Friday, 13 September 2019 05:33

The Final Touch: Choosing a Makeup Line for Your Spa

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As beauty professionals, there is no doubt that we know our products. The very nature of our business requires us to understand and use them with expert care, making it possible for clients to experience the results they desire. Of course, maintaining these results also includes homecare. When it comes to skin care, we have taught our clients well – to maintain optimal results, they must take the treatment home. So, they purchase our cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers to continue the regimens we have taught them.


It all sounds like a good plan – with one exception. What kind of makeup are your clients using? You might be surprised. It is often shocking to see what kind of makeup clients are willing to put on their skin, even when they are committed to using good skin care. The disconnect seems to be that many people do not understand exactly how makeup affects the health of the skin. This presents an opportunity for us, as professionals, to educate. Makeup should never be looked at as a separate entity from skin care, but rather an extension of it. The ingredients in makeup are just as important as the ones in treatments. And, unlike decades ago when options were limited, makeup is now available in clean and high-performance formulas. So, the real question is, “With so many choices, how do I choose the line that’s right for my spa?” Here are some matters to consider when making a selection.



Because makeup is going directly onto the skin, it is crucial that the ingredients of the makeup line are clean, high-performing, and designed for skin care benefits. Make sure your line leaves out things like:

  • talc
  • petroleum
  • synthetic perfumes
  • synthetic parabens
  • phthalates
  • coal tar
  • heavy metals


Over and above being irritating to the skin, these ingredients can affect the health of the body. But, the worst part about letting clients use makeup with bad ingredients is that they often don’t make the connection that it is their makeup causing irritation or bad skin conditions. So, they inevitably blame the products you are using for their facials or the skin care regimen you have sold them, instead of realizing the real culprit. Make sure the chosen line is dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic.


In addition to being clean, the formulations must perform. Test and experience makeup just as you do with skin care. Choose a clean line that works with various skin conditions and can be worn after clients receive in-office treatments. Ensure there are options for sun protection, skin care benefits, all skin tones and types, everyday wear, and special occasions. Your makeup line needs to complement the service menu and the clients’ lifestyles.



Today’s consumers are conscious of how the brands they use are interacting with the environment and our co-inhabitants. Everyone has a device in their hand and the first thing they do is research a brand before they buy it. Ensure your chosen makeup brand has a good reputation in these categories:

  • sustainable farming
  • fair and sufficient compensation
  • no animal testing – PETA or Leaping Bunny Certification
  • recyclable and recycled componentry and packaging
  • responsible manufacturing with minimal carbon emissions



Every makeup line has hero products and best recommended application techniques. Makeup also involves more than shade and color matching – it is important to understand how to make the best product recommendations per each client’s skin conditions or the treatments they are receiving. Many spas bring on lines with the expectation that makeup is easy, but you may be surprised if you’re not familiar with the brand. It is important to research what kind of support your chosen brand will be offering. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What kind of initial and follow up training do you provide to partners?
  • What kind of training documents and manuals do you have?
  • Do you have an e-learning portal?
  • Is there seasonal education with new collections?



Many makeup lines are known for a few specific products that are their best sellers. Sometimes these products have been the foundation of their success. But, how many other products have they created since that one blockbuster? When researching lines, do not just think of the one popular product. Look at all their products and think about how the line will serve clients in a variety of categories. A well-known blush with a sexy name is great, but can clients also wear their foundation, concealer, and mascara? Also, think about what new products your prospective lines are coming out with on a regular basis. Remember that the brand you choose should be as interested in growing as you are.



Being a licensed aesthetician does not automatically qualify us to be a makeup artist any more than being a makeup artist gets us an aesthetics license. Very often, spa owners will bring in a makeup line not considering the necessity of the right employees to move it. Make sure that you have a dedicated employee within your location interested in artistry, preferably one that is willing to be responsible for managing and maintaining the makeup tester unit, as well as learning the line well enough to be considered an expert. And, make sure that employee participates in all trainings for the brand.


Clients are going to buy makeup somewhere, and their choices have a direct effect on the results and maintenance of your skin care treatments. It is best that they buy from someone who understands their skin and cares about what they put on it. And, having a high-performance, reliable makeup line is not just beneficial to clients – it is financially rewarding for you, as well. As your spa grows, you will also learn that there are only so many hours in a day that you can offer services. Once your book is full, income can plateau. Selling another category of retail will allow you to expand your fiscal horizon without exhausting yourself in the process. The win-win will be evident in your books and on the beautiful faces of very happy clients.


Shawn TowneShawn Towne is a global educator for jane iredale with decades of versatile makeup artistry experience. A recognized expert in the beauty industry, Towne’s portfolio includes editorial work in fashion and beauty publications around the world and runway artistry for New York fashion week shows by Badgley Mischka, Tracy Reese, and Oscar De La Renta. Through his career with jane iredale, Towne’s works to educate and inspire professionals across the globe, while collaborating on product launches and creative projects for the brand. His commentary has been featured in top publications including Allure, Marie Claire, and many spa and makeup trade magazines.




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May 2022

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