Discussion Forums

These forums are no longer open, sorry.

Home Forums Makeup Chat what is it like working at Sephora?

This topic contains 79 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of laurawheeler Anonymous 3 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 80 total)
  • Author
  • #180105
    Profile photo of Savannah

    Hi everybody, I have a few questions about working at Sephora.

    The first on is, What is their dress code? Is it just all black or do they require a specific black pant or shirt? Would nice black jeans work? Can you wear open toed heels or flats?

    The second thing is, how young do they hire? Or is it different at every Sephora?


    The last thing is and it might kind of sound shallow but in no way do I mean it that way but, even if you are a cashier or beauty consultant (sorry cant remember what it is called) or any other position do you still get Gratis? What would be the best time to apply?

    I do not not want to be a seasonal worker.

    Thanks to anyone who can answer my question! I really appreciate it!!



    I work at a Sephora located in Oregon and I’d be more than happy to help you with any questions you have.
    So first off…
    It is all black, but the unfortunate part is, there’s no room for individualism like you can have while working at MAC or any beauty counter. They were fine with us wearing black (nice) slacks, black closed toe and heel shoes (glittery toms are the norm at my store), and a nice black fitted T until we were able to get our uniforms (it takes a few weeks). Then we were required to wear the black slacks and jackets provided for us.
    Now, we have these awesome (sarcasm ;D) uniforms coming out that were specially designed for us by a very hot up and coming designer. They legit look like star trek uniforms. We all busted out while trying them on. So sexahh. You’ll see us sporting them starting July 13th!
    So from those you get a choice of one of three, unless you are full time (40 hrs),  in which you get all three. Operations is in charge of the after hours shipment, so they still wear the Sephora t-shirts as they’re not required to wear the new uniforms (since they just work at night and not usually around clients). BTW? The Sephora t-shirts are SO comfy and soft!

    Sephora will ONLY hire at 18 or older. It’s unfortunate, but it’s due mostly to hours. We are there from anywhere from 6:30am to 2am, so they need people who can work those hours at anytime. Laws where I work prohibit underage workers working past…10 I think? I think it’s just to avoid hassle honestly.

    Haha it doesn’t sound shallow! That’s the BEST part about the job! So no worries about it. Every position does get gratis, but some get more than others, and some get specifics. There’s three parts of hours to each position depending on which you apply for, and which they have left to hire you at. Part time – less than 20 hrs, part time partial- 20-30hrs, full time 30+hrs (The exact hours differ) The more hours you work, the more gratis you receive. Now, as for actual positions for the stage (stage = floor). We have three “worlds.” Color, fragrance, and skin (cashwrap doesn’t count as a world *shrug*). Color will get more color gratis, just as skin gets more skin gratis. You more specific gratis to whichever world you are placed in. Cash wrap gets a mix of both. Fragrance (sadly!!!) isn’t used for gratis anymore.

    The best times to apply are in August when we start doing seasonal hiring (it’s very easy to get hired on as a permanent cast member) for the Christmas times. That goes until around March when they do the final letting go of seasonal cast. Then they usually will start hiring around…May? For the summer time. Every so often they hire permanent (I was hired on as perm cast), but it’s usually just seasonal hiring and they pick and choose from those who did best with other cast and how comfortable they were with the tasks given. It took me almost two full months to go through three interviews, hired, doing orientation and onto the stage working.  They usually look for people who can do dramatic looks, or if you know someone who works in the store. I got a girl hired cause she had my name on her application. She came in once every few weeks and I always sat her down at the Studio, so I was familiar with her and told her to apply when she was complaining about hating her job. We get money for getting people hired, so ask frequently if we’re hiring whenever you are in the store. Then ask if you can use them as a reference, as most of us would agree to.
    Another note I’d like to add on? You do not need to be trained or know absolutely everything about cosmetics. We hired on a girl who just wore bare minerals foundation and mascara and had no idea what Dior or Urban Decay was. You get trained throughout your stay with Sephora, and they will also start you off with some gratis (usually, but not always) during your orientation so you have products to work with and recommend. Another way to get gratis is to go to training that are provided by the brands. Usually they come in once a month or whenever they are putting out a new product and will train (best way to sell it) the cast on it. Then they usually give it out as gratis so we can try it out and recommend it. Those little surveys you get with your receipt? We also get gratis for those if they have our names on them. We call them shout outs :)

