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Share: must be served by female with clear skin?

counter staff Share: must be served by female with clear skin?

Don’t judge a book by the cover! Yeah, who are we kidding? Come on now. For someone who blogs about beauty, I’ll be lying if I say I don’t go by what I see. In fact, I form impressions all the time based on things and people I see – some good, and some not so good. So today, I’m going to ask your opinion regarding the staff that serve you in the beauty industry, whether they are those working at the beauty counters selling cosmetics or those providing beauty therapy in beauty salons. Must they be female and must they have clear skin?

Expect to be served by women mostly
Actually, I blogged about this back in 2007 but I thought I’ll bring it up now that I have new readers, and considering it’s quite an interesting topic too. At that time, I was surprised to find myself being served by a man who resembles a transvestite at Stila counter. I mentioned that while I was fine with being served by him, I found the practice rather strange because I expect to be served by a lady when buying my cosmetics or skincare products. However, over the years, my perception has changed somewhat, and I no longer mind being served by men as long as they have good knowledge of the products.

Need not be good looking but should have fairly clear skin
However, I do expect these counter or sales assistants to have fairly good complexion. They don’t have to be good looking but I don’t expect to see too many blemishes on their faces or I will have second thoughts about their products. And if I’m going for a facial, the beauty therapist MUST have good skin herself. That is the pre-requisite for me to take up their service in the first place. I mean surely they need to know how to care for their skin first no?

Your say
Maybe some of you will think of me as being shallow and feel that I should focus on the products and the treatments rather than the person’s skin condition. Well, I beg to differ and I offer no justifications for them. So what about you? Do you prefer to be served by women? Do the skin conditions of those who sell you your skincare range or cosmetics influence your buying decision? And are you particular about the complexion of the therapist who does your facial?

vivawoman1 Share: must be served by female with clear skin? © www.vivawoman.net copyright notice
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About Sesame Chew

Blogger and founder of Viva Woman, Sesame is a skin care addict who is fond of using natural & organic beauty products. She also enjoys ogling at handmade jewelry & cute stationery.

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Comments

  1. Germaine says:

    I totally agree with you. it bothers me when I see the sales assistant or beauty therapist’s skin condition is not good. the beauty therapist must take good care of her own skin first before she can do facial treatment for others. i would prefer to be served by female sales consultant because woman to woman talk much easier and comfortable, especially sensitive issues such as skin problems due to hormonal changes (PMS) etc…

    • sesame says:

      I know what you mean about being more comfortable with women consultants…but I realized that some men with good knowledge are good to deal with as they tend to keep a distance so I feel they’re less intrusive.

  2. good topic! I’ve had the same dilemma for the longest time. It’s like a tug-of-war between my values and my customer’s instincts.

    I know of this company that offers facial services (you’re very familiar with it) and I do remember myself slowly getting more and more demotivated in signing up for another package ’cause most of the therapists who served me had bad skin. It’s not that I was being judgmental– I knew that working for that company didn’t automatically mean they were getting lots of free products and were given free facials. But as a customer paying not just for the service but for some peace of mind, I can’t help being critical.

    Once, I was finally served by someone from the same company with good skin. I asked her whether she applied all the massage techniques she learned in her job and whether they got free products. She said they did get discounts for products and some free ones but they didn’t necessarily use ‘em. She also said she’s too lazy to massage her face ’cause by the time she got home, her hands already felt tired.

    Something interesting though–the therapists who had bad skin gave me a much better service while the therapist with good skin (mentioned above), although had an equally nice personality as the rest, was quite inexperienced with her massage techniques.

    • sesame says:

      I am wondering which one you’re talking about now. Hmm… Cos those I went all had fairly good skin. But then again, I don’t go to them often enough to know the changes in people, etc. And no, someone who looks pleasant, etc does not mean they’ve better skills too. Like you pointed out, it can be the reversed.

      I don’t think we’re being critical or judgemental here because it’s the nature of the business. For example, I won’t give a hoot about the skin condition or someone who sells fashion items or books. Yet, if I go to a cosmetic counter, I expect the staff to have decent makeup and I’ve seen some with smudged makeup and I’m thinking that doesn’t speak much about the brand.

