Charlotte is the proud owner of her very own hair and makeup business, A Date With Charlotte. From bridal to editorial, to film and television, and everything in-between – Charlotte’s extensive makeup training allows her to provide a wide variety of services that cater to ALL types of clientele!
Her extensive resume includes working for Prada, L’Oreal, and even the cast of the hit show, Glee! A developer of educational programs, Charlotte has even been awarded Best Makeup Educator of the Year by the Australian Industry Makeup Awards.
Want to know 5 common mistakes that can decrease your makeup artist’s salary? Professional MUA, Charlotte Ravet, is here to tell you!
Do makeup artists make good money?
Understandably, this is one of the first questions that might come to mind when thinking about undertaking makeup training. Without ample research, pinning down the makeup artist’s salary can be a bit tricky. The good news is, it’s absolutely possible to earn a sustainable income with makeup as your primary career!
Admittedly, when I first started studying makeup, I was a bit worried about the money I could earn. Living in capital cities is very expensive, and with the cost of products and education, I was conscious that I needed to make good money quickly.
However, within two years, I was earning more than my friends who had a Master’s degree!
Let’s be realistic: earning proper money exclusively as a freelance MUA can take a bit of time. After all, you’ll need to build your network first and gain hands-on experience. But there are plenty of work opportunities which shouldn’t be ignored!
Doing a part-time job for a brand while building your freelancing business is an excellent option. Weddings and photoshoots are definitely well-paid, too. But to avoid decreasing your makeup artist salary, there are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
Let’s take a look at 5 of them!
5 Mistakes That Can Decrease Your Makeup Artist Salary
Time is Money!
This definitely applies when it comes to makeup. If you are charging your client per face, imagine the difference you could earn by doing makeup on three clients instead of just one!
It’s okay to take your time when you just start. In fact, it’s recommended that you never rush. This way, you can provide the best service possible. But after a few years, you should be able to work faster and deliver the same high-quality results in a shorter timeframe.
The best way to achieve this? Remember to stay focused! Put a routine in place that will help you strengthen your time-management skills. Before you know it, you’ll increase your number of clients – which means a better makeup artist salary overall!
Over-Pricing or Under-Pricing
Establishing your rates can be a challenge at first. If you charge too much, you might lose some bookings. But if you don’t charge enough, you won’t get the money back on your investment (i.e. your products and time).
So, how should you set your prices? The answer is to charge what you are worth!
Doing a bit of research in your area is probably a good idea. Depending on your location and experience, the prices might vary. Don’t be afraid to ask others with more experience for the advice! There are plenty of Facebook groups where you can ask for advice on how to set up your pricing. (QC Makeup Academy’s Virtual Classroom is an excellent example!)
In the long run, it’s better to be a bit patient and get the bookings you deserve. Starting on the lower end and working your way up can prove to be a great strategy. However, setting your prices on the higher side is also not a bad thing – so long as your work is worth the price!
Personally, I’ve noticed that my regular and most easygoing clients are often the ones who are not discussing prices. The right clients will understand the cost and value of a professional makeup service.
Neglecting the Importance of Proper Training
Before you go investing money into marketing your makeup services, you should first make sure you’re providing a service that lives up to the standards you are promoting.
But they’ll only benefit your makeup artist’s salary in the grand scheme of things!
If you’re just starting out in this industry, the best advice I can give would be to keep training and practicing your craft, obtain a professional certification, and then invest in marketing and business education on top of that. Yes, you’ll need to put money into these endeavors.
So, invest in makeup training to boost your skill-set to the highest level. The right courses will ensure to provide you with ample business training as well. For example, QC Makeup Academy’s courses come with an optional Business Unit that I strongly recommend taking advantage of.
Remember: while word-of-mouth is an excellent way to get booked (at no cost to you), you’ll need to be great at what you do in order for others to start recommending you. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the single most effective way to become a true expert is by getting professional training!
Not Investing in Your Makeup Kit
Your makeup kit and the products you use are the first things your clients will be looking at. You could be absolutely brilliant as a makeup artist – but providing services with only drugstore makeup products will drastically decrease your makeup artist salary.
While there are definitely budget-friendly items you can afford to save money on, there are also products you should be willing to invest a little more into. Makeup can be expensive, but there are reasons behind the costs!
The quality of the pigments, the ingredients, and their longevity are all things you should take into consideration when building your makeup kit. If you want to charge more for your services and boost your makeup artist’s salary, you will need to justify your prices to your clients.
Providing great service is definitely one way to do this – but this includes investing in your kit and working with professional, high-end cosmetics brands.
Only Working In Your Business, and Not On Your Business
All of this will help you better determine your service fee to clients, and add to your makeup artist salary in the long run!
Focusing one to two days per week towards this behind-the-scenes stuff is realistic. As much as we love providing makeup services, you can’t have a successful career based on this alone. Building your profile, creating a newsletter, maintaining a social media presence, and keeping records of your accounts and taxes are also things you need to factor into your business.
If your goal is to have your own business, then you’ll be required to spend time doing some administrative work. After all, it takes strategy and hard work to get noticed. From there, business smarts and marketing knowledge are also needed to keep you in contact with current clients, while also introducing your services to potential future clients.
What does that mean? Well, as all makeup artists will tell you, applying makeup is only part of the job. You’ll also need to market yourself to current and future clients, stay on top of invoicing, and constantly prepare and maintain your products.
Food for Thought: Increase Your Makeup Artist Salary By Diversifying Yourself!
With the skills you possess as a makeup artist, there are a thousand jobs you can do. Even if you dream about a career in editorial makeup, don’t ignore the opportunity to earn some money at the start of your career in other areas as well. For instance, weddings are a very lucrative industry that will give you the possibility to choose when you want to work or not.
Weddings can also be very creative. You will quickly realize that you can expand your network significantly with the clients you meet on the job. One happy bride can spread the word and share your details with lots of her friends! The need for bridal MUAs is huge, and always will be!
I have been extremely lucky in my career. In the 15 years that I’ve been doing makeup professionally, I’ve never found myself out of work. I have always made good money. I’ve worked for various industries – from fashion and TV, to education.
What’s fantastic about doing makeup is the fact that when one job is over, another opportunity always comes along! Every day is different. I remember when I chose this career, some of my friends and family were worried that I might not earn a good makeup artist salary. But they soon realized that I was actually making a decent income doing my dream job.
With the right attitude and work ethic, know that you can, too!