Bizarre Beauty Jobs You Didn't Know Existed

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The $170-billion-dollar beauty industry has a lot of players: makeup artists, hairstylists, product developers, CEOs, sales associates, and the list goes on. But have you ever thought about the unsung heroes — like the person who names your favorite nail polishes or smell-tests fragrances before they hit your nose?

We talked to people with the most out-there beauty jobs in the business — think marine-life harvesters and professional "face feelers." Intrigued? Feeling a career change in your future? Click ahead to learn more.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Sweat Scientist
Yes, there is a science to how you sweat — and there are people out there who study it all day, every day. (Namely, how sweat reacts to deodorant and antiperspirant.)

"There’s a lot of science that goes into each one of these products, and a whole lot of clinical testing that goes into learning and demonstrating their performance," explains Kati Bakes, Secret deodorant sweat scientist. (Yes, that is her actual title.) A large part of her job is consumer testing. Before experimenting with new products, Bakes asks her subjects to go 21 days without using antiperspirant so she can "measure their baseline sweat." She then tests their reactions to the new products by "[measuring] their sweat in a hot room by collecting it in their underarm with a sort of fem-care type of pad," she says. (This is, unsurprisingly, a pretty smelly job.) After the tests and interviews are complete, she reviews the data, does more lab-testing and formulating, and repeats the process until the subjects have reached dream deo status.

Interested in going into the science of sweat yourself? You'll need a chemical engineering background of some kind, according to Bakes. Along with a serious passion for perspiration, according to us.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Cosmetic Product Stylist
Ever wonder who's behind all of the gorgeous ads and editorial spreads for your favorite beauty brands? Sure, anyone can throw around some polish and call it art, but it takes a serious styling pro — along with a stellar photographer — to make it look pretty. And don't be fooled; there's a skill to those mascara swipes and lipstick smears.

"Unquestionably, this is messy work and you have to be prepared to manage the mess and keep on working with a flow," says prop stylist Michele Faro. "You can go on and on smearing and splashing forever, but then you do have to get to the next shot..."

While the stylists are tasked with bringing the client's vision to life, they're also responsible for managing the products and handling them with care — like making sure they don't melt (read: lipstick) or break (read: fragrance bottles). "I have had to break into a one-of-a-kind fragrance bottle and empty the ingredients to purify the liquid, and then make the bottle look perfect again," says Faro.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Olfactive Brander
If you've ever equated a certain brand with a particular scent, that's likely the work of scent director Dawn Goldworm and her company 12.29. Her mission is "to deepen the connection between a brand and its clientele through the most powerful link to emotion and memory: smell." Translation: She scents fashion shows, stores, hotel lobbies, weddings, party invitations, and the like through a variety of diffusers, custom candles, sprays, and even stationery.

As you might expect, Goldworm's day-to-day consists of a lot of meetings with clients and a lot of smelling. "But also, a lot of research on evolving olfactive preferences and new ingredients," she says.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Product Namer
Blue My Mind, Lincoln Park After Dark, Hot & Spicy — no, these aren't the titles of racy movies, but the names of OPI's brilliantly punny polishes, courtesy of its team of product namers.

"Our seasonal collections are named by a committee of very witty employees who get together to eat and drink food from the featured region, suggesting and voting on favorite names," says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice president and artistic director of OPI (whose resume expands far beyond product naming). "Thinking them up is the easy part, but with so many great ideas that come to each naming session, the hard part is getting everyone to agree." Hard or not, sitting around coming up with witty polish titles sounds like our dream meeting, tbh.

Out of the hundreds of OPI lacquers that exist, Weiss-Fischmann says her favorite is My Gecko Does Tricks from the Hawaii Collection. "Not only is the pearly green so gorgeous, [but] the name instantly makes me smile," she says.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Lipstick Reader
If you've ever wondered what your lipstick-kiss print says about you, there's a whole career for that. Sasha Nanus, who specializes in lip readings, started out with the more traditional tarot cards. But when one of her clients inquired about lipstick prints, she decided to give it a go.

