Meet the Expert: Sophie Coombes
Sophie Coombes started her beauty career when she was 17. She completed her level 2 and 3 in Beauty Therapy and as soon as she finished she went straight into work.
Sophie worked in a few different Spas and Salons but says, “There was nothing I fully enjoyed until I joined Benefit Cosmetics. I started as a Brow Expert in the Swansea Debenhams and I just loved it instantly! I loved the brand and quality of services and I knew I had found where I wanted to be!”
Her highlight in her Benefit career was when she became a Brow Guru. “It was such an achievement and I truly believed that I wouldn't get picked! It helped me with my Benefit Passport, all things training and I got to attend events and it helped me with my new job role at Benefit as Field Training Manager.”
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was younger I wanted to be a nurse, I then quickly realised I am no good with needles and could never do the job. So then I decided I wanted to be an English teacher. I always loved the idea of helping people grow and having a big impact on people's lives. I was never any good Maths or Science, but would always get good grades in English and thought that was the route for me to teach in.
It’s great to see you still achieved your dream of training people and helping them grow within their careers. Can you tell us about the Passport Programme and your progression within the brand to your dream role as a Field Training Manager?
Passport is an amazing progression programme that helped me get my dream job role. You start off on the Beauty Advisor to Account Manager Passport and it has a range of tasks to complete in order for you to progress to Account Manager. I was so excited to start this as I felt like I had more responsibility on counter. I always worked closely with the training team as they knew training was the route I wanted to take and helped support training when I could and then we realised I was marking off tasks that were on the Account Manager to Field Training Manager Passport as well as the Beauty Advisor to Account Manager Passport so I started to complete both. I then saw the Field Training Manager job for my region and I just had to go for it and I still can't believe I got the job! I have always been a very driven person, but Passport really enlightened me into what I needed to do in order to succeed.
What have been your highs and lows of your career so far?
I have always loved my job role at Benefit. I've had so many high points to my career. I started on counter part time whilst working in a bar on weekends. From that to becoming a Field Training Manager, it still hasn't sunk in that I got the job. I would definitely say when our Lead Brow Expert left Benefit, I got asked to step up more and it made me so motivated and I felt that people trusted me. Also becoming a Brow Guru and meeting the Global Brow Expert for Benefit, he was the most inspiring person as he started off part time on counter too. It made me feel that I can really go all the way.
I haven't had any low points at Benefit, I have always had a good relationship with management and I always wanted to do my best, so it made my job so much easier. Working weekends can be hard when your friends and family don't work weekends, but it's also when you are at your busiest and my days just used to fly by!
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a career in beauty?
My advice to anyone starting in the Beauty Industry would be to get to know your customers on a deeper level. People will pay for a good treatment, but if you really get to know them and be interested in their life, they will come back to you and no one else, it's the most powerful tool you can have as a therapist.
What’s in your makeup bag right now?
In my makeup bag right now I have Benefits new Love Tint lip and cheek stain, I am normally a nude lipstick girl, but it’s nice to switch it up and go for a fiery red every now and then. I also have Benefits Precisely My Brow Pencil, it’s probably my favourite product they have ever made and I will never stop using it! I also never leave the house without a lip balm, I always get dry lips so I have one in my makeup bag, one in my car and I carry one in my jacket just in case.