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photoThere was another beauty event today at CVS, and this time I was THERE when it was actually going on! And apparently I was the only one. The cosmetics aisle was deserted.

A person who I think was one of their famous beauty advisers walked past me while I was poking around, pleasantly said hello, answered the phone and then promptly disappeared. Perhaps she was a beauty mirage?

Once again, CVS, a big old marketing fail.

photo-1Remember my post about my local CVS’s brilliant marketing strategy? Well, they had their Vichy Beauty Event–they were giving FREE 5 minute skin consultations. FREE! And I missed it by 15 minutes.

The marketing strategy for this event was my favorite homemade sign now placed outside of the CVS doors (blue marker smeared) and two deflated balloons, one blue and one white (Vichy’s colors, get it?!)

I raced in hoping that maybe, just maybe, they were backed up with customers and I would get my FREE 5 minute skin consultation! But the beauty aisle looked empty. I decided to ask the cashier because maybe, just maybe, the “beauty adviser” hadn’t left yet and would be willing to squeeze out an additional 5 minutes in the name of a sale.

NYCEsthy: Hi! Did I miss the beauty event?

Cashier: The what? (she looked at me suspiciously, like I may rob the place)

NYCEsthy: The beauty event. The one with Vichy?

Cashier: A Vichy event? That was supposed to be today? Where did you see that? (Clearly, there was a stampede for 5 minute FREE skin consultations.)

NYCEsthy: The sign, outside. Right out front.

Cashier: Oh, let me call one of the beauty advisers for you.

So I wait by a table they have crammed in the corner by the door, adorned in a blue and white paper table cloth, with handwritten index cards (Best for Acne! Best Moisturizer! Best weekly Exfoliator!) stuck to various Vichy bottles with scotch tape.

The cashier, now with someone else with her, runs outside and looks at the sign and then comes over.

Cashier: This is the manager. All of our beauty advisers are gone.

Manager: The event ended at 4. No one can help you. We aren’t trained on the product.

No FREE 5 minute skin consultation for me.

So I came back here and hit the google to see what the requirements are for a CVS Beauty Adviser. And I couldn’t find anything. What I could dig up is that the Beauty Dept manager needs 2 years in a retail environment and a cosmetology license is preferred (but not required). Similarly, a beauty adviser position for their Beauty 360 store in CA mentioned that a cosmetology or esthetics license is preferred (again, not required).

I can’t say anything about Vichy products themselves, since I have never tried them. There were a few samples scattered on the table, but nothing appropriate for my skin type. What I do know is that Vichy is owned by L’Oreal and apparently the number 1 selling drugstore brand in Europe.

I feel like Vichy is priced a bit high for a drugstore brand, and since money’s a little tight right now, I am not up for dropping a chunk of cash on a product I have not had a chance to sample.

Fearless readers, if you have tried Vichy, please share in the comments! I am genuinely curious!