Janell Geason

How Aveda’s makeup director turns trends into eye shadow.

Janell Geason
Photo by Stephanie Colgan

Around the time you were warming up to matte red lips, circa 2011, Janell Geason was starting to feel green. As global artistic director of makeup for Aveda, it’s Geason’s job to capture the mood of each spring and fall and turn it into a limited-edition makeup collection. She’s part trend forecaster, part artist, part sociologist, and a little bit psychic. Geason works two years ahead. She has to know the trends before they happen so she can come up with products that inspire Aveda’s cutting-edge staff of makeup artists working at designer runway shows in New York and Paris while still connecting with consumers of all skin tones around the world.

That’s all.

“The changes are subtle from season to season but have to be different enough that you’ll buy it,” says Geason, a hairstylist turned makeup artist who spent a decade in Europe before returning home to Minnesota, where she worked at Juut SalonSpas before climbing the ranks within Blaine-based Aveda Corp.

Currently immersed in the eyeliners and lip glosses of 2015, Geason is jumping back to the present to celebrate Aveda’s Art of Nature makeup collection, which hits beauty counters this month. It includes coral lipstick and eye shadow in three shades of green—right on trend, to be sure, considering emerald green is the 2013 Pantone color of the year.

“It’s nice to come back to it and think, ‘Oh, I really like this!’ ” Of course, Geason benefits from industry color forecasting services, but it’s not enough to know that green is going to be “in.”

“I’ve got to figure out what that is— an eyeliner, an eye shadow? How would you actually wear it as a consumer?” For 2013, Geason was thinking about seasons and the metamorphosis from winter browns and grays to the green of spring.

“Early spring is an unveiling of fresh light green, and the colors intensify as summer goes on,” Geason says. The Hibiscus cheek stain is one of her favorite products in the 14-piece spring collection. “It’s the bomb,” she says. “It shows up on even the deepest skin tones.” It was a hit on the runway at New York Fashion Week.

Even so, when it’s gone, it’s gone. The point of the seasonal collections is to inspire new looks and prompt women to experiment with current trends.

And why not try a green? “The beauty with makeup,” says Geason, “ is it washes off.”

—A. K.

Geason’s Makeup Tips and Tricks:

  • A hint of the trendy hue is enough. Rather than green eye shadow, try green eyeliner and keep everything else simple.
  • Set eyeliner with eye shadow. It will last longer.
  • Apply lip liner over lipstick for a matte finish.
  • Adjust your blush as your color deepens throughout the summer. Try a bronzy coral for a spring glow.

The Aveda product Geason can’t live without?

Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme, $40. “Makeup goes on easier when you have beautiful skin.”