With summer over, I’ve moved away from my trusty CC cream, and switched back to foundation. The colour corrector is a little darker than my, shall we say politely, Celtic skin tone (translation: are you secretly a goth? 🙂 ). With my Clinique foundation almost out, and looking like it was not it’s best, I needed a replacement.

The thing is, what do you do when you need a bare-ish face to try on new product, but if you want to be out & about, but your confidence is held up by not being bare-faced? Hmm.

In years gone by, Boots had visited Chameleons and they’d said they had a Beauty Room. You had to ring ahead and book an appointment with a specialist. So far, so good! This I did…. and found the room had long since gone. So much for the Room of Requirement coming to my rescue 🙂

After battling with the phone system, and explaining my plight, the Beauty Manager said she’d sort something out and get back to me. A few hours later, I got a call from beauty specialist, and we’ll call her M, to preserve her anonymity. M asked a few key questions about skin tone, coverage, and whatnot. Afte that, it was time to book something in. Result!

So, it was Wednesday morning and I strolled in, in Richard mode. The usual work clobber, and a small rucksack with make-up remover, plus existing slap. I was early as the Traffic Fates had been kind, so I hung about waiting for my appointment. I met with M (not the lady from 007, I should add 🙂 ), and off we wandered away from the shop floor, and into the backroom offices.

We set up in the Beauty Manager’s office (bless her), and then M and I spent about an hour plus testing foundations to find what worked for me. We chatted a little about what had led M into this career (I’m curious), and her thoughts on what worked from a sales point of view. I found all this very interesting, not just because I’m a nosey cow, but I love to hear from interesting people. In turn she asked a little about me, and what I was after from the session.

Skip on some time, and we’d sorted out a foundation that worked with my existing primer and powder. I know the latter may be old school, but a light dusting of powder really helps set my makeup. Oh, and if you’re not using a primer, you’re missing out. In addition to that, I quizzed her about lip liner, and after some pro-tips, I had improved my lipstick technique too. What’s not to like?

When asked what look I went for, I said that I tend to swing between daytime and a nighttime look, depending on what we get up to at Chameleons. Cue a quick look on Facebook, to show her my profile photo, and the glam shot of me from a few Christmases ago. “How’d you get that shape?” she asked, and off we went in to talk about padding and corsets.

Throughout the session I never felt odd, nor that I was making M uncomfortable. We did talk about the vibes customers give off, and when it’s a good time to be a little more relaxed than too serious. M’s professionalism and friendliness really added to the experience, and last night, I wrote a quick thank you to Boots praising both staff. I hope that the Store Manager sings their praises.

Back downstairs, I paid up and gave my sincere thanks. Given this was an ‘off week’ (i.e.: no Chams), this experience really put a bounce in my step, and when I think back on the experience, it brings a smile. Good stuff.

Next week it’s Chams again, and I’m hoping M’s boss gives me a call, so we can try and plan a make-over night. You can but try!

So, if there’s any lesson to be learned from this little jaunt: do ask (and always politely). The better beauty staff are here to help you, and not to make a sales target. If you don’t get want you want, move on to another store (Leicester Debenhams, you lost out, as you ignored me!) and ask them nicely too.

Perhaps the Ever Lovely Mrs J’s words to our nippers apply to me too. No, not “have you got your socks on”, but you never know until you try.

Take care,


  1. Great post Lynn.
    I can't remember how many years I bought foundation using my random "guess the shade" technique, before I finally went to Boots.
    Not being as organised as you, I just called in and had my shade selected in about 20 mins (seemed longer 🙂 ) on the sales floor a la Bob. I still received great service and was not made to feel unwelcome at all.
    I would (and have) advise anyone to do this as nothing looks worse than a foundation shade that's no where near your skin shade.
    Hope to see you Thursday,


    1. Thank you, and sound advice about finding the right shade. Oh, the hideous tide mark of early failings! 🙂

      I tried Number 7, but it didn't quite work for me. A poor choice on formula, perhaps by me. But like your comment about the right colour, getting the coverage and right feel is, IMHO, as important.

      I guess the thing is to keeping trying until you get one that ticks all the boxes. We're all different, so there's no wrong or right answer in terms of brand or choice; just what works for you.

      I was a bit surprised to hear how many of the brands are owned by one company.

  2. That sounds like a great shopping trip, and a chance to be 'you' no matter what mode you are in 🙂

    And it made for a great post – adding a dash of light into an otherwise dreary, autumnal Wednesday morning – thanks! 🙂


    1. Twas indeed a grand…umm… half day out. Maybe I don't always need to be dressed to be all of me? Ooo, there's a thought and something to ponder.

      Thanks for the kind words about the post. With a bit of luck, happy memories may make a good episode.

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