Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > How much to charge?

Wardrobe Stylist

Castorena stylist

Posts: 22

San Diego, California, US

Hello guys, I've been getting a lot of questions from people asking me how much I charge. I've been freelancing so this MONEY question took me by surprise. My approach was to build up my portfolio, network and learn. Now that I'm getting some clients, I can't come up with a formula, can any one help?

Nov 17 12 11:00 pm Link

Makeup Artist

LC Makeup and Styling

Posts: 90

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

If Im helping out with portfolio updates, then I just do TFP, but if it's for a proper assignment I charge $25 per model

Nov 18 12 12:21 am Link

Makeup Artist

Jaime Criel Makeup

Posts: 149

New York, New York, US

This question comes up a lot so do a search in forums. You need to research what MUAs are charging in your area, and adjust your cost depending on your skill level and experience. Most pros charge half day rates and full day rates, not depending on the amount of talent. And please don't charge just $25/head. It's charges like this that cheapen our industry. But again, your charges highly depend on your area and your level of expertise.

Nov 18 12 08:22 am Link

Makeup Artist

Aaliyah I

Posts: 226

Stevenage, England, United Kingdom

LC Makeup Artistry wrote:
If Im helping out with portfolio updates, then I just do TFP, but if it's for a proper assignment I charge $25 per model

Unless the OP was asking about salon/studio work then charging by the face/model isn't really appropriate as working MUA's in other industries(e.g fashion) charge a half and full day rate only.

@OP It's hard to find specific quotes and numbers as no one really likes to wave their rates in the air and it varies on so many things. If you feel that you are ready to charge then I would suggest you get some rates from MUAs that are on a similar experience/skill level to you. Add up all their rates together and divide it by how many MUAs you got quotes from and then you have a average. So for example : 3x MUAs = £10 half day , 1x MUA= £15 half day , 1 MUA= £20 half day. Altogether it's £65 then divide it by the amount of MUAs which is 5, which is  £13 so the average rate is £13 for MUA's on the same 'level' as you.Then you can add a little bit more , £30 or so more and you have your rate babe smile  Btw £10 half day is stupidly low, I'm rubbish at maths so just used easy numbers lol

I have been told to go to agencies and get their rates but for you to even be represented by agency you have to be pretty amazing and very experienced (tear sheet after tear sheet) so your not going to be charging what they charge as a new artist.

This topic has been done to death so I'm sure you'll find some useful suggestions in the FAQ's. You need to charge what MUA's charge where you work (not necessarily where you live) as rates in new york are not the same in London for example. Some things your should consider: type of work (editorial,commercial,private project..), location, client budget, your experience and skill level, your own self worth.

Congrats on getting offered paid work smile

Nov 18 12 08:45 am Link

Makeup Artist

LC Makeup and Styling

Posts: 90

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Aaliyah I wrote:

Unless the OP was asking about salon/studio work then charging by the face/model isn't really appropriate as working MUA's in other industries(e.g fashion) charge a half and full day rate only.

@OP It's hard to find specific quotes and numbers as no one really likes to wave their rates in the air and it varies on so many things. If you feel that you are ready to charge then I would suggest you get some rates from MUAs that are on a similar experience/skill level to you. Add up all their rates together and divide it by how many MUAs you got quotes from and then you have a average. So for example : 3x MUAs = £10 half day , 1x MUA= £15 half day , 1 MUA= £20 half day. Altogether it's £65 then divide it by the amount of MUAs which is 5, which is  £13 so the average rate is £13 for MUA's on the same 'level' as you.Then you can add a little bit more , £30 or so more and you have your rate babe smile  Btw £10 half day is stupidly low, I'm rubbish at maths so just used easy numbers lol

I have been told to go to agencies and get their rates but for you to even be represented by agency you have to be pretty amazing and very experienced (tear sheet after tear sheet) so your not going to be charging what they charge as a new artist.

This topic has been done to death so I'm sure you'll find some useful suggestions in the FAQ's. You need to charge what MUA's charge where you work (not necessarily where you live) as rates in new york are not the same in London for example. Some things your should consider: type of work (editorial,commercial,private project..), location, client budget, your experience and skill level, your own self worth.

Congrats on getting offered paid work smile

My Rates will change the more experience I get. I charge that because Im actually trying to help our local talent out and most of them dont have alot of $$$ to spend. If I got offered a freelance job from an agency or something then my rate would be much higher.

Nov 18 12 04:37 pm Link

Makeup Artist

LC Makeup and Styling

Posts: 90

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Jaime Criel Makeup wrote:
This question comes up a lot so do a search in forums. You need to research what MUAs are charging in your area, and adjust your cost depending on your skill level and experience. Most pros charge half day rates and full day rates, not depending on the amount of talent. And please don't charge just $25/head. It's charges like this that cheapen our industry. But again, your charges highly depend on your area and your level of expertise.

