There’s a secret language
“There’s not a ‘floor’—there’s a ‘stage,'” our source, a five-year employee, told us. “We wear ‘costumes.’ There are also ‘worlds,’ which describes different sections of the store, including Color and Skincare.” Then there’s “gratis” (free products), not to be confused with “gift,” which is something of a misnomer—it’s when a staffer is given the “gift” of certain tasks.
They’re required to wear makeup—and lots of it
“There’s a list of what makeup you have to wear, depending on what part of the store you work in,” our source says. “If you’re in Skincare, you can wear a little less because you’re focusing on the skin. But if you work in Color, you have to wear three different kinds of eyeshadow, an eyeliner, mascara, and an eyebrow. It’s like theatrical makeup. The location of the store has a lot to do with how lenient the manager is. In the Midwest, you just need to come in with foundation, blush, and some mascara and tell clients you’re going for the natural look because that’s more appealing to them than the full face. Whereas in New York, Chicago, and L.A., the look is more dramatic.”
But they prefer when you come in bare-faced
It’s easier for an artist to color-match you and apply products that way.
There’s technically no limit to samples or returns
The consensus on these two topics is 1) You won’t get in trouble if you return a product with a receipt, but the employees might remember you. And 2) If you’re on a hunt for a Holy Grail product, it might be better just to ask for a lot of samples than buying a bunch of products, then returning them. There *is* a limit on receipt-less returns, but you will get a warning before you reach it.
The testers have been cleaned, but…
…you can’t control where other people stick their fingers. “There aren’t enough employees to watch over everybody, but if you sit down in the beauty studio or have a cast member put makeup on you, it’s definitely going to be sanitized,” the source says. “The lipstick is sprayed with alcohol, then shaved off.”
They don’t work on commission, but there are other incentives
“There are hourly goals, and toward the middle of the day, if we’re not reaching those goals, you start to feel pressure from the managers,” says the source. “There used to be a game where we’d have charts with our name in the back and whoever filled up the chart with power baskets—baskets worth $150 or more—first would win a prize. The cast members responded much better if it was a game-related thing as opposed to ‘I need you to sell this much in this amount of time.'” The prizes? They’re pretty sweet—they could be an iPad or even a trip to Europe.
This article first appeared @ marieclaire.com