What to Expect When Selling Cosmetics
Considering this a business venture that affects you directly (financially), you've probably made a game plan and done some research on the industry and your products. No better way to learn something new than to just do it!
As with everything in life, once you begin to learn you truly realize how little you know about anything. Do you know the difference between 'cruelty free' and vegan? Do you know exactly what makes a product vegan? Is the popular colorant Carmine (used in foods and cosmetics) vegan? Spoiler alert: it isn't!
I've been into makeup since a fateful encounter at a makeup stand in a Macy's. The lady who verbally harassed me into her chair, gave me a full (natural) face of makeup and basically changed my life forever. Since then, I've had a pretty sizable collection of makeup, both high-end and drugstore. I like to think, and sound, like I know what I'm doing, though I've been lagging behind recently. But I'm excited to seriously step my game up now, for myself, and my customers.
You're Not Just Selling a Product
Your look, the physical manifestation of yourself on this Earth, is going to be one of your highest priorities. The way I think of it is this: products that make an impression sell. If you're capable of creating an interesting, impressionable look people will come to you to learn your 'tricks'. You want your customers to feel confident in your abilities to cosmetically enhance their face!
But makeup alone can't fix everything.. If you're genetically lucky this won't take much work, just wash your face twice a day. For the rest of us (or just me) this might just require $50 worth of products and an incredibly regimented routine. And perhaps cutting out certain food groups because your body decided to no longer accept those substances.
If you're in any degree a part of the second camp, skin care will (and always should) be a high priority. Conveniently, most cosmetic brands now have a skin care line! So you could easily boost sales with those products.
Plastic Surgery May Come Into Play
Of course everyone is entitled to pursue (or not) cosmetic surgery, and no one is the lesser for it. However, any industry based in sales is going to be incredibly competitive, and I'm a sore loser..
And I am completely okay with admitting I have MANY flaws that are hard to conceal, or expensive to continuously manage. Like, time is money. I understand a lot of people use makeup to alter their features specifically so they don't feel like they have to have surgery.. but, depending on how successful you are, it might financially work out to drop serious cash on a rhinoplasty instead of spending all that time to contour that mess properly. Those of us with bad sinuses may even end up improving our health.
You Might Find Yourself Throwing All Your Profits At Competing Products
Your initial plan may be to only buy/wear within the brand you peddle, but eventually...
New, exciting products are released from one of many big brands every month. If you also count indie brands it turns into every few weeks. Everyone already knows hype sells. The next biggest seller is info. Reading reviews from people with different skin tones/types is certainly important, but how will you be able to describe the texture or wear if you've never used it? I suppose you could half-truth your way to a sale, though moral ambiguity isn't a great way to instill confidence in your customers in the long run.
I like to buy products that are both within my brand's price point, and those that are $30+ more. Here is where knowing the actual demographic around you is extra vital. I would be loathe to find a person in my entire state that wouldn't laugh at me if I told them I owned a $56 Givenchy powder. But, if I were to also show them a $20 powder that I also enjoyed comparatively it would just make economic sense to buy the $20 product right now!
An obvious marketing strategy, but it continues to work.
Social Media Interactivity is HIGH
Since you are playing the part of your own promoter as well, you better be up to date on all the new social media apps and how best to utilize them. If consumers are interacting with other brands on mobile livestreaming apps (i.e. YouNow, Periscope) it's a very safe bet you'd do well to join them.
People also like buying products from people they can personally connect to. Now don't go linking your business to your personal Twitter account, but being able to come off as approachable, kind, and helpful will go a long way towards gaining new customers, and retaining them.
A bit of "common sense" most people would assume is to keep everything strictly related to business on your media accounts. On the day-to-day, I would agree to this. However, your customers and you don't live in a vacuum; you live in the real world just like everyone else. It is important to be able to acknowledge events or tragedies that may pertain to you, or your customer base on your media pages. Besides endearing you to your customers, and increasing loyalty, it's just a socially responsible thing to do.
The only thing I ask of you, or anyone else that is selling cosmetics either through a company, or independently, is to be honest. If you are selling fake versions of popular products, also known as dupes (Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Kylie Cosmetics, etc), at least be upfront about it. I understand the temptation of making a quick buck, but consumers' health are seriously at risk when you lie about these things.
There are plenty of dupes that actually perform great, the real problem is the lack of information on the actual ingredients used. I'm not going to promote or condemn the practice, I just ask that you let your customers consent to trying a mystery concoction, rather than just tricking them.