When it comes to makeup, Sephora is the mecca of all that is sparkly, shiny, colorful, and on trend. This high-end beauty store is like no other, and women searching for flawless facial looks flock to the black and white department store in droves.
Sephora doesn't just offer up lipsticks, beauty blenders, and facial cremes, though. It aims to give customers the ultimate experience in makeup and skincare. Sephora is like a strange mix of Disneyland for makeup loving ladies and an art museum full of exciting and pretty things all displayed in a manner that convinces visitors that they need every single thing in the store. Walking out of a Sephora store empty handed is not a thing. Go ahead and try not to buy something. It's almost impossible.
What many people don't know is that the employees who work at Sephora function under a unique set of rules that help to set the store apart from so many others. Some of the rules make perfect sense, but others are pretty out there. When it comes to falling in line, Sephora doesn't play around. Employees either get with the program and embrace it or find somewhere else to cut them a weekly check.
Here are 20 things that Sephora workers are not allowed to do. Everyone might want to read up on these before filling out an application.
20 Go Completely Bare-Faced
To be fair, this is a makeup store, so it is a reasonable request by corporate that employees who are working the floor wear some product on their face. Going natural here is not an option.
What is a bit over the top, however, is the type and amount of product that Sephora workers must include in their everyday beauty regimen.
They are required to wear a complexion base (such as foundation or face powder) as well as at least three varying eye shadow shades. They must always include a cheek color, a lip color, and a fragrance, too!
19 Speak Any Way They Want
The people who work at Sephora almost have a unique little language. There are specific terms and vocabulary words that have always to be observed when becoming a part of the Sephora team. For example, the employees who work the floor and have contact with customers are the store's cast members. The managerial team goes by the title of directors, and the stock room is called backstage.
Employees don't wear uniforms; instead, they don costumes. Samples that are given out to workers are known as gratis. Visitors might feel like they have stepped into a different country when they shop at Sephora.
18 Stay Put In Their Beginning Ranks
One thing that is sometimes misunderstood about working at Sephora is not everyone comes on with a ton of makeup application experience. People with no or little experience in that area often start as a cashier or stock room assistant.
With the understanding that they will aspire to move up the ranks, it's something that they can expect to take place over time.
Once new employees are comfortable, the directorial team will start to show them around all of the different Sephora "world" and help them pass tests and move up the ranks in the company. Employees can even work their way up to receiving a Skincare Ph.D., which is one of the more coveted titles at Sephora.
17 Pressure Customers To Buy Products
The people who are manning the Sephora floors, aka the stage, probably won't hound and hover around you as employees of other stores might do. This much-appreciated shopping space is likely because they do not work off of a commission. If they offer their unbiased opinion about a product, it is not due to them desperately trying to make a sale off of you.
The people at Sephora are passionate about skincare and makeup and are probably genuinely trying to help you achieve your best look. This particular aspect of their employee sector sets them apart from competitors' stores.
16 Stash Samples For Themselves
Sephora's employees get plenty of freebies throughout their time working at the store, so many, in fact, that most workers swear that they will never have to purchase makeup ever again.
Because of the massive amounts of gratis, there is no need for them to be stingy with the samples.
There are plenty to go around! Employees will want to give them out to you and are encouraged to provide each customer with roughly three samples throughout their visit per "world." Essentially that is three freebies from fragrance, three from skincare, and three from color. If a customer requests more, they should comply without an issue.
15 Deny The Return Policy
Sephora has one of the most forgiving return policies around. While customers appreciate the fact that they can pretty much give back anything they buy for store credit, employees don't often feel the same way. Even if they disagree with a customer's return, they have to honor the company policy. It does irritate some employees that the company allows customers to return even gently used products up to 60 days post purchase.
It bothers them even more if Sephora customers take advantage of the policy, which many sadly do. A returned eyeshadow palette that has gotten plenty of use is no good to them, and neither is a half used bottle of expensive foundation.
14 Wear Their Hair Loose And Messy
Sephora has control over every aspect of their employees' looks, from head to toe, quite literally!
When working at the famous department store, employees have to wear their hair up, preferably in a bun or a ponytail.
We aren't sure what the thought process is behind this style, but, chances are the company prefers its employees to look polished and uniform. They might also ask for hair pulled back so that it does not interfere with the work the employees do for the client. A perfect makeover is hard to do with hair falling into one's sight lines.
13 Let Their Nails Go Unmanaged
There are rules for Sephora employees in regards to their nail care as well. Employees must maintain perfect hand hygiene while working for the company. Nails are not to be kept too short, nor can they appear unkempt. On the flipside of this, they must also not ever seem to be overdone and sharp.
Long, claw-like nails might be in fashion, but they could scratch or poke clients when employees are applying facial creams and makeups. Also, the Sephora team has to wear a polish the company sells, which makes decent sense. At least the store has a tremendous polish selection to choose from!
12 They Can't Go Crazy With Jewelry
Plenty of people turn to accessories to really finish off their look, but Sephora employees are not those people. Lots of bold and flashy jewelry is frowned upon, and the company even has a policy for ring wearing. In general, employees are to keep only two rings on each hand.
If loading your fingers up with jewels each morning is right up your alley, then you might consider skipping ever working at Sephora.
If self-expression is something that employees crave, they will have to do it through the preferred makeup styles like lip color and eyeshadow selections, not hairstyles or jewelry.
