Paid in Exposure: How to Scam a Makeup Artist into Working for Free - QC Makeup Academy

In this day and age, everyone wants something for a price. Nobody does anything out of the kindness of their hearts anymore! Sure, you may have a big event coming up, and you absolutely want need a makeup artist to make you look flawless on the big day. But you also have other, more important things that you need to spend your money on.

Some may call you a “choosing beggar”, but you’re not! You’re just savvy when it comes to finances. Don’t worry, we’ve got just what you need. Whether you’re a friend or family member of the makeup artist in question, or just a stranger on the internet, listen up: if you use these tactics, you’ll never need to pay for somebody else’s hard work, time, or effort ever again!

woman pleading with sad pouty face

Tactic #1: Play the victim

When you initially contact your chosen makeup artist, be as sweet as possible. After all, you do love her work and think she’s very talented. She’s the one you’ve set your heart on to make you look beautiful on your big day. You absolutely must have her! So naturally, after you start off by gushing about how talented she is, the best way to maximize your chances of her agreeing to work for you will be to lay on your sob story really thick.

If you’re her friend or family member:

She may already know whatever’s been going on with you, but tell her anyway. Since you actually know her in real life, you’re automatically more special in her eyes that some random stranger she’s never met before. You deserve special treatment.

Note: ‘Friend’ is a relative term. Who cares if you only knew her back in the elementary school, and haven’t spoken since you spread that rumor about her after grade eight graduation? You’ve known each other since forever – that amount of time makes you practically besties!

If you’re an internet stranger:

She doesn’t know your tragic backstory, so spare no details. You get bonus points if your child has a fake terminal illness, a completely alive parent just died, and you’re 100% broke and helpless (after buying the latest iPhone).

If you can work all three of these into your sales pitch, you’ve unlocked the Choosing Beggar trifecta. In your mind, this guarantees that there’s no way she’ll say no – unless she’s a horrible human being who doesn’t care one bit about her makeup business.

woman outraged and confused

Tactic #2: Act shocked when she expects payment

Okay, so your makeup artist has agreed to take the job. But wait, she wants money to do it? Seriously!?

If you’re her friend or family member:

It seems she’s forgotten that she knows you in real life, and you’re not just some unimportant stranger. It’s incredibly insulting that she and you are so close, and yet you still have to pay. At the very least, you should be receiving some sort of hefty discount.

But really, she should be providing you with a complimentary service, simply because she cares. If anything, she should be paying you for allowing her the privilege of using her skills on you!

If you’re an internet stranger:

Does she not understand who you are? Knowing you, you’re one of the following:

  • An ‘influencer’ with a decently sized follower count
  • Someone who’s ‘well on their way’ to becoming an influencer. You likely don’t have enough followers to monetize yourself, but you make up for that in self-confidence!
  • Someone referred by a person the makeup artist actually knows. By association, she should be treating you like her own flesh and blood! Hey, she gave her sister a discounted price – you should be getting one, too!
  • A potentially paying customer, and the customer is ALWAYS right!

Why should you be punished for the fact that she’s put years, and tons of money, into both her education and experience? You’re not paying for her experience! It’s not your responsibility to fund her makeup business! You should only be paying for the amount of time and makeup product the job takes!

Regardless, your best bet is to offer her something that’s even better than real money: internet clout! Sure, you could give her what she’s asking to do the job, but you could also take all sorts of photos of yourself once she’s done your makeup, and then post them online. The exposure it’d give her and her makeup business to the public will get her name out there, bring her more clientele, and thus, more money than what she’s trying to charge you.

If anything, you’d be doing her a favor!

woman freaking out and biting laptop

Tactic #3: Have a complete and total meltdown when she says no

If you’re her friend or family member:

Tell her you CANNOT believe that she’d be so selfish and do this to someone she’s supposed to be friends/family with! Search your memory and pull up any and every instance – no matter insignificant – in which you’d helped her in the past, and rub them all in her face.

Throw in a mean name and an insult here and there. Undermine her career and tell her to “get a real job”. If none of that works, then go for the clincher: threaten to complain about her on your social media, and even tell mutual friends/family members.

If she refuses to do one teensy little favor for you in your desperate time of need, she might as well be dead to you. But not before you make sure everyone knows how awful she truly is!

If you’re an internet stranger:

Go from zero to psycho instantly. Leave no room for rational thinking. Call her every name in the book, and tell her that her makeup skills SUCK. Let her know that you actually have a guy that can do your makeup for way cheaper, but you were just coming to her first to do her the favor of giving her some work.

When all else fails, and it will, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Threaten her makeup business and livelihood – that’ll teach her! Here are some ways you can tell her you’ll do:

  • Leave a bad review
  • Bash her across social media
  • Report her for being a ‘scammer’
  • If you’re feeling especially vengeful, you can even threaten to dox her to others online

As you can see, your options truly are limitless! She needs to remember that you’re the one with the power. Her career lies in your hands. You’re the customer, and the responsibility is on HER to negotiate and ultimately give you what you want.

Then, at the end of the day, regardless of whether you’re a friend, a family member, or an internet stranger, you can sleep peacefully at night… knowing deep inside your heart that you are the absolute worst.

beautiful redhead woman laughing

In all seriousness, though…

Please don’t ever be this type of person. For real.

If you’re a makeup artist – especially one who offers freelance work – don’t let yourself be bullied by someone like this. In the face of one, remember to keep the high ground: stay calm, stay polite, and then block contact. Do not engage, and DEFINITELY never agree to provide them your services. People like this will never be happy, no matter how hard you try.

Choosing beggars will always try to get something for nothing. Contrary to what they may say, no matter how popular they seem on the internet, exposure isn’t going to pay your bills!

The fact is: you are getting paid for your experience. You charge customers not just for the time it’ll take to do their makeup, but for the money and care you put into your products. You’re getting paid for all those years of schooling and practice that’ve made you as good at makeup as you are today.

After all, your skills are why anyone comes to you in the first place, right? The right customer will always be able to see the value in your skills, and will be more than happy to pay for them – with real money.

Unsure what to charge your makeup clients? We can help guide you in the right direction!

Author Sarah Seguin

More posts by Sarah Seguin

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    Its not right that your site offers advice to be and succeed as a makeup artist but then post an article with ways to cheat one in giving free services as if it’s a Makeup artists time, education and skill are not valuable.

    • Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

      Hi Amanda, we completely agree with you! The article is purely satire, which is why we clarify at the end that we 100% disagree with everything that was said in the article, and that people out there who try to scam hard-working makeup artists into free work have the worst sort of attitude. Rest assured, we do not promote that sort of behavior, and we do not condone it in any way whatsoever. 🙂

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