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I need to "tone it down" at work.. help please!

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Scarlette

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Hi, guys.. Happy Bunny Day!

As most have heard, I started working at the Benefit boutique in Berkeley recently, which is nothing like any Benefit counter you have ever seen or experienced. It's upper scale, posh, very "pinkies up" kind of place. To me, Benefit represents a fun, not-so-serious attitude, but the clients we receive expect us to be serious and look fabulous.

I thought about going on a makeover show, or at least writing to one, telling them my issue. I am more of a Marilyn Manson than a Paris Hilton, and I am more of a Ellen DeGeneres than a Joan Collins (she's the only snooty person I could think of!) Meaning, my look and personality is a problem at the store and I've been spoken to about it twice.

As far as personality goes, I am me and I can't change that. They are having a meeting (I still can't believe this) about accepting differences in personalities. I feel that I am the cause of this meeting, and I really feel like crap because I seem to be causing a lot of trouble in the store, and honestly, I am not doing anything wrong, I am just happy doing what I do and smiling and laughing isn't exactly what they like around there.. very weird. You guys know how much I really care about Benefit and the boss knows that and she is on my side in this ( I think! )

As far as I know, my personality is permanent (lol!) and the boss said it's okay with her, my hair is okay as well, they don't have a problem with the black/ purple hair, and it's changing to red soon too.. maybe more of an acceptable color? My eyebrows are an issue because they are half real and half filled in, they want me to have real brows. I had my brows shaped yesterday, and I think it's okay, but they aren't thin enough in my opinion. I also had my eyelashes tinted black, so I can wear less mascara.

Ugh.. so I wear Benefit makeup to work every single day and they say it's too much. Please help me out. I totally have an idea of what to wear as far as some color, but my foundation has got to go. It's great stuff (Jane Iredale Amazing Base foundation powder) but my skin is so oily that it turns to a grease slick mid-day and I think that my boss also mentioned to wear less foundation. I was thinking to try the Chanticalle (sp?) stuff, and I really need to buy that Re Vive moisturizer because my skin looks really good so far with the sample I got in a swap.

Any suggestions or pictures of faces.. I need help!

 

Liz

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Maybe just tone the makeup down? What about your clothes? do they say anything about that, or is it just make up stuff? i didn't think benefit would be like that. i see them as being more girly fun than prim and proper like.

maybe if you use powder to help with the oiliness??

sorry that they're being such biatches, especially knowing how much you love the makeup and your job.

 

Scarlette

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Maybe just tone the makeup down? What about your clothes? do they say anything about that, or is it just make up stuff? i didn't think benefit would be like that. i see them as being more girly fun than prim and proper like.
maybe if you use powder to help with the oiliness??

sorry that they're being such biatches, especially knowing how much you love the makeup and your job.

Well, toning makeup down for me is easier said than done. I feel extremely pale and washed out when I don't wear my normal amount of makeup. The foundation I can deal with, even though it may cost me more than what I usually spend. The skincare is going to cost me about 135 for the moisturizer alone, and that's if bought on ebay.
Benefit is girly fun, but the clients that come in are different from other clients in a Macy's. This is a boutique store, which caters to people with money, it's normally older women that come into the store, rarely do I see teens or young girls. It's so different, I sometimes feel nervous when speaking to these ladies because they are judging me every moment that I am speaking to them, I can feel their eyes burn into my skin! ahah

Anyway, I just wanted some help figuring out a look. I haven't worn "normal" makeup in like 10 years, so it's kinda hard for me to get used to the idea.

 
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I am sorry that you feel like that at a job that you wanted to much. It sucks that you have to change the way you are to fit in with the snooty crowd. This so would not be a problem if you worked for MAC. One of the books that I recently bought was Kevin Aucoin's "Making Faces" and it has a lot of ideas on how to's - from every day wear to extravagant ones. You may want to check out that book and see if you can get some hints from there. I think he also has other books that could help. Also, Janelle, Liz and Trisha's notepads have some neutral looks that maybe you could re-create.

 
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Scarlette, when I met you, I thought you looked great! I can't believe that they want you to change your look.

I'd consult an attorney about this b/c unless it's written in their manual sent from HR, they shouldn't dictate to you what's acceptable in dress, especially if you're meeting guidelines. I know that they want you to personify an image they set, but it sounds like they're trying to stifle your creativity as an artist, which is completely ironic given the nature of your business.