      Anyway, it’s the total brand image. Like using celebrities to endorse and most of the time, we know they already have good skin to begin with even before endorsing that said brand. I’ve never seen an ad showing before and after of the skin condition of a celebrity who endorses the product.

  3. Yes I do agree that the SA’s skin should be good.. It gets awkward when they refer to themselves and express something like “I use this product and see, my skin looks good!” when actually it doesn’t. I guess most customers will feel unsure especially if you want to try a product for the first time..

    • sesame says:

      Yeah, best when they don’t refer. I dislike it most when they point out my flaws in the hope that I give the product a try and when I look at them, theirs look worse than mine.

      • Germaine says:

        Actually whether they have good skin or not, sometimes i don’t know whether are they sincere in recommending the products… i believe that some of them just want to earn commission. so even when the product is not good, they just want to push their sales… they will exaggerate our skin conditions, trying to influence us that we should buy this, we should buy that..

        • sesame says:

          Yes, agree. It’s a sales tactic they use and they may not necessarily know the product well or even are using it.

  4. I actually don’t really mind about the seller’s skin. As long as they are presentable (mouth hygiene for example) and polite (some can be quite despising since I’m still a college student and sometimes wander around the cosmetic section with my bagpack and all… you get the image :P ). Aside from help getting the right color (I notice sellers don’t like customers testing out the products without them around for too long), I normally don’t ask for advice since from past experiences, I notice they sometimes tends to make untrue “scientific” remarks. I’m glad if they recommend me certain things when I seem to have a dilemma, but most of the time, I have an idea of what I want by checking the ingredients and the texture by myself.

    I haven’t been helped by a male seller yet, but imagining it, I must admit, there’s a tiny bit of weirdness growing in me. I think I’m not used to the idea of having a male representant touching my face and all if I ever want to try a product.

    • sesame says:

      I’ve seen more male consultants selling makeup here and a handful selling skin care. And yes, they should observe basic grooming! OMG. Can’t imagine speaking to someone trying to sell me anything with bad breathe. >.<

  5. I am very anal if there is a beautician with much horrible skin than mine condemns my skin. In my heart, I go: Oh can u look at the mirror first before condemning my skin? I could easy go on for an hour if I were to tell u.

    It has happened a few times before and I am sure it will happen again. -_-
    Jeeez

    • sesame says:

      Some of them can be very bad…and I find that sort of sales tactic very primitive although like you mentioned, it is still prevalent.

  6. Miss Vinny says:

    I don’t care about the gender of the person but yah, they must take good care of their skin. And furthermore, I expect them to look healthy and unfortunately, that’s where a lot of SAs really fall short. I’ve even come across some SA in Fancl who boasted that she was healthier than me(okay ‘cos she was slimmer) since I didn’t exercise much but man, she sure looked super unhealthy, like there was something wrong with her skin texture and she looked quite sickly too. Wanting to be polite, I decided not to rebut or get physical.

    I guess it’s partly ‘cos of the climate which can cause even healthy skin to break out and ‘cos of the Singaporean diet which is quite unhealthy. I even read somewhere that we need about 7 colours in our daily diet and everything must be from different vitamin groups.

    • sesame says:

      Okay, hope you’re not offended but I really laughed when I read that part you mentioned about “get physical” cos the thought that came was, you wanted to whack her. Hahaha…it was quite a funny thought.

      Yeah, if we eat out all the time, it’s pretty unhealthy but it can be quite difficult with the hectic pace of life. It’s true that eating more colored vegetables & fruits will help improve our health and skin tone but that’s kind of challenging.

      • Miss Vinny says:

        Nope ‘cos I was in a pretty grumpy mood soo yeah, might have got into a cat fight. Though that could be very lame: “older woman beats up teenager over unflattering comment.” xD

        Well, that probably includes herbs like garlic, onions, ginger and so on. I’ve been told that’s doable but still, seems somewhat difficult. I guess it takes time to pick up speed to make a good meal.

