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3 Things I Learned Working at a Beauty Boutique

Based in Washington D.C., Ayren Jackson-Cannady is so savvy that we wished she lived closer to NYC so that we could swap products with her. This beauty writer knows what’s up (she’s written for Fitness, Glamour, and Gloss Daily) and we’re excited to have her sharing her know-how and multi-culti beauty expertise as a contributing editor.  

Here are the unexpected learnings we snagged from behind the counter. (Photo: 

Little known fact about me: In an effort to make a little extra cash, I briefly moonlighted as a skincare salesperson at a beauty boutique over the summer. Let me tell you—writing about beauty products is so much different from selling them. While I was only there for a very short amount of time (hat’s off to all the salespeople out there. It’s a tough gig!), I learned a lot. Here are my three favorite lessons:

The French and Italian make some darn good skincare: I tried a sample of this face cream from Rilastil, a decades-old Italian brand that focuses on active ingredients—and I thought I heard angels singing in the background. It felt good going on, it felt good on, it felt good coming off (and it had the most delicate, pretty scent). I could have bathed in it.

Many of us (I’m guilty, too!) don’t read product directions: A drop? A handful? Does it really matter how much serum we swipe on? If it contains active ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid it definitely matters (or, if it’s sunscreen, remember the shot glass rule?). I can’t even tell you how many products were returned to the store I worked at, with shoppers reporting, “it broke me out” or “it didn’t do anything.” Upon some keen questioning, though, I found that many of the customers hadn’t read the label and were using too much or too little of the product.

Guys don’t like the “moisturized feel”: I’ve lived with a dude since graduating from college and thought I knew everything there was to know about the opposite sex, so this came as a shocker. Two-thirds of the men who came into the store were on the hunt for a “non-greasy hand cream.” I discovered that guys have high standards when it comes to non-greasy. What I thought was light enough, they thought was “eww, gross.” This happened three times in a week. Well, if any of those guys are reading this, I think I found the perfect lotion for your particular palms (Jurlique Lavender Hand Cream). P.S. See lesson #2, and don’t use too much.

Dying for more adventures in the beauty world? Don’t miss the rest of Ayren’s smarty-pants posts.

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