I had a very interesting phone call a few weeks ago to say the least. A woman had called me, having found my number through my website, and in a panic, gave me her horror story of how her wedding was a week away, and she had yet to find a suitable makeup artist. She had a trial with a makeup artist she had originally hired, and hated the way it came out and said the products were cheap, and wasn’t what she was expecting. She begged and pleaded with me to be available for her wedding that next Saturday that would be held inLaguna Beach. After checking my calendar for my availability, I told her I was open for that day. She seemed relieved, and then asked me to email her my pricing list. When I told her I would, I also told her that I contract my brides, and would send her my contract agreement for her to look over as well. As I said that, she seemed a little put off but said she would take a look at the email. About a half hour later, I get a phone call and the woman on the other end was off her rocker. She began to insult me by telling me how dare I charge what I do for something so frivolous and menial. Not only did she have the nerve to tell me what I SHOULD be charging, but told me it was stupid that I charged for travel. She said that as the client it wasn’t her responsibility to pay for my gas to come to -her-, as she is the BRIDE. THEN, she had the audacity to tell me it is completely ridiculous that I contract my brides. That what I do isn’t that serious, and is something that doesn’t need a binding contract. As much as I wanted to go off on this woman, I knew that the majority of her anger, frustration, and craziness was coming from the wedding being a week away. I very calmly told her I was very sorry she felt that way, but this is how I run my business, and she could take it or leave it, and either way, I would be fine with her decision. And then she hung up on me. I’m going to address something’s that she pointed out on the phone that not many brides realize when they’re pricing makeup artists. I’m going to be extremely blunt and honest, so please try not to be offended when you read this. My goal in writing this, is to help you as a future bride, better understand where professionals like me are coming from.
#1: If makeup is really that frivolous and menial to you- don’t hire a makeup artist. Either do it yourself, have a friend do it, or someone else do it for you. This is YOUR wedding after all, as much as brides like to believe there are rules- The tuth is, there are NO rules to having a wedding, you can do whatever you want. YOU ARE the bride after all.
#2: I charge what I charge because the products I use aren’t cheap; by ANY means. I use high quality products, because aside from loving to make my clients feel gorgeous on the most important day of their lives, I want my clients makeup to last and look flawless in pictures and in person throughout the day. This is why I posted different pictures of products I have purchased throughout my career. Usually, just for purchasing at least 4 products, which most of the time include an eye shadow palette, face powder, and 2 foundations, cost me $180 with a discount- JUST for those 4 products alone. As much as people would like to believe that because I am a professional, I get some, if not most of my products for free- the reality is I DON’T. Every time I work a shoot or wedding I HAVE to replenish my kit. It’s not cheap, and I have to make up for that money that is spent replenishing my kit, as well as make a little money myself so I can eat, pay my bills, and live just like everyone else is trying to do. The fact of the matter is, being that I work for myself, I don’t have the luxury of “time off,” “paid vacations,” or can afford to be “sick.” If I’m not working, I’m not making money to pay for my basic living expenses. And just like with anything else, if you want something that’s important to you, to look professional both in person and in pictures, that is exactly why you hire a professional.
#3: Along with my products being high quality and not cheap- if that’s a really big problem for you, by all means go get your makeup done at a department store, or go to a drug store and buy cheap drug store makeup. Again, it’s your wedding, it’s your choice how you want to look. When it comes to things like this, the saying couldn’t be more true, “You get what you pay for.”
#4: When I say I am willing to travel anywhere and everywhere for the connivance of YOU, I mean it. As a former bride myself, it makes your wedding day go way smoother having people come to you. It’s so much more easier having someone come to you and pamper you, then having to take time out of your wedding day schedule to drive somewhere and get ready, and then go back to where ever you’re venue is, get in your gown, and be ready for the ceremony. That being said, just like any other professional would charge for travel, I also have every right to do so. Because again, I am spending my money to put gas in my car and am putting miles on my car to come to you, which I absolutely should have some sort of reimbursement for.
#5: Contracting my brides, is for my own protection, as well as yours. No matter what professional you’re working with, having a contract helps protect you- the client, as well as prevent the vendors from bailing on you last minute. It helps to keep everyone on the same page in terms of expectations and helps to provide ways of resolving conflicts or unexpected events that may occur. I have no one looking out for me or holding my hand, other than myself. And as a business owner I-again- have every right to do so. Your time is precious, and so is mine. So if you agree to the terms and conditions of the contact which is in the best interest of both parties (myself, and potential client) then sign it, return it with the deposit, and everything will be set up for you and your specific date. If you’re not 100% on hiring me, then don’t! It’s that simple.
When I was first starting out, I had a bride/friend who had hired me to do her wedding under a verbal agreement (big mistake) that she loved her engagement makeup. She did, so I was hired for the wedding. Her wedding was 3 weeks before my own, and I had told her from the beginning that I needed her to read and sign the contract, as I was not only doing her makeup but her entire wedding party (6 brides maids) as well as her mother, and was giving her a HUGE discount. I wasn’t charging her for her bridal makeup (that was part of my wedding gift to her), I wasn’t charging her for travel, or for her touch up basket that I was making her. After letting it slide and trusted that she was going to do what I had asked, I had gone out to purchase her makeup and products to make for her touch up basket (that I -again- wasn’t charging her for). Leading up to the wedding I had gotten many inquiries from other brides for the specific day THIS bride was getting married, and I turned them down. A month before her wedding day I get a text from the bride telling me she was no longer going to use my services and was going to just have a friend do her makeup. Not only had I wasted my time and money getting expensive products for her, but I had also turned down other prospective clients that I could have taken on, had she told me from the beginning that she wasn’t going to use me. This is EXACTLY why I contract my brides. Just the same as any photographer or wedding planner would do. So that my money and time isn’t wasted should something like this happen.
My job isn’t a joke, it’s not frivolous, and I take what I do very seriously. I’m sorry if that doesn’t resonate with you as a bride but again, like I said you have every right to take your business else where. This is how I make my living, and frankly I LOVE what I do. The brides and vendors who have worked with me can vouch for that. I really do cherish every moment that I can get my hands on someone and make them feel beautiful and glamorous. I live, eat, sleep, and breath what I do. I am not out to nickel and dime anyone, and I most certainly am not out to cheat you out of your money. I am simply an artist, trying to keep my head above water like anyone else, doing something that not only makes me happy, but above all else, makes my clients happy. My clients happiness is the most important thing to me, and I strive to always put 110% of my energy into giving you exactly what you want. I hope this brings more clarity to anyone who is in the process of looking for a makeup artist for their wedding day. Thank you for understanding, and taking the time to read this.