Anyone who works in beauty will tell you that it’s a fun, inspiring place, full of creative ideas (and the occasional free sample!), but exactly how do you break into the beauty industry? In this series, we’ll be chatting with beauty industry insiders to find out what their jobs involve and the paths they took to get where they are now.
From makeup artists and beauty editors to social media assistants, brand founders, and web developers – these stories are proof that you can enter the beauty industry via any career path.
Meet Linda Hallberg of Linda Hallberg Cosmetics.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I always wanted to be a performer! A singer or some kind of artist – I knew I wanted to be something creative. I was a creative child, always up to something – I liked playing dress up, recording videos, and sketching with my best friend. I loved to sing, to draw… and drawing and painting was always something I went back to! I still sing though, but mostly karaoke.
What attracted you to the beauty industry?
It was because of all the shapes and colors! When I was little, I painted myself with my mom’s makeup, I used lipsticks all over the place and saw everything just as colors (I bet she was not very happy about that). It was not to make myself ”pretty” with makeup, it was more about expressing myself in different ways, and that creative part is what makes me so passionate about my job! I decided to go to make up school when I saw a body painting in a magazine. I got hooked in a second – I wanted to paint people instead of paper. I usually say that makeup is like writing a diary on my own, or other people’s faces. Makeup for me is so much emotions and feelings – it’s more than just products, it’s about what you can do with them!
What did you study and how did this guide your current role/how do you use the skills from your degree in your job?
I studied civics and music in high school. I think the music part plays the most important role in my job because music is another way of expressing yourself and has always been a big part of my life! I always use music to put me in a specific mood when I create.
What path did your career take after graduation?
After graduation I studied makeup in Stockholm – which was pretty far from my home town. I was 18, had no money, and didn’t know anyone in Stockholm, so I moved there with an ex-boyfriend – we lived in a caravan without running water. It was very tough and I was so ashamed about my situation, but I also learned how to solve things, and how to be even more creative. I think I planted a little seed for my makeup brand back then because I had to mix my own colors and formulas when I couldn’t afford to buy new products to my kit. I started blogging in 2008, and then it all went from there – now, when I think back, I think that part of my life has been one of the most important for so many reasons!
What skills and experience do you need to succeed as a brand founder?
The first and most important: You need passion, a vision and patience! It’s going to be a lot of hard work! But you are gonna learn so much about yourself and others along the way. I didn’t have any experience myself and I think it’s important to grow with your company and your colleagues, and to work as a team all the way! Also, believe in yourself and your ideas!
What does your day-to-day entail?
Oh god, I do so many things. One day I can be on location shooting a campaign, the next day I’’ll be recording a YouTube video, working with product development, answering emails, going to meetings, creating looks for my social media channels. My job never gets boring, and I love that!
What are some common misconceptions people have about your job?
If we talk about the social media part, people still think it’s not a real job and that I just take selfies and put them online and make a lot of money out of it. That is not the truth – my job takes a lot of time, effort and research – and instead of working a normal eight hour day, I pretty much work 24/7. Also, people assume that I wear makeup all the time and can’t walk out the door without it. The truth is, I love a naked face, and I love walking around without makeup. But it’s getting better and working with social media is getting more and more accepted!
What is the best part of your job?
All the variation, and that I am able to work with, and meet so many amazing people every day. It’s a dream!
What has been the most surreal moment of your career so far?
It’s by far launching Linda Hallberg Cosmetics in 2016, and that everything went so fast! I could never even imagine that we would be all over the world in such short amount of time. Seeing people using my products is still surreal – I’m so grateful for everything, everyday! I still have to pinch my arm sometimes to see if it’s really real.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own beauty brand?
As I said before, believe in your ideas, and see possibilities, not problems. Also, you have to do research – a lot of research! I think all beauty brands have their own stories and journeys. No one is the same, create your journey and don’t compare yourself to someone else. But prepare yourself for a lot of work in the future, because it’s not easy! But it’s important to not forget to have FUN and laugh a lot along the way. It is really important for success.
What deskside essentials are vital to you doing your job? (can be anything from coffee to bullet journal, hand cream etc)
Coffee for sure! And PostIt notes. I always write lists and bullet points to remember things – I have the worst memory ever, and just writing down things on my computer doesn’t work, I have to do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper.
What’s your top piece of beauty advice?
Do your own thing! Passion and love for something shines through.