With eighteen years experience & a distinct passion for professional hair & make-up, Sarah Stevens has worked across TV, film & fashion and is an expert in all things beauty. Exclusively for the Illamasqua blog, Sarah talks us through the rapidly growing global make-up market and why consumers should switch to professional make-up brands for the best results…
The make-up industry is big business. In 2016 alone, UK consumers spent £8.9 billion on beauty and personal care products, according to Raconteur. This figure is set to reach £10 billion in 2017, and is only going one way – up!
The industry in many ways is immune to wider market factors. Even the recession couldn’t halt an uplift in sales with sector growth throughout the credit crunch. The fundamental reason for this is people will always want to look and feel good. This is why consumer choice on the high street has never been so vast. Mass produced brands such as Rimmel, L’Oréal and Max Factor continue to up the ante developing new products at pace. This is to be admired. That said, despite their collective strides forward they will always be one step behind the professionals. As a result, the pro brands will continually be en vogue with make-up artists, or those making their way in the industry.
Let’s delve further. From first-hand experience, with 18 years experience of ‘making-up’ thousands of faces, the number one complaint is the struggle to find a base to match skin tone. Take foundation as an example – millions use this product frequently as it’s designed to give an even skin tone and a ‘fresh faced’ look to go about the day. Rimmel’s ‘Match Perfection’ range provides 12 shades from porcelain to deep mocha, and despite L’Oréal Paris’ ‘True Match’ liquid foundation offering an impressive 23 shades – the full spectrum covering every skin tone and shade just isn’t available on the high street. Even ‘Sleek’ make-up – a high street brand specifically targeting the black beauty market – doesn’t provide every shade for its core audience.
The outcome is that those with the fairest, darkest or more complex skin tones really struggle to find their ideal foundation. Furthermore, the aforementioned mass-produced high street brands are unlikely to cater for those people who fall into this bracket, as it simply lacks commercial viability. In many ways the public has to ‘like it or lump it’.
Enter the professional make-up brands and a ‘centre stage’ solution emerges. Illamasqua’s ‘Skin Base’ in 26 shades ranges from foundation 1 in white to 18 in dark cocoa, with a full range of pink and yellow undertones. This is a crucial point, as most of the known high street brands do not provide a skin realism effect. This means for Caucasian skin – bases tend to be either too pink or orange, and for Asian or Black skin either too chalky or grey. Professional brands understand this and cater accordingly, providing skin base mixers, which come in various tones to complement and, therefore, create a perfect skin tone match.
Hair & Make-Up, by Sarah Stevens Hair & Make-Up, Photography by Zuzana Mares, Modelled by Anastasia du Chatelet
Furthermore, only professional brands can correct skins with very red undertones, rosacea, sallowness, heavy scaring and hyperpigmentation. For example, Kryolan’s ‘Dermacolor Camouflage Creme’ available in 128 shades and ‘Camouflage Fluid’ available in 12 shades provides waterproof, all weather foundation, specifically designed to cover birthmarks, burns and vitiligo, and is not available on the high street.
Finally, and crucially for TV work, professional make-up is often developed without an SPF to avoid flashback on camera, and utilises the latest technology. Unavailable on the high street is Kryolan’s ‘Airstream Make-Up’, applied using an airbrush, which lasts all day. Its airstream formula – showcasing the development of science in the beauty industry – atomises the product making the particles of make-up miniscule which is ideal for harsh HD lenses which show every imperfection.
Make-up artists working on TV news channels, films, adverts, music shoots or sitcoms usually use this type of product. While day-to-day wearing SPF foundation is important, it’s not necessary for professional shoots. The closest the high street delivers is Revlon’s ‘Photo-ready Airbrush Effect Make-Up’. However, it’s not a patch on the higher quality and specially designed products such as I’lamasqua’s range.
In conclusion, although high street brands have come a long way in their development, they can’t compete with professional make-up brands. Often the formulas can be heavy, sticky, prone to smudging, are drying or fade, and they simply don’t provide for all consumer needs. This is why for the best results; the answer is to always go pro!
Words by Sarah Stevens
Professional Make-Up Artist and Owner of Sarah Stevens Hair & Make-Up. Visit her website here.
Photography by Zuzana Mares. Visit her website here. Instagram: @zuzana_mares