Ask the expert: How can I make the make-up offering in my spa profitable?

Q: Ask the expert: How can I make the make-up offering in my spa profitable? 

A: Firstly, it is important to have a make-up brand that the team believes in; a brand that they would be happy to wear and happy to recommend. Good training is essential. Many therapists have not touched make-up since college and feel unconfident about their application skills. Ensuring every member of the team, feels comfortable recommending colour means that they are more likely to guide the client to the make-up stand and book her in for make-up services.

However, the real profitability in make-up lies in retail rather than services. A make-up session can be priced anywhere from £25-£75 for a 45-minute service, but if the customer is buying make-up at the end of the session, the total can easily go up to £100-£150. Make-up is such a spontaneous purchase and converting clients to a new foundation or mascara can often create brand loyalty and repeat purchases.

Make-up sales need to become an extension of skincare recommendation: concealers to cover blemishes, dark circles and hyperpigmentation, foundations that contain SPF and eyebrow pencils to finish brow shaping are just a few examples of how make-up can sit comfortably alongside services that are being carried out every day in the spa.

From group masterclasses, bridal services and one-to-one lessons, make-up is a retail opportunity that is rarely tapped into. Yet, with the right products and the right training, make-up revenue stream that does not cannibalise any of your existing brands.

Rupert Kingston is creative director and co-founder of Delilah, a British make-up brand for salons and spas. He is a make-up artist and has worked in television, film and fashion before founding the brand.