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

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    Well, since you’re already in color that’s a start for sure. You can go to any of the worlds and be a consultant which for the US they call that a Personal Beauty Adviser. It’s someone who is trained in all three worlds to best help the client with all their needs. Since you’re starting out you’re going to only be able to do basic looks or “express services.” After a while start asking when you can be certified to do a full face. It requires pro team coming to your store and watching you do a full face (including lashes) on a model, which is super easy actually. After that you can start working your way into the beauty studio Captain position as that requires more experience with weddings, prom, or dramatic drastic looks. They have an assistant position as well who does the exact same things, without all the management paperwork side. After that you can do to management which there are a series of positions. There’s a lead for every world, a education lead (teaches us the newest of the new that’s coming out and how to best sell it, they also work with the brands that visit the stores), Assistant Director, and Director (think asst. manager and manager). Management is a little harder to get into as you cannot be promoted at your own store. Say you want to be a color lead? You would have to find another store that has an opening for that and transfer. You can eventually transfer back to your old store but I believe a year has to pass.

    I’m not certain on the pro team locations in Canada, sorry (I think they’re only in Vancouver?). I do know that you have to be full face certified and have also been sent to SOS if not Encore to be able to participate. They sent two girls from our location to Utah and had them stay for a week. They did full faces and had pro team judge their looks and debating on how they rank, if they pass or not. If you get into the second round of pro team (there’s 3) then you can at least become someone who can certify others in being able to do full faces, which is nice to have in your own store. There’s only two locations here, NY and LA so if you do want to be in pro team be prepared to move. I know everyone regardless of the country, comes to the locations in the US to do the tryouts. Pro team opens every year so new talent has the chance to get in. The old members certainly do get to participate as well, but they automatically pass the first two rounds. Afterwards you get to go all over to help open new stores and train new members, help with fashion week, as well as any magazines that require Sephora Pro services.
    As for the actual competition? You compete in one of four places, Salt Lake City, Houston, NY, and San Fran. After passing that, you go to Las Vegas and participate in a five day competition. They were required to do a podcast on educating the clients on a certain product, and that was the “media” part of it. This is to make sure you’re comfortable in front of a camera as afterwards you’re going to be doing a LOT of podcasts as well as airing on lots of beauty stations. They then had to complete three looks: an editorial, an editorial day look, and a red carpet look. I was told they had to go into a room with magazines and cut pictures out and use those  to create a storyboard. Once they had their inspiration they had an hour to do makeup and hair on a random model and place the boards next to the model so the judges could see how well they had interpreted the looks. I believe they had hairdressers helping in the red carpet looks, but idk about the editorial looks. They then had 45 minutes to do red carpet on their model as to coordinate their looks with the dresses they were wearing.

    I started last year (actually, the 7th of this month was my one year) and I started out at Cashwrap at $9.50. After a year you usually get a 10-15 cent raise. I now am at $9.65 and am trained in color and fragrance. I grew up in a house with seven girls and one bathroom, and as the youngest I guess I just got dressed up a lot, so makeup was always there. So I guess I just thought it was something i’d wanted to do career wise. haha I’d like to go to encore (the last step before pro) for fragrance as I absolutely love it. Fragrances are so deep and meaningful. They are desgigned perfectly (well, at least some) from the package, to the bottle, to the actual scent. Like Vera Wang? Her bottle is actually meant to represent the wedding ring as her fragrance is the most well known for being a “wedding” fragrance. So, since I am in school studying for something completely different I don’t think i’ll stay at Sephora forever. I’m moving to South Korea to actually finish my Masters in a year or two so… :D Since they don’t have Sephoras there, I might have to try a job at a MAC counter or something that I know first while studying!

    No, I understand. I can’t even tell you how many times while getting my degree i’ve just been like EFF THIS. UGH. Sephora is a REALLY good company to stay with. You get trained in so many other companies when they come in, so if you decide you’ve stayed at Sephora long enough you can always go the rep route in another brand. I know of two girls that ive worked with that now are with Stila and MUFE doing awesome stuff there. So there’s endless routes too, so don’t just limit yourself to JUST Sephora. If you get interested in a brand, go for that then as you can always come back. :)

    Profile photo of Jazmine Saunders

    OMG WOW LIKE wow thank you so much that was so in depth I really appreciate that girl !! And Korea ouuuu that sounds amazing, seriously you will go far good luck with everything you have my best wishes !!


