I am listed on a booking site. People can book appointments with me, as well as email me about my services. A while back, I heard about a scam going on where a “client” would send a message asking if the MUA was available for a large bridal party. The client would state that she wanted to insure that the artist took credit cards and that she wanted the artist to travel to the site to do makeup. A driver would pick up the artist.
The scam? The client would ask to pay in advance (hundreds of dollars). This should be a red alert to anyone but some people see dollar signs and nothing else. Once the client sends the money to the artist, they say the driver had some mishap and needs “help.” At that point, the client would ask the makeup artist to front the driver some money (i.e. his car broke down, he’s stranded, etc) and the artist would get their money back once they arrive at the site to do makeup. Of course, no driver ever shows up, the “money” that was sent disappears, and the makeup artist is out of a couple of hundred dollars.
Recently, I received one of these “requests” but I shut it down before the person could even start talking about the “driver” and his or her issues. I knew this email was a phishing/scammer type of email based on the following:
- Poor grammar and a lack of punctuation suggests that the person is a low-level scam artist.
- After being told that any client of mine would need to meet ME in person with a valid photo I.D., the person changes the subject.
- The person discusses a date of March 3rd (no year) as a POTENTIAL wedding date and wants makeup done for 8 people within a 3 hour time frame.
- The person was made aware that I do not own a shop (I am freelance and travel TO clients) yet “she” keeps insisting that she bring this large wedding party to my shop.
I was laughing while simultaneously shaking my head. The email reminded me of those “Good Day Madam. You have just received a $50,000,000.00 inheritance BUT you must send a check to (some person in Africa)…..” It is a shame that people try to take advantage of others. There are some gullible people who fall for these scams every year. Makeup artists are often in a vulnerable position if they don’t enforce certain things, like having a contract for their clients, or making sure that people have to pay a deposit before they receive full services. Makeup artists have to treat the business as a real business to help curtain the foolishness that I incurred earlier this week. Had I not been trained on how to conduct business, I could have easily been swayed by this person who was desperately trying to make me feel like I would be missing out on a “great opportunity.”
Artists, be careful and always trust your instinct. If it sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true. No amount of potential cash is worth the headache that comes from being scammed. Be safe.
Until next time,
As a makeup artist, it is my job to create an illusion of beautiful skin, not correct skin problems like acne, hyper-pigmentation, eczema, rosacea, etc. I direct all clients with skin issues to a dermatologist who can handle their needs. I’m not an esthetician or dermatologist, which means that I’m not a licensed professional who can treat skin issues. I know general information and because I read, research, ask questions, and genuinely care about the clients I work with, I like being informed and being able to offer assistance. There are some makeup artists who do double duty as licensed estheticians. Those artists are extremely qualified to help improve skin problems and I salute them!
Here’s the thing: some of us makeup artists who are NOT estheticians would love to help banish blemishes, add moisture to the skin, and provide products that even out skin tones, but we can’t, so we need to start directing clients to the appropriate sources. Makeup Guru Sam Fine discussed this very topic at The Makeup Show a few years ago. I can tell people all about how well a certain product works for my dry, eczema prone skin, but that doesn’t mean that the product will work for someone else. I don’t know what it feels like to have acne, but a relative does, and so, I turn to her for skin care advice that I pass on to others. As much as I enjoy helping others feel beautiful, I know when I need to stay in my lane. Recommending products to help recreate the illusion of good skin is okay, in my opinion, but you will never see me trying to TREAT a skin problem on a client. Again, that’s not my role. Sometimes, because we care, makeup artists can find themselves trying to solve a problem that only a licensed professional can fix, and that can’t be the focus of the appointment. When a client leaves my chair, and I see that happy smile on her face (sometimes “his” face), I know I’ve done the work that makes me proud, and that’s what matters in the end.
I do not normally use this space for venting but I have to speak on a beauty issue that disturbs me greatly. As a WORKING, professional makeup artist, my JOB is to utilize my talents to create looks for my clients. There are many “social media sensations” who spend the bulk of their time doing online tutorials for free, and while I’m not knocking what they do, let’s remember that doing your OWN makeup online does not make you a MAKEUP ARTIST.
I get paid to do makeup. Let me say this again. I get paid to do makeup. I use quality products. I take classes to stay abreast of trends in the industry. I read articles and interview other makeup artists so that I can gather information, and hear different perspectives. This means that I do not want to do (insert your name here) makeup for free. I do not expect my doctor, lawyer, dentist, local supermarket, or favorite department store to give me free services, and I don’t expect to give clients free makeovers. There are exceptions to my rule. I have a charitable heart, and I donate my time AND my hard-earned money to charitable organizations and would gladly donate free makeovers to help a specific cause.
Please know and understand that when you ask a professional makeup artist to do your makeup for free (especially when you can clearly afford the service), you are insulting that artist, especially when you comment on how much you enjoy the artist’s work! You are insulting the craft, talent, and the time it takes to develop the skills to make that artist marketable. Makeup Artists come from all walks of life, and would like to be treated like knowledgeable, talented human beings. This means that your current artist may have formerly been a medical doctor, teacher (in my case), architect, or (insert occupation here). This ALSO means that when artists give you a price, please understand that although fees are negotiable, you should NEVER ask for a free or darn near free makeover. That’s unacceptable and makes you look like you don’t value that artist.
As a consumer, you have a right to ask questions and demand excellence from anyone that you hire to do your makeup. You should ask to see samples of their work, ask what tools they use, and anything else that will make you feel comfortable about getting a professional makeover. What you can’t do is cheapen the experience by being cheap.