Beauty Guru: Confessions of a Makeup Artist

Finally, a venting session tailor-made for me. Here are five pet peeves/things I would love to say to my clients:

#5. "I may be awesome, but I don't perform miracles, hun." I encourage my clients to bring pictures of looks they'd like to achieve, and most of the time, I'm successful in achieving that look. Then there are times when I just want to say, "That's not gonna happen." A picture may not always be achievable on everyone. Facial structure, skin tone, and a number of other elements can stand in the way of completely replicating someone else. In the meantime, as a professional, it's my duty to explain this and give my clients something better.

#4. "Although I can't prove it, I know you stole my stuff." One day while cleaning my kit, I noticed both my favorite lip pencil, Cherry by MAC, and my favorite Loud Mouth lipstick was missing. I combed through my kit, Jessica Fletcher style, three times to make sure I didn't miss it. I knew the culprit had to be my last client. I was ticked! This isn't the first time I've ran into sticky fingers; products always tend to mysteriously get "lost" during photo shoots, and lipsticks always seem to walk away during a runway event. If I had a nickel for every time a colleague complained that someone stole from their kit, I'd be a thousand-aire. So for now, I keep a close eye on my belongings and never leave them unattended, because it's my responsibility to replace everything. I never feel out of place telling someone to keep their paws off my stuff!

#3. "Please, lady, let me do my job." This one never ceases to amaze me. I'm hired for a job, and in the process of doing said job, the client or their friends begin telling me how to do my job. Mind you, I book a trial run with everyone prior to our appointment. However, on occasion, I've dealt with the know-it-all client, friend of the bride who claims to also be a makeup artist, or the negative Nancy whose jealous criticism causes them to nit-pick every little thing. Now when I foresee a problem, I request only one client inside my work area at a time. The key is remaining professional during any distractions and maintaining the clients' confidence which was obviously how I got booked in the first place.

#2. "Every minute counts, I mean, costs." When I'm scheduled for an appointment, I have the same expectations for my client's punctuality as they expect of me. Although I totally understand picking up the kids or navigating through our unpredictable traffic, being 20-30 minutes late because you've stopped to eat, finished shopping, or got a "quick" manicure is atrociously unacceptable and a bit disrespectful. I get it, a lot of people don't respect the art of makeup the way I do; I am 100 percent about this life but it's a little out of hand when I'm sitting in a client's home, waiting on them to arrive. However, the real kickers are my family and friends. After lagging at least an hour behind they'll finally call to let me know what time they plan on arriving for our scheduled appointment. Currently, all my contracts include a late clause. If you don't mind being late, I sure don't mind charging you for it, even family.

#1. "Beware of Bargain Hunters." Okay, this one's a doozy. As stated above, I am 100 percent about this life. Makeup and hair is how I live, eat, and pay my bills. Although, at times, I can appreciate a good bargaining session or a tantalizing barter, once my price is quoted, I stand firm. Recently, I was contacted by a mom who wanted to surprise her daughter with makeup for her birthday celebration. Once I quoted my price, she agreed, then asked if I could include strip lashes; I agreed. Upon arrival, I noticed the birthday girl already had individual lashes. The mom asked if I could still give her the strip lashes to use at a later date, or if I'd apply them on another young lady attending the celebration for free. Of course I countered her offer with the most polite "no," and let her know how much it would be to keep the lashes. To call her upset is keeping it PG. Bottom line: after years of undercutting myself and my talents, I stopped entertaining price hagglers and started getting paid.

When do you think it's inappropriate to price haggle?