I hate to be rude, but tell them to compensate you for anything you need to invest in--clothing, new haircut, cosmetics/skincare, heck Rogaine to grow your brows--just to meet their standards. Maybe I'm interpreting this all wrong, but it sounds like a dictatorship & not what I envision the Berkeley scene to be. If they're marketing toward a "type" then they need to retrain you & help "style" you to what they want & not expect you to fork over gobs of $$$.

Off my soap box....

 
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Originally Posted by keaLoha Scarlette, when I met you, I thought you looked great! I can't believe that they want you to change your look.
I'd consult an attorney about this b/c unless it's written in their manual sent from HR, they shouldn't dictate to you what's acceptable in dress, especially if you're meeting guidelines. I know that they want you to personify an image they set, but it sounds like they're trying to stifle your creativity as an artist, which is completely ironic given the nature of your business.

I hate to be rude, but tell them to compensate you for anything you need to invest in--clothing, new haircut, cosmetics/skincare, heck Rogaine to grow your brows--just to meet their standards. Maybe I'm interpreting this all wrong, but it sounds like a dictatorship & not what I envision the Berkeley scene to be. If they're marketing toward a "type" then they need to retrain you & help "style" you to what they want & not expect you to fork over gobs of $$$.

Off my soap box....

I agree with her 100%.


::helping Gail off her soap box::


 
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Originally Posted by Mariposa ::helping Gail off her soap box::
Actually Marisol, you can join me up here to help Scarlette get what she needs.

 
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I'm sorry to hear about this Scarlette! I completely agree with Gail that you should NOT have to spend tons and tons of money to fit their image. I mean, yea, you have to represent their line through your appearance, but I think you can probably make simple changes in application to appease them. Can you post a typical work FOTD? Then we can all offer up suggestions on what to change/tone down.

 

Liz

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have you thought of being a manager at a counter? how much do mangers make?

 
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Surely you get some kind of discount on Benefit stuff on the makeup front to sort you out with some neutrals. Trisha has to tone down what she would normally wear when she's at work. Unfortunately most people have to tone down their MU for their everyday jobs. I'm a teacher and although I'm a bit more glamourously made up than most teachers I still restrain myself with my MU to make sure I'm projecting the right image to the kids. At the end of the day it's just a job and if you have to wear more neutral stuff then it just makes it even more special when you get to wear what you want outside of work.
Remember there are some people out there who can't even wear MU for their jobs because of hygeine issues so some of us are actually quite lucky to wear MU at work at all.

 
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I was always being told to take my make-up off at school (I was a Marilyn Manson fan, too!) and that was really hard for me because I could no way have come into school without any make-up, so just for the next day (because after that they were too busy to check and they often didn't even check the next day!) I went in wearing brown eyeliner instead of black and brown and champagney eye shadow instead of black and silver. Just try wearing more subtle earthy colours. It doesn't have to mean lack of definition because you can wear a lighter natural shade on the lid and a mid/dark brown in the crease, on the outer corners, outer edge of eyelids and lower lash line. White eyeliner on the lower inner rims makes eyes appear bigger as well, and I'm sure they won't object to mascara. Wear natural pinks, berries, peaches or nude browns on the cheeks and lips. Here's some examples below of how to give the eyes definition but keep them natural (the first pic is my FOTD pic for today and the second is a close-up of the eyes looking down from another FOTD pic. I'm wearing MAC Vex e/s and Fiction e/s in the first pic with Prestige Smokey Green e/l and MAC Vex e/s and Shale e/s in the second pic with Prunella e/l on the lower lash line. Maybe Benefit does similar shades? Perhaps you will still be allowed to wear red lipstick if the eyes are more subtle, too.).

 
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that´s so weird. If I think of MAC (which is designed for a younger clientel also)...their MAs are always really made up, with black,smokey eyes during the day or big blush or bright e/s. whatever, it looks fun and shows their creativity.

how boring if you have to limit your creativity on your own makeup, considering that you´re working in a business that´s known for creativity. I can see why they tell you to tone down you MU if the costumers are more conservative, but in my eyes telling you to let your brows grow and such is ridiculous.

It can´t hurt to follow their advices to a certain point, but not to the point where you have to completely change your appearance!

 

Jen

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Oh Scarlette...this really bummed me reading this. I know you probably feel pretty yucky and that isn't right.

I agree with Gail as well. Maybe you can do what Joy said and post a FOTD for us. I am so glad you come on here for help. Hoping to see another post from you soon.

