Beauty products are fun, useful, and – let’s be real – often expensive. If I could get away with biweekly splurges on MAC lipsticks, NARS Cosmetics, and Aveda hair products, you’d see me all over town! But those kind of expenses just aren’t that practical – unless you can find a way to make your love of beauty products make money for you. Sounds far-fetched, right? Nope! It’s absolutely possible, so let me share some tips on makeup money making.
Earn by Shopping
It seems like every brand (or retailer) has a loyalty program these days! I can’t even complain about having to carry loyalty cards around, since so much shopping is done online right now and they keep track of your membership number for you. From shopping in-store at Ulta to purchasing your favorite Sephora products online, you can turn purchases today into rewards tomorrow. Getting free stuff just for shopping I was doing, anyway? Yes, please!
Even better, you can combine your loyalty program with using cashback services like Ebates or MyPoints or Swagbucks – so you’re earning back a percentage of your expense through these programs while also earning future rewards. For example, right now, Ebates is advertising 8% back from shopping at Aveda, MyPoints will give you 8 points per dollar spent at Sephora, and Swagbucks will give you 5% cashback on purchases at Macy’s. You can literally make money while you’re shopping for exciting new products or simply replenishing your tried and true cosmetics!
Earn by Direct Selling
What if you could find a brand you believe in and then share it with everyone at parties – parties that make you money? That’s exactly what doing direct sales for beauty products allows you to do! Find a brand that beautifies you just as they promise, is environmentally friendly, and doesn’t use any toxic ingredients – then make it your own! Your glowing skin, flawless lips, and fantastic nails will be silent testimonials making those sales on the products you’re praising.
If you don’t know, direct selling is a great opportunity for those who like to entertain and also have sales skills. Depending on the direct sales company, you order or qualify for a sales kit that includes a selection of the company’s product lines – start-up costs range anywhere from free to a few hundred dollars. You hold parties featuring those products and earn a commission based on what you sell. Most companies don’t require you to keep stock, and many let you sell online. Then there are the downline sales – many direct sales companies encourage you to recruit additional brand representatives by offering you a smaller commission on all their sales as well.
As a direct seller for beauty product companies, you’ll often score free product just for hosting parties and making sales. Otherwise, you may be able to purchase their products at a significant discount, meaning you get your goodies at a great price and make money with them, too!
Avon and Mary Kay may be the most known direct sales opportunities for beauty, but you have so many more options to choose from! You could check out Motives Cosmetics: become a Beauty Advisor with their basic starter kit at $149.95 and earn up to 40% commission on what you sell. (Check out their Pro Artist program if you’re a makeup artist or otherwise in the industry as a cosmetician, hair stylist, model, etc.) Beautycounter’s main message is about getting safer products to everyone who uses beauty products – as a Beautycounter, you get 25% off all their stock, earn up to 35% commission, and all with an $85 enrollment kit that includes a personalized website, training, and support. For a lot of fun, check out Jamberry – they sell ridiculously easy-to-use and cute nail wraps, and you can get started with them for only $25 (and earn up to 40% commission).
Earn by Writing
Have any writing skills? Because writing skills combined with beauty know-how – or knowledge of the industry, a keen eye for trends, and a nose for research – have the potential to earn you an income through freelance writing. There are countless websites which all need content, and more appearing every week that may offer opportunities for savvy freelancers with beauty on lock. You’d be surprised how many websites have a beauty (or “style”) section – you’ll find them on sites like Slate and even The New York Times as well as the expected sites like xoJane and Bustle.
To find these freelance writing opportunities related to the beauty industry, you can do everything from a simple Google search to more specific inquiries on sites like Upwork – or you can go directly to the source. Find those websites publishing beauty-related content, find out whether they pay, and then pitch to them if they do. xoJane pays, as does BlogHer and Refinery29. Some sites also occasionally put out calls for writers in various industries, including beauty – I’ve seen several calls recently for beauty bloggers from Bustle.
You don’t have to limit yourself to digital publications either – see if you can break into magazines like Cosmopolitan or Glamour or Marie Claire. Finding their submission guidelines is usually just a process of searching their website, while pitching is often a matter of identifying the correct editor and contacting them.
Earn by Blogging (Or Vlogging)
If you’re not feeling writing for someone else, then cut right to the chase and write for yourself – and an audience! Becoming a beauty blogger or vlogger (video blogger) has the potential to be a lucrative business if you’re entertaining and consistent. It also lets you focus in on whatever part of the beauty game is your favorite – if you love K-beauty products, start your own blog covering all the latest trends in South Korea, reviewing the best products, and engaging with other enthusiasts on social media. Or maybe you’re visually artistic and love creating unique or SFX-worthy makeup applications, so you build a popular Instagram. Or you can get into the YouTube game of creating makeup how-tos and sampling products for review on video. Whatever you do, have fun with it!
There may not be much money in blogging at first, but you can leverage a website or a YouTube channel (or even just an IG account) into something that could be a good side hustle at least. Focus on establishing cred up first, building an audience (and trust), and as you grow, add affiliate marketing, monetize your videos, do sponsored posts, and more. This can also be a great way to score free product – beauty brands seem particularly fond of influencers in the beauty market. And with Facebook changing their algorithm, influencers will become even more important for brands to leverage. That next influencer could be you!
Okay, now that I’ve gotten us both psyched for making money off makeup – and probably distracted us both by a bit of beauty shopping, I mean browsing! – let me let you get to work on your next money-maker.