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T L.

4 Level 4 Contributor
  • 29 Reviews
  • 137 Helpful Votes
  • 0 Thank Yous

Experience: Beauty, Clothing & Fashion, Health

Member since January 2017

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29 Reviews by T

Gap basically started the reasonably-priced, everygirl specialty clothing chain. It was big in the 90s. They had hip 80s songs like "dress you up in my love" and some early hit from Depeche Mode. Gap was cool, basic, fairly affordable, and accessible - where do you get a combination like that these days?

Gap has really gone downhill for years and years now. In the mid-2000s, it was still pretty good. I bought good, unique, cool items there at a decent price. But by the late 2000s, it really slid down - the designs were odd, like they were reaching for a certain vibe and customer base, but weren't quite getting it. I think Gap Inc. was having trouble distinguishing between its various Gap brands. It was trying to hard to preserve Gap's minimalist, breezy, and slightly edgy/rocker 90s to mid-2000s style - but it wasn't succeeding.

I'm not sure if Gap has ever picked up sufficiently. In the past decade, I've made some decent purchases there - but all basic, forgettable clothes of slightly poor to decent quality. Gap won't ever go back to their perfect 90s heyday, when they practically had a monopoly on specialty clothing chains.

In the old days, Gap employees seemed friendly and accessible. But in the past several years, I'm seeing very snooty employees at their flagship location in SF. The cashiers always seem disgusted and rude to me. I went past an employee at the fitting room, and she gave me a disgusted look instead of offering help. I don't know how something as everyman as the Gap can be so snooty and elitist. The prices aren't that bad at all, with the constant sales, and percentages off sale items. And the offerings aren't all that - slightly dated styles aimed at late 30s-40s conservatively-dressed people, probably.

Shopping online is a hit or miss. The Gap site, and stores, just don't seem fun to shop at - dated and uncool. Nothing fresh or Millenial there. Not hipster.

Please fix your service in SF stores, GAP. Employees don't deserve to be so snooty at such a boring, has-been of a chain.

Tip for consumers: SF Flagship store has snooty, rude employees. Site and stores seem dated and boring - not fun to shop in. Slightly odd selection - trying to appeal to their original 90s crowd, but they should really get with the times.

Medium is a huge step up from previous blogging platforms. Wordpress was so extremely awkward to use - full of tech problems you had to figure out before you even start blogging. Blogger was pretty awkward too. Medium did what blogging platforms should've thought of long ago - just let you type away, right there, without any tech headaches to figure out beforehand.

However, Medium isn't exactly a free-for-all blogging platform. Like all other sites, it has its own vibe - except the vibe is much more writerly SJW, in that narrow worldview, than more general sites like Reddit or Quora. Medium isn't exactly the place for anyone to speak their mind - the most-read authors just fall into that bougie, hipster, white SJW rhetoric. I don't learn anything on most of Medium - it's just the same tired old stuff, mindset, and writing style all the time.

There are a few good things on Medium - like Plan A Mag, an Asian American magazine that does say some important things that mainstream media does not. But even Plan A is in the realm of Ivy-educated, bougie Asian Americans.

If your content deviates just a bit from Medium's standard SJW narrative - expect to get almost no views, claps, or followers.

I've tried very hard to gain views and readership - but it's all failed.

Medium customer service can be terrible - at least, if they see your content and don't like it. All the customer service responses I've gotten were rude, condescending, unhelpful, and even flat-out wrong. They're very poorly trained, and don't even know their own platform.

Medium should allow individual bloggers to have a heading, logo, and categories at the top - like they have for Publications. Other blogging platforms come with templates, so it looks pretty. Medium's individual bloggers should have that same traditional blogging setup - right now, they only allow that for Publications.

Medium does sneaky things to authors they don't like - due to their own stigmas and biases. I've been put under the Paywall - probably so I'd have fewer views and followers - not that I was really getting any before. A follower clapped for me - then the claps mysteriously disappeared. That follower was prevented from clapping for some of my other stories, too.

Medium should be docked for introducing the Paywall, too - why should anyone have to pay to read a blogging platform?

Tip for consumers: A place for like-minded, bougie, educated SJWs to gather. Reflects the politics/mindset of SF. Rude, unhelpful customer service if they don't like your content. Medium does weird things to keep some authors held back. Paywall is a bad idea for a blogging platform.

I had this horrific driver named Maria Paola. I'm shocked at her 5 star reviews. When she arrived, she didn't even look at me. She probably took one glance at me, saw I was an ugly, stereotypical-looking Asian, and was disgusted. I got in, and she continued to stare straight ahead. I smiled and said a friendly "Hi," and she barely said anything back. I told her where I wanted to go in a polite and friendly way, and she didn't respond. I could feel the DISDAIN and DISGUST from her through the entire ride. I respectfully asked her a question about Uber, since I hadn't ridden it many times before. She responded with curtness and condescension.

