JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 31566
Print this page
Thursday, 26 October 2006 09:43

Growing Your Makeup Add-ons

Written by  

In 1983 I landed my first real job as a career aesthetician at a famous Union Square skin care salon in San Francisco, Calif. High on enthusiasm but lacking experience and clients I found myself positioned on the bottom rung of eight staff professionals that all received new customers ahead of me, leaving this new recruit with many an empty hour on his schedule. To help fill my time and, hopefully, earn a decent paycheck I proposed to the salon owner that we offer a complimentary make-up application to anyone following a facial treatment. I would do the work without compensation other than a commission on any product I sold.

He thought I was crazy. "We don't give our services away", he flatly told me. "Our clients pay for them!"  Well, yes, except that with make-up services clients hadn't been paying because they hadn't been buying them. Our so-called in-house make-up artist was perpetually on call and almost never in the salon. The make-up testers were in bad shape due to neglect and disuse. Foundations had separated and open lipsticks had grown a beard of dust and lint. Pencil waxes had hardened into graphite and heaven only knew the last time those brushes had been sanitized. Yuck!
Realizing that a salon owner who didn't know his make-up business was terrible would probably not be aware of a sudden improvement in it, I embarked on a career as a guerilla make-up designer. First, I cleaned up the department, refreshing old testers and arranging simple-to-sell items within easy reach. Next, I drew facial clients into the make-up chair using hot new lip colors and a super lengthening mascara as lures. I figured, who wouldn't prefer to leave the salon with fuller lips or well-defined eyes? It was the rare woman that turned down a free few minutes of personal enhancement and some professional tips on brow shaping, or a help selecting a correct blush color. And more rare yet was the woman that didn't buy at least one item I used on her, with three or more items a normal post-service result. After all, here's a man that gave them a better approach to routine make-up wear, free of charge! If you've done a good job of making the session fun and fast, your customer will find it hard to resist owning the products you used. It was nothing to turn 15-minutes of breezy brush and stroke into a $100 retail sale. Of course our manager didn't notice the sales increases, just that my checks were growing faster than my scheduled treatments! When the day came to open my own small skin care salon those complimentary make-up sessions became a standard post-treatment feature for the next 20+ years of business growth. That was well over a million dollars in make-up sales ago.
During these sessions I would ask customers to show me any of the products they were carrying. Out would come a motley collection gathered from major cosmetic lines but without a discernable preference for any one in particular. From home party brands to those sold in the most glamorous department stores, all were represented (and mixed together) in the purses of make-up wearing women. A Chanel lipstick circled by a Wet ‘n Wild liner; Mary Kay foundation supporting a swath of Clinique cheek color; Maybelline mascara defining the lashes fluttering above MAC painted eyelids. All of these products had been fiercely marketed against one another and yet there they were all together in a mismatched heap created by the target customer. What a magic revelation that is! No matter how hard they try and how much money is spent on achieving customer brand loyalty I never saw it achieved with the countless make-up shoppers I worked with. Over many years of cosmetics retailing one fact was crystal clear: make-up sales had far more to do with in-the-moment inspiration than actual product need. And the one key advantage I had over all those multi-million dollar make-up lines was that for a moment at least I had the customer's full attention on what I was doing, saying, and selling. Here in this setting I could out-promote and win business from the world's largest and best-established brands. You may be doing battle with a mega-company, but one-on-one you've got fair fight and even odds!
Ready, set, sell! Here are just a few things you can do with even minimal artistic skills to grow your make-up business among your many eager and willing customers. You've allowed them to be served by the big girls long enough. Take back your rightful place as a true aesthetics professional!
Foundation color check: Did she buy her product under the greenish fluorescent lights of a make-up counter that was located far away from natural light? If she did, offer to check its color for skin tone correctness in the full spectrum of daylight. Don't be surprised to find that product leaning heavily toward pink or coral, well outside the proper shade for your client's face. She'll have your choice in her shopping bag in seconds!
Make-up audit: This is one of my favorite professional services! I ask my clients to bring in all of their make-up for a color evaluation by me. You'll discover a trove of odd and ancient product, many bought on impulse or received as gift-with-purchase from the majors. Does she really want to wear that brown lip gloss? Is she hooked on that hot pink blush a la Valley Girl 1984? Glittery eye shadow at 60? This woman needs your gentle guiding hand and will appreciate the professional advice. You can bet she'll replace every tossed-out item with a better choice from your inventory. Repeat at least once a year, preferably at the beginning of spring or fall when fashions evolve and sales pick up.
Mascara miracle: I've watched legions of women struggle to find a clean way to build up layers of lash thickening mascara only to comb out chunks and wipe it from their lids. Take a mascara brush and load it with a reasonable amount of product. Then scrape the brush over the mouth of the tube, trying to reduce and evenly spread the product you've collected. Now, begin to apply the mascara to the lashes. Slowly and evenly it will begin to build up and produce dense but well separated lashes that require no combing or wiping up after. Repeat the process if needed. This is an excellent way to win a sale and open the door to more suggestions.
Lipstick refresher: I almost never permitted a woman to leave my spa without full, colorful lips. There's something just so radiant about a rich and well-shaped mouth, and for many women lipstick will be the only product they'll still use in later life. See a client about to depart with dull lip color? Stop her! She'll love the consideration and buy the product if the shade is a good suit. Lip color is a very low-commitment product and an extremely common impulse purchase.
Shall we match the nail color, too? An obvious idea often overlooked by many a make-up designer. Keeps those nail colors close by the lipstick display and catch that easy add-on sale every time!
Now you have the tools you need to attract new business and diminish the allure of your mightiest retail competitors. Remember, most make-up companies offer skin care products, too, and they want those sales just as much as you do. They'll be all-too-happy to serve your clients where you fail to, so don't make that easy for them!

