It Doesn’t Work For Me-Macy’s Make Up Return Policy Change

I was just talking to someone about the fact that maybe 10 years ago, once you bought an expensive jar of cream, pot of gloss or eye shadow or whatever the person at the counter told you to buy that would “make you look decades younger”, you owned it.

Like a car.

You bought it, drove it off the curb and the value went down $3,000 right off the top.

Much like a now used car, a now used cosmetic item was not returnable.

But in the last 4-5 years, all stores where cosmetics were sold, shifted their policy about returning make up.

Longs, Macy’s Bloomingdales, Nordstrom’s, Neiman’s, MAC and Sephora, took back cosmetics that didn’t fulfill the salesperson’s claims and pretty much all you had to say was “it didn’t work for me”.

Maybe some people think this is tacky, but it’s not like trying to return worn underwear.

After all, make up prices have gone up exponentially while competition has increased with more and more outlets selling the call of the siren lipstick color that you just have to have this season which is really just a retread of last year.

Mascara used to average under $20-maybe in the $15-17 range-they now have gone up to $28-32.

In Hawaii, the lower range is the cost of plate lunch in a politically incorrect styrofoam container.

The upper range in Hawaii wouldn’t buy you a tank of gas for the average car.

The point is, whether you make minimum wage and only shop at Longs or Macy’s, or make a ton of money and only shop at department stores, that’s a lot of money and represents an hour of more work to buy a lousy product that doesn’t work.

Other trends-

More cosmetic companies have built their own storefronts competing with department stores.

Cosmetic companies sell product on their company store websites, often with better samples and incentives. And they ship for free with a purchase incent.

Heck, even Macy’s built out a section of hip and trendy brands like Too Faced, Philosophy, Urban Decay etc.

But yesterday the tide showed signs of turning.

I purchased a pretty blush from the MAC counter inside Macy’s less than 2 weeks ago. And try as I may, using a brush a sponge and then scraping the product to file off some loose product, I couldn’t get it on my face.

Really weird.

I’ve had products that test on your hand and disappear on my face, but clearly this product was faulty.

I was running in-between appointments and thought it would be easy.  For a Sunday early afternoon, Macy’s was pretty slow and had only 2 MAC salespeople. I waited for 5-10 minutes browsing.

After awhile, I wandered over to the hip and trendy area to see if they had the new Too Faced Natural eyes palette and decided to ask the salesperson there about returning the MAC product.

I asked nicely.

The unexpectedly normal make up looking salesperson asked if there was something wrong with the product, and no, it was not oozing with a weird smell, but YES it was faulty in that I couldn’t get it on my face.

Maybe she was a “floater” because she didn’t have a face full of make up, but she refused to take the MAC make up back.

She informed me that Macy’s policy was to not take make up back if there was nothing wrong with the product.

I asked her when that happened and the policy went into affect in October, but because of holiday sales (opportunities to sell more and avoid irritating customers), they were only starting to enforce the new policy. She offered that MAC was a leased space, and they might take the product back, but refused to budge.

The problem with that situation and response was:

  1. There was something wrong with the product because it failed to perform, and
  2. Macy’s election to enforce the policy now vs last October reads to me as they enforce the policy selectively.

This person had the obstinate firmness that meant she wouldn’t budge and again suggested to go to the MAC counter.

When I gave up, she sent out a saccharine “have a nice day”.

Went back to the MAC counter, the MAC salesperson/artist noticed I was back, excused herself from putting lipstick on the Japanese tourist with her family, and refunded my money in less than 3 minutes.

Clearly Macy’s needs to review the buying process, or at least mine:

  1. Check gwpaddict.wordpress.com to see who is doing a gift with purchase, coupon or other incent.
  2. Check out sephora.com if they have a gift with purchase I’d like.
  3. If there’s a promotion at a store we have in Hawaii, I usually get in my car, take time out of my day to physically appear at the counter, and buy the product.

If the retailers did a little research about shopping behavior, the same holds true for a lot of items that people could buy in a store-If they find it online cheaper and they don’t have to get in their car to buy it, they buy it online.

Why would they waste time and gas to go to the store?

Online retailers have struck down the “I need to try it on” customer buying objection by making returns as easy as putting it in a box or envelope and returning the item POSTAGE FREE.

Heck, they will send UPS to pick it up.

Moral of the story?

Be nice to the customers that physically appear in the store, cuz brick and mortar is a dying concept.

k

 

 

 

 

FUNKY with a Capital F-Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream

Funakdiscious-funkalicious-funky this and that.