 
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that really sucks and i'm sorry you have to go through this. i agree with gail, but then i also agree with lealabell. unless you work for a counter like MAC, where you can go all out, or any other counter, but this is a boutique, you know? you knew that before you took the job (i'm guessing). the way you dress, act, do your makeup, etc. should be a little more upscale. trust me, i know it must be SO aggravating

there's this new girl at my job, hostessing, and she seems to be coming to work with lower and lower tops every day. my boss said something to her about it, very nicely, and then she came to me and said that he never told her she couldn't dress like that. i then had to explain to her that it's a family restaurant and that she should already know she can't be dressing like that.

i hope you don't take any of this personally or anything.

i hope all of this works out for the best and good luck!

 

Jen

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Very well said Trisha. You made some excellent points.

Hoping to see a FOTD from ya Scarlette.


 
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Sorry to hear about that Scarlette...
Surprised to hear they'd tell you to 'tone down' wearing THEIR brand...
But I guess Trisha's right, they probably have thier own set of rules/regs that they want everyone to follow to 'fit in' with their clientele. I just don't understand why they'd want you to be all 'prim' when the stuff they sell is pretty much on the 'funky' side... ya know? How would clients get an accurate example of what the products can do?
Actually from your FOTD from awhile back (where you're in your bathrobe LOL) I thought that looked really pretty & not too 'wild'... think you were wearing peach? Would they like that?? That looked really good.
I just wonder why they didn't say something to you earlier when they saw your portfolio? It's bad on their part that they are asking you to 'reinvent' yourself after you've already taken the job... but then again - I don't know what else you can do?
 
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I agree with the others Scarlette.. Sorry to hear they're being such asses in work. Post a typical FOTD and we'll help you best we can to tone it down and if they complain about that tell them to log on to MakeUpTalk and we'll sort them out for you.. JOKE


 

Scarlette

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Yay... this is WONDERFUL, you guys! I am so excited to see how supportive you are and I will love you forever!

Today I wore just concealer on spots and very light powder. I thinned down my upper lash line MAC fluidline so it wasn't so dark, I wore light powder shadows and no liner on the bottom lid, I put white instead. LIght pink blush and light pink liner with a very neautral lipstick. I looked in the mirror and wanted to die.. LOL..I know I am being such a baby about this, but I was pissed.

I wore a red shirt just to make myself happy haha.. so my experience at work was a bit different. YES.. customers treated me better and YES it seemed like they were more comfortable being around me with makeup since I barely had any on. I will admit my boss is right about what the customer feels comfortable seeing, but it's Berkeley.. hello.. there are a lot of punks and hippies, just a mix of people, I wouldn't think I would be such a "shock", but apparently when they walk into a store where they are spending money, they want the MAs to look like freaking Oscar winning celebrities.

I am starting to understand the requirement, yet when I came to work today, I noticed most of the girls I work with were wearing more makeup than me, so I don't know what is going on, but I am going to do what my boss says because I want to stay on her good side and they offered me a really great hourly pay hahah.. so I can't argue at all.

I will deal with it.. I will post pictures soon!

For those that don't know.. I've worked for Benefit for two years inside of Macy's.. totally diff. demographics. People LOVED crazy makeup at Macy's because they were all about MAC there, and I was trying to catch attention, and it worked!

 
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Originally Posted by Scarlette

Yay... this is WONDERFUL, you guys! I am so excited to see how supportive you are and I will love you forever!
Today I wore just concealer on spots and very light powder. I thinned down my upper lash line MAC fluidline so it wasn't so dark, I wore light powder shadows and no liner on the bottom lid, I put white instead. LIght pink blush and light pink liner with a very neautral lipstick. I looked in the mirror and wanted to die.. LOL..I know I am being such a baby about this, but I was pissed.

I wore a red shirt just to make myself happy haha.. so my experience at work was a bit different. YES.. customers treated me better and YES it seemed like they were more comfortable being around me with makeup since I barely had any on. I will admit my boss is right about what the customer feels comfortable seeing, but it's Berkeley.. hello.. there are a lot of punks and hippies, just a mix of people, I wouldn't think I would be such a "shock", but apparently when they walk into a store where they are spending money, they want the MAs to look like freaking Oscar winning celebrities.

I am starting to understand the requirement, yet when I came to work today, I noticed most of the girls I work with were wearing more makeup than me, so I don't know what is going on, but I am going to do what my boss says because I want to stay on her good side and they offered me a really great hourly pay hahah.. so I can't argue at all.

I will deal with it.. I will post pictures soon!

For those that don't know.. I've worked for Benefit for two years inside of Macy's.. totally diff. demographics. People LOVED crazy makeup at Macy's because they were all about MAC there, and I was trying to catch attention, and it worked!





 
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