I’ve got a treat for you this afternoon, stop that multi-tasking and give me your full attention, like NAO!
Remember a few weeks ago, I enlisted your help in devising some questions for a lovely Benefit counter manager and MUA who had agreed to be put under the spotlight?
Well, the lovely lady was game and rightly impressed with your levels of scrutiny!
Read on to learn a little bit more about working for one of the world’s most popular cosmetic houses. Her brutal honesty is quite the eye-opener…
Q: Does Benefit have a specific policy on sampling (i.e. only with purchase etc..) or is it left to the discretion of the counter staff?
A: The rules are that Benebabes are only allowed to sample certain skincare products (Honey Scrub, Dear John, Do It Daily) to purchasing customers who are willing to put their details on file and commit to a further appointment. It is *very* rare that Benefit sample makeup.
Q: Working on counter, do you develop a radar for sample hunters? How do you deal with them?
A: If people are after samples, the trick is to get them to sit down and try the product whilst at the counter. Half the time, they end up buying the full size product anyway. If people come up asking for samples and wont sit down, then they are told that Benefit doesn’t do sampling.
Q: Can you share your tips on how to get the best from Benefit Eye Bright?
A: Eye Bright is a lovely product, to get the most out of it, use it on the inner corner of the eye in a < shape and smudge slightly. It works wonders at opening up the eye. It can be used on the waterline to combat any red-eye, but be sure to apply before mascara or you’ll end up with funny looking lashes!
Q: What’s your favourite Benefit product?
A: Browzings, definitely. The wax keeps brows in place, and the powder fills in any gaps, giving you a really defined brow without looking ‘drawn on’.
Q: What’s your favourite non-Benefit product?
A: Oh gosh……..there’s hundreds!! Staples in my makeup bag are; NARS super orgasm blush, Bobbi Brown gel liner in graphite shimmer, Dolce&Gabbana lipstick in Nude and Bare Minerals foundation in medium beige.
Q: Do you agree with the opinion that Benefit’s shade range is a bit limited? Are there any particular products that work very well on WOC?
A: Theres an inside joke that Benefit only cater to three types of people……Chinese, White and Sunbed Lovers. They havent quite ‘got’ that darker skinned women wear makeup too. The foundations (Some Kinda Gorgeous Deep, Playstick and Hello Flawless) all have a slight orange tinge which never ever ever works on black skin. Yet we’re still expected to put them on during a makeup session…..and they wonder why these customers never return!
Q: Benefit MUAs are notorious for being forthright in their sales tactics. Is this something that is encouraged during training and do you think it secures more sales?
A: There is something called the Magic Formula, which every Benebabe has to stick to with every customer. It goes like this;
~ Traffic Stop – This is how we snare customers.
~ Sit n Spritz – Spray customer with a Crescent Row fragrance to create a ‘Benebubble’.
~ Demonstrate – We show 6 products in this stage, doing half the face first, giving product knowledge. during the 2nd half we get product and fragrance feedback.
~ Commit/Continue – Get commitment from the customer that they want to purchase at least one thing, once we have that commitment, we continue with 2 more products……and again and again til they say STOP!
~ Close – Show a body product to the customer, try to force that on them too.
~ Celebrity File – Get customer to put their details on file, create customer loyalty.
~ Sample/Appointment – Book your customer in for 4 weeks time (preferably just after payday) to try out a new ‘look’ and send her on her merry way with a sample of skincare.
Q: In your experience working for Benefit, does a position as counter MUA offer good opportunities for an aspiring MUA or do career progressions and promotions generally head more towards managerial and sales roles within the company?
A: If you are a young girl who loves makeup, Benefit would be a good choice for you. If you are trained in Makeup Artistry at all, this job/brand is not for you in the slightest. You will be trained to forget all prior knowledge and do things the Benefit Way. If you dare to do freelance makeup outside of work, you will be crucified……..as I have been on several occasions. Trust me, its not pretty. As for promotions……they’re incredibly rare unless you continually hit all sales targets and even then, you can only really progress to a trainer. Look out for them in store from time to time, they have the general manner of an ADHD kid who’s been given orange smarties.
Q: What do you think is Benefit’s most universally flattering product? (and you’re not allowed to answer eyeshadows apparently!)
A: Moon Beam. A pinky-gold liquid highlighter which can be used neat or mixed with foundation to give a dewy look to the skin.
Q: What’s the thing you love most about your job, and the thing you like the least?
A: The free makeup, obviously!! And i love the excited girls who come in for prom makeup, its a chance to step away from the traditional formula and do things my way. The thing I like the least? Traffic Stopping. If people want, they will come….and if they come, I can work my magic and make them want even more. They do not need to be harassed whilst looking for bedlinen/underwear/handbags.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I wish I knew…….
Well there you go! What do you think?
I think that the next time I’m accosted by a BeneBabe I’m gonna sit myself down, enjoy the BeneBubble and hide my purse in my knickers.
If you enjoyed the frankness and good humour, please leave my lovely secret BeneBabe a comment of thanks for taking the time out of her busy day to answer our questions.