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Camouflage--More Than Makeup

By: Andrea D. Vanin
Posted: June 16, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Because camouflage makeup application does take practice, consider offering a package, such as five sessions for the price of four. This gives the makeup professional the time to really help each client find the right color, as well as to assist them in the application process. In addition, Bowen notes that many of the brides and realtors who come in for camouflage makeup applications become regular skin care clients. “I believe that because we take the time to speak with the client and explain their skin, they seek other treatments that will enhance its condition and overall health,” she says.

Marketing camouflage services

In order to market camouflage makeup, Ciana Salon and Day Spa relies on word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals. “We have found that if a client is pleased with a service—especially camouflage makeup application—they tell friends, family members and even business associates,” says Bowen. “Being involved in the community also helps. We attend chamber of commerce meetings, and reach out to local burn centers and plastic surgery centers in the area.”

Alison Newman, owner of Ciana Salon and Day Spa, finds that most of its clients request camouflage makeup for special occasions and post-surgical procedures, yet her team is willing to provide custom makeup lessons for any client. Although Ciana Salon and Day Spa offers skin, spa, makeup and hair services, its professional camouflage makeup services help to set the spa apart from local competition. The facility also has a lot of bridal party business where many brides and bridesmaids request to have tattoos and birthmarks covered for photographs on the big day. “Having a talented and experienced camouflage artist on staff enhances our ability to really provide the bride and her bridal party with all of the makeup needs they may have,” states Newman.

More than makeup

Most important when working with camouflage makeup clients is to maintain good communication and consultation skills. “You have to listen to their needs and desires,” says Bowen. “Some clients request tips to coordinate with their existing makeup or ideas for special occasions. Others are looking to use camouflage makeup for covering scars and blemishes, and to make themselves feel more comfortable in their own skin after an injury or surgery. This makes listening to them the most important step.”

Bowen also notes that listening to clients and their reasons for using camouflage makeup commonly causes emotions to arise. However, it is crucial to continue to listen and work with clients to make them feel the best you can. Many individuals who require this type of service also may be dealing with the emotional effects of a trauma. “Keep in mind that you are aiding in their ability to feel better about themselves physically and emotionally,” she says.