Imagine this: you’ve gone to cosmetology school in Toronto and received intensive training on makeup skills. You’re ready to start your own business using your new found abilities as a makeup artist.
Then one of your old friends from high school calls you up.
“I heard you know a lot about makeup,” she says. “How about getting some practice by doing my makeup for my wedding—for free?”
What would you do in this situation? You’d need to weigh the pros and cons of working as a makeup artists without financial compensation.
The Pros of Working for Free
On the one hand, this is a friend who asked you to help, and you’re always happy to help out your friends.
Plus, you can count doing your friend’s makeup as an experience, so you have something to tell future clients. (“I recently did a bride’s makeup, and everyone was just oohing and aahing over it! It was such a great experience and gave me the confidence I need to do makeup for any event!”)
If you’ve just finished school, people might not be willing to pay you much anyway due to your lack of experience. Chalk up the hours quickly, even if they’re free, and you’re on your way to making a better living off of your makeup skills.
The Cons of Working for Free
On the other hand, working for free is never anyone’s career goal. If you agree to do one friend’s makeup for free, the word might get out, and soon all your friends will be expecting a free makeover.
Remember that you’re not just a friend playing around with makeup. You spent your hard-earned money and your valuable time training to become a makeup artist, and your skills are worth recognition and payment.
The Middle Ground
The cosmetology professionals at Canadian Beauty College suggest that you take on a few clients for free at the beginning to build up your portfolio. Ultimately, though, once you want to be considered a professional makeup artist, you need to hold your ground and only do paid work.
So, what should you say to your friend?
If you’re just barely out of school and feel like this would be a valuable experience for your portfolio, say something like, “Lucky you! You caught me right when I got out of school, and I’m still trying to increase my experience by offering a few free makeovers. But within the next few months, I’ll be charging all my clients. If you like my work, pass the word on to your friends!”
However, if you feel like you have enough experience to charge, say something like, “I’m not offering free makeovers at this point in my career, but I’d love to do your makeup at a discounted rate.”
When you hold your ground, your clients—even your old high school friends—will respect you as an experienced makeup artist. Then you’re that much closer to making a career out of what you love.
If you’d like more advice, contact Canadian Beauty College! We would be happy to boost your cosmetology career.
To learn more about our Makeup Artist diploma program in the Greater Toronto Area, visit our website.