Sephora customer says employee yelled at her for doing her makeup in store

MrWinn/ShutterStock @necklaceshopping/TikTok (Licensed)

‘I only go to Ulta now’: Sephora customer says employee yelled at her for doing her makeup in store

'I literally had an employee push me aside.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Apr 22, 2024   Updated on Apr 22, 2024, 12:07 pm CDT

Sephora employees have long shared the particulars of their job with relish online, happily ending years of gatekeeping of the beauty retailer’s internal practices for keeping track of customers and products.

Some employees recently shared that they were asked to keep a close eye on customers to ensure they are not stealing products. They reported being instructed to follow them around the store and offer shopping baskets at every opportunity if they thought a customer exhibited signs of sticky fingers.

Testers and other small products are frequently targeted, employees say, which means they have to keep an especially close eye on customers appearing to use them.

One Sephora shopper says she recently thought she was suspected of using testers improperly or stealing products by an employee, even though she was just fixing her makeup in the Sephora store using their mirror.

In a video posted to TikTok, user Jasmine (@necklaceshopping) says she was utilizing the beauty store’s free makeup remover and mirror to adjust her makeup using her own product when she was approached by an employee who was harsh to her. On this occasion, she said she felt like she was treated as if she were doing something wrong by employees.

“One of the reasons I don’t really like shopping in person at Sephora anymore is because every time I walk in there they treat me like I’m doing something wrong,” she says in the video. “Like, I’ll walk in and have five different employees come up to me and greet me and ask if I need a basket. I know that they do that because they think that you’re stealing, but like, I just walked in the store, dog.”

Jasmine says she wondered if the employee’s reaction came from the belief that she was using testers to do her makeup, a practice inspired by recent TikTok trends that can be quite harmful to customers’ health. One woman has even gone as far as to sue Sephora, claiming that a tester lipstick gave her cold sores.

While Jasmine initially thought the employee was telling her not to use testers or open products, she says the worker told her she was in the way of other customers.

“There was this one time my makeup got messed up, so me and my friend went to Sephora to use their makeup remover so I could fix my makeup,” she says. “I have my own Fenty powder foundation thing, right, so I was using this to fix my makeup and I was using the mirror in Sephora and this employee comes up to me like, ‘You can’t do that here.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, no, this is mine, like I’m not using a tester.’ I thought that that was her issue. She’s like, you’re blocking the way for other customers. I was standing off to the side by the mirror and there were people freely walking behind me. I was not blocking anything.”

Jasmine says she was confused by the way she was spoken to, as she was adjusting her makeup in a store catering specifically to those products.

“What do you mean I can’t do my makeup in the makeup store? Not to mention the epidemic of 12-year-olds that yell at everyone around them and will push you and fight you to get the last Drunk Elephant retinol serum,” she says. “Free me.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Jasmine via TikTok direct message and to Sephora via press email regarding the video.

Some viewers were quick to correct the TikToker, writing that they work for Sephora and are encouraged to talk to each customer individually in the hope they will buy more products.

“As a Sephora employees we actually give you baskets because we are told to as they think it will make you buy more,” one commenter wrote.

“I used to work at Sephora, it’s not because we think ur stealing, it’s because the managers scream at us if we don’t EACH talk to EVERYONE in the damn establishment,” another said.

“Noooo retail associates’ main job is usually to offer a basket so you can carry more so you buy more we hate asking if anything,” a third added.


also now i just get my bsf to get me stuff cuz she works there🤞🏽

♬ original sound – jasmine

Others, as customers, commented on the video that they had widely ranging experiences of Sephora.

“I literally had an employee push me aside today to show a customer something in front of me,” one commented. “She didn’t agonowledge me. The customer apologized.”

“They treat me differently with and without makeup,” another shared. “Without they are cold and with they smile big and try to be helpful. What lol.”

“Yes! This happened to me the other day,” a further commenter said. “I had like six different employees bother me while I’m browsing perfumes. But once I needed help there was no one around. I had to go look for help.”

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*First Published: Apr 22, 2024, 4:00 pm CDT