So You Want a Career in Beauty? Part 2

Beauty Role Model
Anne Chapas, M.D.
Union Square Laser Dermatology Medical Director and Asst. Clinical Professor of Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine
Years in practice: 10

Her two cents: “Dermatologists are experts in diagnosing and treating medical problems involving skin, hair, and nails. I began my career in the labs at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Women’s Hospital in Boston. During my residency, I became fascinated with how light, laser, and energy technologies can improve skin's health. I recently opened my own practice specializing in skin surgery, laser surgery, and cosmetic treatments. The skin often reflects a person’s general health, so it’s important to have a strong background in multiple aspects of medicine. It’s also important to realize how much the appearance of someone’s skin affects their state of mind. Being empathetic and having a strong desire to help others is paramount. I love seeing patients—skin affects people of all ages, so I work with newborns to people well into their 90s. Dermatology is one of the most competitive residences to enter after medical school. Study hard and show an early interest in dermatologic science by participating in research studies or volunteer opportunities. It’s very long training, but completely worth it and rewarding in the end.”

Beauty Role Model
Melissa Shum
Social Media Strategist, Cover FX
Years in the industry: 5

Her two cents: “I fell into the beauty industry by chance. I was at a networking event and there was a job opportunity to spearhead social media for a beauty brand. I loved the idea and quickly applied. But before getting involved with CoverFx, I interned at a few small PR agencies—my grad degree in public relations helped—which then transitioned to marketing and corporate communications at one of Canada’s largest media companies. A social media strategist has to be the eyes, ears, and voice of a brand online. Our job is to keep the brand relevant and accessible in the changing landscape of the online world. I stay on top of the best industry practices, trends, tech, and social media. General responsibilities include content creation, blogger relations, media analysis, and online marketing campaigns. I’m here to build brand awareness online. My background in marketing and PR really helps, but a passion for social media is key! It’s vital to stay plugged in to all social media platforms and tools—a can-do attitude, an entrepreneurial spirit, and excellent relationship-building skills help as well! My role is relatively new and constantly evolving—since there’s no job precedent, there will always be new creative challenges to overcome.”

Beauty Role Model
Caroline Sabas
Senior Perfumer, Givaudan
Years in the industry: 17

Her two cents: “For me, becoming a perfumer was easy. I am from Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. My family has a fragrance house, and I already knew at 16 that I wanted to continue the family business. I went to school and completed my degree in chemistry, then studied perfumery at ISIPCA in Versailles. I apprenticed in the labs of Chanel in Paris, then came to America and eventually ended up at Givaudan, one of the world's biggest fragrance companies. I’ve done many celebrity fragrances—most recently with Rihanna—and I’m still so proud of my first fragrance, Miami Glow by JLo. They say it’s necessary to have a chemistry degree if you want to work in perfumery, but unless you want to be a very technical perfumer, I don’t think you need it. The most important part of training is the apprenticeship. You’ll learn the basics in fragrance and materials. My words of advice: patience and passion. The process to becoming a perfumer is very long. Learn every detail about the history of fragrance. It might take many years of practice, but you will succeed if you’ve got the nose and the drive. When you smell a friend and they’re wearing your creation—I love it. You feel good about yourself.”

Beauty Role Model
Carla Kay
Celebrity Manicurist
Years in the industry: 23

Her two cents: “I decided to do nails at a very young age because I was such a horrible nail biter as a kid. I went to a school that just taught nails—I wish I did the full cosmetology course—and the owner gave me a job right away. I decided to move to Los Angeles in 1991 and eventually managed a Beverly Hills salon. That’s when a client said I was good enough to have an agent, so I got representation. One day in 1999, I got a call to do Trudie Styler’s nails—Sting’s wife! It was my first big job and my career has skyrocketed ever since. I’ve been to concerts, done private house calls, commercials, music videos, and movies. As a manicurist, I think it’s vital to stay educated and keep your tools immaculate. Everything must be clean and up to code at all times—seriously! I work with celebrities, so presentation matters. That said, you can’t let Hollywood get to your head. Celebrities are still clients, just like anyone who walks through salon doors. You can’t be nervous or act like a fan. You’re taking care of someone else’s hands so stay professional and do your job well.”

Beauty Role Model
Bobbi Brown
Founder, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
Years in the industry: 25

Her two cents: “When I was a theatrical makeup major in the ‘80s, makeup was only available in bold colors that didn’t work with women’s skin—it was so difficult to look natural! I had a vision to create makeup that didn’t hide the features—makeup that made women look like themselves but prettier and more confident. 20 years ago I could never have imagined I’d be where I am today. I love what I do—no day is ever the same. I’m at meetings, going to shoots, or on conference calls. I think the same skill sets required for my job are necessary for any profession—confidence, determination, and standing up for what you believe in. Makeup should empower women to feel their very best while being true to who they are. I love being able to work with creative minds and people that I truly enjoy being around. It’s important to surround yourself with talented and dependable company—people you would be friends with outside of work. I regret thinking I was never pretty enough when I was younger. Breaking into the industry, I felt inadequate, as I wasn’t as tall and blonde as all of the models and movie stars I was surrounded by. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more confident and secure. My advice: Be nice to everyone you meet—you never know who you’ll run into later in life. Also, take a step back and breathe sometimes, and always follow your gut. I know it’s difficult not to follow the pack, but if you truly believe something isn’t right for you or your brand, don’t do it.”

  • What's your must-have accessory of the moment?
    • My dazzling cocktail ring—anything to give my mani a boost.
    • My iPhone 4S—I can't live without Siri!
    • My silk scarf—pretty and feminine.
    • My diamond studs—go with everything but not too flashy.
    • My Goyard tote—it holds all my essentials for the day.
  • What's your favorite type of food?
    • Fusion—I’m all about the latest and greatest.
    • Homemade—I love putting my own spin on dishes.
    • Dessert—I love sweets!
    • Japanese—keeps my complexion glowing.
    • Ethiopian—finger food is fun.
  • Where can we find you on a Sunday afternoon?
    • At an art exhibit.
    • Multi-tasking—work doesn't stop on the weekends.
    • Hitting the gym.
    • In the kitchen trying new recipes.
    • Checking out the newest brunch spot.
  • What's your favorite beauty invention?
    • A laser treatment—zap those imperfections away!
    • The Beautylish iPad app—it's the pulse on the latest beauty news!
    • Beauty sleep!
    • The Japanese deodorizing gum that makes you smell like roses!
    • Nail art pens—I'm an artist on my fingertips!
  • What do you like to read?
    • Turn-of-the-century European novels—such a romantic time period.
    • Medical journals—science is cool, too!
    • Beautylish forums—I love reading about product raves!
    • Art monographs—stunning visual inspiration!
    • Technology blogs—I keep up with the latest innovations.
  • What part of beauty do you enjoy most?
    • Colors and scents.
    • Nail polish.
    • Skin care breakthroughs.
    • The latest trends.
    • Trying out new products.
  • What's your favorite channel?
    • Discovery Channel
    • E!
    • OWN
    • YouTube
    • AMC
Score it!
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Want to learn more about the beauty industry? Check out Part 1 and Part 3 of our series, "So You Want a Career in Beauty," and discover your beauty career destiny!