I was near a Sephora this weekend to return the Tocca Florence minis which was just a bit too potent for me, and I’m surprised I was refunded without a hitch. I wish I could say that about the gift card refund I was supposed to have received recently, I will get into more detail a bit later. First, this adorable little sample!
I was hovering around the fragrances hoping to find someone to help me with a sample decant, but there was no help despite the staff to customer ratio being staff heavy at the time. I couldn’t seem to get anyone’s attention even though a few bypassed me to disappear into the stock room. After several minutes, I eventually gave up and went to stand with my mother at the cash, where she was paying for items and choosing this Givenchy lipstick sample to redeem points on. Apparently they had just got it in that day! Interested, I asked if I needed to purchase an item in order to cash in some of the points I had accumulated (given by Sephora due to the huge amount of trouble they have given me, their idea) and it turns out I could just redeem! Finally some good news out of this company, especially good as I am now more than reluctant to ever buy anything from them again.
This Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick in Rose Dressing 202 is a brand new 100 point redemption deluxe sample. I’m not sure about availability, it was at the Guilford (In B.C., Canada) location but I can’t find it on their website. I’ve included a lot of pictures as the presentation is lovely.
The lipstick is packaged in a very cute velvety cardboard box with a slide out compartment, carefully wrapped in branded “Le Rouge” tissue paper.
Once unwrapped, you can see even the sample tube itself is fairly luxurious, with the Givenchy name printed in the chrome detailing. The full size tube has similar chrome detailing, but the tube itself is leather!
The product itself is an intense coral pink. It is lightly rose scented as prestige cosmetics often are, but the scent fades almost immediately once on the lips. The taste of the fragrance, however, lingers. The formula itself is lightweight and smooth, and applies evenly. The pigment builds well. It held up with through a cup of tea, and wore off evenly with no patchiness. It did feel moisturizing, which leads me to the downside of this lipstick formula – it doesn’t “set”. Most lipsticks, even the moisturizing ones set up a bit, not to say that they get dry but they at least seem like they won’t transfer at the slightest touch. This lipstick felt so slippery the whole time I was wearing it. It felt like it would slide outside of my lip line. I kept checking it, and it didn’t seem like it was sliding away but I still didn’t like the feeling. I don’t want to have to feel like I need to continually check my make up to make sure I wasn’t doing any accidental clown impersonations.
The colour itself is nice, bright for summer. I will use it until it’s gone, but I don’t seem myself buying this slippery formulation. The shade seemed familiar. I though it looked a little like the Sephora brand lipstick I have in 1st Night so I did a side by side swatch shown here. 1st Night is a more intense pink, and Rose Dressing is oranger, but they are both vibrant corals.
Now for my update on the ongoing Sephora disaster that they are presenting as customer service. About 3 weeks ago, I called, as per their instruction, to get a refund on my order in lieu of them honoring my gift certificate. Full details can be found here on my post about that order. I called, provided my order number, the gift card number, it’s pin number all as requested. The girl on the phone assured me everything was processed and I’d be refunded. I waited, got worried when I didn’t see the refund, and sent them an email to inquire. They told me to wait. So I waited. No refund. I sent another email, this time asking for a confirmation number for my refund. Days passed. I finally got a response. You will not believe it, but they had the nerve to say that “I had never provided the gift card number”. Yes, they claimed this, despite that I personally called myself to provide it and was assured it was processed. Yes, even though they had other emails from me asking about why the refund wasn’t processed. No one actually bothered to check my refund until I had to follow up asking for the confirmation number for proof. They just sent the canned answer telling me to wait, wait, it’s just me not being patient, not their failure to do their jobs, and wait! Unbelievable. This wasn’t the first time they didn’t actually bother checking what was going on and placed the blame on me (a previous time was when I asked them why they didn’t bother sending the gift box as it was on my order form, same line as my phone number, and they said it wasn’t there. Yes, even though it was right there in front of them, hilarious.) So I did call again, and made sure they processed it right there and then on the phone, which I thought I had already done the first time. I did get an email saying that it was intended to go through within another weeks worth of business days, but at this point I will believe it when I see it. I asked the woman why it wasn’t processed the first time, and why no one bothered to tell me what was going on despite several emails on my part. Her answer? “I don’t have access to any of that information”. To me, that translates as no explanation. And that is not acceptable.
The only positive experience I have had with Sephora was the girl who took my return and gave me this lipstick sample. Each and every other experience has been horrendous. Beyond that, actually. It takes at least 5 points of contact to get any one of them to do their jobs, and even then your odds of getting proper service are abysmally low. I have never had such consistently bad experiences as a customer, ever, anywhere. They, as a company, are not concerned about doing things the right way the first time, or any time after that for that matter. Even when you do all the hard work for them, they respond with complacency at best and gross incompetence at worst. I’m truly hoping there won’t be further negative follow ups to this one. I don’t like writing them, but people deserve to know where their money is going. Those high end prices sure aren’t going to proper customer service training.
A company that doesn’t acknowledge and respect the reason why it is even in business, the customer (especially one who sought their assistance as fastidiously as I did), doesn’t deserve to be in business. And people deserve to know. I tried for many weeks with great time and effort spent on my part to make my business with Sephora work, and they failed on every account to provide. I will redeem the last of my points there, in store only, with no purchase made, some time in the future. I will not, however, ever purchase with them again. I will seek any other source. A beauty blogger with all the time in the world to follow up and inform the public of deplorably bad service is not a bridge you want to burn. It does make me sad, but they went out of their way to be awful, both in store and online. I do make exception for the one girl who processed my refund and gave me the lipstick sample, she was great!
Any Canadians have any other beauty supply suggestions for me? I’d love to hear!