        • sesame says:

          About garlic, I eat a lot of it but have been told it contributes to body odor so I eat in moderation. One idea is to make a soup with vegetables (onions, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes) and meat and then put them on slow cooker early in the morning. I swear that drinking good soup contributes to good health and good skin too.

  7. Destiny says:

    If its a skin care product, I research online and confer with friends to make a decison. Then I pick up a sample from Sephora or similar to test before buying the full size.
    I don’t like having makeup applied in a store..it takes too long and is never my own look. I look, I buy, and return if necessary. Returns are quite easy in most US stores.

    • sesame says:

      I see…I think from where you are, online purchases are more prevalent. Plus your country is big and you have far more entertainment choices. We’re a small country and one of our chief preoccupation is shopping, which means we do encounter more staff along the way. Personally, I prefer online shopping too, provided it’s safe and secure.

  8. If buying beauty products from the store, I don’t mind being served by a woman or a man. Product knowledge is important to me but not pushy, over the top sales people. However for facial therapist, I am rather particular that they must have a good skin condition. It reflects greatly in my faith towards that product. If the therapist have bad complexion, their advise for me to care for my skin will not do any justice for me.

    • sesame says:

      Yes, no pushy or aggressive staff – puts me off totally. Unfortunately, we do have a fair bit of them here.

  9. In my opinion a facial therapist mustn’t have good skin, because good skin doesn’t just depend on what products you use, it might even depend more on genetic factors, such things you can’t do anything about. I think it would be a little bit judgemental to be so focused on a seller’s skin, I mean they can feel really bad about their skin if they have tried everything and nothing has worked. They can take really good care of their skin and still have spots, good skin isn’t just about eating right and using the right products.

    Although I can see that many people think it’s important but I just think they should think twice before judging anyone, because in my opinion you can’t say that just because a person has bad skin, he/she doesn’t treat it right.

    • sesame says:

      Well, it’s the beauty industry we’re talking about and people do go with what they see no? It’s not a case of being judgmental. They can be in other jobs and I wouldn’t give much notice to their skin condition but if they’re selling a beauty brand, or providing a beauty treatment, the link is very natural. And do note that my thoughts are not on the person but more of the brand they promote.

      And oh, I really don’t understand your last sentence because it doesn’t relate at all to what we’ve been discussing.

      • I get your point, with the last sentence I meant that although a person are taking care of their skin in the right way he/she might still have spots, because of genetic factors for example.
        Even though right products can do a lot for your skin they often don’t take away all the problems. Hope you can see what I mean? I didn’t mean to offend you or anything with my latest comment I just wanted to say what I thought, I apologize if you took it the wrong way.

        • sesame says:

          Thanks for trying to clarify. No offense taken, no worries. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion; more important is that we respect each other’s views even though they may differ. :)

  10. I hv been served by a male beauty consultant & i really like his good svc. All i needed was just a bottle of make up base, he sat me down & start putting on base, foundation & finised with blusher, i looked so pretty aft that! He was actually putting on makeup for another customer while i asked him for help. He was also especially nice to my super active 6 yrs old son, explaining to him what he was doing to his mommy. haha…So far, i have yet to meet any consultant with bad skin but the only thing i REALLY don’t like is the cigarette smell on their hands. YIKE!!

    • sesame says:

      Oh that’s unpleasant! I am so turned off my the thought of cigarette smell when one is being served, whether it comes from a man or a lady.

  11. I don’t like buying makeup or skincare from men as I feel that they won’t really understand what I need or be patient enough while I take my time to deliberate.

    But I’m actually ok purchasing from someone with not so great skin, as long as they don’t start to pick on my skin. Lots of bloggers don’t have great skin yet they blog about skincare, so I guess it is ok for sales ppl also. For a lot of them it may just be a day job & they may not be very passionate about their own skin & I’m ok with it – as long as they are not pushy and give me accurate information about the product or provide good service. :)

    • sesame says:

      I know what you’re saying and I did consider about blogger’s skin condition too while writing this but I find they’re different. Blogging is always from a personal experience and so it does not matter what skin condition the blogger has. She will usually cover how products have helped her or how makeup can make her look beautiful. She does not represent a brand or beauty – unless she is a beauty queen or celebrity. However, for someone working in the beauty industry and fronting customers, I feel her skin condition will make an impact on how one perceive the products (especially for new products). It makes it worse if the staff picks on customer’s skin, which is a very common practice here unfortunately. I probably will not notice if she works in another industry altogether.

