Byline: Julia Fellers-Green

ATLANTA — With the abundance of beauty products on the market today, and the growing number of merchants selling them, consumer choices seem limitless.
Shoppers are inundated with advertising messages and marketing promotions enticing them to try new products, shop certain stores, or click on an Internet shopping site for ease.
Despite these options, Atlanta women cited similar preferences in interviews with WWD. Here is what some had to say about where they shop, the products they use, advertising and the Internet:

Ashley Marks, 23, program manager: “I shop for fragrances and cosmetics at department stores because of the products they offer. I saw a magazine ad for a new perfume at Neiman Marcus so I went there to try it. The samples and promotions at department stores are nice because they allow you to see what the products are like on you. I wouldn’t shop on the Internet because I like hands-on sampling….I can’t look, feel, touch and smell on the computer.”

Samantha Renfro, 57, director of operations at Robert Goizueta School of Business: “I used Merle Norman cosmetics for 30 years. Now I get them from my hairdresser [who markets his own cosmetics line] for free. My fragrance is Jovan Musk from a drugstore, and I’ve been wearing it for 20 years. I usually pick a brand I like and stick with it. I’ve shopped on the Internet for books and clothes in the past, so if I found a site with good descriptions and pictures of beauty products, I’d gladly try it.”

Andrea Arena, 32, president and founder of 2 Places at 1 Time, a personal concierge service: “I shop for MAC cosmetics and cleansers at department stores because that’s the only place to get them in Atlanta. I go there for my signature fragrance, Coco Chanel, for the same reason. I usually go to drugstores for my bath products and to buy Maybelline Great Lash mascara. I think I am influenced more by what girlfriends recommend than by ads. I recently went to buy a fragrance I loved on my sister.”

Stacy Scarselletta, 26, bartender: “I go to department stores for basic cosmetics and to Bath & Body Works for scented bath products, but for newer, hipper items like glitter shadows, I go to specialty stores that carry smaller lines. I like to experiment with new products that I see and like on other people. Ads don’t influence my experimentation at all.”

Julie Duggan, 38, sales: “I shop for most bath and body products, fragrances, and cosmetics at Saks 5th Avenue because it offers the brands I like, conveniently located in one place. I enjoy trying new or different products that I see in magazine ads, and brands that are offering free gifts and promotions are always worth trying. I don’t think I would shop on the Internet because I like looking at and testing products before I buy them.”

Cameron Bishopp, 31, managing editor at Digitalsouth magazine: “I shop for cosmetics and fragrances at department stores because they offer quality brands. I’m not particular about where I buy lipsticks and nail polish. The brand does not matter — the color does. I bought lipstick and moisturizers online, and I would definitely do it again. The prices were higher, but it was worth the luxury of not having to drive to the mall and search for what I wanted.”