To say that it cheapens the industry is insulting. I was talking about my charges, no one elses. Obviously everyone will charge different based on experience.

Nov 18 12 04:40 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Denise

Posts: 1915

Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

LC Makeup Artistry wrote:

To say that it cheapens the industry is insulting. I was talking about my charges, no one elses. Obviously everyone will charge different based on experience.

She wasn't trying to insult you but to educate. It DOES cheapen the industry and creates confusion about rates too. Professional industry standards are half day and full day rates, NOT per face or per look. When someone comes along and undercuts in their market they lower expectations for budgets for makeup/hair. If you are not ready to charge standard rates for your market (usually a range based on experience and the type of job) then it is better to work for trade or continue to test until you are ready. Please spend some time reading previous threads and the FAQs on this topic.

Nov 18 12 08:49 pm Link

Makeup Artist

LC Makeup and Styling

Posts: 90

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Denise wrote:

She wasn't trying to insult you but to educate. It DOES cheapen the industry and creates confusion about rates too. Professional industry standards are half day and full day rates, NOT per face or per look. When someone comes along and undercuts in their market they lower expectations for budgets for makeup/hair. If you are not ready to charge standard rates for your market (usually a range based on experience and the type of job) then it is better to work for trade or continue to test until you are ready. Please spend some time reading previous threads and the FAQs on this topic.

Not everyone is highly experienced yet, so should be able to charge what they feel is right for them.  If people want to charge higher rates or half/full day, good luck to them and their ports show why they are entitled to charge this way. Im not there yet, but I will be.  I was responding to the OP stating what I do and if I can make $125 doing 5 models in less than 3 hrs, then Im happy, Im making more money than I would working a full day elsewhere, doing something I love.

Nov 18 12 09:03 pm Link

Makeup Artist

LC Makeup and Styling

Posts: 90

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Denise wrote:

She wasn't trying to insult you but to educate. It DOES cheapen the industry and creates confusion about rates too. Professional industry standards are half day and full day rates, NOT per face or per look. When someone comes along and undercuts in their market they lower expectations for budgets for makeup/hair. If you are not ready to charge standard rates for your market (usually a range based on experience and the type of job) then it is better to work for trade or continue to test until you are ready. Please spend some time reading previous threads and the FAQs on this topic.

Thanks for the advice. The faqs were interesting and once I got paste the silly arguments back and forth, it was quite helpful. people need to understand though that people who are relatively new, don't know these things, so if people want to help, be kind about it, there's no need for harsh words that may affect confidence In people.

Nov 18 12 09:31 pm Link

Model

Maja Stina

Posts: 3620

London, England, United Kingdom

LC Makeup Artistry wrote:
Thanks for the advice. The faqs were interesting and once I got paste the silly arguments back and forth, it was quite helpful. people need to understand though that people who are relatively new, don't know these things, so if people want to help, be kind about it, there's no need for harsh words that may affect confidence In people.

I didn't see those words as harsh. And if they were, it's only because it's the truth without any BS. Whether you like to accept it or not, undercutting SO low does make it harder for people who are fully professional and when you get to that level it'll be harder for you, too.

It's happening all over the industry but I guess it just is what it is.

Oh and in relation to the OP, my half day rate is £75 and full day rate is £150. It'd vary a LOT depending on what country I was in, though.

Nov 19 12 11:16 am Link

Wardrobe Stylist

Castorena stylist

Posts: 22

San Diego, California, US

Thanks you guys! I'm starting out but that doesn't mean I can't do a good job. It's a little hard starting out and having enough courage to charge a good price (according to the industry) I guess I'll keep researching smile You guys made me feel that I should really give my work value. THANKS xoxo

Nov 19 12 09:24 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Denise

Posts: 1915

Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Gabriel, I suggest you reach out to Mary, the owner of Camera Ready Cosmetics and a member here. She has been in the San Diego market for many years and can probably offer the best advice about rates in your market. All the best! smile

Nov 20 12 08:34 am Link

Makeup Artist

Simire MUA

Posts: 91

London, England, United Kingdom

Castorena  stylist wrote:
You guys made me feel that I should really give my work value. THANKS xoxo

I am soo happy you 'get it' also. Listening to established/experienced/active mua's on this forum has reinforced my ideas and expectations of the makeup industry. Researching past threads and learning from both postive and what can be misconstrued as 'negative' discussions will hopefully help in increasing our longevity within the industry. 'De-valued' Mua's do not appear to last long.

Please research past threads on these topics thoroughly also, it'll give you tons of valuable information and the solid reasoning behind professional rates vs paltry charges.

All the best.

