I Got A Custom Make-Over At Sephora

I don’t know how to do my own make-up so I scheduled a consultation at my local Sephora. These Custom Make-Overs are free if you commit to spending at least $50 on a purchase.

Let it be known that I don’t think make-up makes anyone beautiful or more beautiful or is in any way necessary to do so. I simply think cosmetics are fun and respect make-up application as an art form.

Food is typically my jam but I’m also a secret subscription box and beauty product nerd. I don’t purchase many products, but enjoy reading about them. The make-up I owned was acquired from Ipsy bags or impulse drug store purchases. Most didn’t work with my skin tone and varied in quality.

I set two goals for my consultation:

  1. Learn how to create a smokey eye look.
  2. Find a couple of products I liked enough to buy.

Growing up in the South suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul, I found that my Asian eyes tripped people up. Heck, they tripped me up! It took me a while to figure out why the make-up tutorials on the back of eye shadow cases and in magazines never worked. Make-up artists at department stores often had no idea what to do with my eyes. One particular experience with the Mary Kay distributor next door in college really soured my outlook on eye make-up. The signs were obvious: Furrowed eyebrows + eyeshadow meant I’d probably look like a clown. Eventually I gave up.

When I called Sephora to make my appointment, I specially requested an individual who knew how to apply make-up to Asian eyes. The associate kindly told me that all of their make-up artists have a diverse client base and broad understanding of make-up application. Fortunately, she was right. My make-up artist did actually know how to work with Asian eyes. She patiently demonstrated how she would create a smokey eye look for a fancy night out. Whether or not I could ever replicate the look is a different story, but I learned a general technique to practice at home.

There are all of the products she put on my face:
Under-eye concealer
Tinted moisturizer
Eye shadow base
Eye shadow
Eye brown pencil
Eye liner
Lip liner
Lip stick
Setting powder
Highlighting powder
Facial contouring powder
Setting spray

My face felt weird, but I looked pretty glam. “You’re going to have to go grab a drink now,” said my consultant. I drove right home.

I was so amused by the sight of my own face that I texted Jake a photo of myself looking scared my face. “LOOK AT MY FACE.” Here’s the one and only photo if you must.

“Would I scare my dog,” I wondered? He freaked out the first time he saw me wearing sunglasses. Trayse was fine.

Joking aside, the consultation did introduce me to several products that I liked enough to buy. And although I can’t replicate that smokey eye to a T, yet, I have a blueprint.

All in all I found the experience helpful. If you decide to try this service, be direct with your adviser about what you want help with and don’t hesitate to share your likes and dislikes. I really didn’t give mine many guidelines. In hindsight, I wish I had taken the time to research products I wanted to try in advance. I was surprised by how much some of the items cost. Sephora’s products seem to range from high-end to a more affordable house brand. For example, a blush can range from $7-60. The products my consultant chose seem to get high reviews; I didn’t specify a budget and think she just picked out some of her favorites.

My consultant didn’t pressure me to buy  a specific product or amount of products, though she did ask if I wanted to sign up for the rewards program. I’ll sign up for store reward programs as long as they don’t involve credit cards.

How do you feel about stores like Sephora? Did you find this type of make-over helpful or awkward? 


  1. Darcie

    I have always been curious about having one of those makeovers done. While I enjoy makeup in fairly small amounts, I’m definitely not an expert on applying it! Maybe I’ll have one done as a gift to myself next pay period. Let’s hope they know how to work with a super pale redhead with blueish gray eyes, a weird nose, and a small mouth. ?

    I just stalked your makeover pic, btw. I think you look very nice and they did a good job! ?

    • Jeni

      Thank you Darcie! I felt very self-conscious with that much on but think the person was very talented. If you call to schedule, they’ll ask you lots of questions so hopefully they’re pretty good at matching people with consultants.

  2. SDpfeiffy

    I am such a makeup junkie. I’m glad you had such a good first makeover 🙂 I grew up thinking eyeshadow was never going to work for my hooded eyelids (also Korean here) but thank goodness trends are much more inclusive now. I buy from all price points but there are some mid to high end products I have stopped trying to replicate cheaper. Let me know if you’re ever looking for something specific 🙂

    • Jeni

      It is nice to go from nobody knowing how to do Asian eyes to the Sephora consultant saying all of their staff understand how to apply make-up to Asian eyes. While I’m thinking of it-can you recommend a great face moisturizer or daily SPF?

      • SDpfeiffy

        Ack! I dropped the ball! I don’t layer spf, just use what’s in my foundation. My moisturizer of choice is Clinique Dramatically Different–gel in summer, lotion in fall and spring. Sometimes in the winter I use the cream.

        • Jeni

          I will have to check that Clinique gel out. I used to be hard core about SPF – need to find another daily one.

  3. Katie

    I don’t wear much makeup. But I do enjoy the occasional (once every two-three years) trial makeover. I usually go to the lancome counter when they’re doing a free gift with purchase (to double how much I’m getting for the money). And whatever I buy usually tends to last years and years.

    • Jeni

      That is a flipping good idea! I’m doing that next time I need something.

  4. Feisty Eats

    I think your photo looks beautiful. The eyes are great! It does seem like that is a lot of product. I am clueless about makeup so I might have to copy this idea.

  5. Donna Hup

    I think you have a natural beauty. I don’t do a lot of make either, but I really like what she did. I love that it’s a more natural look. It looks good 🙂

  6. Katey

    You look great! Like you, just amped up.

    And you know you don’t need ALL those products, right?

    It can be fun to play with and see what you like!

    • Jeni

      I can’t imagine using all of them regularly and having to pay for the upkeep of keeping them in stock! Thanks Katey:)

  7. Beth Ann Chiles

    Somehow I missed this post before even though I saw the beautiful finished product. 🙂 I really do need to do this. I have a hit or miss relationship with beauty products and really need to have someone who actually knows something tell me what to do. I usually just do drug store make up so nothing fancy schmancy but wonder if it is really worth it. It does seem to last forever.

    • Jeni

      Thank you Beth! For being free with $50 purchase it’s not a bad deal.

  8. Kristin

    Your eyes looked amazing in the picture! I recently got a makeover at Sephora and loved my look! I’m a bit of a makeup enthusiast, so I already knew the artist that did my makeup. I think that helped make it a little less awkward!

    • Jeni

      Thank you Kristin! I bet that did help. They are very talented and I love how they have access to many brands of make-up:)

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