The path to become a beauty sales representative depends on whether the title refers to a retail salesperson that sells directly to customers or a person who represents the manufacturer to other organizations, businesses or agencies; the terms "representative" and "salesperson" are used synonymously, leading to some confusion. At the very least, a person who wants to become a beauty sales representative who sells to customers directly must contact the manufacturer and complete a simple application process. People who want to become a beauty sales representative that works with other groups needs more extensive training, with sales experience, cosmetology training and on-the-job training ideal.
When a person is looking for a job she can do on the side, independently or from home, "beauty sales representative" usually means the individual works as a mobile retail associate, showing customers the available products, taking payments and delivering the cosmetics. For this position, cosmetic companies prefer a high school diploma or equivalent. An interested individual who wants to work in this capacity must contact the company, apply to be a representative, pay a fee that covers initial training and supplies, and start networking. The representative's success depends on her own aggressiveness in sharing cosmetic information and products, as well as her ability to manage the business aspects of selling such as tracking orders. Companies such as Mary Kay and Avon are famous for these types of sales positions.
Some beauty sales representatives want more stable work and therefore concentrate on store sales. These are the representatives people see behind the counter at cosmetic stores. The process for becoming this type of representative is virtually the same as that for becoming an independent representative, except that the applicant does not need to pay a fee. They do have to submit a formal application with a resume and complete an interview, however.
When someone wants to become a beauty sales representative, they also can mean someone who tries to make sales arrangements with larger organizations or groups. These representatives sell products but also carry out higher-level tasks such as marketing research, construction of sales reports, scheduling appointments and filing expense accounts. They may be "inside," "outside," or "field" representatives, meaning that they try to provide information and generate interest in the cosmetics from within an office or by going to the client directly.
To become a beauty sales representative who works with larger groups, the first step is to get cosmetology training or go to makeup school, with employers preferring a college degree for positions of management. This education demonstrates that the student is proficient in cosmetics and their application and safety. Becoming a cosmetologist typically requires licensure, but being a makeup artist does not. This takes one semester to two years, depending on which direction a candidate takes. During this time, an individual should work in other sales positions to gain experience.
Following a cosmetology or makeup artist education, it's time to look for an internship with a cosmetics company. These positions may or may not be paid, depending on the company. An internship gives hands-on experience in the field under the supervision of an experienced beauty sales representative. In some instances, a person may get a permanent position with the cosmetics company with which she interns, depending on the company's needs. If she is not able to do this, a candidate may use the experience to tweak her resume and apply to other beauty sales representative jobs, after which companies usually provide a brief period of on-the-job training.
In looking for a job, beauty sales representatives may have a competitive edge if they become certified, regardless of whether they sell directly to clients or to groups. Individuals may do this under general sales certifications such as the Certified Professional Manufacturers' Representative (CPMR) or Certified Sales Professional (CSP). This is especially useful for direct-sales workers, as they do not always have a makeup or cosmetology certification or license to indicate their expertise.