Me, Eyebrows and the Benefit Lady

Occasionally, maybe it’s when there’s to be a full moon, I have some horrendously awkward experience with a customer service/ sales associate.  Here’s one for your enjoyment.

It was Christmastime in Nottingham.  The leaves had fallen from the trees and as I stepped off the bus into the city centre the place was heaving.  My two aims of the trip were:

  1. Buy some presents
  1. Have a look at some make-up and maybe go for some kind of contour palette or get an eyebrow pencil or something. I don’t really know what I was looking for specifically, but I knew I wanted to do something about my face.

I end up in Boots, browsing the brands, not super high end, but your Maybelline, Bourgeois, Rimmel priced stuff.   I was also having a look at some brushes.  So basically I was wandering through 6 aisles of products occasionally picking items up, deciding “yes, this is the product that will help me with my face” then walking about some more before changing my mind to “I don’t know how to use this item on my face” and hurriedly putting it back.

This process continued for quite some time.

On reflection it definitely looked like I was going to steal something.  Maybe that’s why she approached.

“Hi, can I help you with anything today?”

Okay – it’s a Benefit lady.  Benefit is far too high end for my face.  Financially I mean. This could mean trouble.

“Um…maybe, I don’t really know what to do with my face” – this is exactly what I said, and I remember because as soon as I said it I knew that this was going to be the start of an adventure.

She starts talking about my face – I don’t wear lots of makeup to work and what I do wear is put on at 7am, it is now 5pm. I’m not looking that great.

“Okay so do you ever put anything on your eyebrows?”

“No.  I’m a bit scared to do that”

“Well you have to put something on your eyebrows – *adds something about drawing the eye down the face – I am terrified and confused*”

Please don’t offer to put me in a chair and apply some product to my face.

“Why don’t we go over to the chair and try a product  or two?”

All-righty, here we go.

Make-up lovers this is where I get SUPER amateur.

Her opener was “you’ve got lovely eyebrows, do you pluck them yourself?” I do – in fact, I had recently done them. “Yeah, thanks” I say, she quickly adds “make sure you don’t over pluck them”.  Oh.

She puts this fancy paste on my eyebrows.  Eyebrow paste is not for me, and when I look in the mirror, I can’t hide how horrible I think I look, coupled with the uncontrollable “wow” that flies out of my mouth before I can catch it, this is not good.  She notices and says “this mascara stuff will do something extra to it” – okay that’s not what she said, but I don’t remember her words. Regardless,   she’s now putting some mascara style stuff on my face.


These brows are dark.  It’s December and I skipped a tropical summer holiday so I am ghostly white.  It looks horrible.  I have virtually no other makeup on than my now super dark eyebrows.   It’s just terrible and then to top it off here comes the sales pitch.

This is a serious problem; I could end up with these products.  Just to describe them, they are thumb-length, little finger wide tiny pots of goo. I don’t want them but tactfully decide that I will consider buying one if it is a fiver – although there is a tinge of guilt considering the whole 15 minutes she’s spent painting the little hairs above my eyes.

“So they’re £20 each, not huge costs for great eyebrows like these”

Hell no.  I’m out.

I don’t feel that bad for wasting her time any more.  I stumble through some crappy line about seeing what Santa brings me and run out of the shop.  I spent almost an hour and a half in Boots, purchased nothing and now have the most ridiculous eyebrow/ghost face situation going on.  I decide to forgo any present shopping and run to the bus to get home; hand and hair strategically placed to try to cover the eyebrow disaster.

5 thoughts on “Me, Eyebrows and the Benefit Lady

  1. I love this post so much. I wear make up maybe once or twice a month and while I enjoy the fact that it makes me look human in photos, the effort of putting it on and taking it off just seems too much sometimes.
    I will admit that I had a ‘make-over’ at a similar counter in Browns of Chester and felt really pretty afterwards. I got this lovely lady who was really pleasant and chatty and helped me workout how to do my make up for my graduation. My mum was the one who bought the make up as a graduation gift but I’m still unlikely to spend more money on anything but nail polish for the next ten years.
    ‘I don’t know what to do with my face’ has to be one of the best lines I’ve read in a while though. Can’t wait to read more of your stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tell me about it – I go through phases where I’ve always ‘got my face on’ and then, my skin breaks out or I forget to take it all off in the evenings and it all seems to go to pot!!

      That’s so great!! I’m sure for every terrible experience there are 5 great ones. It is so nice to feel pretty especially for such an important event!!! Thank you!!


  2. .It is hilarious and I can totally relate to the situation, I am also forced to buy things I don’t want or say wow to things that I secretly feel are horrible looking, just out of politeness. This happens to me, only when I go shopping, otherwise I have no problem calling a spade a spade or a trowel a trowel;) . I feel terrible for wasting people’s time, that I feel buying the useless product is the only decent thing left to do. These days, I take my friends along, so that, they can step in and say ‘no’ for me. Sigh. Hats off for having the courage to step out of the shop.


  3. Pingback: IEC: The Unexpected Language Barrier – Lorna Pegram

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