    It’s a nice place to work, but it is usually female based so be prepared for that. Heavy competitions are frequently being done to receive special gratis (palettes and kits), so you need to be able to sell or apply makeup to win a lot of those. It’s not based on commission, so no worries if you aren’t up to par with selling a client an item.
    In the end, it’s a retail job. Retail is retail. It’s awesome when you’re happy, but it’s sucks when you get low hours and have to deal with women ALL day. There’s also that one time of the month where everyone is EXTREMELY “happy” so keep that in mind too!

    Sorry if I rambled, if you have any other questions feel free to ask.


    Wow @Kahime what an awesome reply – I’m so glad you took the time to write this – very interesting, and very helpful!


    No problem! I’ve been asked a few times what it’s like and such with clients, but we usually have to give them the glamorous version ;D
    OH! Another few things I would like to add..I was just talking to a co-worker and she told me to also mention a few things just to clarify the perks and downsides.

    We do get discounts. 40% off towards Sephora and its umbrella brands (We are owned by LVMH, but no, we don’t get discounts there, but oddly enough their employees get our discounts!! GAH!), and 20% off everything else. We cannot purchase items for friends with their cards or money. If you want something, we have to go in on a day off (or break or lunch) and pay with our own means of money, and be rung up through a manager. Aka: Pretend you don’t know us, and give us cash :D

    Also, our stuff gets scribed out to us, which means we have our clock in numbers scratched into the items we purchase (usually, but not always). So, say your awesome Sephora friend buys something for you, but it’s just NOT your shade or it just looks horrible on you, don’t return it to the store. We will get fired for having someone return things with our numbers written on it, no questions asked. So if you get a gift or something from a Sephora employee, ask them to return it for you instead. They’re REALLY cracking down on it lately with all the returns we got from friends and family from the holiday season.
    Also, if you have one of the merch cards (the white cards, not gift cards) you want us to buy stuff for you with? As employees we can’t  use them. It’s also an instant termination. Managers can look up our purchases and print out our receipts no problem, so the company sees no need for us to have merch cards and deeply frowns on it.

    Just some helpful stuff. Good luck on applying!


    Never forget, though, that this is a SALES job. OK, you like makeup, but you’re there to sell, not to play with MU, which means virtually you should be able to do the same job if they were selling books or shoes or kitchenware.  The being able to put makeup on people’s face or getting early info and discounts on products is just a nice side effect.

    Profile photo of Joanna Izydorczyk

    Just out of curiosity, how many interviews did you have to go on before they hired you? I’ve talked to a couple of people that said they have been on three or four, usually consisiting of a phone interview, group, one on one & then sometimes another one on one. I had the manager call me exactly a week after applying and had a phone interview for about fifteen mins. Then, she told me to come in two days later for an interview. I expected it to be a group one, but it turned out to be one on one. Within thirty mins of talking to me, the manager offered me the position & nixed the idea of further interviews. Is that normal?


    I’d say that’s fairly normal. Usually it does take a few months to get in but something must have stuck with them when you came in! I had two interviews actually! I thought I had three, but no. Just the two. One at Starbucks being casual and then another with the Store Director who hired me then and there (although it took about two months to do all the interviews, orientations, and paperwork). They usually do group interviews when they do seasonal hiring so they can see how the girls and boys will interact socially. Although I’ve also seen about five interviews for one girl, and another just came in and her interview (for color) was to apply makeup on one of the cast, which happened to be me.
    You are VERY lucky though to be hired in such a short time! Do you know what your position would be and when you will start?!

