Have you seen this sign?
Target has launched a new Beauty Concierge program in the Twin Cities!
What does this mean? I met with Beauty Concierge, Collette, and Communications Manager, Erika, to find out.
WHY a Beauty Concierge at Target?
Collette: This can be a really overwhelming department. There are thousands of SKUs! I'm here to help you find what you're looking for and answer your questions. We're given mini ipads, so if I don't have the answer, or we're out of something, I can figure it out or look it up at another Target.
What makes this program unique?
Erika: As I've watched the concierges interact, it's interesting to hear all the questions. They take the time to figure out what you need. "What are you using now?", "What's working?", "What do you NOT like?". It's never "I'm pushing this product on you". It's totally brand agnostic. She can really listen and understand in order to give advice that's truly helpful.
Collette: I used to work behind a counter at a department store, and that brand agnostic thing is GREAT. When you work for a brand, you end up pushing things that people may not need or want, and you're not supposed to care so long as they're buying. It's different here. When people ask who I work for and I tell them "I work for the whole department", I think people are surprised and relieved. They're more trusting because it's so non-pressure. Sometimes it takes a minute for people to realize that I'm just here to help.
So do you try out a lot of different products?
Collette: Oh-eyeyeye. I'm a make-up junkie. There is never enough make up - or shoes. Yes, I try it all out. I need make-up like another hole in the head. My paychecks go right back into the department! But it's a great way for me to sell what I know. I buy things to try them so that I have that knowledge to share with people. I also do a lot of research online so I have an idea of how products differ from one another.
One example of someone who would really benefit from this service:
Erika: When we tested the program in Chicago this spring, we saw a lot of girls coming in for prom. It's an easy way to try out new looks without having to go to a department store and spend a lot money. Or - I don't know if you've maybe had the girls who are just getting into makeup....?
Collette: Oh yes! And I have a story about that! When I was young - like 13 - I went to Dayton's at a brand counter. I stood there for a long time. They looked around me and around me. Finally, the saleslady asked if I needed something. I said I needed some mascara. She asked what kind and I told her I wasn't sure - I was really new to wearing make-up. She said, "Like clumpy, like what you have on now?" I never forgot that. When I see younger girls in this area, I love to help them out. I don't want them to feel intimidated. I like to joke around and make people feel comfortable.
How long have you been doing this at Target?
Collette: 3 weeks. And I loooooove it. I get my exercise. I love learning a lot from people too. A lady came in the other day looking for paraben-free products. I did some research and discovered that paraben has been linked to cancer. I found out that grapefruit is a natural alternative if you want to avoid paraben. So I know what she bought that is paraben-free and when I get that question again, I'll know what to recommend.
How far does your domain extend?
Collette: All of cosmetics, skincare, bath products, toothpaste, shampoos, hair color. But if someone has questions about, say...bandaids - which isn't technically my area - I can help them with that too. I know a lot about bandaids.
Do you find that higher end lines are better quality?
Collette: I wouldn't say they're better. Every line has something they do really well and that works differently. I just tried out some products from e.l.f. - it's inexpensive, and it's really good. Then you have the more expensive lines like Pixi. Sonia Kashuk is more middle of the road. Every line offers something great that I will recommend depending on what the need is.
What make-up trend do you love for fall?
Collette: I'm loving colored mascaras. Mabelline has purple, blue, red and two different greens. Make-up is fun. It doesn't have to be serious. Play with it. I put my regular mascara on first and then do one swipe with a color.
Thanks, ladies! I had so much fun chatting with you and finding yet another reason to be obsessed with Target.
***Find participating stores currently in Los Angeles, Washington D.C, Chicago and St. Paul/Minneapolis areas. Beauty Concierge hours vary per store.