What’s the difference between a beauty consultant and a retail assistant?

18 Feb 2022 / Artisan People

beauty consultant trying the lipstick
If you want to work in luxury retail, it would be useful to have an idea of the area you would enjoy working in. Luxury brands and their customers have high expectations, and whether you’re a beauty consultant or a retail assistant, you will be expected to know everything there is to know about the products you’re selling. So before we explore the differences between a beauty consultant and a retail assistant, let’s look at the similarities.

Customer service excellence as standard

Whatever your role and whatever retail outlet you’re working for – be it high end or not – passion and enthusiasm will help you succeed. There’s an old business adage that ‘people buy from people’, and this has never been more important in retail work. People now go to the shops because they want the experience – otherwise they’d stay at home and order online. So long gone are the days when sales assistants stood around gossiping even when customers were trying to get their attention – thank goodness!

Whether you’re working as a beauty consultant or a retail assistant, you must be passionate about what you’re doing, and as enthusiastic about helping customers at the end of a long shift as you are at the beginning. You must also do your homework so you’re knowledgeable about what you’re selling. Luxury retailers will provide product training so you have all the knowledge you’ll need in order to do a great job of selling.

In the retail environment, there are times when you’ll be extremely busy and many customers could be making demands on your time. In which case you must be able to remain calm and patient. At other times things will be very quiet, so you need to be able to motivate yourself to keep busy.

What does a beauty consultant do?

Whether specialising in makeup or skincare, the role of a beauty consultant is to help customers find the right products for their needs. You will be helping customers choose which products to buy and must be able to recommend the ones that will work best for them. You don’t need qualifications to do the job, but you do need to know your subject.

We expect our makeup consultants to be able to match base products such as foundations and concealers with skin tones, understand colours that work well together, and be able to apply makeup to other people and educate them on makeup application if necessary.

Our skincare consultants must have a good understanding of different skin types, common skin-related problems and allergies, and skincare routines. Detailed product knowledge is necessary to be able to safely recommend the best products for each customer’s skin.

What does a retail assistant do?

Retail assistants do not need to have such a detailed knowledge of specific products as beauty consultants do. If you’re working in luxury fashion retail, you do need an eye for style and fashion as you will be advising customers about styles and colours that will suit their body type, skin tone and personality. It is a hugely important part of the customer service experience that you will be expected to provide. Your aim is to advise the customer on clothes that will make them look great and to make them feel valued enough to come back into the store time and time again.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Contact us today – send us your CV and tell us more about yourself and your ambitions.


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