Freelance Vs. Corporate Makeup Artists

Homecoming, weddings, and holiday parties are coming up which might leave you wondering if or where you should get your makeup done. There are many options out there when it comes to makeup applications including freelance makeup artists, makeup counters, your best friend, your mom, or even yourself! If you’re lucky enough to have either of the latter three options, then that’s great, but if you’re stuck between choosing a makeup store/ department counter or a freelance makeup artist then just keep reading to learn the pros and cons of each.

Makeup Stores/ Department Counters: The Good and The Ugly

The Good: I’m pretty sure everyone has a Sephora, Ulta, M.A.C, Macy’s, or any other place that sells makeup within a 10 mile radius which allows for great convenience when it comes to last minute bookings. The convenience plus the low price (which is usually a gift card to use for the purchase of products) make these places great options. You also get to go home with new products that you probably like since you bought them. Also, you may just luck out and get an amazing makeup artist since most of the beauty advisors at these locations are seriously talented and they receive varying levels of training with some actually being certified cosmetologists or aestheticians (Ulta’s case).

The Ugly: Now, it’s up to you to decide whether the ugly outweighs the good so make sure to carefully consider all options.

  • In most cases, testers (the homes of bacteria and who knows what else) are used for makeup applications including everything from skin products to lipsticks. Some places take sanitary measures to disinfect lipstick bullets with alcohol or to use disposable mascara wands but this isn’t always the case and things get complicated with liquid lipsticks or lip glosses. Now, I’m not seeing that all places don’t focus on sanitation, but the levels of cleanliness vary and you must make sure that you understand what is actually being used on your face.
  • Continuing with the theme of sanitation, makeup brushes are also great harbors for bacteria which means that you must use a clean brush on each client. Due to the convenience factor of most of these places, they are usually under a time crunch which means that brushes are constantly reused between clients with minimal sanitation which could transfer bacteria from one person to the next and may cause acne.
  • You may have heard that a makeup application is the second part of the process with skin prep being the main part of the actual process. This is very true since the actual application relies on the condition of the skin. This includes cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and sometimes clay or hydration masks to ensure that the smoothest application is achieved. Many makeup stores/ department counters skip this step or go through it hastily which causes makeup to cake up since skincare products don’t have adequate time to absorb into the skin.
  • This is your you time! If you specifically booked a makeup application then it probably means that you wanted to pamper yourself for a special occasion. Pampering yourself isn’t always part of the process when you’re getting your makeup done in a corporate workplace since it’s all about maximizing profits thus maximizing makeup appointments and minimizing individual time spent on a client. This is really important especially if it is your wedding day! The day you’ve been dreaming of ever since you were young and appearance is a big part of that day. You want to be treated like a queen and given the best attention you could receive but unfortunately this won’t be the case.
  • Not everyone is talented. With a freelance makeup artist, you get to view his/her work before the actual makeup application and sometimes you even get a free trial. This limits the chances of being surprised on the day of your special occasion. Since not all beauty advisors are actually trained and they have differing styles and preferences, you may end up with something that is far from your vision.

Freelance Makeup Artists

The good things of hiring freelancers is that you don’t get any of the ugly that was mentioned in the case of corporate makeup artists. You get undivided attention, custom makeup applications, pamper sessions, skincare prep, and most importantly, a stress free process! Obviously, this isn’t the case with all freelance artists, but with some research, you’ll be getting all the previously mentioned including a free makeup trial (check my contact page). 

Some Potential Negatives: 

  • Pricing: many people are turned off by the prices of freelance artists since you’re only paying for the makeup application (no gift cards to take products home). However, not all artists have over the top prices with some even offering equally competitive pricing and discount packages for bridal parties or homecoming and prom.
  • Accountability: with a corporate makeup artist, there is more accountability since if you don’t like the makeup application you could discuss the matter with a manager or supervisor and in most cases they may change your makeup artist to ensure that you leave the store in a good mood. This isn’t available with makeup artists since you could only complain to the actual makeup artist which leaves you in a dilemma. This could be eliminated with some research to ensure that a makeup artist has a good reputation and won’t leave you until you’re fully satisfied.
  • Location: it may be hard to locate a makeup artist in your area which makes it hard to find last minute appointments which isn’t the case with makeup stores/ department counters.

Final Thoughts

The process of finding a makeup artist is one to consider carefully so please do your individual research and just take this article as a guide. You may already have a favorite retail makeup artist or a favorite freelancer that has provided great services in the past. If that’s the case, stick with him/her! If you are in Tampa, FL (Tampa, Land O Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Clearwater, St. Petersburg) and would like to inquire about my services and special bridal packages, please visit my contact page. I would be happy to answer all your itching dilemmas!

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