Pay for a Pro


I was having a discussion with a woman recently about the importance of hiring a professional makeup artist for certain life events (i.e. wedding, prom, photographs, balls, etc.).  Part of the conversation centered around how some women only want the MUA to “do their eye makeup” while they just pay a small amount of money for that service (let’s just say they want to pay $15 to have an artist do their eyeshadow, liner, and lashes).  I stated that this was a bad idea for several reasons:

  1. Just doing your (insert facial feature area here) is something that I refuse to do simply because you (the client) must have continuity in your look. My skill set allows me to create a seamless look for you, but your skill set won’t match mine.  If I only do your eye makeup, because you decided to financially cut corners, you may follow-up behind MY work, busily and inaccuratly applying foundation, blush, powder, etc. Now you don’t look as flawless as you could have looked. Meanwhile, someone else may think I created the entire look and my credibility goes out the window.
  2. Paying a professional insures that you are camera-ready. With the invention of HDTV and HD cameras, every tiny flaw is visible and no one wants to be the person filmed or photographed wearing poorly blended foundation or too much blush. A good makeup artist will use products geared toward the HD society in which we now live. You, however, may not have experience using those products that require some training.
  3. Being cheap is not cool. If you can’t afford someone’s services, wait until you can pay. Don’t ever try to low-ball a professional makeup artist. You cheapen the profession and this isn’t fair to the artist. Also, splurging on something that will benefit you and highlight your best features makes sense.
  4. If I only “do” your eyes, or foundation, or whatever, your look will be what I call “unfinished.” It’s the equivalent of getting partially dressed, receiving a plate of half-cooked food, or only getting half of your hair styled.

Good makeup takes time, practice, studying, mentoring, and research. Paying someone who’s taken the time to learn this craft, this art, is worth every penny. You’re worth the investment.

Until next time,



Learn Your Craft.

You cannot cook an omelet without eggs (or egg whites for the health conscious folks). In the world of makeup, you cannot create looks without some sort of technique. Please take the time to learn your craft. Hone your skills by seeking out professional classes, workshops, or by talking to experts and practicing what you need to learn.

You need to have good techniques, like knowing how to blend products until they seem to Me Doing Brianna's Makeup“disappear” into the skin, and you need to know basic color theory.  If you struggle with color theory, check out  “Makeup Meets Color Theory” at Resources are everywhere, especially for aspiring MUA’s, and if you expect people to treat you like a professional, you have to learn from professionals. No technique means no pay, or very low pay.

Take pictures while you work, and use the flash, which shows all flaws. Don’t be afraid to stop and start over if need be, because a happy client is a repeat client. While no one should be expecting miracles, clients do expect their makeup artists to interpret their vision and make it a reality.

Try out new products that you’ve seen other artists use.  If you need to save up to splurge on luxury brands from time to time, then you need to do that, so that you can have the experience of working with different brands. I’m no slave to any particular brand of makeup but there are some products that just work better than others. Always have your “go to” products as a part of your arsenal of goodies, so that you are always prepared to make up someone’s face at a moment’s notice. Invest in good tools, especially sponges and brushes.

You get what you put into this field of makeup artistry. If you invest in education, devote your time, put forth great effort, and practice repeatedly, this career can be exceptionally rewarding.  Remember that no matter what you study and learn, you have to develop your own signature style and rely on yourself and your instincts to help you create work that you can be proud of for the rest of your life.


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.