Beauty Store Business

JUL 2016

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90 July 2016 | beautystorebusiness.com Makeup Musings What Women Want In spite of their vast diversity, culturally, women around the globe desire much of the same in beauty—but it does vary. by Lori Leib IN M Y ROL E AS CRE ATIVE DIREC TOR FOR Bodyography Professional Cosmetics, I am lucky enough to travel the world sharing the love of beauty with men and women of different cultures. Whether I am teaching a technical makeup class of 20 makeup-artist hopefuls or conducting an internal sales meeting with a handful of people who barely know the difference between mascara and lip gloss, it is always fascinating for me to learn the needs and wants of women all over the globe, at least in terms of cosmetics! The general want is simple and consistent across continents: Women are looking for good-quality products that solve a problem and, of course, at a decent price. They also want to look and feel better, younger, more beautiful and more confident. These desires are pretty standard when it comes to what women want from makeup. However depending on the age, race, culture and location of the person, these wants, needs and desires can vary greatly. And vary, they do! Across the globe, it is becom- ing abundantly clear that there is a vast difference between what women want, what they get and what they think they need when it comes to beauty. What we discuss below directly correlates to sales in both retail and professional arenas. It is important for salon, store and business owners to know what their customers are looking for and, in turn, be able to provide them with what they want, efficiently; and, of course, in the most economical way possible. Before we dive into what women want in different regions, let's talk about why women wear makeup in the first place. Women wear makeup to feel beautiful and confident—to highlight their features, whether for themselves or others. Women wear makeup to fix or hide imperfections, because it is the best and most instantly gratifying problem solver. Women wear makeup as art, to express themselves and to follow trends. And last, but not least, women wear makeup because, well, because THEY JUST CAN! Makeup and cosmetics date back to the ancient Egyptians, with their use of kohl, castor oil and rose water; to the Geisha women in Japan, crushing flower petals for lipstick; and the European women in the Renaissance Era, powder- ing their already fair skin white. Makeup or some use of cosmetics is and has been present in almost every society on earth, whether playing an integral role in tradition, separating the class systems, to impress the gods (in Ancient Egypt), or for gold, or old-fashioned pure vanity. It is a right that women have had for thousands of years, and an amazing art and industry that is one of the highest grossing across the globe. Culturally, makeup plays a big role as well. Differ- ent cultures have their individual makeup traditions. Makeup is a great defining factor in how uniquely different our cultures are; especially pertaining to women's concepts of beauty. In my recent visit to India, I was exposed to a new type of beauty: It was colorful, bold and daring—much like the sights and sounds of India itself. The women were not shy when it came to color, whether on the lids or lips; and the more metallic and glitter, the better! As a product developer and makeup artist, this was exciting to me, as I was able to work out- side of my normal comfort zone and create looks with intense pigment and bold strokes. Besides the love for color and exaggerated, dark-kohl liner, I was surprised to learn that Indian women generally look to western women for makeup inspiration. Not only for style and trends, but skin tone as well. Driving through New Delhi all the billboard ads were of "white women." It was rare to see a fashion or beauty ad illustrating an Indian woman. This came as a surprise to me. As I conducted makeup seminars on this trip, I was lucky enough to have models with uniquely different skin tones from different regions and cultures of India. The one thing they all had in common was their desire to be lighter skinned. Though I matched their foundation shade to be complimentary and seamless with their own skin tone (as I always preach), they all asked if I could make them lighter using a shade two to three shades lighter—this was new to me. I explained to them that they could do what they wish on their own time, but the purpose of my class and my technique is to enhance what women have naturally and embrace our unique natural beauty. Thankfully, they kindly obliged. I learned a lot from this trip about women and what they want from makeup products; especially pertaining to the overly decadent wedding season, for which India heavily relies on economically from October through March every year. Indian women love red for lips and gold for eyes. Bright pigments and anything metallic are hot-selling items. But, most importantly, the eye category is the largest; and they want dark, long-wearing black kohl and liquid liner that will outlast the Indian summers and the one week- to two weeks-long wedding extravaganzas. Much like India, the women of Latin America are obsessed with color. They are bold in fashion, hair and beauty, and are not afraid to show it! Where they are different to Indian women is that they exude a different level of sex appeal, and use makeup to showcase their sexuality. Skin is glowing, eyes are bold and accentuated, and lips are glossy and bright. Latin Americans love a party or celebration of any sort. This is seen in their culture and in the way the women dress/get ready. The women are always put together and done up from head to toe. Photo courtesy of Lori Leib, Bodyography Professional Cosmetics It's likely that the brands you carry have these same trending products— [they] may just need some smart merchandising!

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