I normally enjoy talking with people, but she looked so repulsed with me, from beginning to end, that I didn't dare converse with her. It was an incredibly awkward and painful ride.

When we got near my destination, she rudely asked me if that was where it was. I patiently directed her to the actual destination nearby. Her condescension was very clear through her refusal to take a glance at me, and curt answers. I could feel the disdain throughout the entire ride - it was hanging in the air.

When I got off, she muttered something like "Have a good one" in the most robotic way, like she didn't mean it at all, and still stared straight ahead. She thought I was so gross, she never took a glance in my direction - I would probably blind her. :P

That was an extremely painful experience - but typical for what I get anywhere in SF. The disgust for what people WRONGLY see as lowly, unattractive, older, immigrant Asians is extreme in SF - and anywhere else. But, in fact, I'm US-born - much more American than she is - and probably younger than her. And I'm surely much cooler than she is. :P But she couldn't tell, and didn't want to know.

I was surprised to see she had 5 stars on Uber - that means she's friendly, smiley, warm, and conversant with OTHER people. Other riders even wrote that she's "friendly and approachable." WOW, she was the COMPLETE OPPOSITE with me - and rude, too, with a repulsed vibe that was very obvious throughout the whole interaction.

The disgust against Asians like me is more overt from non-Asian immigrants - and she must've been one, from Latin America.

Uber - please fire her.

ALL UBER DRIVERS need to treat ALL RIDERS with the same level of genuine warmth, friendliness, and care. Don't single out some riders for cold, rude, disgusted treatment for ANY REASON - especially if the riders are friendly, polite, well-dressed, and professional!

Uber's response was uncaring and unprofessional. I don't think I'll ride Uber again. And please, BOYCOTT them.

Tip for consumers: Drivers are nice and friendly to attractive and white people. They can be rude, cold, and condescending towards "unattractive" Asians. They treat different riders differently. Uber's response to this was uncaring and unprofessional. BOYCOTT!

There's a very inherent problem with circle lens sites - the bad return policies. If you have dry eyes like me, circle lenses are likely to be uncomfortable - any of them. And often, circle lenses simply don't look good on your particular eyes, and look different from the pic on the site, or on other customers. So there's a high likelihood you'd can't use the circle lenses and need to return them. But Pinky Paradise, like other circle lens sellers, do not give refunds, except for defective lenses. I do believe they provide store credit if lenses are uncomfortable or look bad on you - but that could be an endless cycle of store credit.

They have promotions sometimes, but they're not that good. Recently, it was a lame selfie product for a high purchase amount. Another time, it was a free monthly lens with a purchase of a yearly lens - but the "free" lens is included in the shipping cost, and the shipping is increased for every lens you purchase. So overall price can be high, compared to other sites, even with promotions.

Pinky Paradise is a pretty and user-friendly site, though. They have their own brand, which looks very appealing on their site, with very cool models. Compared to the more bare-bones Korean-based sites, Pinky Paradise definitely seems more oriented towards Western customers - the look, styling, and vibe of the models.

Shipping can take a long time if you select the cheapest shipping, which is already not cheap.

I have mixed feelings about Pinky Paradise. It seems to be the best-known one in the West because of its pretty, user-friendly site and models/styling that seem more geared towards Western audiences. But their promotions suck, prices (including shipping) is high compared to bare-bones sites, and their return policies are bad, though they're in line with other circle lens sellers. Their customer service over email doesn't seem all that nice, either.

Tip for consumers: Promotions lure you in, but aren't good - you still end up spending a lot. Expensive compared to bare-bones Korean sites, even with promotions. Very pretty, user-friendly site. Models/styling appeal to Westerners. Their own line of lenses looks cool. Bad return policy, but in line with other circle lens sellers. You end up wasting money if the lenses are too uncomfortable or don't look good on you - no returns except for defective items.

Pinky P. – PinkyParadise Rep
Hi,We’re sorry to hear of your less than satisfactory experience with us and hope you will accept our sincerest apologies.
From time to time, we strive the best to provide the best service and top quality products with bearing customers satisfaction in our mind.
We pride ourselves on our customer service and the high quality standards we maintain, and would like to make things right.
Please provide your order number so that we can reach you to provide a solution that makes you smile.
We value our customers opinions and would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention.
This is a very intimidating glasses store in SF. Their prices are affordable - $60-$120 for full pairs, including lenses - but it has a trendy decor/vibe, so employees are very snooty and discriminatory. I've gone here a few times, and employees were fake-polite, and failed to help me find the right frames - even though they have 20,000 frames there.

