With fake eyelashes a-flutter, nail files on the go and an overwhelming sense of superiority in the air, beauty halls may not initially seem the most inviting of places. However, behind the glossy facade and sales driven culture, real knowledge and tips can be gleaned from the one-on-one beauty lessons offered by most high-end beauty counters.
Whether you want to perfect a certain look for a job interview, finally master the art of applying gel eyeliner or simply just enjoy having your make-up professionally applied, then some dedicated time with a make-up artist from your favourite cosmetics brand may just be what you need!
The same also applies for wedding makeup; if you are planning on doing your own come the big day then a specifically focused bridal makeup lesson with a luxury brand such as Chanel or Estee Lauder will help develop the confidence and skill you need to breeze through the getting ready stage. Last year saw none other than royal bride Kate Middleton have the assured belief to apply her own wedding makeup, which was going to be under the intense scrutiny of the entire world. Following a series of one-on-one beauty lessons with make-up artist Arabella Preston, Kate was able to create a perfected version of her signature look for the wedding of the year.
Most counters do charge for this service; however the majority will reimburse this fee against any products purchased on the day. In theory, if you go ahead and pick up a product or two that you have been impressed by, the lesson is in fact free! Most counters will also provide you with a face chart of the products they used during the time or a list of products used at the end of the session.
Here is a run-down of what the top beauty counters have to offer:
Benefit – Benefit offer a free make-up lesson that lasts on average 30 minutes, which can be booked in advance. This can be tailored to wedding make-up on request.
MAC – A make-up lesson with a professional MAC make-up artist will cost £25, redeemable against any products purchased on the day. They will also provide you with a MAC face chart of the products used during the session.
Bobbi Brown – Bobbi Brown seem to provide the widest range of lessons. For an in-depth make-up lesson, either one-on-one or as a group of 5, you can book a ‘Lesson Master Class’ which costs £30 per person for 90 minutes with the fee redeemable against purchases. Bobbi Brown also offers ‘Bridal Beauty Time’ which consists of 2 x 30 minutes sessions that are split into a makeup lesson and a skin/face consultation. The price for this is again £30 and redeemable on all products.
Chanel – A standard 30 minute make-up lesson at a Chanel counter is £15 and £30 for a longer wedding make-up lesson. Both charges are redeemable against products purchased at the end of the session.
Laura Mercier – Laura Mercier counters offer a good range of through lessons to suit all. A one hour one-one-one session covering a range of makeup looks will cost you £55 and an in-depth bridal consultation lasting 90 minutes over a lovely glass of champagne will cost you £80. Again all lessons offered at Laura Mercier counters are fully redeemable on products purchased on the day.
Daniel Sandler – A one hour makeup lesson/wedding trail at a Daniel Sandler counters with professional advice from a makeup artist will cost you £55 or for the same price per person you can invite a friend along and receive a two hour makeup masterclass.
It is also worth noting that the majority of high and low-end beauty counters offer free on-the-spot makeovers that you can essentially turn into your own mini make-up lesson – just bear in mind that a sale is more than likely expected at the end of it! Time is money.
Whether you want to treat yourself to a new experience or utilise a lesson for a special occasion, the much-avoided beauty counters can actually prove to be a pleasant and informative experience.
*All prices are subject to change and variation per department store.