    Its nice to have feedback from a present employee :$ My goal ultimately is to be successful in the beauty industry. I’m obsessed! haha


    p.s As a color consultant do we get a brush belt to use at the store ?

    Profile photo of Gaby Castillo

    Hey everyone!

    So I’m new to this forum and I had a question about working at Sephora… I had a group interview with a freestanding sephora last Friday. Yesterday (Tuesday) I got a call back asking to come in for a second interview tomorrow (Thursday)! I am so excited! It’s my dream to work at Sephora so I really hope I get the job. What is the second interview like? I’m nervous! Any information about the second interview would be so helpful.



    Just popping back in here to say how much I love this thread. This is what MUG is all about – a great community where we can all share our knowledge and experience. Kahime – you are such a great resource! You are tempting me to even apply to Sephora :)


    Jazmine – You do get a brush belt, but you only get basic brushes for right now. We’ve just switched to a new “pro” line and the brushes we have now are more expensive as they are better quality than the previous ones, so they have a new rule: You must earn new brushes. Its kind of stupid, and I don’t personally like this rule as not everyone in color is going to get the opportunity to “earn” brushes as easily as some of the certified ladies and gents. Some people only work nights and a lot of clients won’t be coming in at that hour needing makeup applied or such. To earn a brush you must have a client who…ohhhhh lets say wants her blemishes or dark circles concealed. You won’t start off with a concealer brush (our store didn’t anyways, but maybe yours might!) so you must pull a manager aside and have them watch you use a borrowed brush from the back to apply concealer and once you’re finished and the client is satisfied, you get that brush (or any other brush you used that you didn’t have before). You basically just need to show them you can use the brushes and will have a need for them, otherwise you are stuck with the basics. It kind of feels ridiculous as perhaps some of more shy girls/guys will feel awkward pulling a manager aside, or if a manager isn’t available asap you can’t just tell the client to hold on while you wait. I don’t know. Some of the stuff they’re switching to is a bit odd. I hope your store is a bit more professional about this than ours is right now.

    Gaby- Ohhhh Im so sorry! I was gone for a while and didn’t see this! I know you’ve already had your interview, but just in case you have a third i’ll try to remember what happened. I know at that point they ask you to dress like you’re coming into work (black upon  black), and wearing a full face of makeup is your best bet. You want to show them you can chisel and sculpt the hell out of anyone! haha. Go for bold makeup, or if you’re not comfortable, just wear whatever you’re best at. They’ll ask you what brands you like and why, what products you like and why, and then ask how you would best sell them. I know they asked a bunch of “What would you do if…” questions. At this point you’re most likely dealing with the Store Director (manager). I know they asked me a bunch of questions I’d never encountered so I just used the “I haven’t had a customer like that (or problem), but if I did, I would do this…” and such like that. You know, obvious stuff ;D They’ll ask what your future plans are, as they send us off on training’s which are usually $1,000USD each person so they don’t want to…I hate to say WASTE money…but it is kind of wasting it on someone who only is going to be there for summer and leave for school or any other reasons. They’ll want to know what hours you want (say ANY!!) and the days you’re available. If they ask you this, you’ve got it. Show them your passion and love for makeup and you’ll do great. They want people who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do (whenever you ladies start working, passion is a HUGE part of training, so you’ll understand why I use the word a lot). I THINK that was all I really got asked on my interviews? Sorry! Mine was over a year ago! But I wish you the best of luck!

    Calbear- BMWUAHAHAHAAAA. Do it! I know most Sephora’s are hiring right now for seasonal! ;D
    I just feel like when I started I had no one to ask as none of my friends were involved in makeup, and was confused about a lot of procedures like how the interviews go/went, so i’m trying to give out all the information I can! I hate feeling clueless!

    Profile photo of Gaby Castillo

    Kahime- Thank you so much for your advice! So I ended up going to the second interview which was on Thursday, and the following Monday (which was yesterday) I got a call from the store director offering me the job!!!! I’m so excited!!! She said that she still needed to run my background but that she wanted to call and unofficially offer me the job because she knows we were anxious waiting for an answer. Once my background clears she will call me back to schedule my orientation. Woo hoo!!!!!

    I had a question though, I’m pretty sure I was hired on as a seasonal, but my plans are to grow with the company and eventually become a DIC myself! I really want them to keep me after the holiday season, but what do I have to do for them to keep me? Our store director told us that when we were interviewing that she doesn’t hire seasonals just for the holidays and lets them go, she hires seasonals to test us out to see who wants to grow with the company. How can I prove to her that I want to stay?