But one time, I got the most discriminatory, stereotyping employee. Though I was dressed my best, in stylish and quality clothes/accessories - the employee immediately asked me, "DO YOU HAVE A BUDGET"?! That felt shocking and offensive. JINS is already one of the most affordable places you can get glasses in person - and she SINGLED ME OUT for asking about budget? Despite my politeness, enthusiasm for JINS, and nice clothes - she STILL stereotyped me as poor, dowdy, untrendy, "on a budget." She was also pretty condescending to me, and treated me like less than human. She selected some frames for me that were ugly and matronly - not the hip, current SF styles I would've chosen. I really needed a pair of glasses, so I just selected anything. She was pretty cold and indifferent during the checkout process, too.

I brought up the painful profiling and stereotyping to a manager - and they made things better. But I never shopped at JINS again.

Recently, they had a booth downtown, not far from the store. When I came up to the booth, the people there were very rude and condescending.

JINS has made a very bad name for themselves. Too much hipster pretentions for nothing. I spoke to the District Manager recently, and he was incredibly offensive, bullying, and hurtful.
I've never encountered anything this remotely bad with any optical store before.


Tip for consumers: 20,000 frames in their SF store - but you might never find one that is suitable. This place is great for most people - but if you look unattractive & Asian - no matter how trendy/upscale you're dressed - you might still be singled out for stereotyping, condescension, and wrong assumptions. District Manager is offensive, rude, and hurtful.

I'm a beauty fanatic, obviously. I'm fascinated with everything beauty-related - all the new products and brands that come out, application methods, etc. Yet they always stereotype me into a creep who doesn't know the difference between lipstick and lipgloss. It's pure racism, lookism, and stereotyping. And I know much more about NARS and makeup than those "beauty advisors."

I've gone to various NARS counters and stores a few times. I'm SHOCKED whenever I'm asked, "Have you EVER worn makeup?" And they don't ask that to anyone else, even if they're more poorly dressed/groomed than I am. I have plenty of NARS and other prestige cosmetics, and they actually ask that - as if their stupid brains can't process any more.

I'll even come in wearing a FULL FACE of NARS or other upscale brands, and be dressed my best, and they still assume I won't buy and know nothing about trends, beauty, and fashion - when I know a million times more than they do.

My experiences at NARS and other makeup counters/stores have been horrifying, so I definitely don't do that anymore.

-1000 stars for the incredibly dumb, stigmatizing, stereotyping, judgmental, racist associates, at both NARS counters and NARS boutiques.

I give this 2 stars overall because most NARS products are quite nice - it's built itself a very nice, luxe, cool image - perfect for the affluent beauty-obsessed yet edgy Gen X crowd. NARS has plenty of good products. Their whole vibe/image is just so good. Francois Nars even has that perfect creative hipster look.

NARS has great liquid blushes, good lipstick, lip pencils, tinted moisturizers, a nice but little-known skincare line, and much more.

It's too bad the judgmental, condescending associates really ruin the NARS experience.
Their website is fun to shop. I've always liked the Josie Maran vibe - seems warm, natural, cruelty-free, and always features a pretty and charismatic-looking Maran. I've bought products from their site a few times - can be a hit or miss. Their apricot body butter is one of the nicest, most natural-smelling scents ever. It's non-irritating, too. I'm not too crazy about their most iconic product, their argan oil. I don't think it works well for my face, hands, body, and definitely not my hair.

I recently bought a set that had their new illuminating facial moisturizer, but it didn't do much and broke me out. The set also had a dark berry, very pigmented lip balm, but it didn't look good on me.

Even with inconsistent products, I still like this brand - their image, packaging, innovative products, and the green values.
MAC has a nice website with a good selection of trendy, high-quality products. They're one of the oldest "hip" brands of cosmetics, but they're still on the forefront of innovation and trends. They've long had collaborations with the coolest celebs out there, whether musicians, artists, models, etc.

They're big on the bright, non-traditional colors like blue or silver lipstick, or glitter, or colored mascaras.

I enjoy using their products for the most part - though they can be a hit or miss, like all other cosmetic brands. Many of their collaborations have beautiful and unique packaging - good as collector's items.

But going into their stores, or interacting with their associates, is a different story. There are few places more intimidating than a MAC store, or even a MAC counter. They seem to attract people who look high-maintenance, superficial, and clubby. I don't think I'll ever be able to go to their store - and I'm sure I'll be ignored as usual, and assumed to know nothing about makeup, though I know more than they do.

TL;DR Good website and products - intimidating stores and associates.

