October 19, 2015 - Posted by Mickey Tortorelli

With the ever evolving front of the cosmetics industry and fast changing trends, it can be a daunting task for beauty advisors to remain current and relatable to their customers.

The good news is that the core values and characteristics to providing outstanding service still remain the same. We've interviewed cosmetic industry experts on advice and tips for beauty advisors in the retail environment. Whether you're just starting out in the industry or are looking to improve your skills, we hope that these words of wisdom will be an aid to your career!

This month we interviewed Glenda Raketti, the Cosmetics Operational Experience Coordinator from Shoppers Drug Mart.

1. What is the most valuable piece of advice you can share about the importance of training?

More than ever, customers have access to information so the old adage "fake it 'til you make it" is more unacceptable than ever in the beauty industry! With the opportunity to buy everything from their mobile device or desk top computer, beauty advisors need to add value for the customer to give them a reason to come and see you. So, being well prepared with product knowledge and tips and techniques will make the difference to them! 

2. What advice would you give to someone starting out in the cosmetic industry?

It can be overwhelming at first with all of the products out there, but stick to it and educate yourself through vendor schools, BeauteSchool online learning, your company training programs, etc. You can really expedite your learning by keeping up on trends through beauty columns in magazines and popular lifestyle television shows, but also find out what the buzz is in the market by checking out popular beauty bloggers and YouTube videos. I find that those individuals who go out and soak up all the information that they can are much more successful than those who just wait for it to come to them. 

3. What qualities do you think are the most important in order to be successful as a Beauty Advisor?

Passion for people, patience and the products you sell. I have seen excellent makeup artists who did not embrace being around people and selling to them. Working in retail beauty requires enthusiasm and a congenial personality! Patience is a virtue in this career as you are dealing with people and there are times that your patience will be required. I once had a customer who must have visited me around 25 times asking many, many questions and hemming and hawing over every single recommendation. But, because I always treated her like she was the most important person in the world (admittedly this was difficult at times), she ultimately returned to make a very sizable sale close to $1000. After that, she was my loyal customer and would accept my advice readily!

4. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Beauty Advisors in the cosmetics and fragrance industry?

There are more ways for your customers to access information that they would have traditionally visited you for. You need to make yourself memorable and shine in the customer's eyes to keep their business with you. Don't be pushy and try to just make a sale, try to build a relationship that with them! I think one of the great things about Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Advisors is that they are able to offer unbiased service - recommending the brand is right for the customer based on a number of factors personal to each customer. 

5. What are the changes or innovations you see in how Beauty Advisors will learn in the future?

I see a great opportunity for quick learning "bites'. Everything has become so fast-paced that people want to receive their training "just in time" and in a quick way. Mobile is also a way of the future so people can learn on the go.

Glenda's background:

  • 20+ years of experience in the beauty industry
  • Worked both retail and central office - Learning & Development and now in National Cosmetic operations
  • 2005 COSA winner
  • Look Good Feel Better volunteer
  • Works full time, busy mom of two and writes occasionally on her own beauty blog, 

If you would like to participate in the “Beauty Expert Feature", please contact us!

We would love to share your tips and advice for those working in the industry. Just leave your contact information below to let us know you would like to participate.

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“This course gave me some great information to share with my customers and some great info to help me determine the best fragrance for them.”
Beauty Advisor
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