Here's how it works: A client sweeps on lipstick and kisses a white card. Nanus uses the print to analyze her personality — looking at both the print itself and the color she chooses. The results can include descriptors like "balanced" (if your lip print is even) and "trustworthy" (if your pout is open), as well as friendly, creative, and warm. Sounds crazy, right? Well, her clients swear by it.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Dog Hairstylist
According to Dana VanPamelen, marketing and retail manager at the New York Dog Spa & Hotel, dog grooming today is more than just a simple trim and a toenail clip. We're talking neon hair (using vegetable-based and non-toxic dye), tail and ear highlights, mohawks, temporary tattoos, fur crystals, feather extensions, manicures (using nail wraps), and even total transformations (dogs can become pandas, unicorns, zebras, skeletons — the sky's the limit).

If you've ever tried giving your dog a bath, you know it's similar to a doctor trying to give a toddler a shot. So you can imagine how hard it is to give a dog a full makeover. "Dog Spa usually quotes a four-hour time frame for a bath and groom, and some of this time is used to acclimate the dog to the grooming table," explains VanPamelen. "Treats (i.e., bribes) are involved..."
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Fragrance Developer
If you love fragrance and fashion, you're going to want Trudi Loren's job. The senior vice president of fragrance development for the Estée Lauder Companies has created perfumes for everyone from Michael Kors to Tory Burch — and works personally with each designer to cater the scents to their styles.

When testing fragrances and notes, Loren sprays colored, sticky dots and blind-smells each to ensure she's not biased. "I evaluate each fragrance both on blotter cards and skin to determine if they need any reworks for character, such as more floral, less green, more woody, etc.," she says. She also decides whether they need to be stronger, lighter, or if they leave the correct sillage. (That's the trail a fragrance leaves in the air, in nose language.)

Smelling scents all day can take a toll on the nostrils, but despite what every department store employee tells us, Loren doesn't recommend coffee grinds to cleanse the nasal palate. Instead, she says to use a tissue or a sleeve and breathe in deeply.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Lice Whisperer
Amy Goldreyer didn't exactly plan on getting into the business of lice. "When my kid was in kindergarten, his class got lice and it was around the time when I needed to find a job," she says, laughing. "There were other people who got lice, so I started going through their heads and I thought, Ooh, this could be a business." The result: Hair Whisperers.

Goldreyer and her team of lice-removal experts make house visits to manually nitpick through heads and eradicate the creepy-crawlers. (With all the rumblings around super lice, this service could potentially be in your future.) The key to mastering the lice hunt? It's all about the angle, comb, and product, according to Goldreyer.

And, no, you don't need a degree in lice removal in order to become a whisperer yourself. "What I look for is someone who has experience with children, or someone who's taken care of the elderly," says Goldreyer. "Someone who's calm and can handle squeamish situations is also a must." Because, yeah.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Face Feeler
Face feelers, also known as "sensory scientists," act as the hands behind some of your favorite beauty products. If it sounds weird, that's because it kind of is. The job basically involves feeling the faces of consumers who are testing products to determine the products'

"It's an exploration into all of the facets of a product, [which] range from what it looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like, [to how it] behaves, and more," says sensory scientist Judy Heylmun. "One may be looking at differences in ease [of] spread, oily or greasy feel, stickiness, rate of absorption, etc." Looking to take a more hands-on approach to your career? This could be a good fit.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Skin Tissue Developer
If you haven't heard, L'Oréal plans to 3-D print human skin, working with bioprinting company Organovo. Yes, the future is now. This innovation will help safely indicate how human skin will react to ingredients in products. Unfortunately, Liz Wu — senior scientist at L'Oréal's California Research Center — couldn't share much detail. (Which means it's really exciting stuff, people.)
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Marine Harvester
La Mer's The Miracle Broth (nutrient-rich sea kelp that's infused with "energies of light and sound") is at the core of the brand. Fun fact: A squad of farmers harvests it off the Pacific Northwest coast. Once picked, the algae goes through a three-to-four-month bio-fermentation process, making it more effective — and basically the fanciest seaweed of all time.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
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