Tip for consumers: One of the oldest "hip" cosmetic brands out there. Very edgy, always innovating, lots of cool collaborations that are collector's items. Stores are scary and intimidating. Associates wrongly assume I know nothing about MAC/cosmetics, when I'm more knowledgeable and passionate than they are.

They greet/help some customers, but not others. Once, I asked a lady a question about an item, and she answered in the most condescending way possible, like I was lower than trash. I'm always well-dressed, polite, and appreciative, so it's even more unacceptable how I'm always ignored and treated as subhuman.

Then I saw a white girl who looked very average, and was dressed very average - nothing fashionable or expensive-looking. She rudely asked the same employee to look for something in the back for her, and the employee lovingly obliged - anything to help a "superior" white customer.

I was in the store for a long time, obviously looking to buy. I sniffed scents, applied products, and handled merchandise. The two employees there definitely saw me the whole time, just totally failed to say anything to me. But as soon as white customers came in, they rushed to help them and assist them like angels.

I bought something, and the employee was very rude and cold - like the last thing she wanted to do was interact with me. She told me something about the credit card machine in the most demeaning manner.

I'm never shopping in Body Shop stores again.

Their website has a lot of products and constant sales - but is difficult to navigate. They do not have free return shipping through the mail.

Their products are pretty bad, in general, and I've tried quite a few of them. Their Shea Butter in the plastic tub is one of the worst body lotions ever - doesn't moisturize at all. I've tried 2 of the body polish cleansers - both useless, doesn't clean well or feel good. Their classic hemp hand cream makes hands very soft - but the scent just doesn't seem as amazing, in a dark and edgy way, as it used to.

Poor products, bad customer service - just don't go/shop there.
In SF, Apple is the ONLY brand and OS that's acceptable. People will gladly fork over $2,400 for a lame Macbook Pro with the useless Touchbar - for doing nothing other than email, reading their Huffpost/Medium, or streaming TED lectures on YouTube. Cash-strapped students will pay a premium for Apple, too. I don't think I've ever seen a non-Mac laptop at the local med school library.

Apple used to strut their "creative" BS - but for a long time now, very few people actually use it for their supposed "creative" prowess - they just think they're creative for using whatever apps/sites are currently popular in SF. Does ANYONE actually use the dumb apps like GarageBand, iMovie, or whatever's in there these days? You can find free apps online that do a way better job, and are more user-friendly, than the dumb "creative" apps in Macbooks.

Apple enjoys being "visionary" in the stupidest ways - they were "early adopters" in getting rid of the CD/DVD drive, and in doing away with necessary ports. I guess they wanted to sell their overpriced add-on devices - they're always in it for the money. Apple is very oriented toward the bottom line - it's a company with the worst values, design, employees, and management.

Macbooks have been the worst computers for me - constant weird problems that cannot be fixed, no matter how much I Google and try to troubleshoot. Their customer service over the phone is horrendous - even compared to tech support in general, which is bad already. Apple seems to employ very nasty, stuck-up, low-paid tech support employees over the phone. I know Apple products and tech more than they do.

Macs have always been touted as user-friendly - but I've always found them to be the most counter-intuitive, most awkward, most UN-USER-FRIENDLY computers ever. Windows, and especially Chromebooks, are a million times more user-friendly - and they don't boast about it, either. There are so many weird things about Macs - just navigating around, finding files or apps, and having to quit apps by clicking on the top left corner. My Macbooks can never read any external devices, I'm unable to transfer pics from my phone, no matter how much I try to troubleshoot - and I have millions of other weird and unsolvable problems. Poor connectivity, stuff always malfunctioning - even general internet surfing is buggy on my Macbooks.

Apple stores very much reflect the snootiness and nastiness of Apple products and Apple support over the phone. As usual, employees rush to greet white/pretty customers and will ignore uglier/older/Asian customers like they're subhuman. I browsed a fancy flagship Apple store for at least 30 minutes, obviously looking like I'm interested in buying - and I was COMPLETELY IGNORED the whole time. I was flipping open laptop covers, typing, using the apps, checking out the Apple watches - and employees of various ethnicities just stood there, oblivious to me, or simply choosing not to interact with me. A few times, employees were RIGHT NEXT TO ME, while I was trying out various laptops - and they completely ignored me, while gladly helping other customers on their own.

When I went up the fancy staircase to the upper level, a young white woman went up at the same time as I did - and the employee ONLY TALKED TO HER, in the sweetest and most courteous tone ever.

My invisibility at the Apple store was shocking. I've been a loyal user of Macbooks, iPads, and iPods for years - despite all their drawbacks, poor value, and poor functionality.

