As much as beauty brands, makeup artists, designers and press aim to predict what the major trends will be each season, ultimately there’s one deciding voice that speaks louder than the rest: the consumer’s. Here, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Deborah Walters, who oversees the store’s beauty, skin care and fragrance departments, explains which trends are most resonant at the moment.

“The biggest trend that we’re seeing is the brightening category,” explained Deborah, who serves as Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager at Saks Fifth Avenue. “It’s brightening and luminosity. It used to be that there were only a few products but now the category is so wide open. Everyone has a robust assortment of these products now. I think it definitely will build upon itself. It’s definitely the future.”

Deborah has seen particular success in this category with brightening products from La Mer (with their Blanc de la Mer line) and La Prairie with Liquid Lift. The only catch with this type of product—which Walters sees as a sub-category of anti-aging skin care—is that the brighteners don’t exactly sell themselves. “It’s a great new category and it’s something that’s doing really well, but it’s something that you really need to educate and talk through with the customer,” she says. “You can’t just sell them product. We’ve had a lot of events and a lot of education around it, which is really needed with the new anti-aging category.”

The other big trend Deborah is noticing in skin care is the power of customization. Case in point: Dior’s L’Or de Vie Custom Crème, launched a few months ago, for which the Saks Fifth Avenue New York flagship has the worldwide exclusive. “We weren’t sure how this would work, but it’s really gaining popularity with our customers,” Deborah said. “It’s a custom-created cream that’s made in France. You come in and they diagnose your skin, take personalized skin care measurements, and then they send them to France. The cream is sent to our customers about 6 weeks later. You can’t get anymore personalized than that.” Saks has also had success with the French IOMA line, where a customized regimen of products is put together for each customer after a special skin analysis.

In terms of color cosmetics, bright shades—like the ones in Guerlain’s new Pucci collection and Yves Saint Laurent’s Rough Pur Couture glossy lip stains—are having the most success right now. Particularly strong are items in coral and orange hues. Customers’ love for bright colors extends to nails, which at Saks (like virtually every other store), are booming. As she puts it, “nails are the must-have accessory.”

In the fragrance category, florals are very popular (as one would logically expect this time of year), with new launches such as Jo Malone’s London Blooms trio of limited- edition bottles, Valentino’s Valentina and Bond No 9’s Central Park West particularly strong at the moment. For body products, a standout is Sisley Firming Body Care cream in the extra-large, 5.2-oz. jar. “Anything that says that it’s firming and can lift cellulite is always good,” she says. “This cream is fabulous, and in a large jar, you can slather it on and you’re not worried about it running out.”

Although it’s not a new launch, Saks Fifth Avenue is also noticing increased sales of the Clarisonic skin care system. “It’s gaining so much momentum,” she says. “It’s been strong but it’s really a hot item now and we’re looking at branching out into other electronics. And we’re selling a lot more to men now that they have it in gray. The challenge is that it’s hard to show it on the floor without electrical outlets—that’s our biggest challenge, but we’ll figure it out.”

The other noteworthy trend that Walters is noticing isn’t about products, colors, ingredients or results—it’s about who’s shopping there. “The international customer is back and prevalent in our stores, from our The Shops at Bal Harbour store in South Florida, which has a lot of Brazilian and Russian influence, to New York with Asian customers,” she observed. She added that certain brands’ items, like Dolce and Gabbana’s color cosmetics with Brazilian shoppers in Bal Harbour, are doing particularly well.