Counter Confidential: For the Love of Lips 


Photo: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Counter Confidential

"For the Love of Lips" by Undercover Beauty Agent

I’ve met some great people working at a counter. Some of them constantly come back, and I have developed friendships with a few of my clients. Others are more entertaining than anything else, though I do understand some of their idiosyncrasies. Little quirks about germs are understandable when it comes to dirty makeup.

Whether it be a lipstick, moisturizer, or eye shadow, testers can get filthy quickly. Bacteria and dust are everywhere, especially if the counter is near a door to the outside. Being sanitary is essential to any counter’s success. Providing new testers and cleaning used ones is something my counter takes very seriously. We try to be as hygienic as possible because contaminated makeup can transfer infections. There is alcohol, cotton swabs, tissues, lip wands, and mascara wands everywhere. Even if our counter runs out, we borrow cleaning supplies from another counter to ensure our testers are safe.

Recently, a customer came in looking for purple lipstick. When I showed her the hues we had in stock, she quickly became indecisive.

“Should I try a pink instead? I’m not sure if this is purple enough.”

She was conflicted and unable to choose a color. I gave her as much advice as I could, but ultimately trying on the lipstick would be the best way to decide on the shade. Unfortunately, she thought my suggestion was ludicrous.

“Absolutely not! Does it look like I want an oral infection? I watch Dr. Oz.”

She practically yelled at me (though she did apologize after). She had a deep fear of using the testers and believed that simply scraping off the top layer and sanitizing the lipstick wasn’t enough. Instead, she decided to purchase all the lipsticks she liked.

In total, she splurged on thirteen lipsticks that cost her around $200! I couldn’t believe it. When it turned out she didn’t even like all the lipsticks I asked if she wanted to return a few of the colors she didn’t favor. She replied “No, I’ll make them into gifts.” How’s that for irony?

*It’s perfectly fine to be afraid to use the testers, but don’t think that buying everything is your last resort. Trust your makeup artist. Usually we won’t let you use something we wouldn’t use ourselves.*

Undercover Beauty Agent is just an average makeup artist at your local beauty counter who's reporting true stories exclusively for Beautylish: "I love what I do because I get to make people feel beautiful on a daily basis. I'm a beauty advisor in New York City by day and a secret beauty agent by night, totally ready to share all my insider secrets and gossip."