Working on a beauty counter has been the most amazing yet exhausting thing on my CV to date. I started out working full time on counter on my gap year, and then dropped my hours down to accommodate university when I began studying. This week marks the end of my beauty journey, and I wanted to share my experiences with you in case you were thinking of starting a career in beauty or are just curious about what it’s like to work on counter.
The single most brilliant thing about working on a counter is the customers. You get to have such good fun meeting people, and no two days are ever the same. The customers are the reason I stayed in this job for so long, I just loved how interesting it was to meet people from all walks of life. Everyone has a story to tell and you’ll be surprised at how much people value being able to sit down, enjoy some pampering and tell theirs to you.
The creativity is also another amazing aspect of working on counter. I think this largely depends on the brand that you work for, but day to day the job is really productive, active and a very creative way to spend your time. I have done literally hundreds of people’s makeup, from brides to birthday girls to ballroom dancers. It’s an incredible way to learn some really good makeup artistry skills as no two faces are the same. If you’re thinking of a career as a makeup artist experience on counter is a must.
The sales are something I enjoyed. I was a really enthusiastic counter girl and I loved the products I was using on customers, so selling them came really naturally to me. I think the key to success in sales lies in two things. Firstly you’ve got to be passionate about the products you are selling and really love and believe in the brand you are representing. Secondly, you’ve got to absolutely have the customers best interest at heart. If you are genuine and give customers the information they want to know in a gentle way you will find success. But you have to listen to them and give them an honest answer. Half of the job is problem solving, and if you’ve got the product that will do that, great. If you don’t, be honest! A customer once asked me a for a dual eye shadow stick, which we didn’t do but a drug store brand did. I told the lady that and she thanked me and left. Less than five minutes later she was back and having a consultation with me using the high end products as she valued my honesty. She became a regular customer and that’s the kind of thing that’s really valuable in such a competitive industry.
That being said, the frustrating thing about working on counter is the sales. Your targets will literally never end. Every week and every shift you’ve got a target to meet which is then analysed and scrutinised by your management. It’s a hard job; it requires a steely determination and a combination of self-belief, focus and motivation in order to succeed. You’ve always got to be switched on, always got to be productive and always got to be making money!
I’ve really enjoyed the past four years on counter; it was a great experience and something I would recommend if you want a challenging part time job or a career in the industry. For me it was a brilliant experience whilst at university, I enjoyed the challenge of the role and it’s taught me so many transferable skills that employers want to see.
But now i’ve officially hung my pinny up and left the beauty halls to start the next chapter of my story. If you have any questions about working in beauty tweet me @BeautyAdviceBlg or comment below.