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Taking on trends

Strike a balance between fashion-forward and client-friendly makeup trends

Metallic blue shadow or bright orange lips may not be the average spa client’s idea of beauty; however, as daring as runway makeup can get, spas that offer makeup application should make a point to keep up with trends. “Fashion trends definitely have relevance in our industry,” says Shawn Towne, global educator for Iredale Mineral Cosmetics. “Our consumers, however, can sometimes be intimidated by ‘couture or high fashion’ because it seems so avant-garde and unrealistic in comparison to what they are comfortable wearing. But, with that said, they do want to look current. Nobody wants to be out of style.”

To follow or not to follow

Makeup artist Vanessa Jarman, using Rimmel London for, believes following makeup trends is a smart business strategy for spas. “It never hurts a business to have employees that are able to relay information and educate their clients. Clients want to trust in their spas and salons to inform them about what’s happening in the fashion world, always,” says Jarman. Keeping the latest products constantly in stock may not be profitable as trends change quickly. The balance lies between staying updated and educating your clients and not importing every new eyelash growth formula that comes on the market. Jarman says when spa staff embrace makeup trends, it shows their clients that they are current. “Clients want to make sure they are being handled by the best in the industry—people who are in the know of what’s happening.” Before you reach for that frosted pink lipstick, you should know whether there’s been an ‘80s revival. Being able to teach, educate, and stimulate your clients with your vast knowledge of techniques and colours will keep them coming back.

Yvonne Sharma, manager at The Spa at Markville, says her staff aims to make their clients look good and feel good. “How are we going to do that if we don’t know what’s going on?” While they use Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics and receive seasonal trend information from their supplier, they are also committed to staying on top of what’s going on by studying magazines.

Magazines, film and television, and award shows are valuable resources for staying informed. One of Towne’s favourite resources is Allure magazine, which he describes as the foremost beauty publication that talks about trends and shows clear interpretations of them. Red carpet events, such as the Oscars, Grammys, and the Golden Globes, are his other favourite resources. Why? “While consumers often can’t relate to a runway model, we all have our favourite celebrities or movie stars who usually have good makeup artists, hairstylists, and wardrobe stylists that know current trends,” says Towne

Get in the groove with Google

Perhaps the quickest and easiest resource available is an internet search engine. Both Towne and Jarman cited Google as a convenient way to stay on top of trends. “It’s important to google online every once in a while, to learn about new tips and tricks. It’s amazing what you can find,” says Jarman. Towne loved Taylor Swift’s look at the 2012 Grammys, so he typed, “Taylor Swift at 2012 Grammys” into Google. Within seconds, he had images of her hair and makeup. It’s that simple.


Makeup artist Vanessa Jarman is considered a leading beauty expert. Her work has appeared in magazines such as FASHION, Elle Quebec, and Glow, and she has worked with Lady Gaga for editorial, film, and performances while in Toronto. Jarman shows you how to perform two of spring’s top looks, so when your client asks for an update, you’re ready.

The red lip

A number of designer shows demonstrated different ways to wear a red lip. Dior was crisp, bright, and bold, whereas Anna Sui showed a bright red, but sheered down and not overly defined around the edges.

Get the Dior look: Outline lips, completely fill them in with liner and then apply lipstick over top. Outlining and filling in lips first will prolong the wear of the red and keep it nice and defined.

Get the Anna Sui look: Moisturize lips with lip balm first, and then use a ring finger to stipple the product directly from the tube to the lips. This will sheer out the application and not give an overly dramatic finish.

Bronzed contour

After foundation/base is applied, use a bronzer to contour the face, like the Michael Kors runway did.

Technique: When it comes to applying bronzer or blush to the face, the most important tool is the brush. Use a medium sized blush brush, instead of a large one. This way, the blush/bronzer will be applied accurately.

Start in the contour of the face, and work lightly to the front of the face, and move into the temples of the forehead. When applying blush/bronzer, build the product up, instead of applying too much from the get-go.

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