Because it's important this sort of thing is said because people legit need to be warned about this.
Last Thursday (June 1st) I went to a beauty evening at my local ICI PARIS XL store.
ICI PARIS XL is best compared to Ulta and Sephora in the US and Sephora in France. Pretty much every larger town and definitely every city has at least one IPXL store.
I had booked my spot last month, and it was a €30 spot because that was the value of the goodie bag.
I figured going to this would be fun, I had wanted to try Glamglow products for a while, and Bert and I thought it would be good in terms of dealing with my social anxiety issues to do something like this.
Plus, I love trying new products, so it seemed like a good thing to try in general.
Click to find out about the horror story that followed...
I had expected it would just be demonstrations, so I showed up with a face full of make-up. I didn't know it would be hands on testing, so oops!
Now, I did have fun. I would lie if I said I didn't.
The other women there (I think there were 6 of us in total) were super friendly and that was really great.
There were unlimited drinks (cava, orange juice and water. No, no one got drunk, in case you were wondering :P).
The shop girl from IPXL was also really friendly (she is all-round known as “the nice shop girl” by pretty much everyone in town haha).
And the MUA from Givenchy, well she was friendly, don't get me wrong, but...
First of all, she kept on pushing all kinds of Givenchy products on me, whilst I REALLY wanted to try Glamglow.
She said: "you can't, it's too harsh for your skin."
And then the other girl said “oh but you CAN use this peel-off mask”.
What was the thing I wanted to use most? Right, that silver peel-off mask...
So I wasn't impressed, at all.
One of the products she had me use made my skin BURN subdermally, so of course I washed it off immediately.
Like 2 minutes later she goes to someone else “I've never heard about anyone who's had a bad reaction to this”.
Sitting... right... here.
The Givenchy cleanser was supposed to get off ALL make-up.
Guess what, it could NOT get rid of my M.A.C technakohl liner in Brass Band. Which my much cheaper Yves Rocher eye make-up remover CAN.
So not being able to actually test the brand I was going for (because I don't even remotely care for couture brands like Givenchy) was one thing, but you know, I was having fun, and I did enjoy trying new products, even though it was stuff I was never gonna buy.
I have to say that there was no issue with hygiene at all during the skin care testing. Everything was scooped out with clean spatulas etc, so I can't remark on that. It was 100% safe and clean.
The beauty section of the evening, however, was a whole new kind of WHAT... THE... FUCK.
I can understand that Givenchy gives samples to use at this kind of event. Totally get it.
What I don't get, however, is the fact that they were passing around the mascara. Same product, same brush, for _everyone_.
Well, they had a few types of mascara, but there was one of each type for everyone, so any given tester got used by several people...
This is the BIGGEST faux pas you can make as a make-up artist, especially a professional (not to mention that it teaches people the wrong thing entirely!)! What you are supposed to do is to open a mascara, and use a disposable wand for every new client. NEVER double dip with said disposable wand. EVER. Needless to say, I point blank REFUSED to use the mascara.
They used cream eye shadow for bases, and again, with brushes in the pots. Whilst that's also a big no-no.
If you wonder about make-up and hygience, and how to properly sanitise products, watch this video by Kelly Eden and Dre Ronayne.
I feel exactly like her making this post by the way.
I was less grossed out by the powder products because everyone was using clean brushes, and everyone had clean faces. But I did wish I had brought my little spray can of isopropyl alcohol.
The girl from IPXL was spraying her brushes down with something, but the MUA from Givenchy, well...
At one point she applies a concealer on me with a beauty sponge and hands the concealer to me to do the other eye (no idea whether this was tester that had been use before or not, I sure hope it hadn't been...).
Looking in the mirror I remark that there's a LOT of glitter going on and ask if it's from the product.
She says no, but that it may come from her sponge...
To me, that implies her sponge was NOT clean...
Having another look at the concealer, the glitter was in fact from the concealer, so that also implies she doesn't know what's going on with the product either... And yes, that concealer was passed around, too...
I must confess I went for the eye shadow colours no one else wanted to use on purpose, because they really did look no one cared for them full stop, so I figured “hey, least likely to give me germs!”
Especially with the lipsticks and lip liners, that REALLY grossed me out, because I just got handed a liner and a lipstick, whilst they should have been disinfected! (Not mentioned in that youtube video, but you can actually sanitise a lipstick by dipping it into a isopropyl alcohol and letting that dry again. It's what they do at proper make-up stores such as M.A.C and the Urban Decay counters at ICPX (at least they do at the Antwerp counter).