There must be a new marketing director at Elizabeth Arden -haven’t heard about this brand for years until the last year or so.

More mags of late have had beauty editors gushing about how great this iconic cream is.  The urban legend is it was formulated with flight attendants in mind(stewardesses back when it was created) because they work in uber dry conditions and needed some extra care.

So when Macy’s had the Elizabeth Arden gift with purchase, I went to our local Ala Moana store–I wondered did they recently add an Elizabeth counter? Eons ago, back in the Helena Rubenstien days, Arden had a counter too.

The Chanel girl told me, no, they had once carried the cream in the new section of trendy boutique brands, but not any more.

So,me having never tried it, went online and, to get the gift bought 2 tubes.

It arrived yesterday and after cleansing, I squeezed out a bit.  It looks like a gel, so I squeezed out about a 1/2 inch thinking it was more like jello.

It was not.

I put some on, and it was so thick it was like dragging on my skin to spread it.  It’s like vaseline jelly if you froze it, or otherwise sucked out the moisture and slide- ability.

I thought, ok I’ll give it a chance even though it feels terrible and smells funky funky funky.

I attempted to rub the remainder on elbows and knees but only made them stick so I washed it off.

Then the bf comes for a goodnight kiss and right away his reaction is ewgh! What do you have on-it’s terrible, spleh spleh spleh–and he promptly went to brush his teeth again.

Climbing into bed he further growsed about how terrible the product smelled and said it made his lips numb.

Needless to say I washed it all off and applied something else.

On the reviews, I only read about people who loved the cream.  I don’t know if I got a funky batch-but what I had was eewwww!

ew!

ew!

k

Does It Work Outside the Store?

I don’t know about everybody else, but I’ve had experiences where I loved the color of a lipstick at the store, but when I took it out to the light of day I couldn’t stand it.

Yep, I know to walk outside with the hand mirror before buying, but sometimes, or most of the time I just buy it, cuz I don’t know I like the way it looks.

Just like when you get a makeover at the store with skincare or makeup.  It feels and looks great – so why not buy it?

Especially when the high-end skincare usually comes with a free facial with a real esthetician. So, yeah your skin feels wonderful and your face just glows.  So, you buy right?

I recently attended a ReVive’ workshop and it was great! The guy who took the doc’s place with the UK accent just furfelled with enthusiasm. I’ve tried a lot of the products, so I tend to be skeptical and bought pretty much what I planned to buy.  I pretty much knew that buying their cucumber toner was probably the same as  buying the much lower price point Kiehl’s toner-as well as make up remover. But I was pretty astounded by how much some ladies did decide to buy.  The gwps were at the $350 price point with of course the obligatory step ups-buy more, get more.

When I did the Laura Mercier make up the first step was their skincare line-which is pretty reasonably priced for LM.  It started with vitamins A and C, followed by their moisture serums and moisture cream.  Sure felt nice, maybe next time. To me, anything feels pretty nice on my face, it’s what happens in real life as to whether I will buy it.  (BTW the LM skincare products kept my skin nicely moisturized for the better part of the afternoon-that’s saying something for Hawaii).

So what happens when you buy a lip or foundation color and it just doesn’t work?

As I peruse a line-up of lip glosses and lipsticks I have on my vanity-I have been putting them on and tossing the ones I have decided don’t work for me.

I’ve talked to my friends, and they pretty much just toss it to the back of their makeup closet.

Me, I have no shame-most of the time I will take a color product back.  I’ve never had a problem with NM and Nords, I’ve never taken back stuff to Macys, though their store return policy is pretty cruise. I don’t bother with drugstore products-they are a small investment, and my time is worth much more.

But then,

A friend who travels from the east coast and back to Hawaii suggested that women keep two bags of makeup.

What?

One for travel to different locales and one for home. What exactly does that mean?

I used to go to SF and loved to buy prescriptives lip colors-mostly matte style.  But when I brought them home to Hawaii, they looked terrible on me! I did ok with foundation and blush but lip colors rarely worked and I’ve heard the same from other people.

I’ve noticed the same geo reaction of my moisture products lately but not so geographically far.

When I put on my Cera Ve’ body cream on the much drier town side and drive over the mountain to the moist windward side, I feel sticky and icky. The cream is too heavy. I’m planning to check out the lighter lotion, but I am surprised at the change.

Conversely, when I put on my lighter moisturizer when I start my day on the windward side, and come back into town, I dry up!

Frustrating.

I don’t know how reasonable it is to keep products for both sides of an island.

But it’s nice to have a lot of choice.

k