How to: Get a job on a make up counter

I thought this would be a good post to write, as it is one of my most asked questions either on Twitter, via email or in real life. So I thought I would write a post with just some tips and hints on how you could nab yourself a job on a make up counter.

You might be thinking why? Why would someone even want a job on a make up counter? Working on a counter is the best and easiest way to build yourself up as an make up artist. You gain undeniable experience on a counter, with SO many faces to practise on, so many products at your disposal. You get FREE practise everyday and you get paid for it. Not only that, but pretty much every counter offers their employees discount, so its an amazing way to build up your kit! So how do you get one?

First things first: some counters are easier to get a job on than others. Don't expect to get straight to MAC without prior counter experience or at least some sort of training. Start small and build yourself up. 

I started on Armani, which was a great artistry focused brand with some amazing products. They didn't require any other counter experience, only make up experience which at the time I had built up with freelance. Other brands that I know don't require make up artistry experience? Benefit, Smashbox and Bare Minerals are great brands to start with. Have a look and research the brands to find one that is a good fit for you! Then write and tailor CVs and cover letters to those brands! 

Secondly, apply apply apply. Believe me, I was at Tesco on nights for YEARS. In the day I would freelance and apply for as many make up counters as I possibly could. I was so down on my luck and didn't think I would honestly ever get given an opportunity. Its hard but keep going! You can and will get there. Just keep applying, keep your CV up to date and tailor every cover letter to the job you are applying for. I actually got my break via Linked In for Armani! 

Take as many photos of your work that you can! When it comes to being interviewed, you WILL need to show your work. I didn't have a professional portfolio, but I did have photos on my phone which I showed them. I showed interviewers pictures of not only my make up, so they could get an idea of my style, but also and more importantly work on other people. Truly, you can be the best person in the world at applying make up on yourself, but if you can't show you can apply it on other people and interact with customers, then you'll need to work on it. Even Benefit, who's process is more of an audition, require you to apply make up on others. Not to see if you can, but to see how you are with customers and more importantly, if you can sell.  If you can just show you have tried and done something to improve yourself as an artist, they will see that. Have a professional portfolio? Even better!

This is one of my very first looks on the blog *cringe* VS one of my newer looks. Don't be afraid to show your artistry and show how much you have improved and learnt over the past few years! It shows you are committed and have a passion for the industry. 

Show your passion. I do firmly believe the reason I got my break at Armani was because my interviewer could SEE my passion. She took a chance on me and I'm SO glad she did. In my interviews, I was always relentlessly passionate. You have between 10minutes to an hour to show them who you are, so don't hold back! I told her exactly how much I wanted it, what I had been doing, about my blog, about whatever I had done to improve myself. I do believe that if you want it, you will get it! 

Don't give up! You will get rejected, trust me. I got rejected probably hundreds of times and it is soul destroying. Just keep going, keep improving yourself, keep freelancing and getting your hands on as many faces as possible! You can do it!

Kayleigh x

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  1. I used to always want to work at a makeup counter and think these tips would definitely have inspired me! Showing off your work is definitely a major thing x

  2. I have considered trying out for a job like this for such a long time. I never knew where too start so thanks so much for the tips. I'm happy applying make-up to myself and friends/family as a hobby for now but it might be something I dip into in the future!

    Amber -


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