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Makeup Techniques That Sell

Noreen Young
Ask the client to sit on the edge of the treatment table for a quick touch-up after a treatment.

Ask the client to sit on the edge of the treatment table for a quick touch-up after a treatment.

A facial does not have to begin and end without showing and sharing some beauty secrets with your clients. Many facial clients don’t want to go home after their spa visits without makeup because they may have to go back to work, run errands, meet a friend for lunch or carpool. Therefore, a bare face is not always an option.

Keep in mind that you just never know what clients want to buy beyond moisturizer and eye cream, so leave your options open. Give it a whirl, and try some professional cosmetic application tricks for prettier skin with a little color for the complexion.

Makeup touch-ups

There are a variety of products that can make your clients’ skin radiant and finish their faces with a dash of color, including the following.

  • Tinted moisturizer
  • Mineral loose makeup
  • Powder foundation in a compact
  • Vitamin E lip conditioner
  • Lip and cheek stains
  • Clear brow gel and mascara
  • Tinted brow gel
  • Powder or cream cheek tint
  • Concealer
  • Lip, face and cuticle salve
  • Loose face powder
  • Rice face powder
  • Professional brush sets
  • Disposable makeup brushes

After completing skin care treatments, be sure to make a tray or flat basket available containing the beauty supplies you plan to use on the client. Ask a few questions about what makeup she would prefer for a quick touch-up, or simply do one; let her know it can be as soft and simple as she would like. The client will really appreciate the extra-mile efforts that you can include in your service fee or offer for free. You may also offer a handy touch-up kit after facials for clients to use themselves that is also available for sale in your retail area. Promote it as a travel kit or the latest purse necessity. If priced right, clients will love it and so will your bottom line.

For the kit, all you need is an acrylic display or a makeup case filled with some beauty treats, along with disposable brushes and mascara wands. Otherwise, place makeup options, such as lipticks and nail lacquers, within reach of the checkout area because they often result in impulse purchases.

Touch-ups also can spark retail sales, and are win-win situations for both the spa professional and the client. Examples of comments you can make to your clients to translate these facials into retail sales for makeup include:

“Claudine, I just started offering complimentary touch-ups after facials. If you’d like, I can apply a dash of color to your complexion so you can meet your friends for lunch and look polished and pretty. It’ll take just a few minutes.”

“Chrissie, we just got a shipment of some gorgeous new lipsticks and one color has your name on it. Would you like to try it?”

If you don’t retail makeup, you are missing pretty substantial profits. These are challenging times for businesses, and it is important to consider all available ways to increase revenue and your daily bottom line. Consider the benefits of offering a one-stop shopping experience to clients and meeting most of their beauty needs.


The four key products you need to apply during touch-ups and have available for quick purchases include tinted moisturizer, lip stain, cheek stain and concealer. See Treatment Step-by-Step: Easy Makeup Application After Facials.

Some spa professionals may prefer not to apply makeup on clients’ faces after facials; however, it can complete her look, making it polished and refined. Clients love the way they appear after they are touched up, and it complements great skin care. The makeup will look better, and the skin will reflect it, too. Once they try it, they’ll love it and begin thinking of your spa as a one-stop-shop for all their beauty needs.

Noreen Young is an educator and a skin therapist who owns her own beauty business in Florida. She is a highly sought-after speaker in the spa industry and a frequent contributing writer to spa trade publications. Young is also a television beauty reporter/contributor and a health columnist for the Florida Times-Union newspaper, has worked as a spa consultant, and with fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, The Larry King Show, Wrangler Jeans—Italy and Revlon Roux professional products.

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Finished Touch-up

This finished touch-up included tinted moisturizer, blue sky eye liner, blush and gloss.

Retail Tips: Makeup Techniques That Sell

The retail secret is making cosmetics available to clients who will leave spas and drive to other retail outlets if you don’t have what they want—top impulse items include nail lacquer or lipstick, and both are easy and quick to sell. Don’t close the door to money that is in their pockets and send them somewhere else. The magic is in the approach; don’t be extremely aggressive. Also—and this is a key detail—after the touch-up, offer the client a pristine hand mirror to use to examine the application. This displays the results of the quick touch-up and can help result in sales. Your spa offers a cozy place for makeup applications and client are not on display, like at the makeup counter in a department store. These applications occur in your intimate spa and clients feel comfortable there. They love it, and it will add to your service and your bottom line.

Treatment Step-by-Step: Easy Makeup Application After Facials

Products needed:

Foundation or sheer tinted moisturizer

Rosy colored lip stain, lip conditioner or balm

Rice powder

Blush, cream or cheek stain

Matte nude eye shadow

Gel eyebrow groomer or eyebrow pencil

Clear or brown mascara

Tools needed:

Disposable makeup sponge (optional)

Disposable lip brush

Kabuki brush

Fan brush

Fluff brush

Step 1: After completing the facial, ask your client if she would like a mini touch-up application. If she has never had one or you have not done this before, it will be something fresh and new to her. Tell her about your new offering, and that you would be delighted to apply a dash of color to her face.

Step 2: If she says yes, help the client up from the facial bed and allow the face serum, sunscreen and eye cream you have applied during the facial to set while she gets dressed and combs her hair. Remember, powder or powder base does not stick well to a freshly moisturized face, so it is good to wait a few minutes. Then ask her to sit back down on the side of the bed facing you. Another idea is to have a chair in the room for this application.

Step 3: Apply a small amount of foundation or a sheer tinted moisturizer in five dots to her forehead, each cheek, nose and chin. Blend with fingers or a disposable makeup sponge.

Step 4: Next, apply a light lip stain tinted with a healthy rosy color using a disposable lip brush. Other good choices for lips are a vitamin C or E lip conditioner or green tea lip balm.

Step 5: Apply some rice powder with a kabuki brush in downward strokes. This powder is sheer, has a soft-looking finish and is universal for all types of skin colorings and complexions. There are now mini kabuki brushes available in disposable forms, as well.

Step 6: Apply a touch of blush with a fan brush across the forehead and on the tip of the chin and both cheeks. If she wears bangs, forget the forehead and just apply to the rest of the face. This brush will give a soft look and is mistake-proof. If the client prefers a cream or cheek stain, you don’t need a fan brush; apply those with a tap of the fingers on her cheeks.

Step 7: You may apply a matte nude eye shadow or a shimmer that provides a soft glow all over the lid with a fluff brush.

Step 8: Brush brows and if they need filling in, use a gel brow groomer or fill in lightly with a pencil that matches her brows. If you want to skip this step, you can.

Step 9: Apply clear mascara to condition and define lashes. You may also consider using a brown or eye-opening mascara.

Step 10: You have completed the finishing touch to any facial treatment. Give the client a hand mirror, and remark on how pretty and soft her makeup looks.

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