Back to Makeup: You’re Also a Client.

Max Factor cosmetics, Her Majesty's Arcade, Sydney (taken for M.G.M.), c. 1941, by Sam Hood

When I went to The Makeup Show a few weeks ago, I was struck by how expensive the “quality” professional products were — even though we were supposed to be paying professional prices, discounted even further because it was a big trade show.

Then last week, when I was sitting in detention Make-Up Time, and flipping through Milady’s as directed, I came across a few passages that helped me connect those dots. For your reading pleasure:

Page 479:

If you invest in high-quality makeup brushes, you will have them for years.

Page 471:

Quality is important when choosing products and supplies. There is a difference between high-quality makeup and less expensive generic brands. The quality of the products and brushes makes a big difference in how makeup application will go for you, the artist, or for your client — smoothly or not so smoothly.

Page 602:

To be successful selling products and services, you must first be motivated and committed to their value […] Looking the part and practicing your philosophies is a good way to advertise the benefits of healthy skin care.

Most of the estheticians I’ve met own at least a steamer trunk worth of makeup and have bathrooms overflowing with products. There’s a lot of talk about the different deals you can get by repping for companies, or hitting the sales at the local beauty supply stores and really digging through the trade shows. But when I consider the average salaries, I’m just not convinced the math checks out. So, will I sound naive if I now admit that I’m still a little surprised every time I realize that the whole point of beauty school is to teach us to sell products and services?

Duh, says Milady’s on page 602:

To frame the concept of sales positively, the esthetician must first accept that recommending and providing clients with quality skin care products and services is a professional responsibility.

I think a big part of me still wants the whole point to be to help people achieve healthy skin and hair and feel good about themselves. And sure, that’s part of it. All of our teachers say “making clients feel good” is what they like best about their jobs.

But we use products to do that. And we use products ourselves to “advertise the benefits of healthy skin care.” And then we try to sell our clients more products to use at home when we’re done.

To do that, we have to buy what we’re selling. First, by believing it all: The promised benefits of our services, the value of having healthy (read: younger-looking, smooth, blemish-free) skin, the self-esteem boost you’ll get from looking better.

And then by actually buying it all ourselves.

[Photo: “Max Factor cosmetics, Her Majesty’s Arcade, Sydney (Taken for M.G.M.), c. 1941, by Sam Hood” via Flickr.]

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Filed under Beauty Schooled, Career Opportunities, Customer Cult, In Class, milady's, Muddling Through Milady's, week 29

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