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Sunday, 23 April 2006 21:05

Makeup Made Easy

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Make-up is by far the leading draw into the skin care products and skin care services we have! If you don’t offer and/or promote make-up services, you are letting thousands of dollars walk out the door in not just retail sales, but increased service sales. You are telling them it’s OK to go buy somewhere else! Women buy make-up, this is a proven fact. If only just a lipstick or blush, they do buy. Possibly, for the ones who don’t wear make-up, it could be that no one ever showed them how to apply it to look natural. Where do they buy their make-up?

They buy from department stores, or from a multi-level marketing company such as Mary Kay, Avon, etc. Why? Do these people have more knowledge? In some cases, actually, yes! They know their product, how to promote it, and how to cross market it with other products. Do you know your make-up product? Do you have a make-up product to help promote your skin care services and other spa services? If the answer to these questions is “no”, then it’s time to start incorporating make-up into your spa.

The Make-up/Cosmetics Industry
In 2000, cosmetics sales reached $3 billion in mass retail channels according to Drug Store News, 10/8/01. In 2004, blush, foundation and bronzers increased 7.9 percent to $532 million.[1] There is a lot of money in make-up! How much of this huge financial pie does your salon/spa share in? “There is a core middle consumer who’s very potent and very unaddressed” said Lisa Yarnell, President and CEO of Jane & Co. “The value segment is important and missed by manufacturers”. Drug Store News, 4/11/05. Where could women find a better value than in a salon or spa where there is a one on one opportunity to learn how to apply make-up and purchase colors that coordinate with the other services the salon/spa offers, such as hair color?

The Professional Consultation
Before you get started in your make-up application, be sure to ask your client a few questions about their lifestyle. In my 30+ years of working in the beauty industry I have found that approximately 98 percent of your clients want to look “natural”. This is code for “don’t put too much make-up on me!” Make sure you understand what prior problems they have had with make-up, if any. You may find that this client has never worn any make-up, but now that she is aging and her complexion seems dull, she needs more color. Understand fully your client’s opinion about make-up, so you can present accordingly.
Additionally, this is your golden opportunity to talk to them about other services that can help enhance their skin or hair in your salon or spa. Make-up is such a great platform to discuss skin care services.

The Assessment
After you have had a discussion about make-up with her, it’s now time to assess what colors you will use. There are three areas to look at to determine your client’s natural coloring to be able to match make-up colors: The chart below will help you determine colors that will work to enhance their natural coloring.


Warm – Cool Color Chart


Cool Warm

Blue – Black Charcoal Black

Medium – Dark Brown (red highlights) Brown (gold highlights)

Salt and Pepper Gray Golden Gray

White Strawberry or Golden Blonde

Ash Blonde/ Ash Brown Coppery Red/Auburn



Gray toned Clear

Blue – Green – Hazel Green-Hazel

Black Brown Golden Brown-Dark Brown

Dark Red Brown Blue with Turquoise

White flecked Amber

Gray-rimmed Brown flecked



Taupe Beige Tan Ivory

Olive Peach

Milky White Golden Beige

Rosy Beige to Very Pink Dark Coppery Beige

Black with Grey Ash Undertones Golden Black

(Pine-Blue undertones) (Golden Undertones)


Color Choices
Warm colors have a yellow color in the base. Examples would be yellow greens, yellow oranges, yellow browns (burnt orange), yellow/blue (turquoise) etc. Cool colors have blue in the base. Examples would be purple, a blue/red color (burgundy) Fuschia, pink. If your make-up company uses the Seasonal theory:

Warm Color Seasons are:

Light warm colors; peach, pale yellow, light orange, mint green

Dark warm colors; burnt orange, bronze, dark green, etc.