Nov 20 12 10:54 am Link

Photographer

Philipe

Posts: 5214

Pomona, California, US

Jaime Criel Makeup wrote:
This question comes up a lot so do a search in forums. You need to research what MUAs are charging in your area, and adjust your cost depending on your skill level and experience. Most pros charge half day rates and full day rates, not depending on the amount of talent. And please don't charge just $25/head. It's charges like this that cheapen our industry. But again, your charges highly depend on your area and your level of expertise.

The only thing that cheapens the industry is bad makeup on the client and being unprofessional on set.
As far as making other makeup artist look bad on charging low or a certain way.
No.
If someone charges $10.00 for makeup, I'm fine with that..
But I know when that client or person has a bigger budget, they are not going to hire the $10.00 makeup artist. They are not going to pay extra to someone who thinks they are worth just $10.00.
No, if they have a bigger budget, they will pay good money to get some one they really want..
Its the same with doing makeup for free, why pay that person if they can get that person for free? No, when they have money, they will go out of there way to hire the best..

Also, the amount of talent does matter. Because its like saying 20 people on a half day is fine.

There should be no flat rates on half day or full day.
There should be base prices on half and full days.. Starting from on how much talent...

Nov 20 12 11:17 am Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

KJB

Posts: 1184

New York, New York, US

I wrote this only 3-4 months ago, but it deserves a re-post:

To all HMS members who are braking into paid jobs (not TF, specs or testing), welcome to: Negotiation 101

The first and MOST important thing to understand is that if you want make H/M/S your primary source of income, you need to treat it like a REAL business.
You need to have solid base rates to guide your negotiations.
And to set realistic rates you need to know what the majority of artists:
- at your experience level
- with similar credentials
- in your geographic market
are being paid for the jobs you are trying to book.
You're going to have to do some serious research to get this data, but it is essential. Once you have a good cross section of these rates, add them up and average them out. Take that number and raise it slightly. This will give you a good starting rate and will prevent you from accidentally undercutting anyone at your level.

IMPORTANT: Don't get stuck worrying about the Craigslist and MM "discount artist/stylist" - they aren't laying the foundation for a career by charging this way and will never establish the solid foundation needed to build a sustainable business.  The "discount artist/stylist" is NOT your competition and will not be booking the jobs you want.  REPEAT: They are not competition for the legitimate paying jobs that will move your career forward.

Never quote a rate until you know what the budget is. The client or photographer always know how much money they have allotted for H/M/S. If they refuses to tell you what they have budgeted for your job, something is not legit and you should be concerned. Don't confront them, simply ask them to get back to you when they have the budget worked out.
That's not being bitchy or being a "diva" (as some photographers on MM would chose to call it) - It's being a smart business person.

You don't have to be rigid about rates when you're the one doing the negotiating. Adjusting your rate for a project that offers advantages to move your career forward in a tangible way is totally acceptable. (tangible = it will get you more paid jobs)

Industry Standards for Booking in the Real World (outside of "MM World")

Half or Full Day Rate:
Photo - Editorial/Commercial/Advertising
Film & Video - Music/Theatrical/Reality
Live Media Events - Press Junket/Satellite Tour/Runway/Fashion Show

SPECIAL NOTE:
Runway/Fashion Shows can also be booked at a Flat Rate. NEVER "Per Model".
EXTRA SPECIAL NOTE:
Kit Fees are charged ONLY for Film & Video bookings.

Flat Rate or Per Client Rate:
Salon
Headshots
Glamour Studio
Special Event/ Bridal/Prom

EXTRA EXTRA SPECIAL NOTE:
"Per Look" is a booking term that does not exist outside of MM or GWC World. Please do not offer it to a legitimate, paying client outside of MM - it's will show your inexperience and possibly damage your credibility.

I think that just about covers all the basics.

And to any of you reading this post who wish to HIRE an artist/stylist...
Always remember, you get what you pay for.

Nov 21 12 03:35 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Angel Graves

Posts: 2358

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

This brings up an interesting question, who accepts a half day where 20 talent are your task?
It seems to no producer or AD would assign such a task to one person lol
When I figure my rates they vary a lot for Colorado but were pretty straight forward in Toronto and NYC and in California I was always just told this is the workload and the budget take it or don't. 
When I'm being approached for paid work to submit a bid I look at the proposed workload and the proposed time and hitch on the X hours at X rate of pay and then there is still negotiation based on their budget lol. I do wish that I could say $700/half day is what I always get but it's never just that simple. There's always some sort of counter offer no matter who I'm working for.
However there are times I am just setting a rate period end of story take it or don't. I do haircut specials once a month, prom hair & makeup is a set charge, weddings I rarely negotiate, and special events are set prices for hair & makeup end of story.  I enjoy certain work and loathe others so if my rate isn't good for them I'm happy to work on something else instead wink

