A beauty consultant typically works behind a cosmetics or skincare counter of a department store or commercial outlet and advises customers on the best products to buy that will suit their needs. A beauty consultant would be expected to undertake the following duties;
- Sell products. A beauty consultant is expected to sell the products they represent. They will often be set targets and earn commission on reaching and exceeding those targets
- Give Makeovers. Consultants can give free makeovers to customers to demonstrate different products, especially those that will best suit their customer's needs. The demonstration of products is an essential part of the sales process allowing customers to try before they buy
- Give Advice. A beauty consultant will be expected to give advice to customers relating to their product range; best skincare products for their skin type, skincare regime, cosmetics to suit their colouring etc
- Stock and Display. Consultants have to ensure their counter is adequately stocked with products, keeping an eye on stock levels throughout the day and replenishing where necessary. They also have to ensure their products are displayed attractively
- Handle Transactions. Beauty consultants have to effectively manage transactions; taking payments, gift wrapping, enclosing trial products, giving out gift vouchers
Hours and Working Environment
Most consultants work within department stores that typically are bright, noisy and busy with customers. Beauty consultants spend a lot of time on their feet. Typically hours of work match shop opening and closing times 9.30am - 5.30pm. Most stores have late night opening atleast one night a week which will possibly involve you working late. Some weekend work is also a distinct possibility.
Opportunities exist for working overtime in the lead up to Xmas, busiest time of year of retailers.
Skills and Personal Qualities
- Excellent People Skills. This is a direct customer facing role often in very busy environments. Consultants have to be self confident, sociable, welcoming, friendly and polite.
- Well Groomed. Beauty Consultants have to be immaculate in their appearance and wear expertly applied makeup. Not only are they representing a product but cannot give advice to customers on looking their best if they look a mess themselves
- Good at Selling. Beauty consultants often work in highly competitive environments, their product competing against many others. Think of the cosmetics counters at Debenhams or John Lewis. It's essential they can attract people to their counter and pursuade them to buy their products
- High Standards. As well as their own appearance a beauty consultant has to have high standards when it comes to their own work stations ensuring they are kept clear of rubbish (dropped tissues), clean and fully stocked at all times
- Attentive. A Beauty Consultant has to be attentive at all times to their customer's needs and in most cases anticpate their requirements; tissue to wipe makeup off hand, guidance
There are no formal qualifications normally required to work as a Beauty Consultant. However it helps to have a beauty therapy background and to have prior experience in retail, sales or customer services.
Most product houses provide an in house induction training for new consultants.
Some beauty therapy courses include options on beauty consultancy such as;
City & Guilds (level 2) in beauty consultancy
VCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust) certificate in cosmetic make-up and beauty consultancy
BTEC level 2 certificate & diploma in retail beauty consultancy
Potential Salary and Benefits
Salaries often depend on a multitude of different factors therefore the following should be taken as a rough guidelines.
Beauty Consultants starting out - Between £11K and £13K a year
More experienced consultants - up to around £19K a year
Area Managers can earn £30K a year
Beauty consultants can earn more by commission if they reach their sales targets
Opportunities and Progression
Beauty Consultants typically work in department stores either for the store itself or for a cosmetics or skincare company operating a concession within the store. However beauty consultants can also find work on cruise liners and at airport terminals. Some even operate on a self employed status running part of their business from home and hosting parties to sell products
For those wanting to make it up the career ladder there are opportunities to become senior consultants, area managers or area sales reps.