Beauty Coast to Coast

Learn more about what trends and products are taking off in various regions of the United States.
by Tracy Morin
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Whether your customers are Southern belles or West Coast trendsetters, you’ve probably noticed certain products flying off the shelves that help maintain their favorite styles. Regional differences in climate can also play into purchasing habits—such as a penchant for super-hydrating skin care in the arid Southwest or frizz-fighting formulas in the humid Southeast. We quizzed hairstylists, educators, store owners, nail techs, salon and spa owners, makeup artists and manufacturers to get the scoop on the looks and products taking off from coast to coast that you should be aware of.

BIG APPLE BEAUTY

You know the saying—if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. That saying holds true for trends too. Often, it’s only a matter of time before what’s taking off in New York sizzles throughout the rest of the country. Here’s what our insiders say is hitting it big in the Big Apple.

Lisa Esposito, head beauty consultant and makeup artist of AVEYOU Beauty Boutique in Belmar, New Jersey, says: “We find that anti-frizz crèmes, oils, and smoothing shampoos and conditioners are much more popular on the East Coast due to the humidity, especially in summer months. Products with keywords such as ‘anti-frizz,’ ‘smoothing,’ ‘glossing,’ ‘shine,’ ‘humidity-blocking’ and ‘anti-humectant’ are best sellers in these areas. Products that seal in the cuticle are also important in humid climates, so serums are more popular in this area; most haircare lines have added serums to their lineups. Cold-weather climates weaken hair and make it prone to flyaways and static, which calls for leave-in conditioners and deep moisture masks.”

Jillian Jaques, private-label manager at Ricky’s in New York City, says: “The top three hair trends for 2012 are …
1. “Whimsical, romantic hairstyling. Here in New York, we’re seeing soft, pulled-back hair or side ponytails; messy, teased top buns; and unique braiding techniques—classic, fishbone, French and Grecian styles—being worked into the hair. In both our New York and Miami locations, we have seen a steady increase in the hair elastic business. We offer more than 20 different styles of elastics in a number of sizes and colors to cater to all hair types.
2. “Managing unmanageable hair. Have you heard the phrase ‘in a New York minute’? This saying is standard in New York, so customers are offered products that help them tame their tresses quickly and with ease. One category of merchandise that does amazingly well is our collection of oil-infused brushes and combs.
3. “Ready-to-wear hair adornments. Hair accessories are all the rage in New York. A stylish headband can revamp any look. Black wins the race as the most popular color choice, while seasonal patterns and prints add an updated look for the fashion-forward.

[Image: thinkstock.com/iStockphoto collection]

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"Future trends in the second half of 2012 will include bold, color-popping products. We currently have on order bright-color, multiuse brushes; PVC color-trim cosmetic bags; and fun hair accessories.”

Robert Reyes, makeup artist in New York City and Los Angeles, says: “I’ve learned to keep it simple and clean when it comes to makeup for women on the East Coast, so that clients feel comfortable achieving the look on their own. Mascara is very important to women these days—this is a beauty-product category to invest in. There are so many options out there right now, and having options is essential for today’s consumer. Right now I’m into mascara that has a plastic brush with bristles, which makes it easy to define and separate lashes. Curling lashes also makes all the difference for today’s consumers, and they’ll need to shop for a new one every three months once the replacement pad for the curler is worn out. Finally, great eyeliner is a must—stock it in coppers, browns and blacks.

Eyebrows are key, so stock maintenance products such as tweezers, small scissors and good eyebrow brushes. Invest in quality foundations and natural-looking lip care, like a balm in a neutral beige. Makeup in 2012 will definitely have an attitude—it’s all about being bold. Try bold pastels, corals, pinks and reds for lips. I see red lips making a comeback; and because they’re timeless, investing in a range of reds will have customers coming back.”

Roxanne Valinoti, CND education training manager in New York City, says: “New Yorkers love edgy polish and gel colors—think black, charcoal gray and deep purple.”

Sandra Lakatos, skincare director at Oasis Day Spa in New York City, says: “Our best sellers at the spa include phyto stem cell skincare products. Springtime especially is all about getting rid of dry and dull skin after winter. It’s a time to exfoliate and hydrate the skin for a healthy, glowing complexion. Some individual products that sell well at our spa are a two-in-one mask/exfoliant and antiaging serums.”

[Image: New York City; thinkstock.com/Ingram publishing collection]

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SOUTHERN STYLE

Southern girls are known for their love of simplicity—after all, it’s too hot to be juggling a plethora of products when the thermostat could be hitting triple digits outside. However, they still maintain a focus on looking great, and these are the products that assist in that quest.

Nikki Dancy, nail tech and salon owner of Platinum Faces Cosmetics in Portsmouth, Virginia, says: “The hot nail trend right now is Shellac, [CND’s] hybrid nail color and gel. It’s great for natural nails, to add smudge-proof nail color that lasts up to 14 days. My clients are loving the bright shades as well as the more nude and muted tones.”

