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Jun 03, 2012

Carolyn H.

thank you all for your input :) 

Maquillame said it best - don't worry about what others are making and doing and sell yourself short in the process.

In NYC, there isn't a half-decent salon that would charge less than $65 for makeup and clients have to actually travel to the salon (some salons charge double or triple that price). I wouldn't charge a penny less per face than what they charge - kit or no kit, if your skills are there, you are providing a luxury service by traveling to the client's home or venue. Think of yourself as a "private makeup artist for hire," most people that hire privately can afford a few extra dollars for that privilege.

When I first started, I barely had a kit and charged $100 per face in the suburbs. In NYC? $100 is easy! You might hear objections from time to time, but do you really want to work an entire day for $150 when you could make $500 for the same amount of work? Food for thought!

Carolyn I hope you read my reply above. The worst thing that you can do right now is think about how successful other artists are when you are just starting, it will only make you feel like a failure and that you're never good enough. You have to remember that in order to be that successful you need time, you start small and escalate from there. You need to get prepared, prepare a basic but decent kit, you need to gain a lot knowledge, you need to practice a lot, you need to learn how to do a very good "no makeup up" look, basic, natural, neutral looks you need to master first and then go ahead with the more dramatic looks. You more than anyone know the type of people you're gonna be working with. Are you going to be working with mainly regular women, working or stay at home moms, bridal makeups, etc? Or models, maybe wealthier people, photo shoots, etc? Know your demographic. The only person you need to make happy is you, listen to all advice always but only you know what to do and why. You never want to loose a client, that's money out of your wallet, if you have to negotiate prices, you do that. If you have to price certain things more than others, then you do that. You do what you have to do. I learned that from Eve Pearl. You just do you...

Jun 02, 2012

Carolyn H.

I understand what you're saying, and I am very confident in what I do.
The only issue I personally have is those damn palettes! lol
But unless I start charging I wont have the money to buy better products- I dont WANT to overcharge or undercharge- and I definitely didn't mean to sound okay with undercutting, its just that I know a LOT of makeup artists that have so much business they're overwhelmed- so for the time being I'm just desperate for the business.

I still don't know what to charge- I guess I'll start at $50 to make everyone happy?

Yes we are definitely not at the level that Lauren and Jordan are, these are MUAs we look up to and admire! But step by step and with a lot of dedication and perseverance we will get there some day. I understand you completely and my advice is that if you are serious about this you're going to need to make a little investment on some things. The #1 product that you need on your kit in which you really have to think about quality over price is foundation, do not use the CS concealer palette, is very cheap made, not creamy enough, use it for your personal use. Invest on a foundation sampler palette like Graftobian, RCMA, etc, do your research and choose the one you like the best, I use Graftobian, and these palettes serve as concealer and foundation.Trust me, after your foundation needs are covered in your kit everything else is much easier. I would not advice you to run and get a Naked palette, to me is not a must have even though I have it, instead my advice is to use a palette like Pop Beauty Bare Texture that has tons of quality, highly pigmentes shadows in neutral colors, some mattes and some shimmery and a few glittery and 3 neon colors for accents, really recommend it and I use it all the time, and it only cost $28. Now for the lips! Go to a page called The Body Needs and they sell samples of tons of MAC products including lipscticks, buy some of those, I think they are around $2.50-3 and buy some and fill a Japonesque palette with them. As for blushes goes my advice is to start either with 3 or 4 blushes that will work with lots of skin tones, NYX have really good ones or invest on a blush palette from La Femme that comes with 12 veryyy pigmented blushes for $50. The other stuff are easy to get, but your basics are covered. Start charging your friends and family or ask them to serve as models to start your portofolio and start marketing yourself on different venues and make bussiness cards, start a blog, and start creating really good makeup looks on yourself and post them and people will be wowed and start asking you if you can do their makeup. Good luck with everything Carolyn! *Sorry if I mispelled anything, English is not my primary language : )

I had to chime back in, because this post is the exact reason that makeup artists aren't getting paid a fair wage across the board.

