And it’s a no from Benefit

I had to chase up the Benefit job to find out if I had been successful or not and sadly it was a no.  The girl from Dior got the job 😦

They said they really liked me and will keep me on file but I do feel very “meh” about the idea of doing another 3 hour interview if/when they call me for their next opening.  Still we will see what happens.

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The sun is on it’s way and so are yellow nails!

I noticed that there are a lot of yellows in the beauty blogs I follow at the moment.  Mainly yellow polish on nails and so I thought I would share the love for yellow with you all and hopefully these blog posts will inspire you to get out there and put some yellow on your own nails!

Cult Nails You’re My Dandy Lion

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Bieber Border Manicure

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* Revlon *Charming* & Miss Sporty *Popcorn*

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A job audition with Benefit

I might not have mentioned it but I recently applied to work on the Benefit make-up counter and attended an “audition” yesterday.

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The phone interview was very brief, I would say no more than 10 minutes and it was very basic questions like “Why do you want to work for us?”, “What do you know about the Debenhams brand”, “Tell me about a time when you have gone above and beyond for a customer” etc.

They called me back a whole 9 minutes after the phone interview to invite me to the audition.  I know from reading other blogs that they aren’t always so quick and I guess it would depend on where the Benefit store you applied for is based i.e. in Boots, Debenhams or elsewhere.

I was advised to arrive early and to wear all black and so that is exactly what I did.  I also started to Google for any information that might help me get the job!  There were a few blogs and they were very useful although some were a few years old.  I decided I would blog my experience of the audition process to help any other applicants out there feel a little more at ease with the process they would be going through.

When I arrived 4 other girls were already waiting at the stand.  Through chatting while we waited we discovered who had applied for what store and what their current/last job was.  At this point I realised 2 already worked at other make-up counters in the store (YSL and Dior) and a third was a make-up artist currently out of work as the last store she was working for had closed.  There was also one no show.

The area manager brought us all up to a training room where we spent approximately 90 minutes learning about traffic stopping, some products and an application routine to use to demonstrate the products to potential customers.

With the traffic stopping she showed us how she would stop people and what she would say.  She then went on to go over peoples reasons to not want to try make-up on from “I don’t have much time” to “I have the children with me” and “I have sensitive skin”.  Having read up on the audition process online I expected 4 items that lots of people mentioned but we actually were given 6.

  • It’s Potent
  • Porefessional
  • You Rebel (in 2 shades)
  • Benetint
  • High Beam
  • They’re Real

The manager wanted to bring a member of her sales team up to demo the make-up process but as she was busy I volunteered to let her do it on me.  We learned a few facts about each item to talk about while applying them to customers e.g. that It’s Potent contains vitamins A and E and that the skin around the eye area is actually 40% thinner than the rest of the face.  She also showed us how to apply it and told us the importance of using the disposable applicators (which if you study beauty you know why it is important but as it is not a requirement to have a make-up background to do the job I guess that is why they go into these details).

Once she was done showing us how she would do it we took time to do it on each other in pairs.  This was a good time to repeat and go over what it was we needed to know for the floor.  My partner and I actually quizzed each other a little on each product asking what its features and benefits were.

When she felt we were ready she advised us we would be going to the shop floor and should we feel uncomfortable and like the job was not one we would enjoy we could stop our audition and leave at any point but equally they would stop us if they felt we were not what they were looking for.  After this we were all taken down to the shop floor and advised we had 45 minutes to an hour to go out and traffic stop.  We could pick whichever item we wanted to bring with us to use to demonstrate and encourage the shoppers over to the stand.

I started with Porefessional while most of the others went for They’re Real as it came with a laminate sheet showing the full effect of the mascara.  I managed to get a shopper over to the stand very quickly as I spotted a girl from my class at a till with her mum.  She kindly agreed to come with me to the stand to help my “bums on seats” figure.  I did the routine on her while one of the girls who worked on the stand took her mum to another seat and showed her some items too.  Although I knew she wouldn’t be buying anything just having her sit down built my confidence up to go out to find the next person.

All in all I had 6 people come over to the counter with me.  I reffered 2 of these onto the counter staff as I suggested one would benefit from a brow powder (we could not demo or sell anything we had not been trained in and so had to pass them on) and the second wanted a full coverage foundation rather than a tinted moisturiser.  Although I passed 2 clients on both went on to purchase items and I also sold a mascara to one of the other shoppers who sat with me.

