Places I'll Never Show My Face in Again: Bloomingdales M.A.C. Counter

— by Caroline on Crack

Since I now live down the street from Century City, I find myself frequenting it a lot more than I used to. Instead of going there once a year, so far this month alone I’ve gone three times. It’s all redone and fancy now with its brand-new cineplex and swanky food court, and new stores that aren’t really my style. And yet somehow I end up there, wishful window-shopping.

Fantasy shopping central and the main attraction at Century City is Bloomingdales. Oooh, Stuart Weitzman pumps! Oooh, a Diane Von Furstenberg dress!

However, for obvious reasons I never buy anything there. But one weeknight while I was waiting for my friend Kevin to return an unwanted Star Trek-looking shirt, I wandered over to the M.A.C. counter in my ongoing search for a “daytime red.” There weren’t that many people around. “Great!” I thought, “I won’t feel bad enlisting a salesperson in my quest for my new lipstick.”

On this night, there seemed to be three M.A.C. salesgirls at the ready, but they were hanging out near the cash register. Since the lipstick display near them was already hogged up by another customer, I waited at the lipstick display on the other end. The counter was long but I was in clear view. Hovering patiently near the lipsticks, I marked my hand with possible hues. After running the gamut of choices, still no one approached. So I ran through them again and looked up to see if anyone noticed me and my red-painted hand yet. Nope, they were still talking amongst themselves.

Now if I had no conscience, I bet I could shoplift several tubes of lipstick because those girls never even looked my way. Then I decided to try and look suspicious — i.e. darting my eyes around, repeatedly sticking my hands in my pockets to see if they’d come running. Nope. Nada.

Now you might say, “Why didn’t you just go up to them and ask for help?” And to you I’d say, “They work on commission.”

But I approached the other lipstick display anyway to see if perhaps making it easier for them by not forcing them to walk would garner some customer love. Instead they dispersed. What the-?

I ended up wandering to the other makeup counters, all apparently salesperson-free as well. Finally at the Laura Mercier counter, a very helpful woman approached me. I told her about my daytime red quest and she offered me several options, even letting me try them on until I finally found “Merlot.” Lovely!

As she rang me up, I told her how she was the only makeup salesperson to help me, and what’s up with the M.A.C. girls? “Oh yeah. Them.” She rolled her eyes. “They’re not part of Bloomingdales but work on consignment so they don’t have the same ‘customer service’ style.” Ah.

In any case, if M.A.C. you must, may I suggest the more helpful crews at the Nordstrom M.A.C. or the M.A.C. store in the Beverly Center? Bloomies M.A.C.? Not so much.

Bloomingdales, Century City
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90067
(310) 772-7157