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Makeup Grows Up

By: Abby Penning
Posted: April 28, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Makeup application is a routine for many women, a ritual performed every morning in front of the bathroom mirror. And although many spas provide makeup applications for special occasions, such as weddings and proms, quite a few are also discovering a market for helping women evolve their cosmetics style as they get older.

A recent report from the market research company NPD Group, Inc. titled The Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report indicated as women age, there are distinct shifts in their makeup usage and buying habits. Focus moves from the eyes to the face and lips as a woman matures, the report states, and these shifting preferences provide spa businesses with the opportunity to influence and impart wisdom on the daily custom so many practice every morning—putting on makeup.

A better base

Helping a woman create a cohesive cosmetic look should begin by learning about her relationship with makeup—what she uses, how she applies it, and what colors she prefers and why. Learning this basic information not only helps you understand what the client is looking for, but also helps her develop trust in whoever is performing the application. “We are seeing more people coming in who are in their 40s and 50s and have never worn makeup,” says Ellengray Kennedy, owner of spa-dee-dah! located in Bancroft, Iowa, and a user of jane iredale—The Skin Care Makeup products. “For example, when they tried makeup before, it was a bad experience, so we want to educate them and change that perception.”

Talking up the unique advantages of quality cosmetics, such as the skin care benefits of many of today’s lines, is a great way to entice application clients. “Women have different attitudes toward makeup,” Kennedy explains. “To help them get excited about using healthy makeup—whether it’s a woman who has always loved makeup since she was a teen and wants a really glam, bling look, or someone who wants a refreshed, new look to protect their skin—we show them how the right cosmetics can be used to improve skin and not just cover up problems. We want to help heal them, and maybe strengthen collagen and improve texture in the process.”

Christalee, a master makeup artist with Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics and television and film makeup artistry veteran, also notes a need for flexibility when applying options for women of different ages, saying, “I know women in their 70s who love makeup, love to be dolled up, and then young people who want to deal with as little as possible, just a quick way to apply a bit. It’s one of those things that really depends on the person.” However, she does stick to a few basic rules for everyone. “I am a firm believer that less is always more. Piling on too much makeup ends up enhancing flaws,” she adds.