There’s no denying that people everywhere are infatuated with beauty. Even the makeup-phobes can’t help but catch the faces of striking models splashed across billboards, their faces painted in rosy blushes, lips puckered in bright red, and eyes coated in a gleaming shadow. The seemingly never-ending glitz and glamour of the beauty industry attracts many a bright-eyed, eager candidate, but the trick to landing one of these much-coveted gigs isn’t just a compelling interest in cosmetics, nail art, and hair and skin care. We chatted with Frances Mazur, CEO of the Mazur Group, a head-hunting firm that places beauty-loving hopefuls in companies such as L’Oreal, MAC, Kiehl’s, NYC Cosmetics, Drybar and OPI (among others), on what it takes to land a job in beauty.
Utilize a portfolio.
Even if you’re not an artist, keeping an ongoing record of what you’re doing and what you’ve done is of the utmost importance. “As you prepare for your interview, you can refer back to your file to find specific things you’ve done that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.” You can cater your portfolio to different positions, or use it to speak about your experience in a deeper way. “Showing the visuals that support your stories in an interview really sets yourself apart,” Mazur says.
Be ahead of the curve.
Beauty is all about the next big thing, whether it’s a revolutionary makeup brush or a light-as-air concealer. Staying informed on all facets of news is Mazur’s tip for accomplishing this. To stay on top of all things beauty, Mazur mentions wesbites such as Into The Gloss, Violet Gray, and HAPPI magazine— a trade publication for the health and personal care industries. Beyond beauty, be informed on what’s cutting edge at the moment. “You need to be able to look at what’s going on in the world on a broader scale, and apply that innovation to beauty,” says Mazur.
Pick your path.
There’s a multitude of directions your career in beauty can take. The five most common career routes in the industry, says Mazur, are R&D (those who are in the lab, creating cutting edge ingredients and technology, typically with a science background), product development, marketing, education and artistry. If you’ve got a keen business sense, a specialization in science, or a creative streak, chances are you can find a role that suits your strengths.
Passion, drive, and results.
Mazur’s formula for the ideal candidate is simple: passion, drive, and results. An applicant needs to have the passion for both the product and the process, the drive to get things done (as well as encourage teammates), and the results that bring success to the company.
Work your way to the top—and take advantage of opportunities along the way.
Just like Drake, you’ll have to start at the bottom. “It can be really difficult to break into the industry without starting at the entry level,” Mazur says. And, as typical in the professional realm, getting a few internships at beauty companies under your belt is a sure-fire way to set yourself apart from the competition. If you can’t find a position in beauty, getting experience at another trend-focused company (think fashion or lifestyle) will make you a more appealing applicant when the beauty gig of your dreams opens up. However, don’t think that because you’re starting on the lower end of the totem pole you won’t have an opportunity to shine early on. Particularly in smaller companies, employees have to take ownership and are granted decision making power early on in their careers.
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