That said, if you apply lipstick on someone else, you should always put it on a palette first and apply it with a brush.
But if you're in a bind, or want to keep your own lipsticks germ free: isopropyl alcohol is your friend. I wiped mine on a tissue before I used it because you know, that was better than nothing.
Also, the lipstick and liner she handed me didn't match at all, so that was a bit of a shambles to get it nice (I actually hated the colour once it was on).
I should have said something on the day itself (if I had, I still would have made this post btw), but the MUA had already made a remark (calling me a freak) because it was clear I knew A LOT about it myself.
(I know I can be a handful in a social situation, I have anxiety so I tend to ramble out of panic, but come on) and that made my anxiety rear up and yeah, I didn't have the courage to protest after that...
Needless to say, I didn't buy anything (other than the house brand make-up remover wipes, because those are ace and I needed an extra pack).
Not just because Givenchy is not a brand that appeals to me, but also because it's way overpriced for shitty drugstore quality.
I'm sorry if this insults people, if you love Givenchy, by all means, keep rocking it! But for me, it didn't work at all.
The skin care products made my skin break out (and I had JUST gotten it all nice too!).
My make-up look after the event. Excuse the bad quality of this photo, but it was taken at dusk after I had gotten back home, so yeah.
Little side note: the Givenchy website is a shambles, so I'm linking to the US Sephora site instead as that's in English. I do feel like it's a little cheaper here in Belgium (not much though) and we definitely do get more shades in a lot of the products, but it at least gives an impression of what I was working with that night.
Now for a little run-down of the products I used and why I didn't like them.
The lipstick (Rouge Interdit) was the same kind of shit feathery patchy mess as you can expect from the NYX extra creamy round lipsticks (with the difference that those are nearly €4 instead of closer to €40 and come in a lot more colours).
The eye shadows, and the MUA did say this, were VERY sheer. They were buildable, but still, at that price point. No. Just no.
You can get a 9 pan Too Faced eye shadow palette for that price (quite possibly with shipping included). You can get a M.A.C x 9 palette for that price. Both will be much better quality (I hear they're not all equally epic, but I can assure you that my Too Faced Natural Eyes palette completely obliterated the natural colour quad I was using).
The same can be said of the blush & highlighter duos, they were utterly worthless, pigment wise. And for that price, you can get a much nicer blush and highlighter from a whole slew of other brands.
The bronzer was nice, I will say that! That was good quality. But it wasn't really the right colour for my skin. I really prefer Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil.
Also, I swatched a Juicy Fruity bronzer at M.A.C the next day: EXACT same shade, for less money. So do yourself a favour and go to M.A.C whilst they still have that range ;).
Speaking of dupes. That eye cooling stick? It's a totally overpriced, yet lower quality, version of Tony Moly's Panda's Dream So Cool Eye Stick. So again, do yourself a favour and by that one from Sephora (or Ulta if you're in the US). Even with shipping added on it's still gonna be cheaper. In any case, it'll be more efficient.
The brow product I was given to use was not only far too dark for me (hello, I am NOT a brunette), but was also a crunchy mess. If you love this sort of thing, don't get it from Givenchy (unless you already use and love the Givenchy one, by all means, continue). It was very easy to use, I'll give it that.
My goodie bag was pretty nice.
It had a notebook with decent quality paper (branded of course, which I couldn't care less about). I love the little make-up bag because it's gold. I gave the deluxe sample to Bert, because he loved how it smelled (I don't like the scent on me at all) and I also gave him the men's perfume sample. I gave Rosa the two other samples, because she collects perfume samples.
There was also a Noir Interdit mascara with a gimmicky moveable brush, which is going to Claire as I don't use mascaras containing perfume because they irrititate my eyes. I don't want sore and dry eyes for an entire day, thank you very much. Why brands put perfume in mascara is beyond me. Sure, it smells like a sewer without, but it's not like the scent doesn't evaporate within 10 seconds.
Anyway, I'll stop ranting now.
A huge thank you to the ones that stuck with this to the end! So yeah. Experience wise it was worth it for me. But IF I do something like this again, I will absolutely bring my own mascara and a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol. And INSIST on testing the Glamglow product I want to test.
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