QC Makeup Academy tutor Azzi Williams is a Sydney-based commercial and TV makeup artist. Her career has brought her all around the world, working in London, Barcelona, and Istanbul. After revamping her service pricing strategy, she was able to grow her makeup business and eventually start Williamspro Makeup & Hair, her very own makeup line!

Last month, she took to Facebook to give advice about starting your makeup artistry business off on the right foot. She answered many aspiring artists’ questions about how to price their freelance makeup artist services and secure paid makeup jobs.

If you missed out, don’t worry! We’re going to recap some of her viewers’ best questions about getting your makeup business off the ground!

What do you do if the customer isn’t happy with your work?

Usually, you will do a trial run to see what works and what doesn’t. Before you meet your potential client for the first consultation, ask them to provide you with inspiration photos of makeup looks they want and also a photo of themselves. When you have both of these photos, you can compare them to see if their inspiration photos make sense with their features.

Is it possible to achieve what they want? Are their expectations realistic? Since you’re the professional, you have a much firmer grasp on what’s realistic and what’s appropriate for the occasion.

You may choose to call them ahead of time and get a feel for their personality. Oftentimes, you can get a pretty good idea of what they want from your services just by speaking with them! Combining what you know about their personality, the inspiration photos, their own features, and your personal expertise, you can come up with suggestions or tweaks to their look in advance.

Make the effort to mitigate as much risk as possible! Always give yourself enough time at the end of the appointment to fix anything they may not be happy with. A 20 minutes window is enough to correct any mistake. If you rush a client and they end up unhappy with the look at the very end, you won’t have time to fix any issues. This can make everyone feel rushed and unsatisfied when leaving. So plan ahead, mitigate risks, and give yourself time to fix any mistakes!

certified makeup artist applying contour on her makeup model

Do you charge for the trial run with a client?

Azzi says that you must absolutely charge for the trial run! You must always factor in your time when you charge for your services. With any makeup trial, you’re often spending far more time and effort than the actual day. Why? Well, you’re working with many different colors, textures, and products while you gauge their comfortability with the look. You’ll be testing out a variety of makeup products until you settle on a combination that makes your client happy. All of this cuts into your professional makeup kit, which you’ll have to eventually replenish.

With the trial run cutting into your time, costs, and expenses, you’ll want to be compensated! She recommends charging the same price or even higher for the trial run. Otherwise, you will be operating at a loss.

editorial makeup professionally done

How many days prior to the client’s appointment must you charge them the full cost of your services if they cancel?

If it is a large job—a bridal party on the weekend with a high budget—Azzi suggests that the cut-off period for cancellations be 24-48 hours before the big day. To ensure you aren’t going to be left at a loss if your clients cancel, ensure the cancellation policy in on the initial contract!

Discuss cancellations and make mention of the cancellation clause on the contract at the consultation. When they sign the contract, ensure they also have their own copy.

Azzi mentions that every step you take from beginning to end should ensure that you walk out (mostly) unscuffed if your client cancels.

  • Charge a deposit when you first book the client. Upon sending the invoice and contract to your clients to sign, let them know that you have a non-refundable 20-25% deposit fee that they have to pay in order to reserve their booking slot. If they fail to pay, they’ll lose the spot to someone else. Ensure that you send them a receipt to confirm the payment received.
  • On the contract, include and explain the non-refundable, 48 hour cancellation policy where payment must be made in full to you, the artist.
  • A week prior to the booking, check in with them. Let them know that all payments are to be made in full 2 days prior to the big day. Make sure you always provide a receipt!
  • If your client cancels a week ahead, she’ll forfeit the deposit. However, if she cancels the day before or the day of, and a full-price cancellation clause is in the contract, you can charge them the full price of your services.
makeup application trial by a certified makeup artist

Azzi stresses the importance of a good invoicing process. When you have a professional procedure for how you conduct your business, you’ll always keep your head above water. You won’t have the added stress of having to chase after clients or be at a loss if they cancel on you!

Want to hear the rest of her answers? Check out Azzi’s webinar on Facebook!

Need some guidance on where your earnings should be going? Here’s our guide to budgeting as a makeup artist!

Celina Feng

Author Celina Feng

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