In every spa, the owner faces the dilemma of whether to take on carrying makeup retail or to not offer makeup services. It seems the strong competition of cosmetic counters, big beauty retailers, and thousands of websites that offer the convenience of having cosmetics shipped straight to one’s door could be a slight deterrent. Consumers have more choices than ever before for where and how to purchase their cosmetics, so why should they come to the spa? No matter what the competition is in the cosmetics industry, people buy from businesses or people who they know, like, and trust. Thereby, if they come to the spa for beauty services, then it is the professional’s responsibility to demonstrate and educate them on what products are the best fit for their skin. Most spas are extremely skin care-focused, as they need to be; however, they often miss the other half of the picture. What the client puts on after their daily skin care routine makes an impact on the health and well-being of their skin, as well as their image to the outside world. For any spa business, makeup products should be an extension of already existing products and treatments. Think of it like offering the perfect finish at the end of every service.
First, when considering the addition of makeup to the spa’s inventory, consider the investment, strategy, and marketing plan. What is going to set the spa apart from competition? Begin with a vision of what the client should experience when they walk into the space. Consider starting a strategy with the five senses – see, smell, taste, touch, and feel – then, add what may be considered the most important sixth sense, curiosity. A client should walk into the business and see an array of beautiful makeup colors to test, colored fabrics to feel, and interesting, themed retail merchandising that lures them into wanting to learn more. Consider diffusing a specially-themed essential oil, such as orange, and offering orange water to taste. This is the “makeup playground.” So much of wanting to purchase products comes directly from the experience of the five senses and, of course, the client’s own curiosity. Many spas have the right idea of carrying makeup but, unfortunately, most of the time, their inventory collects dust. Very rarely do clients approach the area, nor do team members demonstrate the products. Instead, makeup retail can be a be major category in the spa’s revenue stream by creating a fun, interactive, colorful makeup display area to showcase the cosmetics, as well as strategically-themed retail merchandising.
The beauty profession has been completely losing out on cosmetic sales opportunities for years, besides the occasional on-location, professional makeup application for events such as weddings. But, even this service was being lost to makeup counters and beauty stores that would do these applications for free. How can a spa or salon compete with free? It can be so frustrating when aestheticians and cosmetologists go through extensive schooling, have a state license, and continue to pursue education to stay up-to-date in their knowledge and service offerings; yet, they are not the ones thought of first in the cosmetic or makeup category. Education is a big point of difference and should really elevate the makeup service offerings aestheticians, cosmetologists, and, of course, spas can provide to their clients. The only answer to this industry dilemma is to introduce a unique service that would be a great way to anchor the makeup services and makeup retail.
Color analysis can be a substantial cosmetic anchor for spas and give more credibility and education to makeup services. For interested spas, the first step is getting trained. Avoid online programs, as there is no such thing as learning color through a computer screen. Looking at pictures on different smart phones alone shows just how different color can appear from one smart phone to another. Learning to understand color and its application takes in-person training with a color-certified trainer. Additional team members can also learn to become color analysis-certified, so more people at the spa can offer the service. Or, a spa can choose to have just a couple dedicated service providers that have more time to dedicate towards the new service and are more readily available to suggest makeup retail or service makeup walk-ins.
The goal of a color analyst is to provide an extensive, one-on-one color analysis that introduces the client to see and experience all different shades of colors and how they look against his or her skin tone in a draping method that simultaneously contrasts one color against another color. Creating a professional, full-spectrum, lighted space is extremely important for the accuracy of the color analysis. The client should be draped in a neutral grey smock and the analyst should be in a neutral grey lab jacket, as well, prior to starting the color analysis, so there is no color reflecting from any person. It is important to keep the service very professional, thereby having a dedicated space that can keep drapes nicely hung, as well as the makeup beautifully displayed. The newer color analysis systems are much more in-depth and uncover more details of the client’s unique personal coloring.
The skin tone is the focus of the analysis and not the eye or hair color. Often, color analysts will cover the client’s hair with a grey cap and ask the client to close their eyes to make the analysis accurate and the analyst less likely to be distracted from the eye or hair color. The goal is to truly see which colors enhance the client’s skin by smoothing and evening their complexion while conversely identifying colors that do just the opposite. In the end, a perfect palette of colors is recommended to the client for them to experience in their new-found color identity.
Many clients are dumbfounded in learning which colors look best on them. They may recall being complimented in the past when they wore a certain color and now, finally, understand why certain colors made them feel tired or unattractive. A professional, in-depth color analysis determines what an individual’s perfect shades are in clothing colors, makeup colors, hair colors, and even accessory colors. Many people do not realize that their palette may have changed from the original analysis they had done years and years ago. This is partly due to skin color changing through the aging process. Most people tend to lose melanin and the capillaries in their face become more dilated, which adds additional redness to the skin. It is best for clients to get a color analysis update every 10 years, so they can continually keep their look fresh. When wearing the right colors, anyone can look up to 10 years younger, so this investment is well worth it.
During the color analysis, the color analyst should always take a before and after picture, so the client can see the dramatic transformation. The color analysis typically takes the analyst 45 minutes, followed by a makeup application or lesson. During this time, the analyst needs to spend the proper time educating the client on what he or she looks good in, proper makeup technique for their face shape and age, as well as understanding the client’s lifestyle and skin goals. What is amazing about the color analysis process is that, in the after picture, the client looks vivacious, glowing, youthful, and energetic, while appearing to have very little makeup due to the makeup colors harmonizing with their natural skin’s beauty, thereby evening their complexion and enhancing their natural beauty. Often, clients are eager to share their pictures with friends and family, which is the best kind of advertising for a spa. At the end of the service, they typically want to take home everything the color analyst or makeup artist puts on their face. Create retail packages and specials for this opportunity, as bundling products are a great way to encourage the client to walk out with all the recommended retail.
Once the client has experienced such a life changing service, they are bound to show up at the facility with questions about clothing or accessory purchases they have made and, of course, inquire about additional makeup lessons, applications, and special occasion makeup. The relationship has been built and the client will use the spas as his or her resource for cosmetic purchases. This is the time to begin a list of color clients to reach out to when new cosmetic products are introduced to the spa.
Color analysis parties are great special events to host to gain new clients. Creating marketing strategies around color can be fun and quite easy as there are thousands of color options to focus on. Experiment with the fashion color of the year or a new seasonal trend that introduces already analyzed clients to new colors each season. It is also ideal to build a great relationship with boutiques, jewelry stores, and hair color professionals to cross-promote. These are great opportunities to create co-hosting events that help both companies drum up new traffic. Also, get involved with women’s groups to do a workshop or luncheon in which the power of color is demonstrated to the group’s members.
The best part about making color analysis a core service for makeup offering is that color is memorable, exciting, and fun. It brings high interest and energy to a spa’s retail area that translates into additional retail sales and repeat purchases. Consider making cosmetics and color an integral part of the spa and encourage clients to learn about the beauty of their personal coloring.
Jaclyn Peresetsky is not only the owner of Skin Perfect Spas in Ohio and Florida, but she is a noted color expert, makeup artist, master aesthetician, permanent makeup instructor, author, and speaker. Her multiple books, cosmetic and skin care lines, and training courses allow other beauty professionals to learn and add more services, combining art and science to become leading beauty experts. Her passion for education led her to create a school for Advanced Esthetics and Color, opening in January of 2019, in Columbus, Ohio.