*EDIT* I found this post in my drafts and have no clue why I never posted it but there is no time like the present right? It's still valid and timely as I had to deal with something similar recently...unfortunately
I feel like I do a post or video of this nature every year...I know for certain I get the question from other MUAs or find myself in a group discussion about it more than that! Today's topic my friends is about setting your rate as a makeup artist but more importantly knowing your worth as one.
Allow me to preface this post by saying that I may ruffle a few feathers and for that I do not apologize one bit. The truth can hurt at times and so it is what it is. That said, lets continue shall we?
This meme was floating around the net last week I believe via Instagram...
I didn't feel the need to post it on my account because though it sparks a much needed conversation, it isn't one I have to ask because I have my rates set and they are really not up for discussion...
This is not a form of me putting on airs, it's more so an expression of growth because you see, I've been that artist. Unsure if my prices were too high, feeling let down if a potential client chose to go with someone charging a lot less just to get the work; researching for hours to get my rate just right...and see that's the key. I did the research.
I know my prices aren't high, I know plenty of artists who charge more and rightfully so. As the meme poses the question above you as an artist have to consider the service you are offering and your client needs to realize if they want what can still be considered a luxury service then they should be prepared to pay accordingly. The client who feels some kind of way about paying that is not a client you want in my opinion.
Now granted there are some instances in which you adjust for friends, family, hell even celebrities because its the right thing to do and/or it's going to look good on your résumé/in your portfolio. However, have the knowledge to recognize when you are being taken advantage of.
I want to share with you an exchange that took place just today between myself and a potential client/social associate:
Potential Client (hereafter referred to as PC): Hey! You available to do my make up tomorrow am around 10 am? Sorry it's last minute. Let me know if ur free and how much. It's for my bridal shower. I just want something light and pretty with simple lashes.
Me: Hey! Yes I just so happen to be off tomorrow. I normally charge ($price and names removed for privacy) but as a gift for your shower and wedding (congrats!!!) name your price and I will honor it. 😊
PC: Yay that ur free! I had no idea make up cost that much! Lol I really do not want to LOOK like I had my make up done. I'm not a real housewife or anything. Lol I just wanna look like I put a little extra effort. So hopefully you won't have to expend much energy. Don't wanna look beat. Just awake and pretty. Lol with that said what so you think is a fair price. I don't even pay ($X amt) for hair so I really wasn't looking to spend that much. Let me know!
Me: I know - a lot of people don't. But in our area that's the median (i know artists that charge more) especially in having someone professionally trained come to you with their kit, chair and possibly lighting and a table(thanks meme for that wording) It is the cost of that, travel/parking, the service itself and the time. For those that go directly to MAC it's ($x amt) At the salon and spa where I work (x location) where our clients are CNN analysts, congressional leaders and high profile lawyers we charge ($x amt) and that is for me to touch up their lipstick and maybe mascara only.
All that said - as an entrepreneur and soon to be mom I hope you understand; definitely not stated with ill intent. I just like to explain it to those who inquire so they are aware going forward.
The "no makeup" look, still requires makeup. I would even out your skin tone and hide any imperfections and make it look like you are not wearing makeup which is a skill that a lot of people have not mastered but is integral. The lashes would be minimal but enough to make you look awake and provide a slight lift to the eye. Polished and pretty, not overdone.
Given all of this I propose ($x amt with a discount). If that is still a bit too much I understand and hopefully we can work together in the future and I would refer another artist to you who may charge a bit less as they are working on building their expertise.
PC: Hey, I totally respect what you do and your rates. I would never question you on why your fees are what they are as I wouldn't expect that in my line of work. With that said, that is more than I planned on spending for the occasion considering I will just wash it off in a few hours. I do appreciate your consideration and wish you luck in all your endeavors!!!
Me: Ok sure, and thank you for considering me. Did you want me to refer someone else?
PC: Ummmm idk...it's not that serious to me. I don't really like strangers. Lol I'll just do what I can so myself. Thanks!!
Me: Lol ok
I share this to show that even if you do try to please people by being flexible on your rates it still may not be enough. So rather than alienating yourself from your peers, for one client and/or being in the people pleasing business, why not please yourself?
Being in this industry requires continued education, networking, marketing, keeping up with trends, keeping a kit stocked, travel fees etc so on and so forth and guess what? At some point, if not all the time, these things cost money.
This industry is over saturated. I was asked to speak on a career panel last weekend and once we were done another panelist approached me to say "I do make up too! It's my side side hustle; doing makeup for people." All I could offer in response was "I see!" *blink blink*. And that's just it, everywhere you go now there will be at least 2 people there for every 10 that says they "do makeup". Now to me there is a difference between a makeup artist and someone who says they "do makeup" but I digress. What I will say is you probably do not want to be identified as someone who does makeup...just saying.