They had a bad marketing blitz years ago with their Justin Long - uuggh. His smugness and annoying geek chic vibe reflects the awful Apple brand, stores, and tech support employees.

In SF, there isn't an awareness of products beyond Apple. Years ago, Apple has ironically taken over the city - both Apple and SF are hypocritical, counter-intuitive, smug, exclusionary, poorly functioning, and ridiculously overpriced.

Does anyone in SF know that there are brands of smartwatches OTHER THAN APPLE? No. The Samsung watch, like so many other products, is way better than Apple's and is less expensive. When the world was going iPod-crazy years ago, I was stunned to see that Samsung had a much more beautiful, high-quality MP3 player for less than half the price. I've been an Android user forever, and I know Samsung's flagship phones are way superior to iPhones in every way.

Just say no to Apple!

Tip for consumers: Ridiculously overpriced, poor quality, boring-looking, buggy products. An elitist brand. Company has poor values/integrity - oriented towards the bottom line, smug, gets rid of features to make you buy expensive add-ons, more interested in looking cool than being useful or functional. Tech support is horrendous - even worse than typical tech support. Stores are snooty and discriminatory - employees rush to greet white customers while ignoring many Asian ones. Just say no to the Cult of Apple.

SF loves claiming it's all for diversity and inclusion, but it's just the opposite. As Cons A's review says, Nordstrom is very discriminatory against loyal shoppers who are not fluent in English, or who are non-white. Asians get the worst service anywhere - not just Nordstrom. But Nordstrom is one of the snootiest stores out there, so of course the discrimination against Asians is magnified a thousand times there.

Nordstrom is an extremely conservative, dated, and backwards department store. Their merchandise is very bland and matronly. I guess they mostly appeal to an older crowd, so sizes often run large. Products continue to disappoint me - poor quality, bad fit, looks weird - but at a premium price. Terrible value.

I've had too many horrendous experiences at Nordstrom stores - I will never purchase from the stores. I'm constantly ignored, even if I'm wearing nice, upscale clothes FROM NORDSTROM or similar stores. Meanwhile, poorly-dressed white people who are "just browsing" are given the royal treatment - assumed to be shoppers, and spoken to in the most reverent manner.

Once I browsed forever in the shoe department, definitely looking to buy. As usual, after 30 minutes, with tons of employees there, I wasn't greeted or helped ONCE. Meanwhile, prettier and less Asian-looking customers were helped immediately, even if they dressed poorly and were truly "just browsing." Finally, I approached a young employee for help. She assumed I didn't have a Nordstrom Card, though I've had one for years and have been a loyal shopper for years. She was shockingly condescending and assumed I knew nothing about the shoes - though I was much more knowledgeable than she was. Meanwhile, I saw other associates happily helping white customers with the shoes, and politely asking if they wanted to open a Nordstrom card.

I've returned things a couple of times at their "service bar" - brand new, unworn, all tags attached, bought just recently, with a receipt. And I'm always very polite and appreciative. Still, every time, the employees look like the LAST THING they want to do is interact with me - they treated me like I was subhuman. Meanwhile, they're super nice and attentive to white customers returning stuff - just getting to interact with white customers seems joyful to the employees.

I've brought up all this discriminatory and unacceptable service to management - and they failed to do anything about it. I was just given the run-around. They clearly do not want me as a customer.

Customer service over the phone, email, and live chat tend to be pretty bad, too - though nowhere as bad as in stores. In stores, you'll get the most horrific treatment if you're seen as Asian, fobby, ugly, and subhuman.

Boycott Nordstrom. Just do it.

Tip for consumers: Extremely discriminatory service in stores. Dumb, poorly-paid, unknowledgeable employees treat white customers like gods, even if they're poorly dressed and have no intention to buy. Meanwhile, loyal, longtime shoppers who are Asian and less attractive are ignored, treated condescendingly, assumed to not want to buy even if they're THERE TO BUY, and assumed to know nothing about fashion, even if they know much more than the employees. BOYCOTT!

Like all snooty, overpriced "boutique" chains, Madewell associates greet/help very selectively. The whiter you are, and the cooler you look, the more likely you'll be greeted warmly, approached, and be given their Madewell-branded water (you have to be super white and bougie to be given this).

There are many Asians shopping at their SF store, but employees consistently fail to greet them, approach them on their own, or give them a farewell. Also, cashiers look irritated when ringing up their $300 purchases.

The guards in front of the store greet and give farewells very selectively, too. You can be a pretty non-Asian person, come in from Target, holding a plastic Target bag, and be warmly greeted, helped, and treated like royalty - even if you walked into the Madewell not knowing what it is, and never intending to purchase their overpriced products. Meanwhile, you can be an Asian hipster who's a Madewell Icon (their term for someone who purchases over $1000 in a year) - and just be ignored, and the cashier acts like they don't want to interact with you.

