Recently I bought a Dior Foundation online that I had been looking at for awhile. I got it in the mail and was very excited. When I went to use it however, I found out that unfortunately the shade was too dark for my skin. This in combination with the fact that it wasn’t as full of coverage as I like, lead me to make the decision to go to Sephora to exchange it.
While I was online I happened to see about the service they offer in store for Custom makeup applications, as well as a Personal Beauty Advisor option and Skin and Color IQ. I figured I’d make an outing of it and drive to Madison to make the exchange instead of just returning it online and possibly getting another incorrect shade.
First I made an appointment online to do the CMA online. It is very easy to do and makes for an easy way to not only secure your appointment, but also get additional information all in one place.
I was also able to look up the differences in the CMA and PBA options. They both require a minimum purchase, and the PBA seems much more involved. The PBA is a complete overview and overhaul of your beauty routine. It includes everything from your skincare and fragrances to your makeup for multiple looks.
I opted to go with the CMA option which is a $50 minimum purchase (as opposed to a $125 min for the PBA) because I didn’t need anything quite THAT involved and extensive. I put on my online reservation that during my appointment I would also like to use the Skin and Color IQ services.
I made it to the store 5 minutes before my appointment and went to do my return. I mentioned at the counter that I had an appointment and they let me know it would be a few minutes so I found my way over to the Skin IQ screen.
I loved this! Theres a big touchscreen on the wall and you can narrow things down by what issue you would like to tackle, type of product, etc. I started messing with the screen on my own and then the Color Consultant who was doing my CMA (named Bao) came over and helped me out. She was able to more quickly narrow the product results for me than I could’ve been able to do on my own. Once we got a few good products chosen, we saved them to a list and printed it. She then lead me to each item in the store to try. I ended up choosing one that I liked to purchase that day and on the print out from the machine there is a barcode below each item. Right now there is a deal where if you buy an item from your Skin IQ list, you get 100 beauty insider points which is pretty amazing since you could buy a $20 item and get 100 points!
After the Skin IQ screen, Bao used the Color IQ system on me as well. Pantone helped create a chart and scanner where they scan 3 areas on your face (the three that could vary most in color) and come out with a number that you can use to get your exact foundation match! I really liked this because there are so many brands, shades, etc that I didn’t have to worry about potentially missing a great matching product! She wrote down my number and brought samples of the foundations for my skin color.
We did the scanner once and my skin showed as being very red. She rescanned me because they have you use a makeup wipe first (even though I had nothing on) and she said that the rubbing can cause your skin to appear more red if you don’t give it enough time. Sure enough the second time my skin was less red, so just be aware of this if you use this service!
Custom Makeup Application:
We did a foundation application (to test drive my Color IQ choice), different smokey eye, contouring, and just finished off the look with the cheeks and eyes. I went in mostly to just try some different products and techniques. Bao helped me to tweak my contouring a bit for how pale I am (by using darker colors in a lighter stroke vs lighter colors packed on a bit more heavily).
Bao was amazing. She listened to any concerns, my daily routine, the products I typically use, etc and seemed genuinely interested. She was also extremely knowledgeable and friendly. She offered product tips and tricks, tweaks to my routine that would make it faster or easier, and helped my try on any of the products I was looking at. She also made my face look much thinner than when I usually contour myself with lighter color but more of it, and what woman wouldn’t love that?? They aren’t working on commission so I feel like they are giving you more honest feedback than if they were (obviously they’re still trying to make a sale but aren’t crazy aggressive about it).
Overall, I decided I’ll make the hour trip to Sephora more often than just shopping online, mainly because of the experience I had with Bao. I’ll still shop mainly online because of the convenience, but I’ll come in a few times a year. One thing that meant a lot to me was that the whole appointment was supposed to be 45 minutes. She spent almost 2 hours helping me. I was worried at first when we had only done my eyes and the IQ services at the 45 minute mark, but was relieved that I did not once feel rushed. She took her time to address anything and everything that I wanted too. The hour and a half service is supposed to cost $125 for a minimum purchase, but she had no idea how much i was spending when she spent all that time assisting me. I definitely made sure to send in a survey saying how much I loved her service.
Have you ever used any of these services? How satisfied were you? Would you do it again? Let me know in the comments section!!