Makeup Artists: Let’s talk Deposits

Makeup Artists: Do you take a deposit for your makeup bookings?? Do you call it a deposit, retainer or booking fee? Do you charge a percentage of the booking total or a flat fee?

Whatever you call it, a deposit or booking fee protects both you and the client. The client is protected knowing their booking is secure, and the artist is protected knowing they have work that day. However, the booking fee also covers the artist for the admin work required to secure the booking, and sometimes that can be a lot of work!

I’m often asked how much an artist should charge for their deposit. I know some people charge $50 and some charge 50% of the booking total. As freelancers, we are able to set our rates and deposits as we see fit. Here in Australia, there are consumer laws that govern contracts between business and customers. The legislation around non-refundable deposits is that it cannot be deemed “unfair” to either party. Of course, that term is open to interpretation!!

I spoke with a contract lawyer asking for advice who deposits/booking fees and she said that in her interpretation 10% or $100 is an appropriate amount to charge, for the work done behind the scenes before the booking.

Importantly, your client must be made aware of the non-refundable nature of the deposit/booking fee before entering the transaction, so it’s important that you send a copy of your T&Cs or contract along with the quote.

When it comes to refunds, under the legislation, you are within your rights to keep a booking fee that is not deemed “unfair” (see for more info).

Please remember, I’m a makeup artist, not a lawyer or financial advisor, so this video contains general information only. For advice specific to your business, please contact a legal professional, especially to cover your T&Cs around refunds for cancellations and postponements.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, and you can join my mailing list at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s