Wednesday, May 05, 2010

RANT: Makeup FREE-lancing & Friends

As most know, I'm a freelance makeup artist. Not a free makeup artist.

I haven't put forth much efforts to expand my business because I wanted to get other things settled with before I hustle - especially around times like this when it's prom and wedding season! But for now I'm not putting myself out there, anything I get is word of mouth but I'm not actively pursuing any makeup jobs.

I'm slowly buying things for my kit here and there with whatever leftover money I have - it's not cheap, and when I do find cheap things I make sure it's things I'll use on my own face, but in the end - it's my own money being spent regardless of how little or how much I spend on it. I have a lot of things set in my kit apart from buying foundation and concealer, but I digress.

So I tend to do friend's makeup for free ONLY as a birthday gift or how I see fit. The friends I do makeup for free are ones who tend to do a lot of things for me, are generous in terms of paying for me when I go out or whatever so with them I feel bad for charging and I don't feel right. It's very few of them anyways, so to me it doesn't feel like any waste of time or loss if I do the favor. Or it's free if I ask them to help me practice on them and take some photos. Only exceptions and I had to mention this because I know some makeup artist that will absolutely charge no matter who or what. I will not and that's a personal choice. I see no right in wrong in this but in other things I do as I'll mention later.

Anyways, while I do this for some friends - I refuse to do it for all. Just because I am your friend and I know how to do your makeup does not mean I will do it for free or at a cheap price. My pricing is low in general because I don't have all necessary things for a complete look (foundation/concealer) and also because I rarely do it right now so I'm not in demand and I'm completely start-up. I start at a reasonable $20 for eyes/face basics and $25 with lashes. I charge more with distance/wedding. While MAC charges $50 and that goes towards buying their products - so I see my pricing reasonable. As I grow, I will definitely charge more - don't get me wrong, but as for now I'm keeping it low.

What kills me is that people who are freelancing are selling themselves for cheaper. HELLA CHEAP!
I lost jobs to girls who were charging $10 for eyes and even $5 per person. FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS! I mean, I love a good deal and all but you know how much this hurts someone who is actually trying to make a living and profession out of this? Some aren't even freelancing or a professional, some girls are good at doing makeup and decide to do it on whoever that ask and for $5 or even free. Killing me.

I close friend was even doing looks for free at times and I would get so mad at her. It was her own MAC collection she would use, her time and stuff and she'd do it for free. She's just too nice and I kept telling her, "if you do these favors so often - people are gunna take advantage of you and you gotta get compensated, regardless." And it still happens, she's no push over so a lot of girls go to her because she either won't charge or will do it cheaply. And no - a "free" meal does not compensate it. Might as well just pay me or I'll order hella shit.

I got a few offers so far for prom, one being a good friend of mine and I've done her makeup before for free in return she'd get all her cousins to pay when I do their makeup. Well, all those hoochies went to some lady for the fan-fucking-tastic deal of five dollars so last minute I was out of a good job because competition had a better price. This same friend just text me asking if I can do her sister because the person she knew would be busy. No problem - just pay up.
I got a response of:

"Whaaaat?! that's too much... just for eyes?".
Sorry, can't lower it - same price I'm charging another girl.
"I can do her foundations and no lashes!"
Yeah, still the same price.
"I'll get back to you later."

I was going to ask her how much she thought for kicks but honestly I was so mad I didn't even bother. I have a feeling she's going to ask our other friend - knowing her ass will do it for free.

If applying makeup was so easy and cheap - don't you think everyone will be able to do it flawlessly? Whatever "skills" I have took time to study, time to master and money to get there. Don't care if you're my friend or cousin or boss... PAY ME! And most times you are paying for quality. While I question some "freelancers" work out there - majority are really good at their job and we do it because we love and I like making someone feel really pretty. Scouts honor, one of the best feelings. But if your trade/skill were house painting - would you do it for free? HELL NAH. Nope, sweating and shit painting walls for free. Pfft. Think about it...

Don't sell yourself for so cheap because you're ruining things for makeup artist in general out there, make a profit - either way, whatever money you make...some of it goes back to replenishing or building your kit. Be choosy of who you do favors for. If they really were your friends they'd be supportive of it and know what your time is worth. And like I said - I will order hella shit to eat to compensate for that makeover. I ain't playin'.