      For male working in this industry, I suppose it all depends on individuals…I’ve met some who are really nice while others are more business like and do not engage as much.

  12. Yea, I think this topic can be quite “controversial”…
    Personally, I don’t mind being served by male SAs if they are professional and knowledgeable. In fact, I think some brands like Clinique have had male SAs around for a long time, so when I approach these counters, I kind of half ‘expect’ to be served by a male SA now. It could also be partly because more and more brands are including products for men in their range, so maybe the male SAs are there to make male customers feel more comfortable! :-) In fact, once when I wanted to buy some skincare products for a guy friend, the female SA who attended to me wasn’t very ‘convincing’, so I found myself wishing it was a male SA so I could ask things like: Have you used the products yourself, and how do you find them?? haha…
    Regarding the complexion of the SA or beautician who attends to me, I must admit that it’s one of the first things I will scrutinise when I see them. But along the way, I’ve found that most times it doesn’t mean anything. I’ve had facials done where the beautician has obvious pimples on her face, but I found her technique very good (e.g. extracting and massage, which to a certain extent, I believe you can’t do it on yourself — areas you can’t reach or angles your hand cant make when you do on yourself), and anyway, who isn’t “entitled” to have some breakout every now and then, especially if it’s during that time of the month, right? :-P (or when one is trying out different/new products etc.) And to a large extent, I believe good skin is genetic, especially if I see a young(-ish) person with good complexion, I won’t attribute it too much to the products she uses, because if she is young, how much (years of) experience could she have had had with using products, especially products targetted at anti-ageing for example?
    Another experience that made me realise you really can’t judge a book by its cover was once an SA attended to me and I was shocked to see that she had such a bad complexion cos her whole face was all red and covered in small tiny bumps that it looked as if she had some kind of skin disease!! And as I was asking her about the different products from the different ranges, I noticed she was very confident and professional, and at one point when talking about one of the cleansers, she actually pointed to her own face and said that that cleanser could even be used for people with sensitive skin like herself! So she wasn’t at all ‘ashamed’ of her complexion, but in fact used it as a “selling point” for the product! And I could see straight away why the company employed her, and together with her professionalism, she must be one of those who brings in better sales for the company!! It also made me think: yeah, who wants to have sensitive skin anyway, it’s not like it’s her “fault” if she has the ‘bad luck’ to have it…
    It’s similar to what someone once told me: Would you say a doctor who has diabetes has no “right” to treat a patient with diabetes? So right now it doesn’t really matter to me if the SA/beautician who attends to me has bad skin; but of course it would be “easier” to look at her if she has good skin, LOL!

    • You’ve brought out very interesting and good points! I’ve never come across an SA with very bad skin except one instance at a La Mer counter. She wasn’t very confident and I was so surprised, considering it’s such an upmarket brand. But I bought from her anyway, only because I was already using some of their stuff then. But it did leave me pondering a bit…you know what I mean? I am okay with a few pimples here and there…but generally not too problematic that’ll make me wonder if the product is effective although I know they don’t necessarily use the products anyway. Even for nail treatments, I expect the technican’s fingernails to look decent enough.

      However, the one you mentioned is interesting cos she knows how to use her skin condition as a “selling tool” and that’s refreshing. I guess the service attitude is important at the end of the day. If they do not have good skin but is professional and sincere, our attention is then directed towards the products instead. I wish we have more SAs with such attitude.

      As for guys, I actually found my experience with them quite pleasant so far. I don’t mind them not engaging with me much cos I rather they don’t pester me. Personally, I don’t like to talk too much when it comes to beauty purchases too.

      But having spoken to some people in the beauty industry, I know most of the bosses actually hire those who look better and that includes good skin. There is also a certain amount of age discrimination from what I’ve observed.

