Shopping for New Product {Pt. 1} – Nashville Makeup Artist, Amy Lynn Larwig

May 8, 2013

When building or refreshing your personal makeup kit, the options for purchasing new cosmetics are endless. The cosmetic industry sells BILLIONS each year, and there are just about as many brands of lipstick to choose from. So how is one to decipher the plethora of stores, sales people, and products?


Let’s start with looking at where cosmetics are available for purchase:

The Drugstore

This includes your corner drugstores as well as larger stores like Walmart and Target. Here you will find many consumer brands and all the products you could need for a full personal makeup kit. There is also tools, brushes, and accessories like false lashes. Everything is categorized by type i.e. eye shadows with eye products, lip colors all together, etc. One of the pros about drugstores is that the items are inexpensive. So if you are trying out a new color or product type, there is little risk. These stores are also open very late, so you can grab something in a pinch pretty much any time of day or night. Biggest down sides to drugstores is that you can’t test anything out before you buy it. So that dream-mousse-whipped-fancy pants-looked nice on tv-foundation could turn out to be a flop, and you just lost your $10. Since there are no salespeople, there is no one available to ask questions about a product either. The other crummy thing is that majority of the brands carried in drugstores are not of great quality. They have a lot of fillers such as talc, so essentially you are paying for chalk and very little pigment. Drugstores are great for temporary products, such as mascara, and for one time use items like hot pink glitter eye shadow for a New Year’s party.  Overall, I wouldn’t build my entire makeup kit from the drugstore.

The Counters

All department stores have a cosmetic section with several counters. Each brand is clearly labeled and carries multiple products in each category. You could build and entire kit from one line, or mix & match from multiple lines. Counters carry brands that are higher quality than drugstores and therefore a bit more expensive. The packaging is nicer and the product lasts longer. Counters are run by salespeople that can aid you in sampling a particular shade or they can give you a full makeover. It’s a great opportunity to try out the items before committing. The problem though, is that counters are run by Salespeople. Their job is to meet a quota set for them by the store so they will try to sell you the newest/holiday/limited edition/whatever works/ items. Chances are, if you are a woman 55 or over who rarely wears much on her eyes and has difficulty applying eye liner, you are not in need of a electric blue liquid liner. But one convincing chat with a salesgirl and you’ll walk out of that store with ten liners in various shades that you will never use. Also, the salespeople tend to be well versed in one line. Which means if there is a better item for you at another counter, you’ll never know about it because your salesperson doesn’t know and wouldn’t tell you even if they did.

Free standing stores

Free standing stores like Sephora are ideal for offering options for every person looking to purchase makeup. They carry several lines and all are of high quality. You can sample products on your own or ask a sales person for help. Scheduling an appointment for a full makeover can involve trying products from various lines all at once. The prices vary between lines, allowing everyone to find a good fit for their budget without sacrificing quality. If you purchase an item and decide later after using it that it isn’t a great fit for you, bring it back! They will refund you or help you find a replacement. The biggest issue with a store like Sephora, is that it can be very overwhelming. There are lots of lights, colors, shiny things that a person can become extremely overstimulated quite quickly. It’s not a store for browsing, but more suited for a hunt. You can walk in, go straight to a salesperson and say “I need…” and they will help you find it. Because they are not paid on commission, there isn’t the pressure of adding items to your purchase to satisfy their quotas.


Nashville has several options for getting the Sephora experience with multiple lines and educated salespeople, but on a smaller more manageable scale. Private Edition, Woo Cosmetics, and Cosmetic Market are a few. All the benefits of shopping at Sephora, but without the inevitable brain explosion. You can also find luxury lines at these locations that command big dollars, but invoke envy from all the other ladies in the YMCA locker room as you powder your nose with Sisley after spin class.

Part 2 of Makeup Shopping will discuss must have basics and the “absolutely do not no matter what” buy list.

For your makeup needs, contact Nashville Makeup Artist, Amy Lynn Larwig, for more information


You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Sara G. January 6, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    The brand new Walgreens they are building with the expanded make-up session are pretty awesome as well.

  • Leave a Reply