The Most Common Complaints About Freelance Makeup Artists, and Why They’re Bunk

The Most Common Complaints About Freelance Makeup Artists, and Why They’re Bunk


“What foundation are you using? Oh I’ve never heard of that brand”

Understand that the beauty industry is bigger than you can imagine. There are many makeup companies that do not sell to Sephora or Ulta. Most artists will have high-performance foundation palettes in their kit so that they can mix and create the perfect shade of foundation for each skin type and color. This allows the ability to customize the shade as well as the finish of the foundation to each skin type accordingly. Not to mention as far as traveling is concerned, palettes are much more compact than attempting to carry 42+ individual foundations.


“What are your rates? Wow, that’s a bit much don’t you think?”

When asking for a makeup service from a freelance makeup artist, keep in mind the time and money that goes into their kit, education, sanitation supplies, marketing, etc. It isn’t cheap to build a business let alone maintain a career. An artists makeup kit is always growing and always needing replenishment. Even the little things that people often forget as simple as websites, advertisements, business cards, mileage, etc. Asking an artist to lower their prices is almost offensive to their craft. Of course, depending on the circumstances, most artist will accommodate and work with you to manage group rates. It about how things are worded and can be perceived.  


“Do you use airbrush makeup?

There is a big difference between airbrush makeup and the airbrushing tool on photoshop. Personally, I enjoy the process of mixing products and textures to create the perfect customized foundation with the appropriate finish. Airbrush takes away some of the artistry fun. Using different application techniques and products will give more of that “airbrushed” finishing you’re imagining in your head but adjusted to your skin type.  


“I want a simple natural no makeup look, like Kim K”

Just to clear the air, most “no makeup” looks are actually a lot more makeup than you’d probably ever imagine wearing. A “no makeup” or “natural” look can mean dozens of different things to each individual. Someone’s natural look could just be lipgloss and bronzer, while another could be 20+ products. Everyone has a different definition of natural these days, so be clear as to which “natural” look you’re referring to. Also note if the look needs to be photo ready, it will most likely be more makeup than you’d think “natural” would entail. Trust your artist.


“I want something smokey, but natural”

Let’s face it, there is absolutely nothing natural about a smokey eye. What is considered “smokey” to one person could be completely different to the next. Typically a smokey eye is a light to dark gradient. The dark shadow is focused along the upper lash line and blended through into the crease. Most makeup artists will already understand the look you really want, but it never hurts to specify a bit more.


“Why do I need to book in advance? Can I just pay the day of?”

Booking in advance or giving a deposit is just common courtesy. Someone is reserving their time for you, blocking off their schedule for your servicing. Especially if this is for a wedding, the less stress on the day of the event, the better. The last thing a bride is going to want to worry about on her wedding day is payment. Your artist will stay organized and on top of it, but in retrospect, make the payment process as easy as possible.


“I don’t know what do you think will look good on me? You’re the professional after all.”

While that’s true to a degree, makeup and style is personal. Makeup is all about what makes each individual feel like their most beautiful self. Showcasing your best features and making you feel the most confident. While one person may feel confident in a bold red lip, another may feel out of place. Honesty is always a great place to start. Be open and honest with your artist to what makes you feel beautiful and confident and they gather a better understanding of you and how to make you your best self.


Written by  makeup artist Nikki Carmela


Instagram: @nikkicarmela

Banner Image Kate Moss photographed by Chris Levine