Confessions of a Cosmetics Girl

I always thought it was funny when people thought working in cosmetics was a glamorous job.  Very little of the job is glamorous.  Don’t forget working in cosmetics is still a retail job.  For anyone who has ever worked in retail you know what that includes:  angry/nasty customers, unloading shipments of products, inventory, working on holidays, standing on your feet, and being over worked and under paid.  The difference with cosmetics is that you’re supposed to do all of this while looking flawless with a perfectly beat face and gorgeous skin with a smile on your face… was exhausting.
I worked in cosmetics “part time” while I attended esthetics school.  The reason that’s in quotes is because I was labeled and paid as a part time associate but I worked full time hours.  At the time I couldn’t be too picky because the store I worked at was very flexible in working around my school schedule.  Monday through Friday I was in class from 8am-12pm.  I’d change clothes at school, eat in the car, and go straight to work from 12:30 or 1pm until whenever.  I was usually off by 9pm or 10pm but during the holidays I was there until after midnight.  Of course when shopping for makeup women are usually excited and don’t think about the person actually selling the products but most women I’ve worked with in cosmetics had a similar schedule to mine with very little time and patience.
Cosmetics is also a sales job.  The more you sell the more you make from commission.  This usually is what can turn a super sweet and pretty cosmetics girl into a money hungry bitch if you mess with her.  Let me explain.  In sales there is always someone trying to steal your customer (i.e. steal your sale, i.e. steal your money).  I’ve had other sales people take products out of my hand in front of a customer to get the sale.  That’s the first time I flipped my shit and was ready to whoop ass at work.
I kept it classy in front of the customer but cursed that associate the hell out as soon as I got the chance.
Needless to say there is a lot that can go on behind the scenes in the cosmetics department.  So behind those pretty faces is usually a lot of stress and pressure.  The customers never really helped make the job easier either.  Here are a few things that really made the job unbearable at times.

1.  Customers who want a free makeover.

This is something that was done back in the day.  Today, nothing is free.
Yes we make an hourly rate but it’s not a whole lot so we rely on commission.  The rule at the counter where I worked was that the customer had to purchase at least 2 items so I could make at least some commission to make it worth my while.  What I found was smart ass customers would buy the cheapest 2 products so I still wouldn’t make any commission.  So I implemented my own rules….depending on the day I would set a dollar amount that the customer would have to spend.  That amount really depended on my mood, how much I had sold for the day, and what my goal was (Yes, in cosmetics we are given daily, weekly and monthly sales goals.).  Sometimes the amount was $50 and sometimes it was $100.  Don’t get me wrong I love doing makeup but I also love making money.

2.  Needy customers.

These people never know what they want and that’s ok.  But when you take up so much of my time being indecisive and then don’t get anything or disregard everything you asked me I get annoyed.
Good example, I tried to avoid lipstick customers.  So many women would come in claiming they wanted a new lip color because they’ve been wearing the same one for 10 years.  Usually these women are close to my mom’s age, between late 40s into her 50s.  T hey look at and try on at least 20 colors only to repurchase the same color they claim to be tired of.  Now, I can be indecisive too but every time someone touches a lipstick we’re supposed to sanitize it.  That’s a lot of work for nothing.  And the commission from a lipstick sale would be about $.35.

3.  Cheap customers.

I understand being on a budget, but department store cosmetics have ALWAYS been more expensive than products at the drug store.  That’s just the way it is.  Women would get so offended and upset at the cost of certain items.  It’s not my fault that mascara is damn near $20 and foundation is at least $30.  And don’t get me started on skin care customers.  They want a miracle in a jar for under $20….yearh right.

4.  The “I’ll just go to Belk” customers.

 When people don’t get their way they would always threaten to go to another department store.My response was always “OK.” Those are the customers that don’t spend much money so I’d rather them leave me alone and get out of my face rather than deal with the attitude and make $.50 commission, if that.  Good bye!
Ok, that’s it for now.  Let me know if you guys like this kind of post and want to hear more.  Don’t forget to subscribe and share on your social media!


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