  13. NeenaJ says:

    I’m going into the dermatologist, for sure, I expect to see skincare as the #1 priority.

    If I’m buying cosmetics, I don’t really expect my SAs to have good skin. But, I do expect them to know how to use their products to make the most out of their complexion. I’m in the USA, so being served by men is quite common – especially if you fancy the MAC counter. The product knowledge is key, along with being able to overlook their own makeup preferences in order to give you what you want/need. I do most of my buying research online and prefer to swatch myself, rarely depending on the SA for advise.

    But, if the SA’s makeup is terribly done or has hygiene issues, I won’t give them a second look. Execution is key. Regardless of the SA’s taste for glam looks or fresh/natural, the execution of the SA’s makeup will give them away. Is her cat eye crooked and she’s trying to sell me a liner brush? Sorry, I won’t listen. Does her blush look like it was applied with a fire hose? Sorry, I’ve got no interest in the spring collection as I believe it will make me look like a clown.

    Just such a person at one of my local MAC counters has awful technique, bad breath and is rude on top of it all. I won’t even stop to swatch at their location! I can’t believe that regional managers/reps don’t do more spot checks or employ folks to survey the SA’s at makeup counters for appearance/knowledge/service. I think it’s a major point for improvement and would likely see immediate ROI.

    • sesame says:

      Speaking of cosmetics, I did purchase foundation from a Japanese brand even though I noticed the SA didn’t know how to apply her makeup well. I bought it because I wanted it and anyway, I’m not good with makeup myself. But looking at her, I did wonder how is it she can be selling makeup and not knowing how to apply hers.

      And about male staff in the beauty industry, I remember when I was in States many years ago, a spa I visited had both male and female therapists. I was quite surprised that a few ladies I was with chose the male to do their body massages because they said they wanted strong hands. This is something very rare here. If men do massages for female, it’ll be more out of medical treatment than spa treatment. So I believe there is also a cultural difference.

  14. I agree with you on the clear skin. The sales assistants are after all the face outwards for the brand they sell and the better skin you have the better. Although I don’t like the discrimination when they employ people but that’s a different story.

    Speaking of being served by men. I headed to a Clinique counter in town yesterday to ask for help to find a blush that suited me. I ended up walking straight pass the counter when I saw this super tall, white robed man serving a customer. It just didn’t feel right. I don’t doubt the man’s skin care/make up knowledge but I’d be more comfortable with a woman serving me because I have this idea that they understand me. How could men really understand a woman’s need in skin care and make up? I’d understand if men served men in need of skin care. That way they’d know what products to recommend since they probably use them. That’s my two cents.

    Cheers!

    • sesame says:

      With skin care, my good experience was with Eric from Bud Cosmetics, who runs an organic store here. He’s very knowledgeable and many of my readers also like to be served by him. So I guess it depends…but I feel weird even speaking to men about body treatments you know. That’s too weird for me!

      And oh, speaking of aesthetic doctor since NeenaJ mentioned dermatologist, I realized that the famous ones here are male.

  15. I dont think I mind being served by a guy however I do expect that on a makeup sotre the women have good makeup on. That on skin care area the people have good skin and that on a hair salon the person who is serving me has good hair, not dry, horribly painted or whatever hair. It’s not somehting shallow. It’s jsut that those things portrait the service or quality we will be getting.

  16. Whoa, I love your blog and think you’re a great blogger but this really made me put on the breaks…

    I don’t think I would mind if they have bad skin or not. That person might not even actually use the product they are recommending to you! They might recommend it, but they might just be trying to make a sale. (It’s naive to think everyone in that store is truthful, they want you to buy it even if they’ve used it or not. That’s just marketing sometimes as shady and dishonest as that sounds.)
    Or, they might not be responding well to that ingredients in the product, could have totally product unrelated hormonal acne problems, medical or dietary issues, etc. That is a very unfair assumption and rather superficial in my eyes to expect them to have clear skin to serve you or that they should be denied a job or service based on looks. I don’t think someone should look like an unwashed hobo or something of course, but if they are obviously trying their best, I say give them a chance! It’s also a matter of what good skin to you, might not be good or bad to someone else. Would YOU like it if someone judged you and didn’t want you to serve them because you had a few wrinkles that weren’t magically fixed by a product that you may or may not actually use?

