Some of the happiest, proudest, and most fulfilling moments in my life happened when I was a Beauty Advisor (hereafter to be referred to as BA) for Clinique, Estee Lauder, and Lancôme. Unfortunately, some of my most stressful, exasperating, and frustrating moments have also occurred during this time. If you would indulge me for a moment ….please be nice to your BA. Here’s why.
- We’re not all mean girls. You know what I’m talking about. That preconceived notion that BA’s are nothing more than conceited, arrogant women or men. In some instances that be true. But if you get to know us, you’ll see that we are friendly, love what we do, and honestly want to provide you with top-notch skin care and cosmetics advice. If you get to know a particular BA, they will be your friend for life at that counter! They’ll throw some samples in your bag, give you advance notice of special sales and promotions, and let you know when company makeup artists are in town. And, believe me, you do not want to miss that day!
- We’re not airheads. A customer once referred to me as one. Not to my face, but as she was leaving my counter. I find your lack of faith disturbing. BA’s are highly trained professionals. Some are even licensed cosmetologists with years of school and training. Cosmetic companies require their BA’s to have multiple, off site trainings throughout the year, including role playing segments (UGH. Just UGH!!!). Regional managers also stop in frequently for additional on-site trainings and product updates. Our clients are the ones who benefit from the knowledge gained through this continuous training.
- We’re not just “perfume sprayers”. I also had that lovely little ditty thrown at me before. Do you know how many products some beauty lines have? Besides fragrance? Multiple skin care lines for different types of skin concerns; four or five mascaras that do completely different things; lip products in hundreds of shades, formulations, and finishes; twenty shades of foundations in various formulas; concealers and color correctors; waterproof formulas of multiple products; hair products; and deodorants for crying out loud. Not to mention all the limited edition, holiday promotions, and gifts with purchase. As stated previously in point #2, I am a highly trained professional and not just in perfume.
- Can you make me look like Rihanna? While I am completely confident in my skills as a makeup artist, no I cannot make you look like Rihanna. I can try to use similar colors and products on you, but here are the facts. You might be a 40 year old woman with completely different features. I may not have the fluorescent green eyeshadow she is wearing in that picture. And that picture is an advertisement for (insert company name here) that has most-likely been photo shopped and airbrushed. I also cannot make you look like the client that just left my counter. We all look different. Products that work well for one person may not work for you. Companies have different colors and collaborations with celebrities. If you have your heart set on using colors from an ad that you’ve seen in a copy of InStyle, it might be best to try that brand first. MAC will thank you and so will I. I will not be offended.
- Don’t let my look scare you away. Please don’t assume that because I look like Snow White’s spinster Aunt that I’m going to make you look the same way. Paler than snow skin, black eyeliner, completely matte face with blood red lips is just my signature look. BA’s have so many colors to choose from, and if you have an idea of what you want to try, say it loud and proud! One of our great joys is to play with different skin tones, face shapes, and individuals that love cosmetics as much as we do. If you want rose gold colors, that’s what we’re going to go for!
You may have noticed that I left out a few controversial BA topics: sales, sales goals, and pushy BA’s. That may be a future post, if I have the strength. I prefer to keep my blog on the positive Dark Side. That’s not always possible but try I do. Being a BA is a glamorous, fun, sometimes difficult and stressful job but it is also very rewarding. I wouldn’t change 95% of it, except the few things I mentioned today. Be nice and thank your BA today! Ask the cosmetic department if you can run to the food court and get them a drink! Send pictures and thank you notes after they do your makeup for an event! They will never forget you!