    Anyways I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity! It has been my dream to work at Sephora for years so I am crazy excited!!! :D


    That’s so awesome! Congratulations! You’re VERY lucky as they had me wait until my background, drug, and references came back. Took foreverrrrr. Well, there’s DIC who handles the schedule of the day (breaks and lunches) and the occasional off ball client, and then there’s the Store Director who is also sometimes called a DIC. Store Director positions are rare but they are amaaaazing. Especially the conferences you get to go to and all the extra training. BUT. A regular DIC is like a supervisor or it can be a normal employee who is familiar in some of the supervisor training that also can take the board for a few hours.

    Pick up extra shifts and get surveys filled out about you. Are you a cashier? Color? Skin? Frag? The most important thing they will be looking for is your availability and if you’re getting excellent shout outs. If you’re not available and calling out constantly, you will get cut. Not to say you can’t call in when you’re sick, not that at all…just…a lot, you know? Client surveys are at the end of the receipt and they ask the client how their experience was (since we don’t work off commission, thats how our Directors know how we’re doing) and who helped them. So if you’re getting a lot in, you WILL be kept. Also, just ask a lot about how to grow. Ask to sit down with your Director once your shift is over and just ask her how to help you grow. Our director LOVES when we ask to sit down to have a personal conversation about our growth.

    Again! Congrats!!! Welcome to the team! Let me know how it goes and if there’s anything else I can help you with :D

    Profile photo of Jazmine Saunders



    wow really? that’s super weird that they do that, although it probably will be different at my store as we haven’t opened yet and are all new so I don’t think we will have that sort of hierarchy yet. I was just wondering because some girls in other stores just walk around handing out baskets lol ! ugh i am beyond excited to be a color consultant. my store director and the other head management women are honestly the sweetest most upbeat down to earth ladies were really lucky to have them. I start a month long orientation training in about two weeks. So we wear the Sephora colors? e.g black, red, white? My other question is what the discount is in the store. Is it 20% off everything and 50% off sephora brand? 


    I want to work in the beauty studio i don’t know what the position is called but i want to be able to do a full face on someone and have them book appointments with me. :)


    Do you know what position we can go to from a color consultant, what is your position etc?


    Thanks :)


    Every store is different I’ve noticed so i’m not surprised that your hierarchy is different. Ohhh the basket girls. They’re girls in color who are told to hand out baskets and greet. It’s usually a time when the store itself is either down or it’s slow and they want people to buy. If you give a person a basket, they’re more likely to put more stuff in than they would with their hands. Tricky! Do you know if you’re going to be doing your SOS training in store? They’re starting that soon so I didn’t know if your store was doing in store training or if they’re still planning on sending you guys out for it. No, you should be getting measured soon and be wearing the actual uniforms which vary depending on your position and your hours. If you don’t have the uniforms yet then its black slacks and a nice black shirt, or they have you wear Sephora T-shirts.

    The discount is 40% off Sephora and the brands we cover such as KVD, Tarina, Charlotte, and Hello Kitty. Then we get 20% off everything else. Its just a color consultant, but certified. It can take a while to be certified as you need someone from the Pro team to come and certify you personally, and depending on your location they may only do it once a year. To be certified you also need to complete your SOS training first, so it can take a while sometimes. One of the girls who has been here for almost two years just got certified as it took that long to get someone from Pro to get here and have the time to certify. Sometimes it’s quite irritating.

    After regular color, you go to SOS which allows you to do express services, then you can be certified. After your Director has time open or feels you’re ready you’re then sent to Encore which is the actual deep training in each brand and is amazing. You can then try out for pro team which is once a year. You can either go management and become a color lead or if your store offers, you can become a Personal Beauty Adviser (PBA). Instead of the normal 30 minute makeover which is a $50 min purchase, 90 minute option tailored completely to you, covering skin care, makeup and fragrance…all the good stuff. It is with $125 with purchase along with the fact that you must make an appointment. I do know you get an entire new look though, so a lot of buzz has been put into it. I haven’t been to work since it was launched so i’m slightly vague on how it’s doing and if they’re training more people. There’s only a few PBAs as Sephora is testing the waters with the idea, but most definitely look into if your store has it!