Want to read more?

Subscribe to our "Pro Membership" to continue reading this article.

Related items

  • Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community Dallas Based Entrepreneurs Launch Medical Hologram B+A and Marketing Assistant Serving the Aesthetic Community

    Aestheia Imaging, a hologram content management, and advertising subscription company introduced its disruptive technology at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery last week at The Aesthetic Meeting in New Orleans. The company breaks the mold of in-practice marketing with the unveiling of XTHEIA; an interactive hologram display toting a Virtual Consult Assistant for medical office waiting rooms. Aestheia's launch poses a resolution to poor patient awareness; an underserved focal point of product education in the aesthetics industry.
    The company is led by Austin JM Podowski, CEO and accomplished Dallas Healthcare Business Tech executives Mike McDonald, President and Paul Herchman, Advisory Board Member. Well known Plastic Surgeon and photographer Dr. Barry DiBernardo of New Jersey Plastic Surgery leads the companies Medical Advisory Board and will continue to work to enhance upon the application. The company offers a connected holographic media platform to story map the patient journey to brand and product education. Through the research and development of Aestheia's Medical Advisory Group, the company will offer holographic before and afters to patients so they can see pre-operative and post-operative procedure outcomes in true 3D, not previously available in the space.

    "We are dedicated to providing novel and ground breaking product innovation for the entire Aesthetic Community," comments McDonald. The company today offers a fully-automated and comprehensive holographic playlist for physician waiting rooms tethered to a cloud-based solution developed by the management team.
    "We are changing the way medical companies and physicians communicate with their customers and patients. The ALEXA of Aesthetics is now in the room," states Podowski. The team has also designed a customer facing iPad Pro application that allows a physician to remote control the device offering an in-app camera for patient photos. Mr. Podowski later comments, "The response received at ASAPS The Aesthetic Meeting affirms that our vision and product meet a need and resuscitate a lost connection with the consumer."
    The management team is dedicated to further pioneering advancements in hologram, AI, and AR in the evolving medical practice of the 21st century. The company is finalizing a third-round capital raise and will begin placement of their technology throughout Plastic Surgery Offices in North America in July 2019. The technology will also be on display in direct to consumer retail kiosks throughout the United States later this year. To get a sneak peak of Aestheia, follow the team's development, or learn more about the technology, follow @aestheiaimaging or visit www.aestheiaimaging.com.

  • Successful Upselling Foreward Successful Upselling Foreward

    Upselling and add-ons – a challenging subject to talk about even in the best of times. But here we are in the middle of an economic crisis, so you must be asking yourself how we could possibly consider this a reasonable topic when you are just happy you are able to sustain your clientele. Many of you are probably thinking there is no way you would jeopardize that relationship by asking the client to spend more money. All of which are perfectly reasonable thoughts and questions. However, I will ask you to put them in a box briefly, clear your mind, and be open to consideration for just a moment.

    Let me give you an example of an effective suggestion that happens millions of times, everyday, all around the world. You go to your favorite restaurant; you sit down, and look over the menu. Your server comes to the table and takes your order, you tell him what you would like and he confirms your order then says, “Would you like a salad with that tonight, or can I interest you in a glass of wine?” A perfectly harmless question, that was neither painful nor offensive. At worst you say “No, thank you.” At best, he just enhanced your dining experience, increased your bill, and ultimately his tip. Job well done!

  • Creating the Ideal Retail Mix - December 2008 Creating the Ideal Retail Mix - December 2008
    by Melinda Minton

    Selling retail is an essential part of a well run spa. This is true not only because the additional revenue is so crucial to a spa's bottom line, but also because prescriptive home care is the necessary second step to the professional care given to a client in the spa. While mastering the retail sale can be difficult from a team or individual perspective, there are methods for making your spa’s retail routine hum.



    Your Spa's Style

    Oftentimes spas try to sell a bit of everything in an attempt to accommodate everyone. This can be a fatal error. The more fragmented your retail mix the more clients and staff will be confused. There must be a driving force behind your spa philosophy. Are you primarily a spa focused in on medical skin care, contouring services, water therapies, or all organic non-ablative therapies? Before you can determine the best retail mix for your spa, you really need to dig deep and understand your theme, focus, and primary therapeutic offerings. Moreover, remember that if you can’t get the product on them in the treatment room—there is a much smaller chance that the client will be taking the product home with them for further use when not at the spa. Integrating the treatment experience with the retail experience is crucial. When determining your retail mix, be cognizant of your client. Do you primarily offer clinical services or is your treatment mix somewhat more “fluffy” or gift-oriented?

  • Deal or No Deal Deal or No Deal

    When Sarah Hughes skated off with the gold medal, she pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history. Her surprisingly simple secret? “I didn’t skate for a gold medal. I went out and had a great time.”

    Athletes say it all the time: “I just went out there and had fun.” And, admittedly, they do look like they’re having a great time.

    Fortunately, fun isn’t the sole province of superstar athletes. It can work for the rest of us in the skin care industry, too. The link between having fun and business success has been proven in countless studies. When we’re having fun on the job, we are more creative and more productive.


  • Sugar... Not Just for Coffee Anymore Sugar... Not Just for Coffee Anymore

    by Lina Kennedy

    A couple of decades ago, offering cream and sugar for anything other than coffee or tea would have sounded quite ridiculous! But in today’s realm of aesthetics and cosmetics promoting coffee and chocolate to soothe even the jitteriest skin, or offering sugar as a real hair removal solution to an age-old problem is very realistic. And as post treatment, applying a good trans-dermal cream to hydrate and moisturize the skin is simply a great, soothing and natural way to complete your sugaring service.

Login to post comments