It’s a job too, you know.
Getting professionally made up is, more often than not, a great experience for any girl. Having your own glam team primp you up for a special event is always a big deal, and it’s something every girl, kikay or not, should experience at least once in her life. But looking good has a cost, and the fees for good makeup artists can be mind-boggling.
If you’re ever tempted to ask your ideal makeup artist for a discount, we’re going to stop you right there because it’s seriously a bad idea all around. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should never haggle with your MUA:
They’re charging for their talent. Being able to apply liquid eyeliner in a moving car without poking your eye might be a legit talent, but dolling up someone else is a completely different ball game. Different people have different facial features, and it takes #skillz to know which colors, products, and techniques to use on a certain person for a certain look for a certain occasion.
They’ve invested thousands of $$$ into their training and equipment. In the makeup world, you’ve got to invest if you want to be the best. And the best makeup artists don’t rest on their laurels: even top-tier MUAs with artista clientele regularly train at institutions both here and abroad in order to stay updated on the industry’s standards. Finally, while the products in their repertoire vary, you can bet that the most renowned makeup artists have only the best tools, brushes, and equipment their budgets can buy. Sure, you can definitely find a cheaper kabuki brush in a tiangge, but it probably won’t last as long or feel as soft as the one your makeup artist uses.
They splurge on quality products. Let’s face it: quality makeup isn’t cheap. The process of acquiring pro-level eyeshadow palettes, collecting foundations for all skin tones, and amassing a treasure trove of lipsticks must’ve carved a massive hole in your makeup artist’s bank account. And since makeup expire, it’s basically a never-ending cycle of gastos!
They spend so much time doing research. It’s a makeup artist’s job to know and be able to execute all the latest beauty trends. You can bet that they’ve mastered the Cara Delevigne kilay, the Kylie Jenner lip, and the Gigi Hadid glow way before they became beauty looks de rigueur. Another part of their job is knowing the best products in the biz, and you can bet that every item in their train case is the result of a long search for the ultimate Holy Grail of holy grails.
You can’t put a price tag on the time they’ll spend dolling you up. They can recover the cash they blew on their commute, their products, and training. But the time they’ll spend making sure you look perfect? That’s irreplaceable.
It’s an exhausting job. Most makeup artists enjoy the process of applying makeup, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get tired. They’re on their feet the whole time while you’re sitting pretty in your chair, and their arms get ngalay from wielding their brushes non-stop. They also have days when they’re required to doll up several clients in a row, and that can get incredibly tiring and stressful. Factor in the effort it takes to lug around all their equipment, and you’ve got an all-day physical and mental workout!
You’re not that special. Sorry to burst your bubble here, but really, you’re not the special snowflake you think you are. Heck, even A-listers shell out the rates their makeup artists demand, and they usually get the best ones in the biz. What makes you think you deserve the same VIP treatment from your MUA at a fraction of the price he/she deserves to get?
They have to feed themselves, too. Bottom line is, being a makeup artist is a career like any other. Sure, it’s way more fun than your usual desk job, but it’s still work. To ask your MUAs to shave off a chunk of their paychecks for you would be akin to your boss asking you to hand a portion of your paycheck back to your company.
Alas, a lot of people still haggle with makeup artists, especially when they’re freelancers, on a regular basis. If you’re questioning an artist’s extravagant rates, check out their portfolio and read their previous clients’ reviews to have a better picture of what it’s like to work with them. But no matter what, rein in your impulse to lodge a lower bid when you need pro-level prettification. The offer of a discount should come from the artist, and should be accepted graciously. Otherwise, look for artists within your budget.
And if you’re a makeup artist, never let yourself be bullied into accepting a lower rate, especially when you’ve got the credentials to back the prices you charge. You know what you’re worth and you’ve worked hard to get to where you are, so don’t let yourself get shortchanged! At the same time, don’t forget to ensure that your clients don’t feel shortchanged: happy, satisfied customers raving about your skills is the best form of advertisement.
In the end, it’s all about professionalism and basic human decency: two things that’ll make anyone beautiful inside out. Now, go forth and get pretty!