It definitely depends on your look and attractiveness level, regardless of ethnicity. I saw a mixed-looking girl who looked very cool and pretty, and the cashier asked her on her own, "Are you a student?" without even checking for ID. You get a 10-15% discount for being a student - and employees will only go out of the way to ask if it's a pretty girl who's not Asian. It's all subconscious bias, like everything else.

The SF store has shoppers who appear college-aged to well into their 50s. The older shoppers get ignored and indifferent to rude treatment, too.

Their products and stores are like Nordstrom - lots of hype, good marketing, great image - but their stuff can be poor quality, incredibly boring (bordering on conservative), and way overpriced for what they are.

Be a smart shopper, and just head over to Forever 21, H&M - or, God forbid - Ross - and get stuff that fits/looks better than Madewell for a fraction of the cost and much less of the snootiness.

2 stars instead of 1 because it's fun shopping online, without the discrimination in their snobby stores. They have the most edgy yet laid-back image - they've really succeeded in selling their cool, trendy Millenial vibe. They're one of the few clothing chains that can get away with using "ugly" models with weird faces - because they can.

Tip for consumers: Service in stores is very discriminatory - biased toward white and attractive shoppers. Associates look extremely irritated when processing easy returns. Terrible value - lots of poor-quality, boring merchandise that cost way more they they look.

I've had very mixed experiences at Macy's, both in stores and online. It's an SF standby - an old, classic, less pretentious, mid-level department store. In SF, it's considered a bit old-fashioned, and maybe a little uncool - definitely from the era before the hipster invasion and over-gentrification.

Macy's in SF is a lot of immigrants and shoppers who are motivated by sales and coupons. It can be a little "dangerous" shopping here because clothes/accessories veer on the more dated and matronly - though you can find very on-trend things here as well.

Macy's is an SF establishment - there's a major tree lighting every year, where the area is filled to the brim with boring young people, and lots of events throughout the year, like the Flower Show, Pride, the SFSPCA kitten windows, etc.

Their giant flagship store has a lot of stuff - a very substandard Starbucks with a great view of Union Square, and some trendy eateries that come and go. Their Impulse section seemed like a great idea, but I think they've really failed to build it up and make it anything. They've recently added a Last Act to a high/top level of the store - but I wonder if they'll close it soon due to lack of customers or profit.

Every winter, they have a lackluster Holiday Lane at a top level, with pretty bad, conservative-looking holiday knickknacks.

Supposedly, you can get good deals at Macy's, but I wonder if that's a thing of the past. It seems their products, both online and in store, are a little high-priced for what they are. And again, you run the risk of looking a little dowdy if you buy from Macy's - the selection just runs a little in that direction.

Service is dismal, like everywhere else in SF. Employees, as usual, are going to be super-nice and attentive to some customers, and rude/ignoring towards others - based on physical appearance and ethnicity. It really doesn't matter how you dress, how well-groomed you are, etc.

Customer service over the phone, for online orders, can be pretty lacking.

Macy's is a pretty dated place - definitely not part of the newer, techie Millenial hipster SF. Despite it all, I give it 3 stars because of its lack of pretension, its many established events in SF, and its very wide variety of offerings.

Tip for consumers: More expensive than it should be. Merchandise runs a little dated and matronly. A major SF establishment/standby. Terrible service in person, depending on your look and ethnicity.

Bare Escentuals started in SF in the 80s, I believe. In the 2000s, their mineral makeup had a long, hot moment in the spotlight and spawned many knockoffs. Today, mineral makeup seems to be a forgotten trend, like all the rest.

There are still some Bare Escentuals boutiques in SF. They're characterized by surprisingly nice associates who are less stuck-up than at most makeup places. Their boutiques are very clean, spare, upscale, and well-lighted. It seems their "flagship" boutique at an upscale mall in SF closed recently.

They're a lesser-known brand these days. Mineral foundation and makeup was touted as very hypoallergenic, good for sensitive skin, and natural-looking. But maybe, like for me - it didn't seem to do much. Mineral cosmetics did have a nice feel - I remember some good mineral lipsticks I had back in the day, including drugstore brands. But trends move on, and the mineral craze was replaced by argan oil, Korean Beauty, green beauty, and a lot of other things.

They still seem to have high-quality products, but innovation and interesting packaging doesn't seem to be the keyword here. Maybe they are a bit upscale but old-fashioned, kind of like Laura Geller, but better than that.

