Overheard in the Ladies Bathroom at City Recital Hall:
“I had my makeup done this morning,” a woman gowned-up for her graduation ceremony frowns at her reflection. “I can’t believe it’s starting to ‘ball’ already!” (It’s 10am).
“What do you mean?” Asks her friend, snapping a selfie.
“See?” Gingerly, she rubs a forefinger over the side of her face, then turns her cheek to show gooey, grey little clumps. “And I bought the foundation too. Guess I won’t be repurchasing.”
But millennials like monogamy. According to a global survey conducted by Statista in 2015, 80% of those between 18-34 will agree to participate in a loyalty program after making a purchase.
In the beauty world, 68% of survey participants said a session with a a skin specialist would prompt them to buy the product used…Yet only 42% remain faithful to the brand, after making the purchase.
Why? We don’t know, exactly–It seems they stew in silence (96% not voicing their complaint, nor revisiting the brand)–Yet vent online…
And, despite the volume of beauty junkies uniting on social media, the mystery of why makeup and skincare separates/balls/pills or clumps when oxidised, remains unsolved. The disgruntled graduate is not alone!
“Balling is absolutely my number one turn off with skincare, and it seems to happen wayyy too often.” Complains a writer on the site, beaut.ie.
Annie, author of the popular beauty blog XOvain, concurs: “I turned to the internet for answers, and came across a handful of discussion boards on the topic of product pilling, but no real explanations or solutions.”
It could be the reason clients aren’t re-buying the products you stock. Be proactive and grab the problem by the balls.
1. Lay It On Thin!
Those without oily skin might not experience pilling, but it is important to all educate clients on the order they should be applying skincare. Misapplying products, or over applying can can cause balling, even on normal skin.
Noella, managing director of UK skincare brand Elemis says: “The key to layering products within your skincare regime is to be careful not to overload and always use small amounts–Applying too much can cause pilling.”
Some experts attribute clumping makeup to products applied too quickly. Sylvie from Scout says: “If you are layering products always leave time between each application to let the skin absorb each one.”
Star Product: The Elemis Pro Flash Illuminating Flash Balm is an excellent choice, because it eliminates the need for serum and moisturiser, thus eliminating ‘wait time’ between layers. It’s super lightweight and absorbs fast, so foundation can be applied 30 seconds after application.
2. Less Is More…
When it comes to the volume of products to create their FOTD, chances are your client’s will be using an abundance of products; from primer to finishing spray…
The more items used, the more likely they will oxidise and react with each other…then clump. Streamlining will minimise pilling. If you are prescribing post-treatment aftercare to shiny-skinned clients, consider pitching one multi-use cream, rather than an abundance of products. While your initial sale might be smaller, if you recommend a single item that solves a major problem, they’ll likely remain loyal to that brand, and your business.
“If you use the right BB cream you will have no need to use a primer as the BB cream will do the prepping for you,” says Sylvie Hutchings, CEO of organic skincare brand Scout Cosmetics.
Star Product: This BB Cream from Eles streamlines skincare by combining moisturiser, primer, sunscreen and foundation!
3. Sunny Side Up!
Victims of balling are blaming sunscreen. A poster on the Reddit Beauty Forum rants: “On days when I stay indoors and don’t use sunscreen, my skincare doesn’t ball, as long as I let each layer absorb.”
The author of beaut.ie agrees, “One cause of the ball-factor is sunscreen. It’s awful because it’s something we all should be using, but its inclusion in products often reduces the texture and quality of them, and it puts people off.”
Bear this in mind when suggesting sun solutions to a customer. A phyisical, mineral sunscreen in powder form is the best option for people prone to pilling, as it can be dusted on as a setting powder, without disturbing makeup.
Star Product: Second Skin Crush SPF 15+ by Australian made and owned Synergie Minerals is an excellent option, offering coverage that can be touched up throughout the day without disturbing any skincare and makeup underneath.
4. Silicone, Sili-GO!
Inspect the ingredient list on your retail stock and don’t recommend products containing Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone and Phenyltrimethicone to clients with oily skin–These are the scientfic names for Silicone.
One poster on the Reddit Forum complains: “My skin just doesn’t tolerate Silicone. It sits on top then rolls up into little balls when I lie down, touch it, or rub my eyes. It’s nuts and totally annoying.”
Celebrity makeup artist Ken Boylan offers an expert opinion: “If you apply a Silicone based foundation over a Silicone based primer or moisturiser, they don’t adhere. You get the ball-factor.”
This chemical compound remains on the surface of the skin, so should be avoided if your customer is plagued by pilling.
Star Products: You could consider stocking an organic alternative range of skincare such as the Australian made Edible Beauty range, if your regular stock contains Silicone. (the ingredient is useful for clients suffering from dry, or ageing skin, but not suitable for all).
5. Don’t Cross Pollinate…
If your client experiences balling, it could caused by clashing ingredients. A rule of thumb when recommending a skincare/makeup regime is chemical vs. oil based products don’t layer well.
“I would always suggest using products that complement one another — pairing skincare with makeup of the same base offers the best coverage.” Says Sylvie Hutchings. “Also be aware that certain active ingredients should not be used simultaneously. For example if you are a religious user of Vitamin A in your skincare you should avoid peeling agents.”
A water-based gel moisturiser suits a water-based foundation. Similarly, organic skincare is best paired with organic makeup when balling is an issue.