    I’m just a simple fragrance consultant :)

    Profile photo of Gaby Castillo

    @Kahime– you said that your background check took a long time? I’m a little frustrated because on Monday the store director called me unofficially offering me the job, Tuesday she called again letting me know that as part of the background checkprocess I’d be receiving a questionnaire email and after I received the email and I answered the questionnaire then the background check process would continue. It is now Friday and I still haven’t received The email! I called and she was busy so I was told that shesouls later call me to resolve the situation,I guessing maybe she typed in my email wrong? I’m so frustrated because I want to start working already! :( did your process take a long time too? The only thing that makes me feel a little better is the fact that she already offered me the job, it’s just the background check process that’s taking forever! Lol.


    Yeah my background check took almost two weeks as they were opening a brand new store downtown along with hiring for our store, so there’s a lot of people to go through and try to get done. Plus they have to arrange the orientation to be around the same time for everyone. Questionnaire? Hmm. Perhaps that’s something new? I never had to fill out anything like that. They’re really good about emails as they “disclose” corporate information so I doubt it’s that they put it in wrong. I had to wait a long time to start working. They offered me the job after a few weeks of waiting on all my stuff to come back clean, and then I think it was another few weeks before orientation as well. I remember being frustrated as well as i’ve never had a job take THIS long to get all the stuff on their side that needs to be done.
    I’d say if you haven’t heard, go in tomorrow. Store Directors don’t usually…wait. Lemme see if mine takes the weekends off…Nope. Just random during the week days off. Go in tomorrow. Personally. Phone calls are a hassle as the store can get busy and the directors are always in meetings. Just be like “I wanted to make sure you got my email correct…blah blah blah.”

    I really hope they get back to you soon! I’m sorry about the wait :/

    Profile photo of Gaby Castillo

    @Kahime – Thank you so much for all of your adive, you have truly been so very helpful!

    So here’s an update… I called my manager back on Friday and I told her that maybe my email was acting up and that I had a second email if she wanted to try that one. She tried it and I finally got the email to complete my background check, now all I am waiting for is for my background check to clear.

    I had a question, is Sephora very picky about background checks? Of course I don’t have anything bad on my background, i’ve never stolen anything, never had any felonies, nothing with the law… only thing is that my credit score isn’t so great because I made a couple of bad credit card choices when I was a teen. Could this possibly make my background check fail? I don’t know why, but i’m actually really nervous about this.

    My husband tells me not to worry because other than a not so great credit score my background is squeaky clean. But what’s your opinion on this?

    Again, thank you so much for your helpful advice! Oh and to answer a previous question, I’m going to be starting out as a cashier.

    Also, how is your job doing? How are you doing in Fragrance? =)


    Awe, thank you! You’re very welcome! Again, I didn’t have anyone to ask when I was going through this process so I was completely lost and was starting to go crazy at how long this whole thing took!

    I think the only thing they’re looking for are felonies or theft related arrests. We get girls/guys who come in and try and steal everyday. We just got two girls last week who were 12….TWELVE!!!! Sorry, that just blows my mind. Anyways, and they had stolen almost 1300 from us. When the police finally came in he mentioned they’d never be able to work retail until 18 as this would show on their record. Sooo…I think they’re most concerned about that as we do have expensive items in store and backstage.
    HAHAHAHAAAAA noooooooo. If they were worried about your credit check i’d never have gotten a job. I did the same thing when I was 18. Ohh shinnnnny credit card so now I’m gonna go blow this.
    Nah, luckily for us they don’t involve credit checks with background checks, which is honestly just stupid. My bad decisions shouldn’t effect my standing for a job, but whatever. I completely understand why you’re nervous! I was freaking out thinking that what if I did something when I was younger and just had NO recollection what-so-ever? What if someone stole my identity and murdered someone? I’m horrible at imagining things!
    As long as your background is clean, then you’re good! I think working as a cashier is a good thing too, I started out that way. Just make sure you ask to get moved around into a world you’re interested or else you can be just stuck there. I hate to say it’s because people are “too good” at their jobs so they keep them there, but that’s what it seems like. Not saying run off into color to help (OH I HATED WHEN MY BACKUP DID THAT) just so you don’t have to be a cashier, but honestly let them know after you’ve gotten cashwrap down, that you want to move out of it.
    I was injured about a month ago, so I’ve been off work! It’s been sad since we’ve gotten so many new fragrances I haven’t gotten to try yet! We got the new lady gaga fragrance in for gratis about 2 months ago? Anyways I hadn’t tried it yet and was curious so I put it in a cupboard in my bathroom so when I felt like trying it out, it wasn’t going to be affected by light so the fragrance wouldn’t start to fade or anything. Two days ago my boyfriend rips the cupboard open looking for aspirin and I see my roller ball fllllllyyyyyy and smash into the wall and die horribly.
    So, since my entire bathroom stinks like Gaga now, I guess I don’t have to worry about trying it on or what it smells like -_____-

    Best of luck to you when you FINALLY start!

