Client Advice from Makeup Artist/Psychologist Jenna Menard
Published Sep 8, 2011
New makeup artists experience their fair share of nerve-wracking moments. It’s not unusual to have crazy customers who throw tantrums, make unreasonable demands, and seem dissatisfied with everything. Sometimes it feels like the client needs a therapy session as much as they need their makeup application. Which is why Clinique global colour artist Jenna Menard's psychology degree comes in handy. Here, Jenna shares her tips and advice on dealing with difficult clients. Because whether you’re working at a counter or freelancing, it’s important not to get overwhelmed or intimidated when you're doing makeup.
You have an effect on the people around you. Others can sense anxiety, so take a deep breath and be calm. How you approach someone can create a good—or bad—vibe, and you can actually lift a client's bad mood by just being friendly and inviting. There may also be times when a client feels insecure about a certain look. Jenna suggests talking through your client's insecurities to get to the bottom of the issue. She says: "I am always honest with my clients and usually try to have them realize things on their own without me forcing my ideas on them." Set the tone and create a positive environment.
It’s important to connect with the person you’re working on, especially if it’s a freelance job or you’re working at a counter. Ultimately, the client needs to be happy. Jenna suggests asking clients about their usual makeup routine to learn more about them and get them talking.
There should always be trust between an artist and client, but let it happen naturally. Don't lie to your clients and don't be too aggressive. Forcing your clients into something they don't want will make them feel suspicious. Allowing the person in your chair to relax and feel comfortable will make them less likely to question everything you're doing.
Making quick adjustments to keep your client happy is a necessity because you don't want them to dislike the look. Jenna asks her clients to speak up if there is anything they are uncomfortable with. "I tell them it's easier to change as we go rather than start all over. I do everything I can to avoid starting all over. Making adjustments as I go is definitely a better way to approach things. Most of the time my clients have a mirror in their hand, and I encourage them to check as we go."
Having confidence in yourself and your skills will help you with any type of makeup job you’re doing. Be ready for anything and pay attention. A number of shoots require special skills, so be aware of what might be asked of you. If you’re working on a photo or film shoot, don’t count on post-production to help you with color correction. Last but not least, be sure to keep yourself knowledgeable, especially on the season’s new trends.
Image courtesy of Clinique