Nov 21 12 04:11 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

Mary

Posts: 7168

Coronado, California, US

Angel Graves wrote:
This brings up an interesting question, who accepts a half day where 20 talent are your task?
It seems to no producer or AD would assign such a task to one person lol
When I figure my rates they vary a lot for Colorado but were pretty straight forward in Toronto and NYC and in California I was always just told this is the workload and the budget take it or don't. 
When I'm being approached for paid work to submit a bid I look at the proposed workload and the proposed time and hitch on the X hours at X rate of pay and then there is still negotiation based on their budget lol. I do wish that I could say $700/half day is what I always get but it's never just that simple. There's always some sort of counter offer no matter who I'm working for.
However there are times I am just setting a rate period end of story take it or don't. I do haircut specials once a month, prom hair & makeup is a set charge, weddings I rarely negotiate, and special events are set prices for hair & makeup end of story.  I enjoy certain work and loathe others so if my rate isn't good for them I'm happy to work on something else instead wink

I agree.... I would never take on 20 people in a 4 hour period or even a 5 our period unless there came camera ready and just needed touch up.

Nov 21 12 08:11 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Angel Graves

Posts: 2358

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

Mary wrote:
I agree.... I would never take on 20 people in a 4 hour period or even a 5 our period unless there came camera ready and just needed touch up.

Lol glad to hear your wand won't touch that maji either!

Nov 21 12 08:26 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Makeup by Maria Luisa

Posts: 2

Orlando, Florida, US

LC Makeup Artistry wrote:

Thanks for the advice. The faqs were interesting and once I got paste the silly arguments back and forth, it was quite helpful. people need to understand though that people who are relatively new, don't know these things, so if people want to help, be kind about it, there's no need for harsh words that may affect confidence In people.

A lot of people are saying her words werent harsh but they were. I understand where she was coming from but she didnt have to say that what you charge is insulting. Professional MUAs  have an entirely different clientele than rookie, amateur, and student MUAs do. depending on what budget or look calls for, there are several different prices out there for clients to choose from. I agree that on the professional level it is wise to charge this way (half/full day), but for starting out a person should charge what they can. I know id be upset if I paid a starting MUA a full day rate for mediocre work. At least if I pay less i know what to expect. This is why, if I want very high quality I will pay more money. I dont think anybody on either side needs to worry about the future of the industry. Makeup has been around for thousands of years and its still around.

Nov 21 12 08:32 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

KJB

Posts: 1184

New York, New York, US

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
A lot of people are saying her words werent harsh but they were. I understand where she was coming from but she didnt have to say that what you charge is insulting.

I mean no disrespect, but those of you that find this conversation "harsh" need to toughen up if you plan on building a career in this industry.
The people who will make or break your career WILL NOT be coddling entitlement issues. This is not a race where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. There will be a winner and many losers.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
Professional MUAs  have an entirely different clientele than rookie, amateur, and student MUAs do. depending on what budget or look calls for, there are several different prices out there for clients to choose from. I agree that on the professional level it is wise to charge this way (half/full day), but for starting out a person should charge what they can.

INCORRECT.

If you are serious about building this into your primary source of income, you need to follow the rules of the actual, working industry FROM THE BEGINNING.
As you progress from assistant to beginner to veteran, you will ALWAYS be expected to:

- Use ONLY professional terms when talking to potential clients (not made-up terms that have been "created" on MM - they are not recognized in the real world).
- Book work using the correct steps (rate quotes and negotiation) and paperwork (deal memos, contracts).
- Charge clients using industry standards (half day, full day, flat rate) and bill them like a regular business (terms, invoices, deadlines, penalties). "Per Face" or "Per Model" rates were made up by non-professionals on Craigslist and MM - you could possibly damage your credibility if you use those terms with a legitimate client.
- ALWAYS present yourself properly - keeping your appearance, language and attitude professional at all times on set.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
I know id be upset if I paid a starting MUA a full day rate for mediocre work.

This statement is illogical. You have to pay for work, mediocre or not.

You pay a lower rate when hiring a starting MUA.  You have CHOSEN to save money and your quality expectations should be lower due to their lack of experience.
BUT, they still need to charge a 1/2 or full day rate that reflects their experience level in your market.
If you pay top dollar for a person who represents themselves as a highly experienced artist and the work is sub-par, you have every right to dispute the charges.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
I dont think anybody on either side needs to worry about the future of the industry. Makeup has been around for thousands of years and its still around.

Really?
20 years ago I was booking assistant work during NY Fashion Week at $600-$800 per show (these were normal rates).
Today, the same booking pays less than $200 (if you manage to get any money at all).
Why the drastic change?
We've allowed ourselves to be de-valued in the eyes of potential clients by UN-professional artists undercutting the competition (or working for free). This has consistently driven rates down and will continue to do so.