    Profile photo of Joanna Izydorczyk

    Thank you! I tried to prepare myself as much as possible with letters of reccomendation, resume copies, a portfolio & cover letter. I also prepared questions to ask because I’m very serious about the job. Not sure which position yet but I discussed growth opportunities with the manager and I want to be able to work my way up, learning as much as I can as I go. She told me that she loves my determination and passion and that she expects me to move up very quickly in regards to positions and all that.

    I seriously think it was the best interview I’ve ever had, and this may sound weird but I got along with her so well that the interview lasted over an hour because we were talking SO much & I still didn’t want to leave lol.


    Wow, that is amazing! You’ll definitely do very well then. I’m sure she’ll start you off in color, especially if you have experience. I’m not sure about each store but there’s a color artist, a Beauty Studio Assistant, a Captain, and we just created a PBA (Personal Beauty Adviser). We have the only girl in Oregon right now in our store, but depending on how it does they are branching out to many stores. You may want to inquire and see if you have any of those positions as well! It’s very easy to move up if you’re willing to work hard, which it sounds like you will.

    I know exactly what you mean! My store director was pregnant and we talked for over 45 minutes just on her pregnancy alone and how she was so excited. The management team is (almost!) amazing and they care VERY much for their employees and it shows. I know not everyone gets along with everyone as personalities clash, but most of the cast members I’ve met from other stores are just absolutely amazing. The main cast? We have a weekly ritual of going out to Korean food and just enjoying the week and complaining. You know, girl stuff :)

    I’m excited for you! Have you heard about your orientation and if you are permanent cast or seasonal? I don’t imagine seasonal as summer is usually slow.

    Profile photo of Joanna Izydorczyk

    Thank you! I’m extremely excited! It’s a permanent position and I discussed hours with her as well. I’m going to school right now full time so I’ll be doing part time at sephora for now and when I graduate in November she said she’s going to bump me to full time. She is very insistent  on those customer surveys since we have such a low rating, and I realize it’s because some of the cast think they are above everyone. I wasactually surprised that I got a call back because when I was filling out the app. I asked a sales associate what types of positions I can apply for since it asks you to specify, and she looked me up and down and said “well everyone starts off as a cashier so I guess just put that.” I’m extremely friendly  so I know I won’t have any problems with customer satisfaction, but I hope that the rest of the cast is nice.


    Ohhh yeah. Surveys are huge with us, that’s kind of why cashwrap is nice to start out at. You get to speak to everyone who passes by from every world and make their experience a liiiiiittle better. I just circle the survey, mention they have a chance to win $250 dollars and that its done by district and not the US so they have a better chance of winning. Plus seeing as we don’t work off commission it’s a chance for the clients to tell our direct bosses how we’re doing. Just mention the survey while you’re bagging their stuff so they’re not just waiting on you. I’m not sure if your store does gratis picks for each name mention, but our store is doing horrible as well so they’re giving out gratis like candy for them :)

    Ahhhh. Yes. I know what you mean. I was kind of fortunate when I walked in as the assistant manager asked me to fill out the application and told me everything to write down. I work at a very expensive mall where people carrying $5,000 bags are normal. I was kind of an outcast as I didn’t own a Louie Vuitton bag, or at the very LEAST a Coach bag. One girl actually offered to walk with me over to the store to get one. Ick. You’ll get used to those cast who are snobby, but I’d say 80% are friendly. I’ve found it’s almost like a territorial thing? That new people have a hard time adjusting because the cast is already so used to everyone. Meh. Fair warning though. You are working with (usually all, we do have a SINGLE guy ha) women and it can get a bit irritating and there will be drama at some times. I’m sorry though. That’s kind of a crappy experience to have when you first walk in. I hope it gets better.