Linda Tical, celebrity lash stylist and owner of Goddess Lashes in Miami, says: “The women of Miami spend a lot of time poolside but still want to look put-together. Lash extensions are a great way to look made-up while still keeping a natural look—as long as they’re 100% waterproof, so that they can swim, shower and exercise worry free. In the winter months, sales of strip lashes increase because it isn’t as warm and people aren’t hitting the beach/pool as much, so they want lash upkeep to be more minimal than individual extensions. I see 2012 continuing to trend with products that make it easy to get ready and look put-together without being overdone. Look for products to enhance lashes and make getting ready on the go quick and easy!”

Lindsey Watts, cosmetology expert and teacher at Empire Beauty Schools in Nashville, Tennessee, says: “In the South, we’re seeing a lot of braids—waterfall, princess and French. Creativity is really key here. Also, I’ve seen a lot of extremes—either superlong ’dos with a lot of long layers and beachy waves; or very short, tight, cropped looks. Color is also a story of extremes—including contrasting colors, such as black with a blonde streak or a pop of color. Beach sprays or sea-salt sprays are the hot item, especially as we move into summer. They give hair a fantastic gritty texture that bulks up fine hair and gives thicker hair even more volume. And that’s the other trend of the moment: volume. We’re starting to see a lot of natural textures, especially among the African-American community. They’re moving away from relaxed hair and embracing natural texture with a lot of curls, big and voluminous styles, etc. Soft-wave products are emerging, as those with natural wave or curl are embracing it while those without them are looking to create a new texture. Bangs are also beyond big right now—think Zooey Deschanel. Heavy and blunt is the trend, and I’m starting to see it more and more!”

[Image: Miami; thinkstock.com/iStockphoto collection]

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BEST OF THE WEST

Laid back and nature-loving, Western gals often have an outdoorsy lifestyle, leaving them oft-exposed to the elements. However, thanks to the influence of Hollywood, they also love to get glam and set trends—or at least follow the trends of their favorite celebs. Here’s what’s taking off in Tinseltown and beyond.

According to Esposito: “In the West, where it’s hot and dry, we tend to sell more hydrating and moisturizing products. Leave-in conditioners with UV protection are essential in these areas to protect the hair from damaging UV rays, and haircolor protectors are also very popular because of the bleaching effects of the sun. We also find that deep conditioners sell best in this area because of the climate’s drying effects.”

Kristina Saindon, CND education ambassador in Denver, says: “Polish colors that are flying off the shelves in this region are black and plum in winter, and bright pink in summer. Popular year-round are French pink classic shades.”

Lauren Naylor, owner of Focal Point Salon in Scottsdale, Arizona, says: “Products with argan oil, and other oil products are hot right now. The big style of the moment is boho braids—any braid that frames the face, whether in a messy updo or worn down.”

Jovan Townsend, celebrity editorial stylist at Taboo Hair Care in West Hollywood, California, says: “On the West Coast, we live in a land of glamour, celebrity and beauty. Here are the four trends and corresponding products that will be hot sellers in stores.
1. “Glistening hair. Argan-oil products allow hair the freedom to hang freely without direction—it’s a look that’s a little unkempt and has a whole lot of couture! Plus, oils can be used on hair as well as skin—an added benefit!
2. “High-pigment hair color. Hair today no longer falls into subtly sun-kissed or beachy ombré varieties. Hair is more vibrant, and rich in hues, texture and shine—think bright red and violet brunette tones. The hair gives off a 3-D effect and a radiant, light-enhanced appearance. To keep color bright and alive, offer shampoo and conditioner products that protect color from the inside out for longer-lasting results.
3. “Maintained-messy chignon. A maintained-messy chignon is carefully crafted yet effortless. This look needs styling wax to add texture and shine—a product that can also create messy men’s looks.
4. “The perfect blow-dry. Blow-dry bars are popping up like daisies, and the proper tools play a huge role. Also, brushes should create shine, smoothness and volume and last longer than a few blow-dries in terms of bristles coming in contact with heat.” n

Tracy Morin is a freelance writer and editor based in Oxford, MS.

[Image: Los Angeles; thinkstock.com/iStockphoto collection]

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TRENDSETTING TIPS

How can beauty stores be established as bona fide trendsetting establishments? Take this advice from the award-winning AVEYOU.com and Belmar, New Jersey-based AVEYOU Beauty Boutique CEO Brian J. Esposito and head beauty consultant Lisa Esposito.

  • Keep up to date with fashion magazines—fashion and beauty go hand in hand. Browse through the “beauty bibles”: NewBeauty, InStyle, Elle, Glamour, Vogue, Lucky and Allure.
  • Use the Internet. It’s a great tool to find the latest and future trends. Follow popular beauty blogs, and read reviews and comments about wants and needs in the industry.
  • Take some risk and have fun with your product mix and services.
  • Earn customers’ trust by informing them of what’s in—and, more importantly, by suggesting products that are right for them and will achieve positive results.
  • Stay in the social loop by engaging with customers through Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Watch shows such as the “Today” show, “Dr. Oz Show,” “What Not to Wear,” “The View,” “Good Morning America” and “Ellen,” which are dedicating more segments to style, fashion, beauty and health.
  • If you’re going to be in beauty, give it your all and ensure that your customers walk away feeling gorgeous!