Last week I wrote about setting or reviewing your rates, and there was a discussion that followed in a facebook group about the cost of being a makeup artist, and questions about how makeup artists charging $50 or less can be making a profit. I’m actually not sure they can. As we discussed, there are so many costs that go into being a makeup artist, so much more than just the cost of the makeup we put on our clients faces!
I often talk about the need to “treat your business like a business and it will pay you like a business”, and I wonder if some of the artists charging such low rates just have an “expensive hobby”. With the way the industry has changed over the last few years, there are many more opportunities for personal makeup artists, its not just brides now; formals, graduations and other special occasions are all becoming a large part of our business. But there are also so many more cosmetics companies, and so many more products coming onto the market every season. The pressure to keep up with the latest trends, means many makeup artists are shelling out hundreds of dollars on new season celebrity-endorsed palettes several times a year. And that’s just the increasing cost of makeup. What about all those other costs? Those that you often don’t think about when calculating your rates?
I listed a few of the costs that we have as makeup artists last week, and after the discussion on Facebook, I was prompted to think about that even more, and I then decided to create a worksheet that you can all use to calculate your own costs, and determine how much your business is actually costing you, and how many faces you need to do to cover your costs and make a profit… and remember, profit is what you need in order to pay rent, eat and hopefully give up your day job!
So I’m gifting this worksheet to makeup artists hoping that it will help you have a clearer picture of your business, and perhaps help some artists who are undercharging to realise their business may not be sustainable, put up their prices so they can have a more long-lasting career.
As it’s the new financial year (here in Australia), hopefully everyone has just completed all their accounts for last financial year (or is soon to do so – wink) so you would have your total amounts for all your expenses. Simply enter your expenses into the worksheet, then enter what you’re currently charging per face, and the worksheet will tell you how many makeups you need to do each week, month or for the year. If you do more commercial work, and charge by the day (or half day) you can enter those rates instead, and learn how many days you need to work.
If you have questions, please use the comments box below to ask, or send me an email, or head over to Facebook and join the conversation there.