#1: Never Reuse a Disposable Product
Powder puffs, mascara wands, cosmetic wedges, lip gloss wands, and all other disposables are one-time use only. You can, however, use these products several times in the same sitting. But only on the same client, and only if you are refilling them with product in a hygienic manner (see Deadly Offense #2).
The only disposable item that can never be refilled is the mascara spoolie. Once you use it on your client’s eye, it can never go back in the tube. So get enough the first time or toss it and grab another.
#2: Never Double Dip in Creams or Liquids
Cream and liquid products can harbor bacteria and become breeding grounds for infections if you do not follow sanitary practices. All cream and liquid products must be removed from their containers and put on a sanitized palette. You should never take directly from the tube or canister with a brush or sponge.
The biggest offenders in this category usually happen with mascara and gel liners. Because these are products that are used on and around the eye, you have to be particularly careful. As great as that mascara wand may be, you can only use a disposable and it can only be dipped in once!
#3: Always Sharpen Your Pencils
Because the makeup pencils used around the eyes and lips have a wax- (or similar) base, they should be treated as liquid and cream products. A pencil does not have to be a one-time use product if it is sanitized correctly. You should sharpen the pencil immediately before and after using it on each client, and also wipe the tip with an alcohol wipe. The tip filled with any bacteria or viruses will be shaved off and disposed of, and the wipe will take care of any missed spots leftover. This cleaning habit will give your pencils a long life and keep your clients safe.
#4: Never Lick a Q-tip or Cotton Bud
A damp cotton bud is one of the best ways to clean up an imprecise lip or adjust a mascara/ eyeliner flub. But definitely, don’t stick it in your mouth! Keeping a little spray bottle of water nearby will be hygienic and keep your client from throwing up.
#5: Never Blow On Makeup Brushes
This is a shockingly common practice and one that must come to a stop. Blowing on a brush will remove excess product, but it will also blow a mouthful of bacteria and germs into the brush you are about to use on your client’s face. The professional way to remove extra powder is to either tap the bottom of the ferrule onto a table or on the edge of your hand.
#6: Never Blow on a Client’s Face
This is the worst possible variation of Deadly Offense #5. And it is horrid for all the same and MORE reasons. If you have excess product on a client, use a tissue, a clean fluffy brush, a powder puff, or even a sanitized finger to brush it away.
#7: Always Throw Away Outdated Products
Outdated products do not work as effectively as fresh products and worse, they can be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Toss them.
#8: Always Clean Your Brushes
If a brush touches a client, it must be properly sanitized before it can come into contact with anyone else. Oils from the skin can harbor dirt and bacteria that are harmless to the person they are on, but they can cause breakouts to someone else. When you finish with one client, thoroughly sanitize the brush before using it again. The same rule applies if the brush falls on the floor.
And, it should go without saying, but ALWAYS wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
If you’re guilty of any of the above offenses, have no fear. It’s never too late to make positive changes when it comes to health and safety. When it comes to being a professional, we are only as good as our habits.
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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!
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.
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.
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!