Tip for consumers: Low-key cosmetics, passed their heyday, associates nicer than at typical makeup boutiques

In the vast and over-hyped world of cosmetics these days, Clinique still manages to be a good old standby with quality products and less hype. It's an unsexy brand - very far from Milk, Lime Crime, YSL, NARS, MAC, or the gajillions of other brands that live on marketing, packaging, and hype.

Oddly enough, they have this clinical/dermatologist vibe to their department store counters and packaging. They've been around for this long, and they're a pretty well- known brand - at least for the late-30s and up crowd - so they must be doing something right.

They have tons of good products, both new and old. Great lipsticks, glosses, skincare, eyeshadows, blushes, everything. But their Happy and related fragrances are pretty bad - I don't know why they get good reviews online. Their old-fashioned mascara is still one of the best out there - an oldie but goody.

Their associates can still be pretty stuck-up, but there's more Asian immigrant ones who are nicer and less judgmental.

This is a brand for women who like quality makeup and skincare, a decent amount of innovation, and pretty products - but don't like the intimidating, scary vibe of other brands or cosmetic counters.

Tip for consumers: Good old standby, always innovating, a bit underrated among Millenials, less intimidating and judgmental than most makeup counters

There's a wide range from Shiseido - some excellent products, and some bad ones, and some great associates, and some painfully judgmental ones.

Shiseido has long been known in Asia, and in the Asian American community, as one of the best upscale Asian brands out there. It's part of the "old guard" of Asian cosmetics - from before the "Korean wave" that started in the early 2010s.

Shiseido's associates seem a bit nicer at more mid-level department stores, like Macy's, and a lot more intimidating and judgmental at higher-end stores like Bloomingdale's. There was one Bloomingdale's "beauty advisor" who was horrific and judgmental to me - that was a very painful experience.

As usual, the "beauty advisors" are mere low-ish-paid retail employees - and I know way more about cosmetics and their brand than they do. Yet they'll be condescending to me and assume I know nothing about makeup, let alone their brand, when I'm far more knowledgeable and passionate than they are.

I tried a day cream from the Benefiance line before, and it seemed really good. However, later, I tried full sizes of the toner, day emulsion, day cream, and night cream from the same line - and they were horrible. They break me out slightly, and give an unflattering white-ish cast to my face. And they dry my face out rather than protect and improve it.

The jury's still out on Asian cosmetics for me. Mainly you'll have to buy them online, or go to snooty makeup counters or scary Korean beauty stores.
e.l.f. is maybe the ONLY cosmetics brand that is ultra low-priced, yet has successfully billed itself as cool. NYX comes second, but it's not as cheap, and probably not as widely sold. $1 e.l.f. products? How can you trust that? Yet e.l.f. does it. I won't touch $2 cosmetics at Japanese dollar store chains like Daiso - yet people will trust e.l.f. That's just what USA + marketing will do.

I have some good products from e.l.f., despite, or maybe because, of the ultra-low prices. Too bad they've discontinued some of their products. One of my HG concealer pencils - I've used it every day, for a long time, and there's still plenty left. It was a mere $3 from their website, from their "upscale" Studio line. It had a brush on one end, and a sharpener in the cap. It must be my HG cosmetic product, period. Please e.l.f., bring that back!

One of my HG lip products is their Gotta Glow Lip Tint, the $6 or $8 one that comes in a clear cap and a silver body. I have the pink one, and it is a perfect, personalized pink on my lips. It also comes in a peach and berry shade. Beats any over-hyped $40 YSL lipstick anytime.

Some of their stuff is total crap - un-useable - but that's the same with any cosmetic brand, whether ultra-low-priced or ridiculously expensive.

The best thing about e.l.f is that it's a drugstore/Old Navy brand, so there's no snooty associates or "beauty advisors" to misjudge, condescend, and ignore you.

Their website usually has a gift with purchase if you buy at least $25. They don't allow any returns or exchanges, but that's okay, because the products are super cheap. Just toss them, give them away, or re-purpose them in some way if they don't suit you.
There are some stores I can never go into. CVS is one of them. It just has such a pathetic, ugly, unwelcoming vibe.

Products are all way overpriced - probably far beyond the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Like Walgreens, their tactic is to overprice everything, then have sales, coupons, and their own "Extracare" rewards. That's so you thinking you're saving, and that's how they reel you back. Even with all that, they can't reel me in - going into those stores, using the self-checkouts that never work, and interacting with the rude employees is so painful.

