I have been to the Americana Mall in Manhasset, Long Island numerous times and have never seen the Estée Lauder store. I didn’t even know that Estée Lauder had a store until just recently when I became a team captain of the “Every Woman Matters” 5K Walk at Jones Beach on May 16th at 10 am. The money raised for the walk will go toward the Katz’ Women’s Hospital which is part of the Northshore-LIJ Health System.
I belong to the Commerce and Industry Council, a voluntary group of business owners and professionals who want to help raise money for the hospital. At a recent meeting Karen Ford, a representative from Estée Lauder, approached me.
“Did you know that all the team captains are getting a free 30 minute facial from Estée Lauder?” she asked me.
“No, I didn’t know,” I said.
“Would you like one?” she said. After that I got a phone call from one of her managers at the one and only Estée Lauder store asking me when I can come in for a facial, eyebrow waxing and makeup application.
On Thursday, I drove over to the mall and searched for the Estée Lauder store. I drove slowly, reading the store names out loud, even though no one else was in the car.
“Tiffany… Wolford…. Max Mara…” I said. Behind a grouping of bushes, I saw the Estée Lauder store and parked the car and went in. I was five minutes late.
“Hi there,” a short, blonde-haired woman said to me. “Can I help you?”
I told her I was there for an 11:30 am appointment. She looked in her book and quickly escorted me downstairs to the locker room, which had a country club feel to it, with the wooden lockers and round chairs. I slipped into my robe and followed the blonde woman to the facial room.
“My name is Marie,” she said. “Tell me about your face….”
She waxed and plucked my eyebrows first and I was amazed at how painless it felt. I’m usually wincing in the chair. I felt perhaps that she took a little more off than I would have liked but it looked much better than it did when I walked in the door.
Next, she gave me a mini facial that felt like a full facial. I still got the steam, the masks, and the moisturizers. She also massaged my neck and my hands as we waited for the mask to dry.
When she was finished, I went back into the locker room, changed, and walked up a spiral staircase to the main floor. Tina Duffy, the makeup artist, greeted me right away. She escorted me to her “chair” in the front of the store and proceeded to apply makeup to my face for a daytime look.
The most interesting part of the makeover was when she applied bronzer to my face and told me that this was the Estée Lauder trademark. “You make an “E” , where you take the brush and actually make the letter E. Start on your forehead and then work down to your chin with the bronzer. It makes it look much more natural,” she said.
Tina set my brown eyes with beige and brown eye makeup and covered my lashes with her thick mascara. She finished me off with a nice brown everyday lipstick and lip gloss set with honey. It was a heavier application than I would prefer every day. However, it would work really well for a special occassion.
Tina asked me what I do for a living and I told her that besides owning a boutique PR agency, I am also a writer for Blogcritics.org. When she heard that, she pulled out an invitation for a fundraiser at the store. “We do so much for the community,” she said. “We’re trying to raise money now for breast cancer research.”
When I asked Laurie Hopkins, the general manager, how many other team captains came in, she told me there were at least a half dozen. “We’re really excited that they are coming,” she said.
I was impressed with the cleanliness of the spa, the caliber of staff, and the customer service that they offered me. But most important, I was impressed with their community support and outreach. It’s nice to know that they give back to people who are committed to making the world a better place.