Wondering what you should tell a new makeup client? Don’t worry—she probably has a few questions of her own. By the time we’re done, you’ll know exactly what to tell a new makeup client before her big appointment.
Remember, nothing is too basic or obvious. Just ask other makeup artists for some horror stories. You’ll soon realize the more information you give a new client, the smoother your appointment will go. So, if you find that lately you’ve been going through a lot of makeup remover before you’ve even begun any applying any makeup yourself, you may want to start handing out these suggestions to anyone who comes near your makeup chair.
1. Don’t wear makeup to the appointment
Maybe your client is self-conscious about strutting around with a bare face. It doesn’t matter. Unless you want to have to break out a thousand cotton balls before actually starting your work, ask your client to be mindful of her own makeup when she’s coming to her appointment.
There are a few reasons why wearing makeup to a session with a makeup artist is a big no-no. Aside from the time it takes to remove, you also don’t know your client’s particular skin type. Which means even if you wanted to make the appointment feel like some type of spa experience, you won’t be able to without knowing what her skin needs. Can you imagine removing foundation with a cleansing milk and applying a moisturizing primer only to discover that your client is oily? We can.
Instead, ask your client to show up fresh-faced and with her skin prepped according to her personal skincare routine. Your client should be more than happy to comply if it means she’ll walk out looking the best as possible.
2. Come with pictures
Some clients will think you know exactly what they want. However, makeup artists are not mind-readers! A ‘natural yet glam’ look might mean something entirely different for you than it does for your client. So if she comes in wanting something “dewy” with a magenta lip, you better find out exactly what that is to her.
Other clients may just assume that you will spin her around and transform her into the goddess she knew she always was. Although creative license is fun, we all know that “I trust you, so just do whatever” is not going to fly during an appointment. Even your best friend doesn’t love you that much! So in order to give your client the finished look she’s dreaming of, ask for details! What’s the occasion? Is she wearing any specific colors?
Think back to times when you were a client and learned the hard way! It takes three seconds for a client sitting in your chair to point out her favorite version of a smoky eye. And pictures are fun! They’ll give you a great visual representation of what your client likes.
3. Don’t be afraid to speak up
Having makeup done by a professional is something fun and special. The last thing your clients (well, most of your clients) want to do is insult the person working so hard to make them look gorgeous. But you need to tell your client that not only are you a makeup artist who is okay with feedback, you welcome it!
You may need to do some serious makeup artist soul searching before you become comfortable with this. Do it. Keep in mind that you are not working on a mannequin. Focus on your application but check in with your client periodically throughout the appointment.
Ultimately, a happy client is great for business. No, you can’t do your best work with someone consistently nitpicking at your technique. But encouraging a timid client to pipe up if they don’t like something will have you feeling like a million dollar makeup artist when she’s actually happy with her look in the end.
4. Be realistic
This goes hand in hand with figuring out how to handle excessive criticism. Bringing in inspiration is fine. Expecting to look like an airbrushed model after the appointment is not. No, you’re definitely not going to tell a new client not to get her hopes up, but do make sure to keep channels of communication wide open.
A helpful way to negotiate a client with over-the-top expectations is to ask more questions. For example if she is showing you all kinds of unrealistic photos, ask her what in particular about these looks inspires her. At the same time, emphasize that the heavy photo editing seen in magazine photos isn’t realistic (or desirable!) in real life. As boring as it sounds, being authoritative and firm will keep the appointment from getting derailed.
It’s not all negative. Clue your client in if what she’s asking for it beyond the realm of possibility and then come up with a happy medium. If she doesn’t know why something won’t work, talk to her about technique, or let her in some makeup tips and tricks. Know your stuff and the rest will be just good old customer service.
5. Don’t get any treatments done the same day
Please, please, please let your client know that she should wait a day or two after getting some kind of facial treatment done. That means any kind of wax, spray tan, laser treatment, or microdermabrasion. Skin is going to be so sensitive after any kind of cosmetic facial treatment that makeup is just going to make everything extremely uncomfortable—for you and her!
As for tanning—why work on a client whose color still needs to develop? While these things may seem basic, a new client may not think of them as any problem. Make the appointment go as smooth as possible by letting her know upfront exactly how to prepare for the appointment. That way when she takes a seat in your makeup chair, you’ll be ready to jump into creating a fabulous makeover.
Tell your client to wear a shirt she can easily slip off. That way, when she’s ready to change for whatever event she’s going to, she won’t have to worry about messing up her flawless face. No tight turtlenecks, please!