Once I was returning a cosmetic item that really didn't work for me - and I try multiple times to get them to work. I never return anything for nothing. I had the receipt, and I bought it just 2 weeks ago. The employee was extremely rude and condescending to me, and refused to let me return it. She was simply biased against my physical appearance - I had done nothing wrong, and everything right. I was very polite and nice, as usual. She would've gladly let anyone else return it, even if they didn't have a receipt, even if they bought it long ago, and even if CVS' policy didn't expressly state a 100% guarantee on cosmetics. Then I called their corporate office, and they were horrified that I got such unacceptable treatment at CVS. They clearly state and advertise a 100% guarantee cosmetic policy - and I was fully within the policy, and used it lightly a few times, and it simply didn't work for me.

Employees are pretty rude or indifferent at CVS, in general. It attracts that type of person. Many chains are very bland and unwelcoming, but it doesn't get any worse than CVS.

Tip for consumers: Bland, unwelcoming chain. Unacceptable service. Employees are rude and indifferent in general. There are always problems with the self-checkout machines. Products are all overpriced.

Lush is for people who like to think they're neo-hippies, or hipsters, or bougie, or better than thou. There's lots of those people in SF, LA, NYC, etc.

Neither the store nor the products are really my thing - nor is it most people's thing. The stores are very boutique, intimidating, and upscale in a hippie/pretentious Vancouver way. If you look like the right type, associates will be all over you - like in any other store. But if you don't fit this narrow range of looks/ethnicity - associates are likely to ignore you, be condescending, and assume you know nothing about their products or bath & body products in general.

Sometimes Lush employees try to do their job and do greet me and even offer a demonstration. That's probably going against their natural inclination to ignore and look down on me - but sometimes they're new employees trying to make an impact, or their managers have really driven it in their heads to help all customers, not just some of them.

I remember looking at the solid fragrances at the counter forever, sniffing all of them. An associate was right in front of me and ignored me forever. Finally, I asked if they had any of the spray fragrances, and the associate sneered in the most condescending way possible, "Those aren't allowed in California." And nothing more - no offering to help me decide on a fragrance or anything - it was as if my mere presence was so disgusting to him, he failed to do his job as an associate, and was degrading to me, to boot.

In general, their products are very annoying and niche, in a pretentious hippie dippie sort of way. Sorry, but it's better to buy henna and indigo elsewhere for a tiny fraction of the price, and no need to go through all that crap melting it in a pot, either.

They have a lot of bad stuff - the Fairy Dust, scented in a toddler bubble gum way, just gets into my nose - too powdery. Their moisturizers, facial cleansers/balms, and pretty much everything else - is just meh to bad. They have a few good products, like some of their soaps - and some amazing scents like the Godmother. But overall, the whole vibe of Lush is just exclusionary, hipster, hippie, and hateful. And oh yeah, their stuff is overpriced - that's necessary for a store and associates to be so stuck-up.

I'm an easy star-giver, so I give 2 stars, despite so many awful products and service. A few products/scents are good, they are very innovative and unique, and once in a while, employees do bother to interact with me on their own.

Tip for consumers: If you look like the right type, by all means, go to their stores. Employees will be all over you. But if you don't look like you fit into an upscale, white, Millenial, hippie, hipster vibe - prepare to be ignored, treated condescendingly, and assumed to know nothing about their overrated products.

I'm surprised all these reviews are on the functionality of the meetup website and bad customer service for meetup organizers. I'm writing from the perspective of a longtime meetup attendee, though I've never been an organizer.

Meetups in my area attract a specific type of people - well-educated, bougie, liberal, hipster, tech bro/girl, clique-ish, stuckup, exclusionary. If you don't seem to fit into their subcultures (even if you do), you'll be ignored and rejected to death at meetups. Going there is totally useless, and you'll be hurt because you try hard to socialize, be nice, make friends, network - but no one wants anything to do with you. I always see other people exchanging contact info at meetups - but I'm just ignored. Once in a while, people might chat with me briefly, and then fail to exchange contact info - they want nothing to do with me anymore. Meetup organizers are unfriendly, just in their cliques as well. In SF, a large number of Meetups are advertising vehicles for cool Millenial startups, like those data classes.

In short - if you're popular overall, like in school and the workplace - you'll make plenty of good friends and connections at meetups, and may find dates and even a significant other. However, if you're someone who's generally disliked and looked down on everywhere - ugly looks, heavyset, scared, awkward, appears weird to others, undesirable ethnicity - combination of some of those factors - then meetups are completely useless - you'll just be hurt to death by the all-out exclusion, ignoring, fail to follow up, ghosting, cruelty, and judgmental attitudes towards you.

Total fail. -10000 stars.

Tip for consumers: Meetups are a great way to make friends or find a significant other for popular, attractive white people. Terrible and useless for people who are unfairly judged and excluded everywhere, i.e., ugly, Asian, awkward, etc.

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