coming here over Macy’s because they supposedly are more service-oriented. My mistake.
So I just said it was great, paid it, went to the bathroom to have a legit rage fit, and then went to another Nordstrom that night and returned the entire God damn bag of useless products.
Fuck them. And fuck their “free gift with purchase”.
Even if some of the products were good he had proven to me that he’s full of shit and everything sold is based on lies and mind games.
Not interested. Done.
I can’t recommend Nordstrom for makeup consultations unless you know what you want in advance and understand that they are all on commission.
The joke was on me, but later it was on them when I returned all $495 worth of bullshit they pressure sold me. That person who processed the return said something pissy at me for doing that but honestly – fuck you and fuck your company for pushing me to buy things that don’t fit who I am or why I was there. Fuck you for inviting me out under the pretense that you were there to help me.
It’s not my fault I returned that stuff. It’s THEIR fault. If that had been things I’d use I certainly wouldn’t be returning it. I believe in paying for quality – not shit that I might use 4 times and sit on a shelf.
Nordstrom didn’t provide me with service. They provided me with mind games and hard sales veiled in friendliness and preyed on the social taboo of not wanting to look like you can’t afford or don’t want to pay something. I don’t know if they looked at my blog and thought I was some high roller with money falling out of my ass and thought I’d be an easy mark or what – but even if I did have money falling out of my ass $495 of stupid face creams and badly-applied eyeshadow is not what the fuck I’d ever do with my money – nor is it why I came here. No one with sensitive skin wants to try that much shit at once. How will you know what’s causing the irritation?
What could have been a scenario where I would have become a repeat customer and brought them a fleet of other people as repeat customers ended up not being a good time at all.
I went to Sephora the following day and spoke with a makeup artist while buying my usual Makeup Forever HD foundation. Unlike Nordstrom they are not on commission at Sephora and they are very helpful. I got to try their Color IQ system. It’s basically a volor calibrator thing that they scan you with. It matched me digitally with all the foundations in the store so I could know what shade I was always.
Multiple workers here actually immediately knew the Beauty Stylist by name after I said that I had just had a bad experience at Nordstrom and a $495 bill. I am guessing that they have had to help others who had this experience because this stylist clearly is known by name for this.
At Sephora I managed to get $95 worth of items that actually fit my life, will be used daily, and did what the $495 of bullshit the Nordstrom Beauty Stylist pushed on me did. I never felt pushed or lied to at Sephora. I do think I found out who will be doing my makeup next. She works at Sephora and helped me pick out a fierce lip color. I made sure to get her card. They do makeovers as well.
This is my 3rd bad experience at Nordstrom in Woodbridge, NJ. A store that I previously thought very highly of is now a Buyer Beware until they get their shit together and become customer-centric again. I hope that this is only this location, but it’s left a bad taste in my mouth. The beauty industry is probably the biggest industry based on lies and mind games. I found that out for sure – up close and personal – on this day.
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