Here’s What It’s Like to Work at Sephora - QC Makeup Academy

Every makeup artist has considered it at one point or another – working at Sephora. This beauty retailer is one of the biggest in the industry, both in cosmetic brands and employment, so it’s only natural for makeup gurus to be drawn to it. But there’s a lot more to the job than just working with pretty makeup!

We wanted to find out exactly what it’s like to work at Sephora, so we scoured through hours of video tutorials to learn about the experience. If you’re interested in applying to Sephora, read on to find out about the good, the bad, and the unexpected…

Getting Hired at Sephora

To start out, we wanted to learn how a makeup artist can get hired at Sephora. Of course, the first step to landing the position is applying! Most Sephora stores will have you apply online – even if you go into the store, resume and all. This is simply a modern trend in job applications and the hiring process. Nowadays, companies can weed out candidates that aren’t suited for the position through a simple document search. This saves time for management, but it also means that your application will need to be top notch.

This is where your experience comes in handy. If you have either retail experience or a makeup certification, you’re already a step ahead of most applicants! We’re not saying that it’s impossible to be hired without any previous experience, but it certainly makes it challenging. So, with your past retail positions and makeup training outlined, you’re set to move on in the hiring process.


product knowledge at sephora working as a makeup artist

There’s no avoiding an interview if you want to land a job. With the economy in such a state, there’s going to be plenty of competition for every position you want. How do you beat out other candidates to get the position? You need to show your interviewer that you are the best person for the job, which comes down to both your personal and professional skills, as well as your ability to communicate your potential.

With Sephora, you may be offered a phone interview – this is the initial stage in the hiring process. A phone interview is to be taken seriously; it is an interview, after all! This is the first impression your future employer will have of how you interact with others, so it’s incredibly important to be clear and concise in your answers.

Your next step is likely an in-person interview, possibly in a group setting. Group interviews can be intimidating because you’re face-to-face with competing applicants – but remember, you’re there because you have the skills Sephora is looking for! Your interviewer wants you to do well so they can hire a reliable employee.

To succeed at an interview with Sephora, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always introduce yourself to your interviewer and others present – a firm handshake gives a great impression!
  • Don’t interrupt other candidates! Even though you want to come out on top, you still need to show patience and manners.
  • Don’t be repetitive – every answer should be unique and different from the last, from both your own answers and other candidates.
  • Know your brands! In retail, a working knowledge of specific products and brands the store sells is crucial to landing a position. It also helps to research the company’s values and history!

Working at Sephora

applying lipstick with a lip brush makeup artist kit

Becoming an employee with Sephora is a huge step forward in your makeup career. As a leader in the beauty industry, Sephora gives you access to new information and products that will change your career for the better!

Sephora Makeup Training

Starting out, you’ll receive complete training about the company and products that Sephora carries. If you’re a cashier, of course, you’ll learn how to work the cash wrap efficiently. As a Sephora employee, your role will depend on where you experience and skills lie – you might be offered a different position than you expected!

Here’s a glance at just a few of the roles you could be working in:

  • Color Consultant: Applying makeup to clients, making product and technique recommendations, selling cosmetics
  • Skincare Consultant: Addressing skin concerns, recommending skincare routines and products, selling beauty products and cosmetics
  • Makeup Advisor: Providing advice and expertise to customers about products

With each role, you’ll receive specific training from Sephora. Brand specialists will be trained in specific brands to pass on knowledge and recommendations to both coworkers and clients. Mostly, you’ll learn as you go. Each day will bring something new to the table, whether it’s a trend or new product launch!

Professional Makeup Certification

makeup certification teaches how to do glam and bridal makeup artistry

As a certified makeup artist, you’re likely to be hired as a consultant right away. Since you already have full makeup training, you’ll be ready to go onto the floor and apply makeup to clients that will make them look flawless.

From what we’ve seen, Sephora’s certification process is more of a test rather than a full training program. You will be trained according to company standards, but the technique and theory won’t be the same as what you learn in a makeup class. For example, knowing about skin conditions, tones, and types will put you ahead of the game.


As an employee of Sephora, you’ll be expected to carry out a number of roles. Even if your position is in skincare, expect to be working with cosmetics and fragrances as well. We all know how busy Sephora gets, and you’ll need to go where you’re needed. Every client should be well-taken care of! This is why it’s so important to pursue additional training as you work.

Sephora is a community-oriented company – their corporate goals reach for innovation, social responsibility, confidence, unity, and creativity. If you want a job at Sephora, you should reflect these ideas in your attitude and resume! Sephora seeks out genuine individuals to hire, so just be your sweet self.

And don’t forget, the Sephora uniform includes a full face of professional makeup! You need to wear a complete face, focusing on your complexion, eyes, and lips. There are always different standards from store to store, but have you ever seen a Sephora employee without makeup?

Retail Environment

If you’ve worked in retail before, then you know what to expect from the atmosphere at Sephora. Retail stores all have similar operations – although company policy differs. Working in retail, your hours will probably be hectic and irregular, and dependent on the store’s performance. This is why seasonal staff exist – there are lulls in consumer buying, which is reflected in how many staff members your store will need.

Want more hours? You’re going to have to prove yourself. By selling more, helping every client you can, and learning as much as possible about the store and products, you’ll be a front runner for more hours. It’s all about earning what is given to you, and as a certified makeup artist, you should shine in this environment!

Also consider the difference between part-time and full-time work. As a part-time employee, you’ll probably be working a lot of evening and weekend shifts. This is prime time for retail hours, so make sure your availability reflects that!

Employee Perks & Discounts

Have you ever dreamed about the perks you’d get as a Sephora employee? Well buckle up, because you’re about to learn everything you need to know about company discounts.

As an employee, you’ll be eligible to receive discounts on all the products Sephora has to offer. On Sephora brand products, you can get 40% off! Everything else is the usual 20% discount, which may not seem like a lot, but there’s more to the story…

Sephora employees are often given a gratis – that is, free products! This can come weekly, with employees getting one or more products at once. The idea behind this Sephora perk is to have employees test out cosmetics and beauty products so they can get to know them. This is how you’ll provide recommendations and advice to clients based on their needs.

So yes, this is a huge benefit to working at Sephora, but you need to be responsible with your gratis!

Points to Consider

With every job, your experience is dependent on a number of factors. From the people you work with, to your own attitude, to the clients you meet, your experience will be shaped by your interactions with people. It’s so important to be confident and kind in your work, as this reflects on your job performance.

There are some great stories from Sephora employees, but there are also the bad ones. If you’re looking to become a Sephora employee to advance your makeup career, then make it your main focus. Work to be better and learn during every shift.

There’s a reason why people end up working at Sephora for years – you can grow and advance into new positions, building your career from the ground up!

Learn the top 7 tips to becoming a better makeup artist from celebrity MUA Nathan Johnson!

Author Katie Deck

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