11 Expect Compensation For Their Extra Work
Many people who choose to work in retail and the beauty industry do so because they can earn a stable wage as well as compensation for major sales through a commission. That is not the case at Sephora. Because there is no commission offered, it doesn't matter if employees, aka cast members, pull in the sale of a lifetime. They won't get a penny more than an employee who made no sales on that day.
So why no commission? It could be for several different reasons, but at least there is not any catfighting over being the number-one earner at their stores. Also, their product sales pitching comes from the heart, not from a bonus check.
10 Dress For Unique Style
There is no room for individuality at Sephora, which can be a problem for some employees. Typically, those obsessed with makeup will want to carry their look all the way through.
They might have a perfect pairing of clothing to go along with their makeup and hairstyle, but at Sephora, those fancy clothes will have to stay in the closet until after work hours.
Employees at this chain must wear the black and red uniform, or costume, that is provided to them. Hey, at least black is a slimming color, plus it won't show stubborn makeup stains light a light shade of fabric would.
9 Roam The Floor Badge-less
Characters at this makeup Disneyland have to be in full costume with completed makeup, perfect hair and nails, a friendly smile, and a badge stating their name. If employees are fortunate enough to work the store, then they are to be at a customer's full disposal. Sephora likes to make their cast members as accessible as possible to visitors, and this means having the ability to refer to an employee by their first name.
Being on a first name basis with anyone makes the connection between humans more personable anyhow. You are more likely to buy something a "friend" suggests as opposed to a stranger right?
8 Try To Score A Job Before Adulthood
Teenage girls might consider working at Sephora a dream job. They get to apply a full face of makeup before heading off to work, learn all the correct applications from professionals, test their methods out on eager customers, and then on top of it all, they get so much free loot! All of these perks PLUS a paycheck!
Yep, every sixteen-year-old on the planet is probably counting down the days until they can work here, and counting down is precisely what they will have to do.
Sephora only considers hiring employees who are over the age of 18. There are no exceptions to this rule. This job is one that absolutely must wait until adulthood.
7 Employees Can't Be Doling Out Makeovers Left And Right
Customers who enter Sephora are entitled to a forty-five-minute custom makeover, but these makeovers must coordinate with a purchase of fifty dollars or more. There is no stunning transformation without making a few pricey purchases at this high-end store. Also, makeovers only take place at Sephora stand-alone stores, not Sephora stores inside a JC Penny department store. The shorter version makeovers that often take only fifteen minutes are given out at will.
These include a pretty smokey eye and lipstick application. All you have to do to get one of these quickies is walk through the front door and ask for one.
6 Fly Blind With Products
Employees are given products early on before they ever launch in retail stores so they have time to get to know the product before applying them to employees.
Employees are also trained on the product by professionals so that they never misuse the stuff on potential customers.
Sephora employees are expected to know a product inside and out. They never grab a product and blindly apply it to someone's face. If they are putting something on you, you can rest easy knowing that they spent some time learning the ins and outs of whatever they are trying out.
5 Employees Aren't To Bow Out Of "Challenges"
Sephora likes to change things up a bit in their stores sometimes, and they do that through corporate run "challenges" for their store employees. Some days, a store will pick a look of the day to challenge its cast members. Employees then try their hand at achieving their version of the challenge in hopes of winning some pretty fly prizes and bonuses. It is understood that all Sephora members will partake in these challenges.
You might have to up your glitter game or get down with the bedazzling to win, but the effort is usually worth it in the end.
4 They Can NOT Skip Out On Product Cleaning
A whole lot of customer testing and application goes on at the Sephora stores, and it might not be the most glamorous part of the job, but it is essential. Employees don't get to skip out on it. For example, the lipstick testers are sprayed with alcohol, then shaved off after every use in hopes of halting the spread of germs.
There are mini alcohol sprays all over the store so that customers and employees can do their best to keep samples clean and germ-free.
While cast members are to stay diligent with wiping and cleaning trial applicators, it's probably best to give whatever you are using a spray or swipe yourself, to be safe.
3 Employees Don't Just Put Products Anywhere
There is a method to the way the store workers must set up the Sephora products. They can't merely stock the shelves in any way they see fit. The rule is the more expensive and the newest products are always kept at eye level. This staging makes complete sense considering they want your eye to hit the big ticket items first. The lower shelves will generally have better deals.
If it is lower prices you are looking for, check the ends of the aisles as well. And what is the best time to stock up on your favorite Sephora items? After Christmas, of course!
2 Sephora Employees Use The Color IQ When Matching Customers' Skin Tones To Products
Don't even consider eyeballing someone's skin color and matching it to a product just because you think you have a knack for matching foundation to one's skin on a whim.
Employees at Sephora have to rely on the Color IQ mechanism that takes one's skin tone and connects it to a Pantone number.
This number then directly corresponds to every foundation that they sell in the store. When it comes to finding the perfect foundation, Sephora cast members are to take zero chances. Using the Color IQ tool is an absolute must for all employees helping customers find their exact skin tone match.
1 Cast Members Cannot Refer Customers To A Single Brand
If customers are looking for a recommendation, they would be smart to ask for the top five performing products instead of an employee's favorite or the "number one" seller. While it is a bit of instinct to ask a store employee what the "best" matte lipstick is or what the "number one" facial cleanser is, it will be easier for them to answer you if you ask what the top five products are instead.
Sephora employees are not supposed to have one "favorite" and cannot refer you to one particular brand. Instead, they are trained to give potential customers their top five picks or the store's three highest performing items based on sales (and discounting returns).
Sources: Mental Floss, PopSugar, This is Insider, MSN, Buzzfeed