Beauty Careers: What it Takes to Make it in Marketing


Gisela Ballard

Executive Director, Marketing, Shiseido

Years in the Industry: 20+

Why we're obsessed:
Not only does she head up marketing for one of the most popular brands in the world, Gisela truly believes in what the industry is all about—making a difference in a person's life.

On getting into marketing..

I have always been interested in fashion and beauty. My first job out of college was in Human Resources (HR) and, following that, retail. I quickly realized that HR wasn’t for me and retail was exhausting! I looked for an industry that I enjoyed and was a customer of. I was extremely lucky to find an entry level position at Cosmair, which was the U.S. subsidiary of L’Oréal at the time. My career has progressed from my first position as an Administration Assistant in Sales at Cosmair to my current role as Executive Director of Marketing for Shiseido. It is a bit hard for me to believe, but I have been in the beauty industry since 1990—time flies!

On her roles and responsibilities...

Every day brings new knowledge; whether it is from competitive activity, new trends, consumer feedback or Shiseido’s performance—it keeps it all interesting. My job is to present Shiseido brands and products in the most relevant way. I want the consumer to understand the level of thought and attention that goes into every detail of experiencing a Shiseido product.

On what it takes to succeed...

Hard work and creative thinking will never go out of style. In this industry, I believe you need to be close to the data but balance that information with your instincts. Decisions need to be based in fact but ultimately we are the consumer—so whatever the product, strategy, or offering, it should also appeal to us. Hone in on developing your skills and the unique talents you bring to a brand or an organization. Be focused and explicit.