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The Business Of Looking Beautiful
According to fashion designer calvin klein, "the best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural." women in all parts of the world long to look naturally beautiful, but looking beautiful is no easy job. For this one should have the basic knowledge of the skin. A trained beauty consultant, like eric antoniotti, can help you understand your skin type and make you look naturally beautiful.
Do you know what makeup, lipstick and eye colour you should use for your face? With a blitz of foreign and Indian brands in the market women are often confused about their selection and end up buying the wrong colours and products. That is where a beauty consultant steps in and guides you in the correct choice according to your skin type and colour. But to be a beauty consultant one needs training and knowledge of the skin.

Eric Antoniotti, International Artistic and Training Director, Clarins-Paris, has been in the beauty business for three decades having worked with top French companies like Guerlain and Rochas. He was in India recently to train the Clarins beauty consultants who man the companys counters in the top multibrand outlets in the country. The profession of a beauty consultant is rather new in India but it is one of the most coveted and respected since the trained ladies are expert advisors to women, who want to present a perfectly made up face in everyday life.

A guide to beauty
So what makes a good beauty consultant? One who can help you to select the correct makeup and improve your appearance?
"A beauty consultants job starts with looking good herself. So the selected candidates must have good skin and hair. Of course, the products they sell will enhance their looks but the initial look is important. They must know how to take care of their own skin and look fresh and radiant, as they are the ambassadors of the cosmetic company. When a customer comes to their counter she must say, "Oh my god, you look so fresh and radiant. What are you using?" states Antoniotti.

In most countries Clarins hires girls with a therapist background who have adequate knowledge about the skin.
"Aboard there are schools for this but in India we start with an in-house ten days orientation training program on the products, brand and company. Regular upgrading takes place throughout the year on the latest techniques and products. Then twice a year a foreign trainer comes for a three-day work shop to introduce the consultants to the new products.

We never launch products without giving training to the consultants as they will not be able to handle the customers," adds Antoniotti.
The training agenda starts with teaching make-up application, product benefits and knowledge, trends in fashion and the sensitivity to understand the cosmetics and the womens personality. "First they must identify the woman concerned and share the knowledge and the application techniques and the way she is going to use the makeup products according to her needs. Next the beauty consultants learn to provide the information in a quick, easy and efficient manner."

The first session starts with the complexion segment which revolves around foundation, powder and blushers, "They must learn about the products offered by the company as well as what the other brands are selling in the market. Next, it is the eyes, which are the most important part of the face. Everything revolves around the eyes even before one says a word. The third segment deals with the makeup for the lips. Besides that they must know about the textures of customers skins and finish of the makeup and how it feels when applied with fingers, brush or sponge. How to talk about the product in the correct language and be confident about it is very important for a consultant," emphasizes Antoniotti, who has studied skins from all over the world including India; so he is aware of skin types and their needs.

Job requirements
Knowledge of the English language is essential since most of the terms are in that language. The minimum education required for a beauty consultant is Class 12 and a knowledge of skin helps, though it is not necessary.

The starting salary is around Rs 6,000 with incentives as it is a percentage-based job. The company provides uniforms, footwear and makeup and hairstyles, which are simple and neat, are recommended for the girls. Besides technical knowledge, the beauty consultants are also groomed in body language, conversation skills, deportment and how to present themselves and the image of the company in the right manner to the customers.

"Its a free finishing school which gets them ready for marriage," laughs Antoniotti.

The consultants are stationed in pairs at Clarins counters in top outlets like Parcos, Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, etc. What the beauty consultants however must not do is hard sell the products. "No sales pitch is ever made. It is a question of selling the right product to the right customer and thereby creating a loyalty for the brand and starting a relationship. Since I am in charge of new product developments, I also require feedback from consultants in the field on what customers need in terms of textures, shades, etc," asserts Antoniotti.

Job growth
The life span of a beauty consultant is fortunately forever and there is tremendous scope for growth. "You can go very far as long as you have a passion for it. From a consultant one can move up to supervisor of a team, then a trainer, then a marketing executive and finally one can head an international department in Paris.

The training is never-ending. Im still learning. Fashion is always changing and keeps on improving. In the last five years all the textures have changed a lot. Earlier, foundation was pink and heavy, now it gives the perfect coverage but you dont feel it, as it is very light. One must choose the right one. Makeup is very quick and easy and everything is changing and improving," adds Antoniotti.
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Posted on : 29/10/2005
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