Yves Saint Laurent, Barneys New York
Directive: “A sophisticated, classic look.”
Fee: Free; no appointment necessary.
The Vibe: Surprisingly laid-back.
Overall: Leslie, the makeup artist, was incredibly personable. I didn’t get cutting-edge technique, but I walked out feeling elegant (dark lips, smoky eyes) yet not too made up.
I might actually buy: Luxurious Mascara, $24. Even the other makeup counters were borrowing it.
M.A.C, 175 Fifth Avenue, at 22nd Street
Directive: “I’m bored with brown and interested in new colors.”
Fee: $40, and you get a free mascara.
The Vibe: A serious makeup center.
Overall: More artist than salesman, James picked some dazzling colors but wasn’t so great at explaining products. Take-home tip: Apply eye makeup first, so smudges don’t ruin the whole face.
I might actually buy: Swimming eye shadow, $13.50—an intense green I loved.