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Beauty Issues: The Tragedy Of Not Hiring a Professional Makeup Artist

This week, I am shedding some light on some of the biggest beauty issues faced in the industry.

It doesn’t matter if an artist went to school or not. As long as they know what is required and they are very professional about their business, I regard them as professional artists. Every professional makeup artist can relate to at least one of these scenarios:

Scenario 1:
– Client: Good morning, I would like to inquire about how much you charge for special events.
– Makeup Artist (MUA): Good morning, I charge N15,000 per face.
– Client: Hmmm…Can’t you take N10,000 per face? I know another artist that is willing to take N7,000.

Scenario 2:
– Client: Hello, I would like to enquire about your bridal services.
– MUA: It depends, but my rates start from N65,000 for the day. Which services would you require?
– Client: Wow, you’re expensive! Isn’t it just pencil and lipstick? Don’t worry. I will get my cousin to do my makeup.

As makeup artists, we come in contact with such clients everyday (and to be honest, I do not understand how insensitive people can be). Before a MUA puts a price on her services, she calculated her profit and her incurred expenses. There are a lot of issues within these scenarios like “Undercharging amongst artists”, “Value of the profession”, etc., but those are topics for another day. Instead, I will outline what you need to think about when hiring a MUA.
What you think:

A Makeover



The Reality:

If you think you are just paying for the makeover, then think again. I will bring up some points to explain how even though we love to glam people up, love doesn’t pay the bills or restock our kits.

5 points to consider:

The makeover – The main reason for contacting a makeup artist is to get a makeover. But also know that the outcome of your look will depend on the following factors. Keep in mind that all these factors are interlinked.

The luxury of having the artist travel to you – If you go to the MAC store to get your makeup done for N8,000, why will you expect a freelance artist to come to you and charge the same price? The artist at the MAC store is not investing in her kit or buying gas. I would blame such requests on ignorance. As an artist, I have to worry about the gas used, wear and tear of my car and parking. That being said, you also have the advantage of being pampered at home. I have seen brides move from beauty studio to beauty studio on their big day because they are trying to be cheap or end up hiring a cheap artist that cancels on them. I believe there is no point paying a lot of money for your photos and then end up looking cheap in the pictures. We need to learn how to put everything in perspective.

Expensive and quality tools – As artists, we invest a lot of time building quality kits and investing in high-end products. I am a believer in observing the quality of products before saying the words “You’re expensive.”

Expertise and skill set/ professionalism – Most professional makeup artists spend time building and enriching their makeup knowledge. This is done through research, and going for beauty workshops, practice sessions and classes. Most have gone to school, taken business classes and are constantly updating their knowledge on the new trends. Most artists also spend hours drafting up contracts and responding to emails. This is time that should be accounted for. If you hired a lawyer, every time the lawyer contacts you that is billable time, and I believe the same should be given to any service profession.

The expenses of having a business – As a business, there are various expenses incurred by the artist. These expenses include the self-employment taxes, office supplies, liability insurance, branding and marketing, and phone and internet bills. All these bills need to be paid for and they are taken into consideration when setting the business price.

Now ask yourself- Does the makeup charge equal to the expenses incurred under the factors listed above? The answer by my standard is “NO”. Artists are paid way less for all the effort the put in to make you happy and satisfied.

Note: Always remember that when dealing with service businesses, do not negotiate with them. You can ask them for their different packages or price options or tell what you want and have them create a package for you.

Felicita Ovadje
@felicheetaartistry (Instagram and facebook)

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