After what felt like it could have been an hour I went to ask how long we had left and was advised that it was time for my interview as I had passed the audition process.  Yeay me.  I was also advised that 3 of the other 4 had been sent home and thus only 2 of us would be having the interview.

The interview was very similar to the phone interview with a few extra questions such as what pay I would be hoping for and did I feel the job would be one I could do on a day to day basis (it is).

They advised that I would hear back by Monday at the latest but hopefully by today.  Needless to say I have not heard from them today but as I have read that they can take their time with letting candidates know either way I am not too shocked.

I am hopeful that when I do hear from them it will be good news but if I am turned down at least it is because I was beaten by a girl who already works for Dior and that I got further than the MUA and the girl who works for YSL.

Since I was invited to the interview I have been asking myself “Do I really want the job?”  Well yes, it should pay better than I receive at the moment and there is also commission.  The contract hours are also more than I have with my current employer and they are aware I am going to resume my studies and happy to work around them come September.  It was also give me a great opportunity to be applying make-up to people on a regular basis.  So here’s keeping everything crossed that they call me on Monday with some good news and of course I will keep you updated on which way the axe fell.

Do I smell?

It has been a long time from I have let a student touch my hair but on Tuesday I went to the student hair salon to let one of them practice doing curls on my hair as I had very little to do.

I toddled on over with another girl from my class and we sit down with our hair students.

Let’s ignore the fact it took my student 30 minutes to actually do ANYTHING because that honestly is just a drop in the ocean of how weird this sitting was.

She managed to ask me 4 times if she was going bright red and once if I thought she smelt!?  While she washed my hair I was told how she was probably going to do a terrible job and how she would no doubt fail this attempt at curling my hair as she was rubbish at it.  Nothing like a defeatist attitude but if that fails you can always tell the client how your tutor is a bitch?

The self deprecating attitude continued as she put my rollers in, I was almost glad when she put the blower on my hair to drown our her moaning.  As she neglected to give me any magazines to flick through I lifted my trusty blackberry to text my friend to see how long we would be under the dryers, thankfully she knew the answer was 35 minutes.  During this time little miss “do I smell” decided to spray about half a can of deodorant.  I nearly choked to death as it wasn’t like I could go anywhere else.

At the end of my 35 minutes the student came back to check my hair and informed me it wasn’t dry enough yet and she would put it on for 10 more minutes.  She also told me “sit with your head up properly and don’t touch your phone”.  Erm so did she just expect me to look at myself in the mirror for a grand total of 45minutes?  Needless to say I kept my phone out to stop myself falling asleep.

As she checked my hair for a 2nd time she asked me if I thought it was dry… I did… but she still wasn’t sure so she sniffed it?! At that point the tutor did actually tell her off which I was thankful for.  She continued pulling out each roller asking “does this hurt?”, “does this hurt?”, “does this hurt?” over and over.  She almost took delight when she told me that she apparently rough with peoples hair.

I was never so glad when my hair was done and I could leave.

So my advice for any aspiring hair dressers

1 – Be ready for your client, do not leave them waiting while you dither.

2 – Do not ask your client inappropriate questions such as asking if you are turning red or if you smell! Or bad mouth other people from the salon.

3 – Do not give your client doubts about your ability before you have even started.  Telling them you are rubbish would in the real world lead to people walking out.

4 – Let your client know how long elements of the treatment are going to take and hey… if it’s a long wait give them a magazine to keep them amused.

5 – Don’t be rude and demanding to your client!

If it hadn’t been for the fact I went back to the salon today in order to trade another girl a service I think I would have given up all hope of ever using the student salon again.  Alas I needed a girl to let me do her bikini wax as one of my final exams and in exchange she needed somebody for some kind of conditioning/shine treatment? I kind of zoned out what it was if I am honest, I just knew I needed her to let me wax her and would have let her do pretty much anything within reason to my hair.  She did a great job though!  My hair looks shiny and feels soft and she restored my faith that some students will do a great job even though there are a few that leave you baffled at how they make it through the day without doing themselves damage.