Nov 22 12 06:20 am Link

Makeup Artist

Aaliyah I

Posts: 226

Stevenage, England, United Kingdom

MADE NYC wrote:

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
A lot of people are saying her words werent harsh but they were. I understand where she was coming from but she didnt have to say that what you charge is insulting.

I mean no disrespect, but those of you that find this conversation "harsh" need to toughen up if you plan on building a career in this industry.
The people who will make or break your career WILL NOT be coddling entitlement issues. This is not a race where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. There will be a winner and many losers.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
Professional MUAs  have an entirely different clientele than rookie, amateur, and student MUAs do. depending on what budget or look calls for, there are several different prices out there for clients to choose from. I agree that on the professional level it is wise to charge this way (half/full day), but for starting out a person should charge what they can.

INCORRECT.

If you are serious about building this into your primary source of income, you need to follow the rules of the actual, working industry FROM THE BEGINNING.
As you progress from assistant to beginner to veteran, you will ALWAYS be expected to:

- Use ONLY professional terms when talking to potential clients (not made-up terms that have been "created" on MM - they are not recognized in the real world).
- Book work using the correct steps (rate quotes and negotiation) and paperwork (deal memos, contracts).
- Charge clients using industry standards (half day, full day, flat rate) and bill them like a regular business (terms, invoices, deadlines, penalties). "Per Face" or "Per Model" rates were made up by non-professionals on Craigslist and MM - you could possibly damage your credibility if you use those terms with a legitimate client.
- ALWAYS present yourself properly - keeping your appearance, language and attitude professional at all times on set.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
I know id be upset if I paid a starting MUA a full day rate for mediocre work.

This statement is illogical. You have to pay for work, mediocre or not.

You pay a lower rate when hiring a starting MUA.  You have CHOSEN to save money and your quality expectations should be lower due to their lack of experience.
BUT, they still need to charge a 1/2 or full day rate that reflects their experience level in your market.
If you pay top dollar for a person who represents themselves as a highly experienced artist and the work is sub-par, you have every right to dispute the charges.


Really?
20 years ago I was booking assistant work during NY Fashion Week at $600-$800 per show (these were normal rates).
Today, the same booking pays less than $200 (if you manage to get any money at all).
Why the drastic change?
We've allowed ourselves to be de-valued in the eyes of potential clients by UN-professional artists undercutting the competition (or working for free). This has consistently driven rates down and will continue to do so.

Ameen !

Have you written a book yet ?

Nov 22 12 03:32 pm Link

Makeup Artist

LisaJohnson

Posts: 10525

Nashville, Tennessee, US

Aaliyah I wrote:
Ameen !

Have you written a book yet ?

Nov 22 12 05:20 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Aaliyah I

Posts: 226

Stevenage, England, United Kingdom

LisaJohnson wrote:
WHAT???  you are what?  are you kidding me?  do you EVEN know who Kevin is?  he graced this tread with info.  now i understand why ppl stop doing this.  you need to TAKE NOTES. 

I'm guessing you quoted me by accident then...

Nov 23 12 03:17 am Link

Makeup Artist

Makeup by Maria Luisa

Posts: 2

Orlando, Florida, US

To made nyc. I think youve taken my post and dissected it to go off on an irrelevant shpiel regarding the industry. There is no doubt charging by half or full day rates is a standard that is well established, but unfortunately it isnt always easy to work that way. Furthermore you can disagree with someone but its not fair to call someones opinion insulting just because they are new and learning the biz. No one is saying that offering advice as you just did, is harsh. Furthermore, there is no doubt every standard and level of professionaliam should always be achieved, but learning these things takes practice and experience. And i disagre that the MU industry has been devalued because of people like LC makeup artistry who charge less. The fact of the matter is that the economy has suffered and pay either goes down or stays the same. Im pretty sure the same goes for every industry. Everyone should value their work and charge appropriately. I agree that no one should sell themselves short and charge less than what is deserved, but the MU industry is no diff from the corporate industry. Target charges more because it offers a better shopping experience with better quality products. Walmart caters to bulk, cheap, and fast. Both companies are highly successful and offer each other a healthy level of competition for each other. If i want nice clothes I go to target, if iwant cheap frames, walmart is my place. I rest my case.

Nov 23 12 04:59 pm Link

Body Painter

Lisa Berczel

Posts: 3998

Corona, California, US

OP - Charging - and knowing what to charge - and when NOT to charge is the key to developing a long term footing in this industry.

As mentioned - it really depends on what Market you want to be in. Know the rules of engagement - which is exactly what you're smart to be asking about.

