A beauty consultant will usually work in a department store, in the cosmetics beauty section. They can be employed by either the store itself, or sometimes by a cosmetic company in order to sell that specific company's products. A beauty consultant typically helps customers select the right products for them, taking into account skin type, age and lifestyle.
The work of a beauty consultant is likely to include:
Recommending products suitable for a customers skin type, colouring and face shape
Demonstrating products to customers
Promoting specific products
Giving demonstrations to groups, either for the store or an outside organisation
Making notes of regular customers in order to provide a personalised service
Displaying and restocking products
Carrying out routine sales tasks such as handling payments and wrapping purchases.
Some consultants work on a self employed basis, touring peoples homes in order to give personal demonstrations, and to sell directly to them.
Normally, a beauty consultant will work during store hours, which will generally be 9.00am until 5.30 or 6.00pm, five or 6 days a week, plus some Sunday work. However, there may also be some late night working, particularly in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
A self-employed consultant will set their own hours, visiting customers at appointed times, or when customers are likely to be at home.
To become a beauty consultant requires no specific qualifications, though a good standard of education will naturally be required. Personal qualities are often more important than formal qualities. Applicants should have a smart, well groomed appearance, and a high standard of personal hygiene.
Generally, training is performed on the job, though your employer may provide an induction and training course at a training centre; this may be residential. There may also be frequent short courses keeping you updated on products and techniques.
If you do take a formal qualification, these courses will be of interest:
VTCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust) Certificate in Cosmetic Make-up and Beauty Consultancy (Sales)
City and Guilds (6917) Level 2 Certificate in Beauty Consultancy
International Therapy Examinations Council (ITEC) qualifications.
Beauty consultants are usually employed to work on cosmetics counters in large department store. However, there may be some opportunities to work in airports, on cruise ships and in hotels; though these tend to be few and far between. Promotion to supervisory or managerial levels can happen.
A beauty consultant can start earning around £10,000 as a new employee, and £19,000 or more as an experienced consultant. Additionally, many consultants will earn commission based on their sales.
Beauty therapists, also known as beauticians, carry out a wide range of beauty treatments for the face and body, including manicures and pedicures, facials, makeovers and hair removal. Many beauty therapists take additional courses in aromatherapy, massage and other related areas.
As well as carrying out treatments, therapists may also be required to carry out reception and administration work, such as ordering stock and handling money. They may also have to keep notes on customers medical histories and treatment programmes, particularly in cases where doctors have referred patients.
To be a beauty therapist, you should ideally have the following qualities and skills:
A friendly and welcoming manner
Be capable of putting clients at ease
Be tactful, and have good listening skills
Be capable of explaining procedures to clients
Have commercial awareness, and the ability to sell products to customers in order to earn commission
Have a high standard of personal hygiene
Have the stamina to stay on your feet for long periods of time
Have an artistic flare, for applying nail art and make-up.
There are no set qualification requirements for a career in beauty therapy, though you will require enthusiasm, stamina and a smart appearance.
Normally, beauty therapists are trained in colleges over a one or two year course, with some work placements during this time. You may instead wish to train with a private beauty school, where the courses are shorter and more intensive. Some suppliers of beauty products will offer additional training on the use of their products.
Relevant courses for potential beauticians include:
NVQ/SVQ levels 1 to 3 in Beauty Therapy
NVQ/SVQ Level 3 in Spa Therapy
BTEC/SQA National Certificate/Diploma in Beauty Therapy Sciences
City and Guilds Certificate/Diploma in Beauty Therapy
ITEC Diploma for Beauty Specialists
VTCT Certificate/Diploma in Beauty Therapy
Foundation Degree in Beauty Therapy
BTEC HNC/HND in Beauty Therapy Sciences.
Opportunities for beauticians can range from high-street salons and department stores, to hospitals, health spas and hotels. Some opportunities also exist abroad and on cruise ships.
Beauty therapists may also be self-employed, either owning their own salon, working from home, or travelling to client's homes.
A newly qualified beautician will start earning approximately £9,500 per year, while a more experienced therapist will earn between £10,000 and £15,000. A manager or owner of a salon can also earn between £15,000 and £20,000. Therapists will also earn commission based on sales of beauty products.
Many newly qualified beauty therapists can enhance their wages by learning extra skills and offering a wider variety of treatments.