Best smelling hand cream ever!

Until this weekend I always thought that Soap and Glory “Hand food” was the best smelling hand cream ever.  Now I know better.

I had a voucher for a free L’Occitane hand cream and after a bit of research to find out if it was truly animal friendly I decided to get it.   You may know that L’Occitane lost their leaping bunny when they decided to sell in China however the company insists that despite selling in China that they still have not tested any of their products or ingredients on any animals.  Nor have they bought from companies who conduct testing on animals.  Further still they are petitioning Chinese representatives to look into alternative methods of product testing.   You can read the whole statement on their stance on animal testing here.

As there is no L’Occitane store near me my sister kindly picked me up the Cherry Blossom one from her local store in London and brought it home for me.  Wow!  I haven’t sniffed my hands so much in my whole life.

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30ml Travel size option

Not only does it smell fantastic but it only takes a small dot to cover the whole hand and it does make my hands feel lovely and soft.  Granted it costs more than Hand Food which is only £5 for 125ml while my free travel size hand cream would have cost me £8 for 30ml or £14 for 75ml to purchase from a L’Occitane store.  I do however feel that they would work out a similar cost per use as I would normally use more Hand Food than I have needed to use of this.

I honestly wish I could just hold my hand out to you and say “Here, feel how soft they are after 2 days and 4 applications of this amazing stuff” but alas you will have to take my word on it or go into store and try it for yourself.

As I said, this was a free one thus now I am asking myself “Should I buy it again?” and yes, I really should.  The hands are the one part of our body that gives away our age when we get further up through the numbers.  Mainly because they are almost always exposed to the elements and we take much less care of them than our faces.  I really do not want to wake up some day when I am 50 and look at my hands and think “I wish I had taken better care of them”.  So I urge you, even if you do not opt to try this hand cream, do take good care of your hands so you don’t suffer the repercussions for taking them for granted.

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Would you like the good news or the bad news?

I always start with the bad news, then the good news cheers me up.

So the bad news is that right now I am sat here with a very red and bruised bikini line and my underarms weren’t far behind it earlier on!  This is because I exchanged waxing with another girl in my class and well… she doesn’t seem to do something quite right, be it stretching, her pull or whatever.

The good news however is that I managed to do so many waxes today that I have left myself with only a bikini, underarm and lip wax to do before I can do my Summative exam!  Meaning, all being well,I will be done with school for the year next Thursday! Ending school six weeks early and a fully qualified level 2 beauty therapist!

I can’t believe it, it felt like it took forever to get to this point but at the same time I am so pleased to be here and I can’t wait to get that bit of paper that will open lots of new doors for me in the world of beauty

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Lacking inspiration?

We all have those moments where we lack inspiration and we feel a little blah.

For me that has been today and I have been hunting for places I can find inspiration to keep myself motivated and to remind myself why this is something I want to do as a career.

Most of us will use social media of some sort to find our inspiration, be it Pinterest, Facebook groups or following the blogs of our favourite salons and make-up artists.  I know I for one am a huge fan of companies like Illamasqua and follow their Facebook page to see all the beautiful images they share but what about the lesser known places for inspiration?

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Make-up by Noreen O’Connor and Photo by Michael O’Sullivan

 Having seen the above photo on a beauty forum I instantly thought of how it could rival the better known Karla Powells “Snow Queen of Sweets” image and no doubt many of us follow and admire Karla Powell? But how many of us have heard of Noreen O’Connor? No? Me either but I am sure glad I stumbled across her talent.  Noreen is from the same patch of land as myself and based in Co.Cork.  Her website has a range of images showing her work, many of which have been taken by Michael O’Sullivan – why not visit both of their sites to see if they inspire you too?

While in the mood for checking out the work of the pros I also came across the following local make-up artists who may interest you:

Saks Designs

Emma Hanna

Make-up Bangor

Ashley Morhej

So when your having a blah day – get thee to Google and get to looking for the locals who are already doing what you want to do.  At best you will find inspiration and at worst you might find a few and think “Gee, if they can do it, I sure as heck can!”  

Remember, if you happen to find a gem amongst the chaff then there is no harm in approaching them to offer your assistance for free in exchange for gaining some valuable advice and experience.  Just remember to ask nicely 🙂