5 Non-Makeup Items Every Makeup Artist Needs
I am a very no-nonsense type of person. I like convenience and I hate wasting time, because time is money. The five items below are not makeup related, but are things that I truly believe that every serious makeup artist needs for their business. Having these things will save you time, money, stress and pain. Literally.
#1- Business Cards
In a technology filled world, I try to be as paperless as possible. All of my contracts are done via e-Signature. I send receipts to my clients via e-mail. I think the majority of the time business cards get lost, thrown away or end up in the bottom of someone’s purse.
But at the end of the day, business cards do work. They always provide me with a return on my investment.
My boyfriend Joe is an attorney, so we attend a lot of business and networking events. At an event last spring I was chatting with another attorney and he mentioned how his wife loves getting her makeup done for special occasions. He asked for my business card and a wave of panic came over me. I knew I was low on cards. I dug through my purse and I had one single card left.
I went home that night and immediately ordered 500 cards. You will always look awkward when someone asks you for a business card and you don’t have one. There’s no way around it. Now I keep some in my studio, in my wallet, in my kit bag and in my car. Joe also always keeps some of my cards on him as well.
I order my cards through Zazzle. They have fast shipping and often have a great sale on business cards and other office stationary.
#2- Liability Insurance
I would not set foot near a client without liability insurance.
I pride myself on having borderline crazy cleanliness. I clean my kit frequently. I go through isopropyl alcohol and Barbicide wipes like they are going out of style. But even with all of my clean freak tendencies, there are still so many things that can go wrong and that is why liability insurance is an absolute must have.
Not to mention, many venues require all vendors on site to have liability insurance. My insurance covers my business and I also have insurance on my kit in case of flood, fire or theft. Having a kit full of high end products is expensive to maintain, so having kit insurance is a must for me. It’s an extra piece of mind knowing that I am protected in worst case scenarios.
Insurance is not one size fits all so I recommend doing research to see which policies and price points work best for you and your business.
#3- Portable Table
As an on location makeup artist, you never know exactly what type of space you will be working in. It would be great if every venue had a beautiful decked out bridal suite complete with great lighting and ample set up space, but that’s not always the case.
I keep my portable table in the trunk of my car so that I always have it with me. Upon arrival to a client, I like to go inside, say hello and assess the work area. If I see there is ample set up space I will leave my table in my car. Personally, I don’t like setting up on client’s nice kitchen table or bar top so if I am doing makeup in someone’s house I always bring in my own table. It’s really handy to have and I get a ton of compliments on it.
Here’s a link to my exact table here. I purchased it from Walmart for less than $50. It folds up very compact and fits in my car with ease.
#4- Aluminum Chair
I have had the same aluminum chair for my entire six year career. It has been thrown in the trunk of my car, dragged up stairs and it is still in flawless condition.
A quality, aluminum chair will save your back. I promise. I can’t imagine having to bend over to reach my client sitting in a short dining room chair. Wooden director chairs can get the job done, but they are not very sturdy and can be uncomfortable for your client.
The chair I personally own is linked here. Just like my portable table, this chair folds up quickly and it very easy to carry while still being sturdy. It has small side table that I always sit my brushes on so that they are in quick reach. It also has a cup holder for your client because mimosas- ya know?
#5- Your Own Website
Having a clear, concise website will tremendously reduce your workload. I’m not talking about a Thumbtack, or a listing on The Knot, or an online booking site. I’m talking about a real website with a domain that you own.
Having a website allows me to have my portfolio, rates and contact form all in one place. I make sure that my contact form includes every piece of relevant information needed in order to properly respond to an inquiry.
I don’t get “hi” emails anymore. An example of a “hi” email is “Hi, I’m getting married on June 21st. Are you available and what are your prices?” Before having a website, I used to get these emails all the time. I would go back and forth with the client about their venue, ceremony time, prices, etc. all for me to realize that things just wouldn’t work. Maybe the time they needed conflicted with my schedule, or maybe my services were not in their budget.
Occasionally I do still get Facebook messages or Instagram DM’s regarding appointments. It is so easy to just send them my website and ask them to fill out a contact form. No back and forth via FB Messenger or DM. Once on my site, they are able to take a look at my work, learn a little about me and view my prices to see if I am in their budget. It truly cuts down on the time I spend on emails.
I recently listened to a webinar from wedding photographer and business coach Samantha Grant. She touched on the topic of websites and what she said couldn’t be more true. “If you aren’t willing to invest $12 a month in your business for a website, why should a potential client invest in you?”