Growing up, I was unsure of what I really wanted to do. I didn’t enjoy school that much, mostly because I was not a good test taker.
I ended up going to cosmetology school at Santa Monica College and received my AA Degree in Business. I also received my License in Cosmetology after completing the 1600 hour course and state board exam. I thought I wanted to work at a salon so I got a job at a blow dry bar for a few months where they also offered makeup services.
I soon realized I didn’t want to do hair anymore and I wanted to do makeup. At the time I didn’t have the money to go to a private makeup school so I thought how can I learn to do makeup and get paid for it?
The first idea that came to my head was apply at MAC cosmetics. I remember going there in high school to get prom makeup and the girls/guys always looked fantastic. They made makeup look fun!
What was the worst that would happen? They might say no and then I would move on to the next makeup company or keep trying until I got the position.
I did some research on “how to get a job at MAC” and saw there was a career call that was coming up at the Grove in Los Angeles.
I also thought about going into a store and dropping off my resume, but figured they received so many resumes a day that it would get lost in the shuffle. (which is true I found out after working there)
I wanted to share some tips if you are going to a career call which I highly recommend instead of dropping off your resume to a store.
- Dress to Impress!!! I remember from going there to get my makeup done that everyone wore black and their hair and makeup was snatched to the Gods! So I mimicked that. I wore these amazing black leather pants with a blazer and black heels. I did my makeup the best I knew how to and styled my hair as if I already worked there.
- Bring a professional, up to date resume, and a portfolio of any work that you have previously done. At the career calls, the regional recruiter is there along with a panel of MAC judges, like American Idol, from within the company and you have five minutes to tell them why you would be a great fit for for the company.
- Show confidence! You do not need to have finished a high priced makeup school in order to get the job. Of course that is a plus, but not a requirement. I used to get that question a lot, once working there, and I always let people know it is more about your personality. Walk in with your head up and introduce yourself. Shake everyones hand and remember their names. It is all about showing off your amazing personality! Just keep talking!! I gave them my portfolio and made sure to have enough resumes so that they all were able to have one in hand. It is always better to be over prepared then not prepared enough. Talk about what excites you about makeup and wanting to learn about New Trends. Also give them a few characteristics you like about yourself, i.e. being reliable, wanting to grow within the company, and wanting to contribute to the MAC Aids Foundation. Do some research about the MAC Aids Foundation so you will be well versed in that. The recruiter will love that you are prepared!
- You will know if you get a call back if you leave with a piece of paper inviting you back for a makeup interview. I like to call this piece of paper the Golden Ticket. If you receive the golden ticket, go celebrate. If you do not get the golden ticket, still go celebrate because you just stood in front of a panel of MAC judges and got through it. Go back and try again until you get it. Do not feel bad for yourself, think of it as a learning experience and what you can do better next time. I remember standing in a two hour line to have my five minutes and each minute went by like an eternity.
If you get called back for the makeup interview, you will have to bring your own model. Heads up in the makeup interview, they like to switch models on you, so don’t get comfortable doing the models makeup you are bringing.
I didn’t know any of the products or how to match a foundation color, but my motto is “fake it ’til you make it.” They will give you 25 minutes to complete the makeup and don’t over think it.
Look up how to do a prime look before going to the makeup interview and you will be good to go. Remember makeup is fun! While you are applying the makeup to your model, have them hold a mirror and explain what you are doing throughout the makeup application. If you want to really show them you know what you are doing, hand over the brush to your model during the application so they can practice doing it themselves. This is called “Show and Teach.”
The trainers will walk around after the time allotted is over and give you feedback on your completed work and just say thank you. Do not argue or try to defend yourself, just be appreciative for the feedback they give you.
After that the regional recruiter will let everyone know they will be in touch with those who will be a good fit for the company at that time. I waited and waited and didn’t hear from the recruiter until a month later. Don’t lose hope!
I then got the call and was placed into an actual MAC store and grew within the company to become a “third-key” manager. I started out as a cashier and climbed the ladder until I got what I wanted, which was a full time manager position. My MAC experience was so wonderful, I met so many amazing, talented artists and became great friends. I spent more time with my co workers then actually being home and it was like having a small family.
If you can work at MAC cosmetics, you can do anything! Customer service is extremely rewarding, but it also comes with multi-tasking and working well under pressure. Learning every single lipstick color, foundation color, brush number, takes months, but don’t worry. Ask for help from your co workers that have been there longer then you. They will be happy to help!
In the almost three years I worked there, I worked at two different stores and perfected my craft. I now am a freelance artist and I’ll be perfectly honest, when you tell your clients you have worked for MAC, they instantly trust you. Good luck in your MAC Cosmetics career! You will have the best time of your life. Be yourself and have fun!