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 Christen Dominique, founder of Dominique Cosmetics.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I remember being five years old and having the urge to paint faces – it was destined to be! I went from painting my stuffed animals with my mom’s makeup and drawing faces on paper then coloring in makeup on their faces, to doing makeup in class and the locker room – and eventually freelancing part time as a makeup artist. I was always destined to create- I love creating a sense of confidence in people through art or beauty.
What attracted you to the beauty industry?
I found making other people feel confident and beautiful so rewarding – creating that beautiful feeling pushed my passion into makeup. My makeup confidence journey stemmed from having deep feelings of uncertainty and insecurity in myself – I was teased about my under-eye circles and acne throughout my younger years.
What skills and experience do you need to success as a brand founder?
I didn’t have any experience or prior training in becoming a brand founder or creative director and I don’t think that you won’t succeed without any. I personally am learning as I go, but I think my overall vision for Dominique Cosmetics, my passion, and my own personal need for structure helps everything stay in-line and keeps my business flowing and growing.
What does your day-to-day job entail?
My “work” day usually starts after I drop my son off at school. I come home (aka my office) and have a quick meeting to discuss the days schedule, what’s due, and any content needed for the day. After that I grab a latte and start to work on my emails – this usually entails making sure timelines for current and future projects are in line to meet deadlines. After this I work on finding inspiration for future projects or I go over color schemes and themes. Once this is done, I head to my in-home studio where I film a YouTube or Instagram video for the week, as well as take pictures and do general content. If I have several videos to make, I’ll send them to my video editor or I’ll edit them myself. I currently only edit my own Instagram videos because I love cutting to the beat and adding my unique style to the video – to me it feels like I’m creating a performance. Once I’m done with that I go and pick up my son from school and enjoy the rest of the day with the family. Family is really important to me.
What are some common misconceptions people have about your job?
The most common misconception people have about having a brand or keeping up as an influencer is that it’s easy and takes no time. The preparation and time it takes to get ready for content or planning the next cosmetic product requires a well thought out vision and you need to have an end goal, with rhyme and reason. It’s time-consuming but I enjoy every moment of it.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is that I don’t feel that it’s a job. I’m doing a hobby that I love every day! I get to create and take something that comes from a thought or feeling and bring it to life for thousands of people to enjoy. Every aspect of that is my favorite part.
What has been the most surreal moment of your career so far?
The most surreal moment in my career has been walking into Sephora and seeing Dominique Cosmetics on the shelf, then watching people pick it up and buying it to take home. I remember when I would walk into Sephora just to browse and wish I could afford these products to take home, and now my own brand is on that shelf – it’s crazy!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own beauty brand?
My advice to aspiring brand owners is to go with your gut – you can take as many suggestions as you can and be open, but in the end it’s your own decision that makes the brand what it is. Remember you are the brand and it’s your own unique vision that will make the company great.
What deskside essentials are vital to you doing your job?
My editing/email support are my lattes – and if it’s not coffee, its water and sriracha almonds! I like everything spicy.
What’s your top piece of beauty advice?
My beauty advice would be to remember that what you feel within yourself, everyone else can feel. So know that you are beautiful, confident, and intelligent. Also, always bounce a Beautyblender over your entire face when you’ve done your makeup to make sure everything is blended. Blending is key.