There IS something valuable to be learned in these sometimes contentious discussions: You WILL be judged by your peers by how you conduct business.

This industry if flooded - and I mean FLOODED by people who hang a shingle up as a makeup artist who are not ready to charge for their services. THIS is what many seasoned Veterans have a problem with.

Here's a short list of my personal hot points for "You might not be ready to charge IF...."
You don't have a solid understanding of foundation matching.
You don't have a basic kit of quality products.
You don't have a solid understanding of sanitation, hygiene and set etiquette.
You don't have a portfolio that demonstrates range and commercial skills.
You don't have a referral and mentor network build up.
You think Kit Fees have any place in a TFP.

Are there more considerations than these 6 points? Sure. Are there going to be just as many people who take issue with my list? Sure.

There is a REASON that trades such as ours make newbies jump through hoops - it is designed to weed out those that don't have the near obsessive drive and commitment required to earn an increasingly mediocre living doing what they love.

Nov 24 12 05:17 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Angel Graves

Posts: 2358

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

I agree with Lisa a lot! 
My first assistant was super talented and creative with loads of ambition!  She was however not very good with time frames and loved to chat and pause to consider more options...
I'm a fan of more options, I'm more than a bit like Rachel Zoe in this respect but, it's meant ahead of prepping on set and not when you're under the gun.
She was also super good with really dark skin, to a fluke level if truth be told.

What she found after 6 months of working in a more professional capacity was that she really enjoyed skin care and nail work... She hated the sanitation aspects of her self taught bad habits not being acceptable and eventually decided to go to school and learn more about skin and nails and get her license to do that instead.

Once you move from having fun with peers and creating unusual and creative things into clean beauty and commercial things that often pay your bills it can sap all the 'fun' out of your 'art'.

My current assistant will likely go into a business aspect of management instead because she rather enjoys that aspect and really only likes the bridal work at this point.  It's strange how your direction changes sometimes when you're forced to do it a certain way or do certain things to earn money.

Nov 24 12 08:11 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Simire MUA

Posts: 91

London, England, United Kingdom

Lisa Berczel wrote:
You don't have a referral and mentor network build up.

Network build up?? Please explain further

Nov 25 12 12:27 am Link

Body Painter

Lisa Berczel

Posts: 3998

Corona, California, US

Simire MUA wrote:
Network build up?? Please explain further

Should have read: Referral and Mentor network BUILT up....

Every major campaign I've worked has been either referred directly or vetted through my Network. I can count on one hand the number of gigs that have come to me from out of the blue with zero research on the Client's part.

We build our Network as we build or Portfolio.

A good portfolio shows the prospective client that we've made all the mistakes and learned all the lessons and now we're ready to be trusted.

Along the journey, we will have amassed a network of photographers, models, wardrobe stylists, hair- and other makeup artists that we've connected with on set.

THIS is arguably our most valuable asset.

While skill is paramount, we ALL know talented artists so will NOT be referred because of one valid reason or another.

Nov 25 12 09:44 am Link

Makeup Artist

Simire MUA

Posts: 91

London, England, United Kingdom

Thanks for the explanation Lisa. Excellent advice.

Nov 25 12 11:50 pm Link

Photographer

KA Style

Posts: 1583

Syracuse, New York, US

Dont forget to factor the cost of doing business. Disposables, taxes, insurance, gas, products used, etc, etc. Then charge for time/talent, thats your rate.

What does it cost you to do a gig? You cant just wing rates because of what someone else does or is doing. Cost of doing business will vary and so will rates.

In most areas bridal makeup is where you'll make money more consistently. Other jobs fill in.

Nov 26 12 09:30 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Jaime Criel Makeup

Posts: 149

New York, New York, US

MADE NYC wrote:

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
A lot of people are saying her words werent harsh but they were. I understand where she was coming from but she didnt have to say that what you charge is insulting.

I mean no disrespect, but those of you that find this conversation "harsh" need to toughen up if you plan on building a career in this industry.
The people who will make or break your career WILL NOT be coddling entitlement issues. This is not a race where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. There will be a winner and many losers.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
Professional MUAs  have an entirely different clientele than rookie, amateur, and student MUAs do. depending on what budget or look calls for, there are several different prices out there for clients to choose from. I agree that on the professional level it is wise to charge this way (half/full day), but for starting out a person should charge what they can.

INCORRECT.

If you are serious about building this into your primary source of income, you need to follow the rules of the actual, working industry FROM THE BEGINNING.
As you progress from assistant to beginner to veteran, you will ALWAYS be expected to:

- Use ONLY professional terms when talking to potential clients (not made-up terms that have been "created" on MM - they are not recognized in the real world).
- Book work using the correct steps (rate quotes and negotiation) and paperwork (deal memos, contracts).
- Charge clients using industry standards (half day, full day, flat rate) and bill them like a regular business (terms, invoices, deadlines, penalties). "Per Face" or "Per Model" rates were made up by non-professionals on Craigslist and MM - you could possibly damage your credibility if you use those terms with a legitimate client.
- ALWAYS present yourself properly - keeping your appearance, language and attitude professional at all times on set.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
I know id be upset if I paid a starting MUA a full day rate for mediocre work.

