Fact Checked

What Does an Independent Beauty Consultant Do?

Kristie Lorette
Kristie Lorette

An independent beauty consultant’s main job is to sell the products or services of his or her parent company. This person is usually an entrepreneur or self-employed business owner and is not an employee of the beauty company. He or she is usually rewarded for sales with commission and other product perks, but in most cases can sell as much or as little as time and resources allow. The biggest duties of the job include marketing the products, demonstrating how they work, and making sales, and consultants often host parties and make connections in their local communities in order to achieve these goals. Processing orders and managing invoices is also a part of the job. Depending on the company, consultants may also be encouraged or rewarded for recruiting other people join the sales force.

Marketing Duties

An independent beauty consultant is a self-employed person who sells the beauty products of a certain company.
An independent beauty consultant is a self-employed person who sells the beauty products of a certain company.

The most important thing beauty consultants do is market and sell products. In a sense, the consultant is like a sales arm of the larger company, and his or her main job is to advance the products to friends, neighbors, and others in the community. This often includes providing product catalogs and marketing materials, which the consultant can customize with personal contact information. In many cases the consultant is also expected to serve as “living marketing” by wearing or using the products personally. This way, he or she can make the items seem fashionable and immediately relevant to potential buyers.

Product Demonstrations

Beauty consultants may work as a direct seller of cosmetics.
Beauty consultants may work as a direct seller of cosmetics.

Consultants are usually also responsible for fielding questions that prospects or current clients have about products. Some consultants choose to host parties in their homes or in other convenient community venues in order to demonstrate the products to a large group at once, which can increase the potential sales. Parties can also be a fun way for the consultant’s friends and family to experiment with the different products, see them in action, and learn more about the brand. Party hosts usually get special incentives like access to exclusive products and bonuses based on total sales made.

Different companies have different rules when it comes to parties. Sometimes they will provide the supplies and demo materials, but in other instances the consultant is personally responsible for purchasing these things. He or she may also be responsible for purchasing the inventory, which must then be resold for profit, whether at parties or elsewhere. In some cases, then, the consultant will assume a certain degree of upfront cost and risk, but depending on his or her sales skills, the risk often pays off with time.

Processing Sales

After a sale is made, the consultant will typically write up the orders and submit them to the parent company for processing. The consultant also needs to follow up on and keep track of the orders for delivery. Once the orders come in, the consultant is usually responsible for delivering them to each client.

Recruiting Other Sales Representatives

In some situations the independent consultant may try to recruit friends and family to join to enterprise. Many companies reward sales reps who recruit others, and consultants sometimes benefit financially from the arrangement. It’s often the case that commissions or payments are made on a “branched” system. A consultant will usually get to keep a certain percentage of whatever sales they make, but in some cases a percentage will also go to the consultant who recruited the person who made that sale. So, if Consultant A recruits his friend B to join the company, and Consultant B then makes a sale, both A and B will profit. In these situations, a person’s earning potential grows the more people he or she encourages to join.

Getting Started

Becoming an independent beauty consultant doesn’t usually require any special talents or education. The most important things are usually energy, enthusiasm, and interpersonal skills. Living in a community with a lot of willing buyers or having a lot of friends willing to provide support usually also helps. In most cases, consultants can make the job as relaxed or as demanding as they want. Companies often have minimum sale requirements and usually provide incentives for generating more revenue, but in terms of set hours, most of this is up to the consultant.

Actually getting hired is usually as easy as filling out a request form and paying any required materials fees. People are usually recruited by existing reps, but companies will sometimes also extend consultant privileges to interested people who don’t know anyone else already affiliated — but sometimes this depends on location and whether the company needs more representatives there.

Avoiding Scams

Most independent consultants enjoy the flexibility and product perks the job provides. People do have to be careful of scams and fraud with this sort of work, though. Companies that require extensive payment up front, that siphon most sales to higher “associates,” or that don’t seem to offer legitimate merchandise may not actually be legal. A great many cosmetics and beauty supply companies work very successfully with a consultant system, but the flexibility and desirability of this sort of work also makes it a target for scammers. People should usually research the parent company before making any payments or committing to begin work.

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Discussion Comments


@Grivusangel -- Preach it! My sister has tried I don't know how many beauty companies, and has yet to do much with them. She had the most success with Avon. She's tried Beauti Control, Mary Kay and Arbonne, and mostly just lost a lot of money.

I can't believe it's even legal for these companies to do business this way. Buying a franchise is one thing, but paying a company money to begin selling their products is something else again.

I might buy from Avon, but there's no way I'd buy from these other people. They may tout their successful salespeople, but I don't like the way they do business.


The independent beauty consultant really is self-employed. His or her wages depend entirely on how many products are sold. It's strictly commission-based.

My problem with a lot of these companies is that they ask the consultant to invest a fair amount of money to start selling the products. I don't think that's right. The rationale is that people who have to invest something of their own are more motivated to succeed, but when people need extra income and don't have the money to invest to start with, it's not right to make them pay for the privilege of selling the products -- not when the company doesn't have to furnish office space, a computer or internet access, or even many products! Some companies even make the consultants pay for product catalogs! It all has to be generated by the consultant, and that's not fair. Plus, if the consultant doesn't do well, the company has lost nothing, but has gained whatever money the person invested. This isn't the stock market, and it's not right.

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    • An independent beauty consultant is a self-employed person who sells the beauty products of a certain company.
      By: seen
      An independent beauty consultant is a self-employed person who sells the beauty products of a certain company.
    • Beauty consultants may work as a direct seller of cosmetics.
      By: aviemil
      Beauty consultants may work as a direct seller of cosmetics.