    Just be awesome like you seem to be, and frequently ask management about working in a specific world. Make sure to just mention every so often how you’d LOVE to go to SOS and then Encore (if makeup or color is the route you’d like to go). I do fragrances and love it, but i’ll also do cashwrap whenever necessary :)

    Profile photo of Joanna Izydorczyk

    Sorry about not responding right away, I’ve been sick these last couple of days but yes I’m extremely excited, I’ve beeKettering with the managers and stuff and now the ladies seem a lot nicer. Thanks for the tips and advice and stufF! I’ll definitely be taking it all into consideration while working lol.

    Profile photo of Megan Eastin

    Thanks for all of the info that everyone has posted, it’s been really helpful. So I do have a few more questions :)

    Is working at a Sephora inside of JCPenney any different that a free standing Sephora store? And for the interview, is it pretty standard/normal for there to be a group interview, then individual interview, etc? Because I had a missed call from them with no message :( but I did call back the next day and the manager asked me to come in later that week. She did ask me the pretty standard interview questions over the phone, which lasted about 10 minutes so do you think that my interview will be group? Or straight to individual?

    I know the basic interview questions are used at Sephora as well but is there anything specific you think I should know going into the interview that would help me out? And do you suggest wearing a dress? Sorry for all the questions, but any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!


    JC Penney’s owns their own Sephora, so it is not connected to free standing Sephoras at all. They train their own staff just as they would any beauty counter and they worry less about Beauty Insider points as well as samples. They usually have to call the points in at the end of the night (the one at my mall does, so I can’t speak for every one) so I always get people complaining about that. Also, they have their own gift cards that can only be used there. We can return stuff from their store, but clients cannot return Sephora items to a JC Penney’s, if that makes sense? They usually do group interviews for seasonal which my store is hiring right now for, so you’re probably going in for one. My best advice is to dress just like you’re going to work: Black blouse, black slacks, and black nice shoes (no heels, go for flats). They’ll ask why you want to work there, what’s your favorite brand, how would you help a client with an item that we’re out of stock with, how would you handle difficult clients, and what you did at your previous job. Just sound passionate about makeup, fragrance, AND skin. Sephora is a lot about makeup, but there are clients that go to other worlds as well so being informed about those is a plus.
    Wear something bright. All I’ve seen on the ladies that come in for interviews are basic brown/black smokey eyes. Do something bright and bold. It’s your one impression, so make it last.
    Right now we’re doing looks that are based off the new Marchesa fragrance, so think of lace and fantasy. We’re using liners to draw lace around the eyes and such. I’m using the MUFE flash palette with the black and going over a piece of lace with a damp sponge for a stencil to create a birdcage veil over a part of my face, then lightly going over with the silver paint, some 3d glitter, and adding rhinestones here and there.
    So, you can also do things like this if you have your interview sometime soon as it shows that you’re up to date with what’s going on at Sephora and that you’re shopping and noticing the trends.
    I wish you the best of luck! Sorry. I tend to ramble >…<

    Profile photo of Jazmine Saunders

    Hey !!


    First off I just wanted to say thanks for the info so far ! I actually just got hired for a new store part-time consultant. We haven’t opened yet and have training for a whole month until the soft opening ! :) Anywho, just a few questions. 


    1. Since I am just a color consultant, how can I get promoted and what positions can you get promoted to from here?

    2. Do you have any information on how to become a part of the pro team–locations, auditons etc. I’m from Canada. 

    3. Is there room to move up in the company? Retail wage wont pay the bills forever haha! 

    4. Can you give information on how you started at sephora , wages and where you want to go in the future etc? i know personal! LOL 

    5…………..I guess the reason i’m asking all these questions is because im 20 years old and want to stay with this company in hopes of moving up…Im in college and just arent happy and maybe staying with the company can ultimately give me the goal im looking for.



Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 80 total)

The forum ‘Makeup Chat’ is closed to new topics and replies.