To put thinks into context: if you were a DOCTOR, not a makeup artist - would you charge $30 to do open heart surgery because you are "new?" No. You wait until you are fully trained and have 100% confidence in your craft before taking patients.

This is the same with makeup. Work with friends and family, assist, and take classes until you can confidently charge a rate that doesn't undercut your fellow artists and devalue yourself in the process. "Your fellow makeup artists will be fine?" You just posted in a public forum that you don't mind undercutting and this is a very small industry - your BEST ASSET is having good relationships with makeup artists in your area. When they can't take jobs, they will shift the work to respected colleagues, like you - this is how you build your name and your business into "pro" status. Also, after charging $30 a face, it becomes VERY difficult to charge more later on - you get labeled as the "discount makeup" person. If I had a nickel for every time someone had to get a different career because they undercut and couldn't make money, I'd be a billionaire.

Your clients are paying for a luxury service - their own makeup artist. Don't focus on your kit so much, just ask yourself: can I do the job, make it look great, and make her makeup last all night? Also, it isn't industry practice to charge "depending on the look." They are paying for your time and skill whether the makeup is natural or dramatic.

Very sorry if this comes off negatively, but it is meant to help! Hell, I'm hoping to make you some more money! But please don't shrug at undercutting, particularly when you asked for an opinion on your prices. You might not like the responses from the pros in this forum, but it's the answer to your question. Good luck!

Jun 02, 2012

Carolyn H.

thank you @Maquillame !!!
I've only done a couple of makeup jobs- all free.
and since I have 3 coastal scents palettes in my kit right now I dont think charging anything close to $100 is fair.
I personally would not like to pay $100 for someone to use a product I know cost 15-20
I know other artists can charge $100-$200 because they have all high end products in their kit and thats awesome- I hope to reach that level one day.
But I know I'm no where close therefore I'm charging realistically.

Thank you for being realistic- and not treating me as naive as I seem >_< 

Hi Carolyn. Just like you I'm just starting as a freelance mua and I also live in NYC. When you are starting and struggling to book jobs you cannot afford to charge high prices for services right away. Right now the important thing is to gain experience, to work with a lot of different people, to get photos for your portofolio and to really learn how to use the products that you have and that you've been only using on yourself. Of course you do have to charge because you have to travel to the person's location, the makeup that you have wasn't given to you for free and even though clients do like to see name brand on your kit what's more important is your skills, so it doesn't matter if you are using only MAC, NARS, etc if your client will end up looking terrible. Remember is not the makeup is your skills! The price that you say you want to charge people I think is fair, when you gain more experience and confidence working with different people you can start raising your prices,remember this is a process, some people have it easy and some don't, some have to struggle and there's a lot of mua's around. The next step is learning how to market yourself. Good luck with everything...

Carolyn, in NYC the average is closer to $200. Don't sell yourself short! I was booking too many jobs this past year and decided to raise my pricing, and now I'm booking even MORE. There's something to be said about clients who truly believe "you get what you pay for". The more you charge, the more people will have faith in you and take you seriously.

You're not charging people necessarily for what's in your kit. You're charging them for you time with them, time it takes to get to them, time it takes to do all the correspondence back and forth with them setting things up, advertising costs, AND products. I've seen rates in NYC in the $350 range (and I'm not talking about celeb artists either, just regular makeup artists). $200 would be a safe "low-end-of-average" price for a special event makeup in NYC.

thanks Jordan, lol

*smacks forehead* 

May 31, 2012

Carolyn H.

The average rate is 50$ - and I don't feel right charging more then that right now when only 70% of my kit is high end.

My fellow makeup artists will be fine. 

I wouldnt charge any less than 75 for just starting out for my area. you will piss off your neighboring artists by undercutting them so much.

May 28, 2012

Kennedy K.

I charge $45 and if there are more ladies in one location, I charge $30

May 28, 2012

Carolyn H.

lol I dont drive (I live in NYC) but 30-50 is good for a starter right?

Yeah I started with $40 and would charge a lil more depending on gas. 

May 27, 2012

Carolyn H.

Im an aspiring artist and someone just asked me for my rates
Since my kit isnt all high end I was thinking 30-50 depending on the look

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