Cool Color Seasons are:

Light cool colors; pale blue, pale pink, mauve, light purple/lavender

Dark cool colors; dark blue, navy, black, burgundy, sapphire, fuchsia

How to determine if your Client is Warm or Cool
When you look at your client, you are looking at three areas for color:
1. Hair
2. Skin
3. Eyes
There is usually a dominant theme. The hair is more difficult, as people change their hair color. If you pull the hair back and really examine the hair along the hairline, you will usually see what you are looking for. Sometimes the natural eyebrow color will give you your clue. The following will give you guidelines on what to look for in each area:

1. Hair - look for golden highlights - the warmth will come through
2. Eyes - look for a warm/yellow tone to their eyes. Sometimes they will have flecks of yellow/yellow green that you can see. Don’t be mislead by brown eyes. Some Brown eyes are flat brown/gray (no warmth) and other brown eyes are very warm. You can see the yellow brown.
3. Skin - The warm person will have less pink and more golden tones to their skin

1. Hair - look for an ash or flat shade to the hair. There are usually no highlights in this person’s hair; even if they are blondish, it is a dirty blonde.
2. Eyes - look for a bluish/grayish color to the eyes or a flat gray/brown.
3. Skin - This person usually has a lot of pink in their skin and less warm/yellow tones.
After you have determined if they are warm or cool, now determine whether they are light warm or dark warm; light cool or dark cool and put them into the appropriate color category.

Black Skin
Clients with Black skin will have a definite warm or cool tone to both their skin and eyes. Black skin clients who are warm have a bronze tone to their skin with warm brown eyes. Black skin clients who are cool have an ash brown tone to their skin with flat brown/grey eye color.
If you are not sure, many cosmetic companies have color palettes you can buy that are pieces of fabric color coded to the season. Once you start draping the client, it will become clear what season they are.

Cosmetic Application
Once you have chosen your color palette, make sure you stay with the same tone throughout the application. If you determine the client is warm make sure the foundation, blush, eye shadow and lipstick are all warm colors. If you determine they are in the cool color family make sure everything you use on them stays in the cool color family. What this means to the make-up artist/aesthetician is that you will now be able to effectively choose colors that match your client’s natural coloring. In a salon environment, the client wants to look as natural as possible; not necessarily, glamorous. By choosing colors that most nearly match your client’s natural coloring, you will be able to apply make-up to gently enhance their features and they will like the make-up much better.

Rules of Geometrics
After you determine your clients coloring, and know what color palette to use, it is now time to begin your application. Most of the time, you will be dealing with people with many different facial shapes. The following are some common face shapes.

Diamond face shape Oblong face shape Square face shape Triangular Face shape

Make-up Application
It is always recommended to use disposable application products such as:

  • Make-up sponges for foundation
  • Cotton balls for powder items
  • Disposable eye shadow applicators
  • Disposable mascara wands
  • Disposable lip brushes

For eye liner, eyebrow or lip liner pencils, make sure to sharpen the pencil before each application to shave off any bacteria that might be left from previous applications.

Make sure the skin is clean and has protection on.

1. Foundation
Choose your foundations according to either warm or cool bases depending on what you have assessed for that client. Today, mineral make-up is very popular and gives a beautifully natural look.

2. Concealer
For the eye area, concealer shade should be about one shade lighter than the skin tone to enhance and highlight the eye area. If, however, there are dark circles, you may have to apply a base color to neutralize the darkness of the under eye before you apply a concealer. Remembering your law of color, (you need each primary red, yellow and blue to bring to neutral) you would use a yellow corrective concealer color first to neutralize the purple tone. For any imperfections on the face use a concealer that matches your foundation.

3. Powder eyelids
This gives your lids a powder base, which will allow your powdered eye shadow to blend better. Creme shadows are not recommended for professional use, as they are very difficult to blend.

4. Powder cheek area
Again, this gives you a powder base for your blush to blend and helps it stay longer as powder is attracted to powder.

