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How to become a beauty consultant – a step-by-step guide

4-minute read

Sarah Westbrook

Sarah Westbrook

6 June 2019

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If you’re keen on becoming a self-employed beauty consultant, here’s what you need to know – including how to get experience as an in-store beauty consultant first.

What is a beauty consultant?

A beauty consultant offers advice on beauty products in order to sell them to clients. Beauty consultants do this by offering makeovers and product samples, and talking to clients about things like skin care regimes and cosmetics that may suit them.

Beauty consultants work at the beauty counters in department stores, in salons and in spas. Some beauty consultants are self-employed and don’t work at a specific retail location – they may host parties to sell products, or promote cosmetics on social media or over the phone.

Beauty advisor duties and responsibilities

A beauty consultant or beauty advisor at a department store is responsible for managing a makeup counter and promoting the products to customers. Duties usually involve:

  • keeping the makeup counter neat and tidy and restocking products
  • answering customer queries and giving advice on cosmetics
  • showcasing the products, perhaps by offering samples or doing makeovers
  • handling transactions such as sales and returns, and gift wrapping items

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Becoming an in-store beauty consultant

If you want to get experience as a beauty consultant before setting up your own business, you could become a beauty consultant in a shop or department store. You’re unlikely to need any particular qualifications, although you may be expected to have some GCSEs, including English and Maths. A diploma or NVQ in a retail or beauty-related course isn’t usually essential, but may help you find a job.

To get a job as a beauty consultant (and to eventually start a successful business) you’ll need to be friendly and approachable, willing to learn about the products you’re selling, and neatly presented. Retail experience will be a plus when you’re applying for jobs, and a knowledge of and passion for cosmetics will definitely help.

You may be able to find an apprenticeship in retail or beauty that could help you get started. You can search for apprenticeships on the government’s website.

Selling beauty products from home

You can also sell beauty products from home as a beauty consultant or representative of a particular brand.

There are lots of big health and beauty brands that work with freelance beauty representatives in the UK, including The Body Shop, Avon, and Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Check the websites of your favourite cosmetics brands to see if they’re looking for beauty representatives, and if so what kind of package they offer.

Part of your business might involve visiting different clients and doing makeovers in their homes. You'll be expected to know the right products to use and advise them on different aspects of their beauty regime.

Becoming a freelance beauty consultant – step-by-step

Once you’ve chosen which brand(s) you want to represent, you need to fill in an online application form and then get a starter pack of products or a brochure from the company. The startup cost will vary depending on the company, but you may have to spend around £50 or £60 on your initial pack of products.

1. Write your business plan

Remember it’s a business you’re setting up, so you should spend some time putting your business plan together. This will help you work out your overall goals and how to go about achieving them.

2. Sort the legalities

As you’ll be earning freelance income you’ll need to choose a legal structure for your business, which means working out whether you want to be a sole trader or a limited company. There are pros and cons for each structure – find out more about sole trader vs a limited company.

Sole traders will need to register as self-employed with HMRC, whereas limited companies have to set one up properly.

3. Market your products

Next, you need to find ways to sell the products, whether it’s by hosting health and beauty parties, promoting the products to your friends and family, or using online tools like social media or an online store to spread the word. If you’re promoting a particular brand, they may offer you some form of training or support.

When you make sales, most of the money will go back to the company, but you’ll receive a commission (a cut of the profits) on what you sell. For example, you might receive 25 per cent of the profit, and also receive other perks like free or discounted beauty products.

4. Build your network

You don’t usually need any particular qualifications or experience to sell beauty products from home. To be successful, however, you’ll need to be a good salesperson and ideally have a wide network of people to promote your products to. Having a large social media following is likely to help.

Beauty representatives can earn lots of money by selling beauty products from home, but it can be hard work to make sales. Many people do it alongside another job or childcare commitments, because it can be flexible and part time.

5. Choose the right beauty consultant insurance

Having the right beauty consultant insurance policy in place can protect you, making sure you can continue trading if the worst happens. Here are the key covers for most businesses:

  • public liability insurance – this covers you if someone is injured or their property is damaged and then they blame your business
  • employers’ liability insurance – if you grow your business and take on staff, it’s likely that this will be a legal requirement. It covers you if a member of staff gets ill or injured as a result of working for you
  • professional indemnity insurance – as a beauty consultant you’ll be giving advice to clients – this covers you if you make a mistake that leads to a financial or professional loss for them

There are covers available for your stock and equipment, too, so be sure to check out all your options.

How are you getting on with starting up your beauty consultant business? Tell us in the comments below.

Insure your beauty consultant business

Find tailored beauty consultant insurance with Simply Business. Combine the likes of public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, and stock cover in one single policy. Run a quick quote online now.

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Sarah Westbrook

Written by

Sarah Westbrook

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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