I encourage every woman to try all cosmetics first before they make the commitment of shelling out a small fortune for department store brands. This is why I prefer shopping at Sephora. I go in with a clean face and leave with a full face of make up. Sometimes foundation oxidizes on your skin, which means it turns orange or yellowy when it mixes with your natural oils. You don't want to buy a foundation that does that. Sometimes that wonderful eye cream that you can't live without pulls a mascara off! Which sucks. You can find out all of this and more when you sample cosmetics before purchasing.
I was at the Macy's in Herald Square, NYC yesterday looking for a new foundation. I wanted to try Armani, but Macy's doesn't carry it (and neither does Sephora). Instead, I visited the Lancôme and Chanel counters and asked for a free sample of their foundation. They obliged.
No doubt they will try to sell you something- that's their job. Knowing make up like I do, I know what I want and what I need. I'm probably a little more confident than your average shopper. You can be confident too. Asking for samples or testing the testers on display is your right. You don't have to buy. Please - dont let them hard sell you. Know what you want and make sure you really like what you buy!
(Here I am wearing Chanel's Perfection Lumiere and so far, I love it)