  1. You go girl! That is honestly just disgusting- I hope those girls can see the difference between $5 makeup application, and QUALITY makeup application!! It's not fair when you've trained so hard, and worked so hard at skills just for people to expect it for nothing, or near-to-nothing! ... If that's how easy they think it is, they should do it themselves!
    I totally support your point of view hun!! xxx

  2. That really sucks. I mean, why would you WANT to charge someone so cheaply? Thats your own personal product that other random people are using up.

    I could understand if it was someone like me. I have only done a few people before, and I have to get comfortable with doing other people's makeup. However, I do it in a way that will benefit me. Like, really close friends, TFP, etc.

    There is one particular person out there in the blogosphere who is a freelancing MUA, and SUCKS. She charges out the ass too. Don't get me wrong, she can do a decent job, but all her clients end up looking the same. I also judge an MUA by their own work on their own face. To be honest, half of this girl's FOTD's that are "artisitc", "bold", or "bright", and they honestly look a hot mess.

    ......ok rambling much? Lol I see where you're coming from girl.

  3. I can feel your pain on people trying to take advantage of you regarding your craft. People think since I bake I will do it all the time and at no cost. I mean sometimes I get the urge to make something I want to share, but don't call me up a week before your wedding and expect a free cake. People kill me!!!

  4. Damn girl PREACH! I'm kinda going through the same thing as you.... I am just starting up as well and I get people who say "Why so much, arent you just starting?" I do charge a lil more than you, but I also offer full face... But still people sometimes forget that we are offering a service to them.... "I'm to much?.. Fine go wait in line on Prom day at MAC and hope that they can get to you, appointment or not"

    Anyways I relate to ya rant!

    ~Katie :)

  5. Hun, I get your point, but that's the business world. People aren't entitled to jobs - they earn them. You've either got to do the best damn makeup in your state or do it seriously cheaply, in order to beat your competitors. That's economics, and you've got to suck it up.

  6. Hey girl, I know exactly how you feel. I did a couple friends makeup for free and I even did my cousin's wedding makeup and other family members but they didn't pay up and I felt kind of awkward asking them to pay b/c they should have given me something you know. Anyways, we really need to get together and hang out in the Bay. Hollerrr!

  7. I empathize with you all too well! I freelance too and I personally think you should and could be charging MORE! You're an amazing artist! If these girls want to get their face jacked up for $5 so be it! They get what they pay for! People need to understand that this is YOUR business! Your livelihood! If they can't respect that then they can go to someone else! Bottom line! If you want to know what I charge, email me! Trust me when I say they pay! You are better than that! :)

  8. $5 per person? What. The. Hell. That's totally ridiculous. I don't even get why someone would pay her $5 to do their makeup? Do they not wonder why it's so cheap? To me that would send up red flags that she has no idea what the hell she's doing. I mean, she can be a great artist for all I know, but I still wouldn't do it based on her lack of business sense. I mean, it depends on the area...but $5? Ugh. I even charge more than you and haven't ever had someone complain about my pricing. That chick is looking for trouble charging that little.

  9. Hi! interesting post. I'm def. guilty of doing peoples makeup for free! I'm not makeup artist, don't profess to be, don't want to be one, I'm just a girly girl who likes to play with makeup! (and since I only have one

    The flaw I see in your argument (charging a low price ruins it for other MUA) is the assumption that people will pay more for your services if they had no other choice. Which may or may not be true.

    There are tons of things in life that people can get for free, but still choose to pay for. For example,blogger is free, but there are millions of people who choose to pay for web hosting. Library books are free, but people still like to hit up bookstores! I am pointing these things out to say, free/ cheap isn't always the end all be all of a competing business.

    Ultimately, I think if you are a MUA, you have to know that what you are charging is worth it. That your skills are worth it. And stick with your prices.

    Also, avoiding mixing business with pleasure might help too!

    I like your blog so I hope that you'll be able to find a happy medium :-)

  10. Ugh good point dude. $5 is just EMBARRASSING.

  11. That's how it goes for many skill based professions. It's annoying to discover people undercutting the average price, but at the end of the day most people are cheap. Once you get yourself out there, and establish yourself as skilled - people will put out the money.

    I will experiment/practice on friends for free.. but when someone asks for a 'practice run' on a Saturday night, they get a big no. V_V

  12. I recommend having them sign a contract and putting a deposit down so they cant change their mind last minute and leave you with no business.
    good luck girl

  13. I feel your pain, that's why I left the beauty industry. It's so competitive and fickle. But don't worry, Hang in there build your portfolio and with your skills you will go very far.