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Recession-proof Makeup

By: Emily Katz
Posted: March 27, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
girl with neutral makeup job

A makeup application created by author Emily Katz. Photographer: C. Paige DePonte

There is so much buzz all the time with new launches, new seasonal color trends … it can become overwhelming. So how do you help your clients navigate through all these products when the economy isn’t as abundant as the amount of cosmetics beckoning at every turn?

The key is to help clients identify what they really need and want, and what they can get extra mileage out of in this economy. My grandmother liked to say, “A girl will buy a tube of lipstick, no matter the economy.” And it’s true; lipstick is a great quick fix to feel like you’re doing something for yourself that doesn’t break the bank. Women want to be as beautiful as they can and they always want to look like ladies. Lipstick does that, and it’s a lot cheaper than a pair of Manolo Blahniks. Here are some tips to help you guide your clients through the vast maze of makeup products out there, identify what they need, what they can afford, and still help them enjoy a little splurge and an update.

Support the client

Start with identifying the products that are the basics in order to pare down the expense. See Makeup Basics for a complete list. Then, ask the following questions:

  • How old is your client?
  • What does she want?
  • How much time does she have to devote to her makeup regimen?
  • How much can she really comfortably spend?

Sometimes it’s not as much about getting the big sale as it is providing good education and the right product. Don’t make your clients feel as if they have to buy everything you offer. Either due to regret, lack of money or disinterest, the client will more than likely return the products or shove them in a drawer, never use them, and never to return to the person who sold them, due to embarrassment or pressure factors. Even though it is all about the dollar, you’ve got to support the clients to ensure their loyalty and your mutual good feeling about the whole affair. Education will win at the end of the day and the rest will just come along.

Have your client carefully consider what she really, honestly uses on a daily basis. It may be pretty much the same stuff, which is not necessarily a bad thing—no ruts encouraged here, however. See what she really does use and like, and stay with that as long as it looks current and fresh. Sometimes it’s the application of the products that make a look more au courant than continually changing products. If your client does need a change, go ahead. Find a new color that looks great and makes her feel like a million, but make sure she really loves the colors so she’ll use them.