Pro makeup artists are used to fielding a million questions from their clients during an appointment: “What’s your favorite makeup brand?”, “Are Kylie Jenner’s liquid lipsticks a staple in your kit?”, and “I have sensitive skin, will that foundation make me break out?”—the works!
But your interactions with your clients shouldn’t only feature one-way questioning! They are called interactions after all. You’re expected to also ask your clients a number of questions to best cater your services to their needs.
Not sure what to ask? Here’s our list of the 6 questions professional makeup artists should always ask their clients!
1. Do you have any skin allergies or sensitivities?
Let’s start with the most obvious question. When it comes to doing makeup, your number one concern is your client’s safety! You don’t want to open yourself up for a lawsuit, but most importantly, you don’t want to leave your clients traumatized after your session. You want to address their allergies even before you start doing the test trial so that you can stock your kit with the appropriate items.
Make sure that after you do a test run on your client to not switch out the products on the real day without letting them know. They might have no reaction to the product you used on them initially, but if you change the product, it’ll only take a moment for hives to suddenly pop up!
2. What are the logistics for the job?
Are they coming to you for the appointment or are you going to them? Who and how many people’s makeup are you going to be doing? When will this take place and for how long are you expected to be on location for touch ups? Asking these questions when you’re tentatively considering the job will aid with determining your travel expenses and other appointments that you may be booking for that day.
You never want to overbook and be late for another appointment, or be exhausted after running around all morning just to have to zip to another location right after lunch!
3. What style of makeup are you looking for?
You want to know what their expectations are before you can attempt to meet them—you’re good at what you do but you’re not psychic! They can show you photos of celebrities donning a relatively simplistic makeup look that they swear they want… but it may not be possible to meet their expectations.
Sometimes what they think they want may not necessarily be what they actually need. It’s up to you to provide expert advice based on your past experiences to provide them with the best possible customer service! That being said, make sure that you’re constantly communicating with them about any changes that you’re suggesting. The last thing you want to do is just slather on the makeup and find her horrified when she finally gets a peek in the mirror!
4. What will you be wearing for the ocassion?
It’s important to ask your clients what they’ll be wearing, and especially if they’re brides, what the color story is for their wedding décor! You don’t want to do a fierce, edgy look for them, only to find that they had picked out a vintage dress for the big day. Making sure your work is cohesive and complimentary to the other aspects of their look and the bigger context is key!
Tap into your knowledge of color theory, examine their complexion and skin needs, and compliment it with the style of their outfit. It sounds like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do quick assessments and make snap decisions without skipping a beat!
5. How much makeup do you usually wear?
You may be thinking that they hired you to do their makeup for a special occasion or photoshoot, so why does it matter what their usual makeup routine is? Well, it does matter! If they’re not used to wearing a full-face of makeup on the daily, suddenly having a thick layer of foundation can freak them out, and that’s the absolute worst thing that can happen!
If you’re switching up the foundation consistency, make sure that they’re aware of the benefits of one type of foundation over the other; if you’re applying 3 different color-correcting concealers to their face instead of just 1 like they’re used to, explain why! You want to make sure that their needs are met without making them feel like a stranger in their own skin.
6. What’s the nature of the event? What are the weather conditions?
Only an amateur makeup artist will apply the same type of makeup for every situation. Thank goodness they hired you, though! Is your client doing a dramatic photoshoot in the pouring rain? Maybe they’re going into the Nevada desert for a wedding? For both these contexts you’ll have to consider makeup products with different properties to give them what they need, visually and functionally!
With the above examples, you’ll want to use waterproof/resistant makeup for the rainy weather, or perhaps using extra primer or setting powder to keep their face makeup from melting off in the heat….we don’t even have to tell you that if they’re going to be photographed, you might want to stay away from foundations with SPF in it!
Did we miss important questions that absolutely need to be mentioned? Sound them off in the comments below!