This statement is illogical. You have to pay for work, mediocre or not.

You pay a lower rate when hiring a starting MUA.  You have CHOSEN to save money and your quality expectations should be lower due to their lack of experience.
BUT, they still need to charge a 1/2 or full day rate that reflects their experience level in your market.
If you pay top dollar for a person who represents themselves as a highly experienced artist and the work is sub-par, you have every right to dispute the charges.


Really?
20 years ago I was booking assistant work during NY Fashion Week at $600-$800 per show (these were normal rates).
Today, the same booking pays less than $200 (if you manage to get any money at all).
Why the drastic change?
We've allowed ourselves to be de-valued in the eyes of potential clients by UN-professional artists undercutting the competition (or working for free). This has consistently driven rates down and will continue to do so.

100% agree, Kevin!

Nov 27 12 03:20 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

KJB

Posts: 1184

New York, New York, US

Makeup by Maria Luisa wrote:
To made nyc. I think youve taken my post and dissected it to go off on an irrelevant shpiel regarding the industry.

Really?
Providing correct industry rules and standards so beginners can build a solid foundation for their career is an irrelevant "spiel" (correct spelling)?
Sorry you feel that way.

Nov 28 12 09:38 am Link

Photographer

SPierce Photography

Posts: 19790

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

I always offer any incoming models the option to hire a make up artist on any shoot, should they request it. I usually ask them for at least $150 for the MUA. That's probably for about an hour/hour and a half of shooting.

Edit: Whoops. Looks like I came in in the middle of a debate. Ignore me big_smile

Nov 28 12 02:16 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Tara Pagliara MUA

Posts: 704

New York, New York, US

How many times can we go over this?

Nov 28 12 04:17 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Tegan Lynn MUA

Posts: 511

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

MADE NYC wrote:
Really?
Providing correct industry rules and standards so beginners can build a solid foundation for their career is an irrelevant "spiel" (correct spelling)?
Sorry you feel that way.

If so, this beginner has learned many valuable things from your 'irrelevant spiels' (correct spelling actually... looks wrong to me too). Keep spieling!

Nov 28 12 07:12 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Simire MUA

Posts: 91

London, England, United Kingdom

Tegan Lynn MUA wrote:
Keep spieling!

I concur.....keep spieling/sprouting/spouting/spilling/springing and spelling. Whatever you do KJB don't stop advising :-)

Nov 28 12 11:17 pm Link

Makeup Artist

LisaJohnson

Posts: 10525

Nashville, Tennessee, US

This post taught me so much as well - we never stop learning - and it's important to reboot old information from time to time.

Nov 29 12 03:14 pm Link

Makeup Artist

MakeMeOverBeauty

Posts: 6

Memphis, Tennessee, US

Thanks KJB for your valuable input and professional advice.  I love it!  It is so very helpful.  I haven't been on the forums for some time, but there's always something to learn.  I understand where the newbies are, but at the same time one must learn how to receive what a professional is saying as well as one's perception of the person's tone in writing (and verbal too).  I don't think any advice is meant to be condescending, but sometimes we must check ourselves in how we are perceiving what someone is saying.  I would say take it with a grain of salt, let it marinate, exercise your profressionalism, but appreciate it, and move forward.  I've been where you are, but KJB is so on point.  He's just telling you what he knows in a matter-of-fact way. Wish you the best.

Jan 14 13 06:34 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Ash Mathews

Posts: 251

Los Angeles, California, US

KJB wrote:

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
A lot of people are saying her words werent harsh but they were. I understand where she was coming from but she didnt have to say that what you charge is insulting.

I mean no disrespect, but those of you that find this conversation "harsh" need to toughen up if you plan on building a career in this industry.
The people who will make or break your career WILL NOT be coddling entitlement issues. This is not a race where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. There will be a winner and many losers.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
Professional MUAs  have an entirely different clientele than rookie, amateur, and student MUAs do. depending on what budget or look calls for, there are several different prices out there for clients to choose from. I agree that on the professional level it is wise to charge this way (half/full day), but for starting out a person should charge what they can.

INCORRECT.