    More importantly to me is that the skincare therapist has knowledge of the practice that they are doing and everything is safe.
    Has a clean facility, clean tools, updated health code certificates on the wall, etc.

    Being served by a man makes no difference to me either. I sometimes see better looking men than women these days! Why shouldn’t men be just as interested in skin care as a woman?

    The only way I base a product or treatment is through trial and error and analyzing the ingredients to know what’s good for me. If i’m basing my skin purchases on what other peoples skin looks like is not going to get me anywhere unless I try it for myself.

    Just like a doctor can still get cancer, despite the fact that he’s a doctor, your SA can still get acne !

    Sorry if this post is a little aggressive, but I guess it’s just the way I feel. :) Whew! /rant over

    • sesame says:

      Great. Thanks for your comments. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me and neither do I need to agree with all just to please them. I think N has aptly said it the way I think it should be. It’s all a matter of professional image. I’m okay with a few wrinkles but not having relatively clear skin irks me…it makes me think there is something not right about the product/company – their product or treatment doesn’t work. If the person has pimples/acne issues, then they should use something in the brand they’re promoting that’ll help them otherwise why sell them to consumers? The company should offer incentives/free samples etc to their staff. If the staff doesn’t want to use it, then they don’t believe it and yet promote it? That’s totally funny to me. At the least, I need to see what they’re selling is also helping them. Oh, it’ll be worse that they’ve used the product and the product caused a breakout for their skin and they’re not saying to customers isn’t it?

      I’ve come across one lady in the beauty industry who had bad skin but after she started her salon, she diligently improved her skin via her own line of skincare and her improvements were charted. So that gave customers confidence in the products, although the products might not necessarily work for all.

      Doctors get cancer, but they may not necessarily be trained to treat cancer. They could just be GPs. Would you go to a doctor whom you know cannot treat his/her own cancer than someone who has successfully been treated? Most of the people I know go for those hospitals with reliable testimonies.

      And one question, would you expect air stewardess with poor skin condition to serve you in a reputable airline? Probably okay with cheaper airlines I suppose. So with every job, there is some expectations and some of them just tend to be superficial.

  17. I don’t really mind the skin condition of sa when I buy cosmetics but how they apply the make up matters as I’m buying make up from them. Knowledge and willingness to teach techniques also makes me buy from a particular sa.
    On skin care products, I rarely rely on sa’s but more on my own research and judgement so it doesn’t matter. Since products have different impact to different people, I guess the overall cleanliness, professionalism creates more impact to me.

  18. AgnesM says:

    This is something that I have personally ponder upon, long time back. Appearances do count in this world, no matter what one says.
    In the past, I get irked by opticians who wanted to teach me how to take care of my eyesight when they themselves are wearing spectacles. Similarly in Guardian and Watsons, you get tons of promoters who wanted to recommend products to me. ( I used to get demoralised after visiting these shops ) I glance at their skin and bite myself from barking at them.
    I was once served by a beautician who has the worst skin ever, in a neighbourhood salon, many years ago. I was horrified and wondered if she is qualified. I don’t want to sound snobbish by brushing them off in that superficial manner but definitely, other than product knowledge, they do need skincare knowledge and what works for their skin. I tell myself that her acne probably have improved using her beautician’s knowledge, else it could have been worse than what I saw.

    I have been to True for a trial facial, after reading about your beauty treatment with them. That is the only 1 salon that I came across whose employees who do not apply make-up. Its a strict no-no, for them. I applaud Susan and her team in having the courage to show off bare skin to customers, despite flaws and all. But it does invoke some negative feelings when I first saw them and their blemished skin. Its difficult to walk the talk . But that doesn’t meant that I doubt Susan’s impressive knowledge. She is knowledgeable, alright.
    Of course, I have to put in a fair statement. Some people are just blessed with good skin so it doesn’t meant that they have good product and skincare knowledge. The learning curve starts from O for all new recruits, with or without bad skin.

