Offering Makeup Consultations in Your Makeup Artistry Practice



An important aspect of every makeup artist’s job is the client consultation, a standard step to being prepared to wow clients looking for the right makeup for a special event they may have planned.

The client consultation is all about communication—an opportunity to listen to and collaborate with your client so you can be sure you deliver the look they have in mind. It’s also the time to experiment and find what works best through trial and error.

A productive client consultation ensures you have a good understanding of what your client wants so there’s no miscommunication—and, more importantly, so there’s a happy client—on the day of the event.

Here’s what you’ll want to know to make your client consultations a success:

The Art of the Makeup Consultation

A makeup consultation is the time to get to know your client and find a look that makes her happy. It’s also a time to negotiate the details and iron out the kinks. At the end of the client consultation, you and your client should feel confident that a makeup look has been achieved and that you will be able to recreate it on the day of the event.

When a client contacts you for a makeup consultation, ask her a series of preliminary questions to find out more about the event she is attending, the date of the event, and her expectations. Encourage her to bring inspiration photos from magazines on the day of the consultation, and be sure to schedule the consultation at least a couple weeks before the event.

The client consultation should begin with a series of questions designed to allow you to create a look that best suits your client:

  1. What event are you attending?

It is important to understand the event your client is attending so you can determine a look that is appropriate for the event. For example, a sultry look for an evening event is more appropriate than it would be for a daytime event.

  1. What are you wearing for the event?

Your client’s choice of outfit speaks volumes about her style and will likely be a good source of inspiration when creating her makeup look, so ask her to describe the outfit she will be wearing or have her show you a picture during the client consultation.

  1. What does you daily makeup routine look like?

Your client’s daily makeup routine will give you a good idea of her makeup preferences. For example, a client who generally doesn’t wear makeup on a daily basis will likely respond to a more natural look than a client who generally wears a full face of makeup every day. Asking about her daily makeup routine will give you a good idea on how daring or bold you can go with her makeup.

  1. Is there an area you want to highlight or an area you want to minimize?

Your client may love playing up her lips over her eyes, or vice versa. She may like contouring techniques to emphasize her cheekbones. Take the time to get to know what she wants to accomplish with a makeup look. Does she want a romantic look? A bold cat eye? A dewy or bronzed complexion?

If she doesn’t express a preference, experiment with a few looks and pay close attention to her reaction. Show her that you are willing to take the time to find a look that makes her feel beautiful and confident.

Tips for a Successful Makeup Consultation

There are a number of things you can do to ensure a successful makeup consultation:

  • Remind your client to be completely open with you as you try new colors and techniques. Explain to her that you encourage feedback and that her honesty won’t hurt your feelings.
  • As you complete her look, talk to her about what you are doing to give her a general idea of the process.
  • A good attitude is contagious! Expressing your confidence and excitement throughout the process will ease your client’s nerves and put them at ease.
  • If possible, provide your client with an option of having the makeup consultation in your salon or in her home.
  • Set a rate upfront so there’s no surprises about the fees for your services. If you travel to the event, add in the cost of your travel time and expenses. Check and double check the event date and location, and leave yourself plenty of time on the day of the event.
  • Come prepared to a client makeup consultation with plenty of ideas and recommendations. You are the professional, so take control of the consultation and show her you will help her find a look that makes her feel beautiful.
  • But remain flexible, adapting your makeup techniques to suit your client’s needs.
  • The makeup consultation may be a trial run, but it’s also the time to show off your makeup artistry skills. Wow her to build her excitement about what she can expect for her upcoming event.

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