MMU Retailer Review - Micabella

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MMU Retailer Review - Micabella

  • Manufacturer: Micabella
  • Products: mineral colored pigments (eyes/lips/etc), foundation, blushes, skincare products
  • Availability: online, certain mall kiosks
  • Cost/Amount: eyeshadows: $15. Or $20. or $10. It seems to vary significantly.
  • Primary impressions: possibly some pretty colors, but OMFG, what ill-mannered salespeople
  • Would you buy from this retailer again? ...perhaps. But only if I have someone else along to distract the salesperson.
  • Would you recommend this retailer to others? NO!!! Approach at your own risk. These people are pushier than an evangelical preacher.

I stopped into a mall today to pick up BE's Dakota - I had to drive out of my way, as the usual boutique I frequent didn't have any Dakota, but this one said that they did...so down I drove. As I walked in the mall, I passed a kiosk selling mineral makeup. I'd never seen this particular brand before, but thought - what the heck. A few of the pots essentially contained cosmetic-grade glitter - too much for me - but a few of the others looked interesting.

And then, suddenly, I was attacked.

The other person, who had been the salesperson's focus of attention, finished their discussion and left the kiosk. That meant that the salesperson came around to speak to me. Now with the recession on, salespeople are stepping up the pitches a bit. This person, though...this person redefined 'forceful'. She offered to show me some tricks you could do with the makeup. "You mean like foiling?" I asked. She didn't look like she understood what I was saying (actually she looked like she didn't really register anything but blah blah Ginger blah blah blah) so I said, helpfully, "...applying it wet?" Still nothing. She just steamrolled through the (possibly) rote-memorized speech, and then proceed to powerload the pigment onto the back of my hand - first dry, then wet. Okay, fine, but I already **knew** that "trick". Then she starts in about how the minerals last longer because they don't have anything artificial in them. She then proceeded to pull out a jar of Bare Escentuals foundation - something I've tried, but stopped using because it made my face itch and didn't give me the look I wanted - and pointed at the "titanium dioxide" in the listing, stating that ingredients like this were the reason why other mineral companies had expiration dates on their face powders. I mentioned that I knew about titanium dioxide, and she said, "Oh, okay, good. Most people don't know about that." (The expiration date is for the sunscreen-protection element's efficacy only. The foundation still works as foundation, and won't "spoil" or otherwise go bad after its expiration date.) Her product, she claimed, could reduce my daily foundation regimen from four steps to one. She then asked me what foundation I normally used and I told her the brand and shade name. But I should let her put this Micabella foundation on me, she says. It's better than anything else out there. One quick glance at the foundation range tells me immediately that they don't have anything light enough for my preferences. When I said this to her, I finished up the sentence with the phrase "...just like Bare Escentuals" - because, in terms of shade ranges, that was accurate. She immediately launched into a diatribe about how they were nothing like Bare Escentuals. She asked again, did I want to try the foundation, and I said no, I'd found a brand that I liked. She said, "I'm not gonna argue with you" - and then went back to arguing with me. (I don't think that word means what she thinks it means.)

At this point I just want her to shut up and go away so I can continue looking at the colors and deciding which ones I want to purchase. But she asked me again (fourth time, for those keeping score) if I would let her put the foundation on. I repeated that I had found a product that worked for me and wasn't interested in trying anything else. But she kept circling back and telling me how she could show me how to get full foundation coverage with just one coat. Why, it was so amazing I wouldn't even need separate sunscreen. I then told her that my family was prone to melanoma (it is) and that I'd had some scares with brown spots (not true, unless you count freckles) and how I had to use at least SPF 55. She said that this was actually bad, that I only had eight layers of skin on my face, that continuously using sunscreen would bleach my skin out. I told her, "For me, it's a trade off: use sunscreen, or have skin cancer." Then I turned back to examining the eyeshadow colors, hoping to get her to leave me alone so I could choose the colors I wanted. I caught a break as another unsuspecting victim wandered into range and momentarily distracted MicaCerberos. When she started to come back around to me, I jumped in and said, "Do you take debit cards?" Apparently that was the magic word: the scent of a sale pacified this person. I chose the three that I wanted and she told me that if I bought three I got one as a free gift - so I chose another one. Then she said if I bought one more I'd get another as a free gift. Well, I was reaching the end of my budget and the end of my patience, so I made my purchases.

When I got home, I searched for information and reviews about Micabella. The staying power is apparently decent - not fantastic, but decent - and the online stores that sell this brand charge high amounts for shipping. Problem is, the photos of the colors are fairly lifeless - and there are no descriptions of the colors. I can't make informed decisions without seeing these colors in person. In addition, the overwhelming majority of the reviews I read about peoples' kiosk encounters contained their own horror stories of pushy salespeople. Apparently the corporation that sets the women up with these kiosks either trains them in the Negotiation-is-for-whiny-pukes Hardsell Tactics...or they screen for pushy salespeople. (I also saw some comments from others that indicated that they made their purchases just to get the salespeople to shut up; so perhaps this is what the company is outright counting on.)

I would like to go back there to see the colors firsthand and make out a list of which ones I want to buy. Then I'll buy them online, where they cost about $5 less per pot than they'd cost at the kiosk. Problem is...I'll have to take along a friend to "distract" her so that I can make my selections in peace.

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