If you are serious about building this into your primary source of income, you need to follow the rules of the actual, working industry FROM THE BEGINNING.
As you progress from assistant to beginner to veteran, you will ALWAYS be expected to:

- Use ONLY professional terms when talking to potential clients (not made-up terms that have been "created" on MM - they are not recognized in the real world).
- Book work using the correct steps (rate quotes and negotiation) and paperwork (deal memos, contracts).
- Charge clients using industry standards (half day, full day, flat rate) and bill them like a regular business (terms, invoices, deadlines, penalties). "Per Face" or "Per Model" rates were made up by non-professionals on Craigslist and MM - you could possibly damage your credibility if you use those terms with a legitimate client.
- ALWAYS present yourself properly - keeping your appearance, language and attitude professional at all times on set.

Makeup by Marilu wrote:
I know id be upset if I paid a starting MUA a full day rate for mediocre work.

This statement is illogical. You have to pay for work, mediocre or not.

You pay a lower rate when hiring a starting MUA.  You have CHOSEN to save money and your quality expectations should be lower due to their lack of experience.
BUT, they still need to charge a 1/2 or full day rate that reflects their experience level in your market.
If you pay top dollar for a person who represents themselves as a highly experienced artist and the work is sub-par, you have every right to dispute the charges.


Really?
20 years ago I was booking assistant work during NY Fashion Week at $600-$800 per show (these were normal rates).
Today, the same booking pays less than $200 (if you manage to get any money at all).
Why the drastic change?
We've allowed ourselves to be de-valued in the eyes of potential clients by UN-professional artists undercutting the competition (or working for free). This has consistently driven rates down and will continue to do so.

+1 this is spot on!

Jan 14 13 07:34 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Keila Sone

Posts: 127

Harrison, New Jersey, US

Makeup by Maria Luisa wrote:
To made nyc. I think youve taken my post and dissected it to go off on an irrelevant shpiel regarding the industry. There is no doubt charging by half or full day rates is a standard that is well established, but unfortunately it isnt always easy to work that way. Furthermore you can disagree with someone but its not fair to call someones opinion insulting just because they are new and learning the biz. No one is saying that offering advice as you just did, is harsh. Furthermore, there is no doubt every standard and level of professionaliam should always be achieved, but learning these things takes practice and experience. And i disagre that the MU industry has been devalued because of people like LC makeup artistry who charge less. The fact of the matter is that the economy has suffered and pay either goes down or stays the same. Im pretty sure the same goes for every industry. Everyone should value their work and charge appropriately. I agree that no one should sell themselves short and charge less than what is deserved, but the MU industry is no diff from the corporate industry. Target charges more because it offers a better shopping experience with better quality products. Walmart caters to bulk, cheap, and fast. Both companies are highly successful and offer each other a healthy level of competition for each other. If i want nice clothes I go to target, if iwant cheap frames, walmart is my place. I rest my case.

the beauty industry is not a Walmart or a Bloomingdales,we are independent contractors and Un like Walmart we don't pay salary to sell cheap clothing. I work at a salon as well as freelance.I see this argument all the time.I have only been freelancing for about 2 years and my experience was 7 salon only which was totally different from being on set from the timing to charging to expectation.
I even though I had skills and experience in my craft,I did not have a book or experience on set,so I started doing TF after 5-6 shoot I find out I could charge a kit fee, after all I have buy the supplies.I checked out on MM what the hair stylist in NYC where charging for kit fee when doing TF for editorial and such which was about $30 & up depending on wigs and so on.I also figure out that from talking to many MUA how to get sign with an agency,what they are looking for in your book...thats where I am right now getting a many editorial & beauty tear sheets as possible and if I want to be taken seriously I need a website which has help me a lot booking wedding and its was also the reason I got book for a paid bridal week runway show,paid gigs from photographers and I did a small ad campaign(simple hair),but would not had been book or made as much money if I did not stablished my half/full day rates industry standard to my skill level,I did was look through MM of countless hair stylist port and compare them to mines and how ever was similar to my skill level,I PM them and ask what their rate were.After all I want to make just as much money as next guy and if we are both charge the same then it all come down to preference of style.

But if your still not convince here perfect example that just happen on Monday, I'm styling hair for agency show cards for their new face devision,I'd worked with them one other time before with a MUA friend of mine,we both got paid right,this week they hired someone else to do makeup as my friend was booked,all goes well and at the end the new MUA packs & leaves.I stay to wait for my paid,the owner of the agency which hired me last week wasn't there,her assistant booker was in charge this time.Anyway she just said see you later,loved your work,so I inform her that Sam and I have an arrangement of payment,she apologies and said that Sam did not tell her and cuts me a check...The new MUA did not get paid because she was just happy to work with an agency...moral of the story is work is work and if I would had let that slide they would have never paid for work again and as we all know too well everyone knows each other in the fashion industry,I don't want to have the reputation that I will work for free...unfortunately that very skilled MUA has just gain that reputation.

Jan 17 13 07:39 pm Link