    I have once been served by a terrific guy from Benefit Cosmetics in San Francisco. The only lady promoter there serve me with a half-hearted attitude but not this guy who promptly tended to me after his long demo with another customer. He is so passionate about make-up and happily show me how to achieve the desired look I wanted. So yes, I have nothing against male promoters in terms of make-up. Skincare-wise, I am still 2 minds about it because male’s skin is just different from female’s skin.

    • sesame says:

      No, don’t think you’re being snobbish. These are the basic expectations. I can still try to understand when it’s just an SA but a beautician really needs to know how to take care of their own skin. Occasional breakouts are understandable but if it’s a whole patch, I’ll really stay away from the salon. Surely the salon can help her skin condition too and wouldn’t it be a testimony to the effectiveness of their treatments? Anyway, from what I know, most salons offer treatments to their staff as part of the benefits.

      Actually, in one of my earlier comment, I was actually referring to Susan. She had bad acne when she was younger and she shared her story about how the products have helped her and I did see the improvement through the pictures she showed me over the years. But the thing is, at least she no longer had acne or skin issues when she served the customers. As for her rule of no makeup, well, I personally am neutral on that. When I was going to her salon for facial, there was only Snow and occasionally I see her daughter and both have good skin. Snow’s isn’t the sort of perfect skin but is relatively blemish free. I don’t know if there are new staff cos I haven’t been going to her salon for quite a long time now.

      I think there are always initial impressions formed when it comes to dealing with people. The link between skin/makeup/hygiene/grooming is more natural when it’s someone from the beauty industry. This is stereotype but it may not necessarily result in prejudice against the person – much depends on that person’s attitude and behavior too.

      As for guys, over these few years, I’ve become more receptive to be served by them through the experiences I’ve encountered. I guess some of them also try to overcompensate for being in a women dominated industry? And oh, the guys I’ve came across all had average to above average looking skin…no major skin issues.

  19. I do prefer people with good skin!! Blemishes are still ok but I would really avoid people with acne and pimples all over their face. And, guys serving on the counters, its fine as long as they really know what they are talking about coz most of the times I have found even the sales girls don’t know what they are saying and they just end up being pushy :(

    • sesame says:

      Yeah, it’s a natural reaction although outside of the beauty industry, it’s not important. I’ve come across a lady who had pimples all round her face and she was in the retail fashion industry. Her skin condition did not matter to me and in fact, I actually found her rather pretty overall due to her bubbly personality.

      Personality is important – sometimes a good one can compensate for whatever they’re lacking physically, and likewise a bad one can take away whatever good looks they may have.

  20. Interesting question! For skincare products, I still prefer to be served by women. Sorry to be so direct, but some men in the beauty stores really have that sissy image, and sometimes, I do hope that they keep away from me.

  21. Great topic, off course many people prefer to be served by good looking and have a perfect skin / make up women. But, the effect is many SA in my city do everything to make their skin look good in appearance including wear products which contain dangerous ingredients. As long as the products can make their skin more white and soft, they will use it. For me, it’s a pity and I worry about their health.
    Now, I’m not really pay attention with their perfect appearance. A little acne or blemish is okay for me, as long as they polite, know their products well and never push me to buy another product just to increase their purchase.

    • Yes, a little breakout here and there is fine but they should also know how to conceal. Also, if they don’t push, there is lesser tendency to “check” them out.

  22. I think there’s a guy-like female dressed assistant at Sephora Make Up For Ever… It was a bit surprising at first. But I have seen this assistant for over a year already, I think. So I’ve gotten used to it.

    As for skin, I think as long as they look presentable, I don’t mind.

    • Yeah presentable…I would say relatively blemish free without a face full of acne or pimples. I’ve seen one like that at La Mer and it made me wonder although I bought from her.

