There is a continual misconception that Beauty Consultants are air-heads who stand at counters all day, holding perfume bottles like weapons ready to spritz and gas any poor soul who happens to stroll by. I’m a Beauty Consultant for the fantastic Benefit Cosmetics at Selfridges; an American brand that makes packaging so wonderful everyone is compelled to buy something. However, my day is not an easy-breezy-stand-there-and-look-pretty; reality is a far cry from this stereotype.
Yes, I dance and sing and giggle on counter but the pressure we are all under is continual, namely...the pressure to look good. Women come to you for help and guidance on how they can improve their ‘look’, so you have to first ensure you are perfectly groomed so they’ll feel trusting and comfortable in your reliable well manicured hands. The pressure to look meticulous as a Beauty Consultant every day is, I’d say, 85% but for me working at the world famous Selfridges store with the world’s largest Beauty Hall, it’s more like 150%. Always in high heels, even if you buy a pair of shoes and realise the designer clearly hates feet. Always smiling and giving women fabulous make-overs when all you need to do is sit down and get a foot massage so you can remember how it used to be when you could feel all five toes.
Pressure, especially when performing said ‘fabulous make-over’. It’s not like an office role in which you can save a draft and re-evaluate the next day. “Madam, I may have ruined your eye shadow, please come back tomorrow and I’ll try again” simply doesn’t wash. You have to get it right first time. This is tricky when everybody wants to be transformed in under ten minutes as they’re on their lunch break. Also, we have targets to hit. Benefit Cosmetics expect a lot from their Benebabes and as a prestigious global beauty brand it is quite rightly so.
The plus sides? The eye- candy! There are always half naked male models strolling around Selfridges promoting one thing or the other, which is a treat for the eyes in a hall full of women! However what makes me smile more than the delightful tanned testosterone, are my clients. Sometimes they sit down and talk to me and I know they just wanted someone to listen. You never know what story she’ll have behind her and share with me, which I just love. Not to mention my celebrity clients too. Serving Gaby Roslin and Lulu Guinness in the same day was quite something, I can tell you! Also, I don’t need to buy another piece of make-up again; I am drowning in Benetint and High Beam these days. Oh, and yes, walking and dancing all day keeps my legs and bum totally toned. That’s got to be a benefit at Benefit (oh the cheesy pun, I couldn’t resist!).