This is a true story. A coworker was getting repeatedly passed over for management positions, even though she was the most qualified person in her department. She wore no makeup, thinking her skills were strong enough to garner the recognition she deserved. After a number of months losing out to others on the ladder, it was suggested she try wearing lipstick and eyeliner daily. Simple enough.
Within a month, she was petitioned for promotion, being told that she “stood out.” That’s right: She didn’t stand out until she made herself be seen.
You enter a room and, in nanoseconds, you are subliminally judged by how you look, before you even speak. In a fiercely competitive world, looks matter. Although most wish they didn’t, the truth is—they do.
These days, especially for business professionals, it’s essential to have a look that projects a well-finished image. Business clients need to ensure they have an edge to their game by looking their most polished.
Some clients will go through a transformation from a certain business image to one that is totally different. Think about Lady Gaga, Madonna and any of the celebrities who have gone through an image change. Although this may be an extreme example, for them, continually generating more interest with their appearance drives their bottom line.
Although most clients don’t necessarily want to go into another dimension shifting their image, for traditional business clients who either want or need to enhance their look, skin care professionals have a lot to offer. What can you do as a skin care professional and spa owner to support clients in creating a look that speaks success? Plenty—for both women and men.
Women often become accustomed to having the same hairstyle and wearing the same makeup for years. They often do so because, not surprisingly, it’s been working for them—it’s both familiar and easy. In truth, that familiar and easy look may not be supporting them any longer.
It’s crucial for women in business to embrace a look that projects a modern—not trendy—professional image, and manage to do so easily and rapidly. The major complaint from most busy women, professionals and moms is how long it takes to get ready in the morning. There is too much going on in life that seems to matter more. This conviction requires skin care professionals to reassure clients and show them that there are ways to look great in less time than previously imagined. Maintenance appointments can seem tough to list as a priority and keep on a schedule, so reinforce how critical it is to do so.
Some clients wear either too much makeup or none at all. Many women learned how to apply makeup as teenagers, and haven’t had a lesson or update since. It’s not the same face! Frequently, at this point, female clients often decide to give up and no longer wear makeup.
Let’s make it a point to help these clients. Do they have great skin? Is it simply a lack of time or is it a lack of knowledge? Where can skin care professionals help? Many women feel reduced to wearing only lipstick and mascara. That’s all they think they have time for or all they feel safe enough applying successfully. Some ideas to help open up a new world of makeup and enhance clients’ appearances include the following.
Teach them. Performing a makeup service is a great start and lessons can be even better, because clients are being empowered to develop the skills to care for themselves on a daily basis so they look and feel great. As seasons change, schedule makeup update appointments to provide little tweaks to keep the look up-to-date.
Demonstrate a quick makeup application so she’s out the door in the morning. Clients may need to be educated to the fact that makeup now is available in many different formulations than even five years ago. There are microweight products that help enhance the complexion without feeling makeup-y. They also don’t take long to apply and often last for hours.
Introduce multitasking makeup. Multitasking products are one of the key answers for busy women. Make sure these types of products have a presence in your retail area. Always keep team members in a potential sales position by offering the products that are critically needed without burdening the spa with too much inventory. This is crucial not only for sales, but also for educational purposes. If makeup services are offered, have everything that was applied on hand so clients can purchase them straightaway—this helps her make that purchase. It seems obvious; however, if the spa doesn’t have a selection of makeup, this frustrates clients, because they now have to add shopping for yet another item to their to-do lists.
Professional skin care and spa services are very important for men. They are beginning to realize that they may need more than just a shave and a haircut. Some of your male clients may be well-dressed, but haven’t given a second thought to their faces, beyond shaving and a face wash in the shower. Many guys are starting to step up in order to make a major shift in their appearances, and it’s often small things that make a big difference.
More and more men are paying attention to grooming, getting manicures, pedicures, facials, brow and back waxing, and other services that address anti-aging. In the current competitive business climate, it is essential to help them achieve every gain possible.
Do you target men in your advertising efforts? Have you created an environment in your facility that feels comfortable to guys?
Guide them to create a sharp image so they can step out into the world, no matter what service they are initially seeking. Some ideas to help get them started include the following.
Style facial hair. Trim beards and sideburns in shapes that are flattering to his face.
Provide and teach nose, ear hair and brow trimming. Trim nose and ear hair during services for a small added charge, and provide tools in the retail area that will allow them to do this at home, because there’s no other way to avoid this unsightly hair. That’s a small thing that makes a big difference. Even younger guys often miss the fact that it’s time to trim it up. In business, it’s extremely important to eliminate any distractions that take away from a person’s professional image. A great way to enhance mens’ facial appearance is by brow trimming. When offering this service, be sure not to feminize the brows; just rid them of distracting excess or length.
Offer back waxing. Back waxing for men is rapidly gaining popularity, as is trimming—not eliminating—chest hair.
Perform mini facials. If hair services are offered, consider also offering mini facials during the service. It adds that extra boost, helping men know that they look better and more vibrant.
When clients look good, they know it and act accordingly, with more confidence—a reinforced level of “I’m ready to take on the world.”
Bring it on!
It is imperative to help clients step up their game now—today’s competitive world shows no signs of moving away from the value it puts on the visual. Whatever you do and whatever niche you find, it is important to remember that women and men, more often than not, want to look like groomed, polished professionals.
An upscaled look offers panache, and your guidance may be the touchstone to help them bring it on, resulting in a loyal client and quality referrals.
Emily Katz, award-winning makeup artist and image strategy stylist, is known in the film and television industry for her informative and inspiring approach to natural beauty. Named an Elle Beauty Genius, Katz was cited for her innovative work on the iconic television show, LOST. She is both an esthetician and instructor with a profound knowledge of skin care. Currently, Katz is consulting internationally for both private sector and corporate clients.