  23. I totally agree with you on this topic! Back then, it did not used to bother me whether or not the SA has good skin, as long as they are nice that is fine with me. But then there was one incident when me and my mum went to Watsons and this lady kept pushing us to buy her products. She went on ahead to comment on how bad our skin looks with lots of wrinkles, pigmentation, etc… and then she wanted us to try the products she was selling. My mum promptly told her that she will only buy the products if the lady herself has good skin. And that managed to keep her quiet and stop pushing those products to us, but seriously, skin condition aside, I think that lady is pretty rude! And from that day onwards, if a SA wants to promote their products to me, then they themselves MUST also have good skin, or else I would not be inclined to purchase their products.

    • When there’s a commercial relationship, then there’s an expectation. So since they’re promoting beauty products, naturally we’ll scrutinize them in a certain way. But I think those who pushed too hard get more scrutiny from the customers.

  24. Hm, I don’t know. If I buy make-up, e.g. eye shadow, I don’t care about their skin. If I buy foundation, I’d feel best with someone who has a similar skin type like mine, actually, which is very fair and very, very acne-prone. No use getting tips from someone who can put whatever on their face and still look good!
    As for skincare, hm, even if the SA had acne herself, I know that skincare alone cannot always cure it. :/

    • sesame says:

      I guess different people have different needs so it’s interesting to learn that you prefer to purchase foundation from someone with similar skin type like yours. It definitely make sense but likewise, those with good skin must possess good knowledge to provide relevant advice.

      • Really? Because I know too many people who just have good skin because they’re lucky. And I really don’t need any of those people to tell me what I am doing wrong when I am trying hard to treat my skin as good as possible and they don’t even bother to wash off their cheap make-up they applied in the morning (no sunscreen either!) and still don’t even get one single pimple.

        • sesame says:

          Sorry, I think my last sentence must have come across differently to you because what I mean is that if they have good skin, then their knowledge should also match so that they can dispense the right advice to consumers (and be credible). It was not meant to say that if they have good skin, then they naturally have good knowledge. :razz:

  25. Krysanne says:

    Personally, I don’t mind if the sales assistant has poorer skin as long as they have good knowledge about their products. However, what I can’t tolerate is that some sales assistants resort to criticising my skin as a sales tactic. Firstly, I think it’s just absolutely rude and a very mediocre sales tactic. Secondly, most of the time, these sales assistants do have pretty bad complexion themselves. So they aren’t exactly fit to criticise me!

    Lastly, I’ll like to say that I’m a fan of your blog and that I’m taking better of my skin by using sunscreen daily! (:

    • sesame says:

      That’s great! Hope you’re liking your new skin care…it should pay off in the long run. :)

  26. chenyze says:

    hmm that thing you said about the apparent transvestite SA got me thinking. in Burma, most of the top/popular make-up artistes are transvestites (okay, at least that’s what my aunt says! and anyway, make-up artistes whom people hire for weddings seem to be predominantly so!). Hence, I’ve always had it ingrained to me that a transvestite, by virtue of his efforts to portray a different gender, must be very knowledgeable about beauty and maintenance! In fact, when I was doing some DFS shopping in Bangkok, I was more keen on getting assistance from the tranny SA than the lady SA!

    • it’s true…. if you look at the actors or actresses makeup artists about 99% of the time they’re transgender… they do a good job on makeup and hair….

    • sesame says:

      chenyze: I see…didn’t know this is the situation in Burma’s beauty scene…very interesting! And I didn’t notice one during my last trip to BKK – only got served by female.

  27. i do agree with the clear skin part…. i felt like it distract me from the products they’re trying to sell… i wasn’t even trying to buy cleansers but i was just looking for suggestions on concealer… the person who was assisting me clearly have bad skin…. it kept distracting me from how good the products she was trying to sell me…

    • sesame says:

      That’s what I mean…if it’s below average skin condition, there is a issue in terms of professional image cos of the industry and they’re in and will make one wonder. The choice of word “distracted” is apt!

  28. Germaine says:

    i agree with your comment on last thurs about Eric from bud cosmetics. although i mentioned it earlier that i prefer to be served by female consultant for skincare, at bud cosmetics is different case. because Eric is very approachable and knowledgeable.

    • sesame says:

      Yes, I think a number of readers enjoy dealing with him because he knows his stuff, is not pushy or intimidating.

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