Are you looking for something to tell you how to get started in the beauty business? It’s a long road, hard work and it doesn’t happen overnight. My Nana once told me, “Baby, if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” She was right, and many successful entrepreneurs like the late Steve Jobs echo the same statement. His very poignant speech to a graduating class at Stanford University back in 2005 can be applied to any job…in any sector because it’s true. Do you love beauty? If so, then this might be the career for you. I have been in the beauty business for over 20 years. I started as an artist, moved into retail and now I am a business owner, event speaker, writer and on air expert. Every job helped me along the way and gave me the experience to get to where I am today. I 100% love my job and wouldn’t trade it for the world. If you want to pursue a career in beauty, I wanted to give you some advice to inspire you and hopefully help you on YOUR way!
I get asked ALL the time how to get started in beauty blogging. My answer is always, you REALLY have to love it because it will take you a while to break through all the clutter and find your voice. I say this only because the beauty blogosphere is SO SATURATED right now. A better approach might be to pursue another avenue in the beauty business. There are SO many places you can go once you decide you want to focus on beauty, and all of them can be a fruitful adventure for someone who is dedicated and ready to hustle.
First and foremost, I think you have to identify what your strengths are and start from there. Once you get into a position, you may discover another part of the business that interests you more (that happened to me, I started out as a makeup artist and wound up elsewhere). Whatever you decide, everything you learn will help you along the way in one form or another. Its a huge plus to be knowledgeable about makeup application and skincare ingredients so that you are CREDIBLE. Many people love beauty & skincare, but that doesn’t really qualify them to be an expert on the subject. This happens ALL THE TIME. I’ve seen bloggers give bad makeup advice for women of color, bad skincare advice and so on so you have to be CAREFUL.. I saw a woman on the Today show a week or so ago (I looked her up, she wasn’t even in the beauty business). She was doing a beauty segment promoting a product, she said….and I quote, “Skincare just sits on top of your skin and does nothing, this masque goes deeper…..” So she actually tried to discredit SKINCARE in favor of a masque (which is also technically skincare by the way….) in order to promote this product. It just made her look ridiculous.
The market is LITTERED with people claiming to be experts while making irresponsible statements. Make sure your prepared so that YOU are credible and that nobody can ever say that about you. In your quest for a job in beauty, you must always be ready to fail too. In your worklife, there will be ups and downs and failure is always a learning experience. Learn how you can do better from what you didn’t do right the first time.
Now, all of this being said…if you DO want to start a blog, I would reconsider. Remember what I said earlier about saturation? It’s true. When I started 7 years ago there were maybe 20 beauty blogs. Now, there are THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS. I’m not trying to discourage you, I’m just being honest. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, why not nose around to some of your favorite blogs that have been around for a while and ask if they need writers? They are ALREADY established and trust me, they will WELCOME the help. That way you can join a team of established writers and possibly (more than likely) get paid in the process! Freelance writing is also an option here, don’t be afraid to send samples to established websites and hustle! Treat it like a job interview, get together some writing samples and familiarize yourself with the person in charge and what he/she has accomplished and go for it. Expand your NETWORK and get in where you fit in!
Here are a few skills that I think are important in the beauty business:
- Immerse yourself in beauty Make sure you know about skincare, and makeup for ALL skin tones, ALL ethnicities, ALL hair types
- Research..research…research Familiarize yourself with your favorite brands and who works where (who knows, you could work there one day!)
- Photography Make sure you use a good camera and that all photos you take are IN FOCUS.
- Photo Editing Photoshop or some other similar software to edit and make pinworthy photos.
- Social Media Keep all of your accounts up to date and PROFESSIONAL (no cussing or inappropriate language). Remember, your social accounts are a reflection of YOU. If you want to say whatever you want, make a private acct that isn’t visible to the public.
- HTML/CSS This skill isn’t 100% necessary but it definitely helps. You always want to be able to know how to run your own website if you have one AND you never know, you could start working for a brand in the online marketing department!
- Attend Industry Events You never know who you will meet, take these events as an opportunity to network, meet with your peers and possibly your future bosses. Keep the drinks to a minimum (in fact, I would sip ginger ale with a lime instead) and keep all conversations 100% professional (no talking about that ex that dumped you last summer)
- WordPress Many blogs use other platforms but as far as ease of publishing, a good deal of them use WP.
- Good grammar You would be surprised…at what people look at. If you have past tense mixed with present tense, some people won’t even look at or read anything else you have to say.
- Determination How bad do you want it? Be prepared to work hard even if you are an assistant…
You may find that your calling is in the buying department, as an ambassador for the brand, in marketing or even in production. You never know what skills you will discover about yourself once you are immersed in a career. Take your time, and be prepared to start one place, learn as much as you can and move on. By the way, all of this advice applies whether you are in the mailroom or a CEO, you must be prepared to wear many different hats. It’s really the only way you will know how EVERYTHING works.
Like I said, I am not trying to discourage anyone from starting a blog and if you are writing for pleasure then by all means. However, if you are serious about breaking into the beauty business, at this point that may not be your ticket in. Bear in mind that I started this blog when there were very few blogs that spoke about beauty. A LOT has happened in 7 years and saturation is definitely an issue. I wrote this to encourage you and to give you alternate avenues for you to pursue your beauty dreams. I would love to help in ANY way I can too so feel free to drop me a line I’d love to hear from you!