Does working in a drugstore/make up boutique make you a makeup artist?
Its a good question to ask - and the answer is NO.
Retail makeup is a great place to be if you are good at sales, and have product knowledge. I've met a lot of terrible "artists" who work at retail makeup counters, drug store makeup counters etc. - but have jobs because they are good at selling.
Retail makeup experience is great because its practical and relevant. The most essential part about retail makeup is efficiency. You may only have 7-15 minutes to do someones face because the client has other places to go, or your manager may scream at you for taking a long time in your application.