    Profile photo of Barbie from Vegas

    Hey Everyone! I just wanted to add my little bit of  info too…

    I worked at Sephora for almost 5 years, and I recently changed to a new position/company…but that’s another story….now, about being hired at Sephora…

    Kahime has been giving lots of great tips! Awesome of you to do that, btw! :)


    Jazmine, your situation on being hired is a little different. Since you are opening a new store (which is what I DID!!!), the month long training you are about to do IS YOUR S.O.S training! (SOS=Science of Sephora)….you can wear concept colors (Black, red, white), but try to do mostly black! You will be fitted for your costume (that’s the term they use) towards the end of the SOS training, and when the store finally opens, you should already have your costume. Be prepared….the pants/shirt you can wear are actually ok.,..the new dress with the red stripe? HORRIBLE! Legit, STAR TRECK….I dont’ know who the “up and coming hot designer” was, but they’re god awful! We were told YEARS ago that we were getting new costumes….its nice that they finally got them, but ewww…most likely you guys won’t really care much tho, because you’ll be too excited to work at Sephora! :) BTW, SOS is the first 2 weeks of your training…the second 2 weeks is ALL BRAND TRAINING…that’s the fun part and get ready for a TON OF GRATIS!!!! Its nice because you’ll be able to get to know brands and their hero products, and you’ll know what you like and what you don’t….just remember when you’re helping ppl that THEIR favorite may be something you HATE….think of ways now to not offend..i say this because its VERY easy to do….you might simply make a face at something they refer to and they’ll be offended….but you will get mosty ppl who are excited and who WANT your opinion.

    Now as far as the Beauty Studio, you’ll be able to do a quick look, like Kahime said…but you will NOT be able to do a full face or have ppl book appointments with you until you go to Color Encore and/or at least get Certified. That is something they changed in the past year, actually.

    And the Pro Team….the tryouts are every 2 years….they are just finishing them NOW…so the good news is that you’ll have time to brush up on your Sephora skills (because they DO want you to do things a certain way)….


    The DIC is the Director In Charge…that can be anyone from the Store Director to a fragrance cast member ;)  This is the person  is considered the “Hostess”…that’s how they’ll explain it to you when you’re asked to do it…LMAO You basically walk around, make sure everyone is being greeted, helped, etc..and make sure you don’t have a “black cloud” anywhere…ie a bunch of cast members standing around talking to eachother :) Some stores may work it differently, but I’ve worked in NY and Las Vegas, and it was the same….oh, you’ll also sign for returns at the cash wrap and make sure breaks are happening on time….but you also shouldn’t be a DIC until you’ve been open for awhile….justsaying :)

    The baskets….OOOHHH the baskets…embrace them, especially since you’re in color…if you’re not busy you are expected to have a basket to hand out to clients! They can fill a basket :)

    A lot of districts are changing their gratis policy (when a vendor brings it into the store)….its either everyone gets the product, or no one does…..i don’t know if your store will do this, but both my NY and Vegas stores changed to this policy…


    Since they are also changing training policies, take any down time to read the boxes, especially in skin care! It’s so important to know the WHY behind something….not only for yourself , but so you can answer any client questions. I am REALLY grateful to the trainings I had with Sephora, as I not only learned fun new makeup tips and tricks, but i know SO MUCH about skincare now. I learned a lot in store just from reading the boxes, or pamphlets the vendors leave…or the best non=training way is literally go online and just read on the products.


    I hope this was helpful!!! Even though I no longer work at Sephora, I love helping out and sharing any knowledge I can….so feel free to ask me anything! If I can answer it, i will! I even have a hard time when I just go shopping in Sephora now because i STILL answer client questions! lol When they look at me crazy, I have to explain that I used to work there…haha! But I truly love sharing what I know…..


    GOODLUCK!!! Training is so much fun…especially in that setting…your whole cast is going to bond….seriously….


    Profile photo of Gaby Castillo

    So just a quick update… I called my store director today and she said that my background check passed and that i’d be starting next week! I’m sooooo excited!!!

    I will update you all once my first day is over. Now I just hope they like me enough to keep me after the christmas season is over! =)

    @Kahime – you’ve been a tremendous help!!!!! Thanks for all of your advice girl!

    Again, i’ll let you all know how my first day went.

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