5. Blush
Stay with your warm or cool color family selection. Use a powder blush, as creme blush is very difficult to blend and shows up any imperfection in the skin such as dry skin lines and large pores. In each of the facial shapes remember that vertical lines //////// give length (slimming) and horizontal lines ________ give width (widen). For round or square facial shapes, apply the blush vertically ////, from just above cheekbone, across cheekbone no lower then the line that matches with the end of the nose (see diagram below) For oblong face shapes, apply the blush horizontally______, straight across the cheek bone.
After application, powder again on top of your blush application with a translucent finishing powder.

6. Eye Color
Remember the laws of color in that darker colors give the illusion of setting back, and lighter colors bring out or highlight an area.
Look at the eye shape and see where you would like to apply a darker color, and where you would like to highlight or bring out an area. A basic three-step eye pattern below will give you the basis of where to apply your light and dark colors. As a rule, your darker color goes just above the crease, a medium shade on the lid and a highlighter under the eyebrow. This diagram would be adjusted to different eye shapes. Example: A large, bulging eye would only need two colors of light and dark. You would apply a darker color on the lid, (to set back) and lighter color in the crease (to bring out) and under the eyebrow. Always use shades of brown as your dark, medium and light colors in either a warm tone (bronze colors) or cool (ash brown, taupe colors). As melanin is the natural coloring found in the skin, by using natural shades of brown, either warm or cool, your make-up will always look natural.

7. Eyeliner
Sharpen your pencil to sanitize. For a basic application, use a creamy pencil that matches the color family you have chosen for your client; either warm or cool. Apply from the middle of the eye to the edge on both the top and bottom, then smudge with a sponge to take out the lined look and blend. Make sure to hold the eye taught as you apply.

8. Mascara
Choose either black for medium to dark lashes or brown for fair-haired lashes. Black mascara on a fair-haired person can look too made up; unless your client asks for darker mascara. Sometimes for a little darker look to lashes you can apply the first coat of brown and the second coat in black. Always make sure to hold the eyelid when applying so that if the client blinks during application you cannot poke them with the mascara wand. Use a disposable mascara wand.

9. Eyebrows
Choose a color that is medium to light to give a more natural look. Sharpen your pencil to sanitize if using a pencil. Apply pencil to eyebrows in short, light strokes, then brush the eyebrows with a disposable mascara wand to remove the line from the skin underneath.

10. Lip liner
Only apply this for corrective use. Use a liner that matches the lipstick you choose in your consistent selection of either warm or cool. The liner look for lips is not a trendy look anymore, however, if you match the lipstick to the pencil exactly you can lean the pencil slightly towards the outside of the lip to enhance thinner lips and lean the pencil slightly to the inside of the lip for larger lips to minimize. Instead of a lip pencil, you may also use a lipstick color that is just one to two shades darker than your lipstick, and then apply the second coat of lipstick in a lighter shade over that, leaving the edge with the darker color.

11. Lipstick
Remember to choose your lipstick to stay within the warm or cool color family you have chosen for your client.

As you begin to use your new-found natural make-up skills, you will start to feel more comfortable and begin to see your flair for application emerge. This will allow you to use make-up as a promotional tool to enhance bookings for skin care services. As you are applying make-up, it is a great time to analyze the skin and make your service, as well as home care recommendations.

Use make-up as a complimentary enticement for new clients. When they leave, they will feel finished and beautiful and you will have a new client!

[1] Drug Store News – 10/2001

Patricia Heitz, CIDESCO DIPLOMATE, has been in the beauty industry since 1975, as a Cosmetologist and Esthetician. She has worked as a manufacturers representative and trainer for Skin and Hair product manufacturers, and more recently as an Esthetics School Director and Instructor. Having earned the prestigious title of CIDESCO Diplomate, is also an educator and contributing author for Milady/ Thomson Learning with both the Standard Text and Comprehensive Text for Estheticians. Currently, she owns Patricia Heitz Consulting, -Dermatech Academy offering online and onsite Skin Technology Training and Consulting for Schools, Spas, and Distributors, and is an exclusive Industry consultant to Gerson/Lehrman Financial Analysts Council of Advisors in New York. She can be reached at (518) 261-1236 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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