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4 Things Your Make Up Artists Really Wish They Could Tell You



No matter how great you think you are with eye shadows, powder, and brushes, your makeup never really comes out as “flawless”. You never look like the celebrities on TV, cover of glamorous magazines or slay queens on Instagram …but then, that’s ok because you are not a make-up artist (MUA). The MUAs are the ones behind all the fabulousity. They are able to beat your face up so good it’s almost impossible to tell it apart from Beyoncé’s.

Without a doubt, make up artists can be life-savers for many; and while quite a number are skilled, some have a hard time working their magic. They may be calm and putting on a smile, but have a thunderstorm raging in their minds, thanks to the unrealistic expectations clients tend to have and the unnecessary banter they are forced to have with clients.

Ever wonder what they are really thinking while working mere inches from your face? Here are some things MUAs wish they could say to their clients:

Arrive at your appointment with a clean, moisturized face
A number of people do not know this, but no matter how good or skilled your MUA is, your makeup is only as good as your skin underneath. A number of clients would rather die than wash their face and exfoliate before their appointment. They show up with dry, dirty skin. Some will even neglect the gigantic pimples and expect the MUA to help them pop it. Most disappointing is when the MUA says to them: Did you clean your face before coming? And they say they have. Like, who is being the fool in the situation really? Neglecting to do the needful just makes things harder for both yourself and the MUA.

I’m a makeup artist, not your dermatologist or even therapist
You have paid N15, 000 for a session, so you must also learn the trade while you are at it. You ask the MUA to give you a list of all the makeup items and products she used during the session. Then you ask them to write a prescription or recommend a regiment that will help you manage your skin, keep it fresh and eternally glowing. Also, you ask for coaching on how to use products and manage the prescription. Really? The make up artist is there to make you look pretty. You don’t have to bleed them dry.

Even worse is when the client decides the MUA would also pass for their therapist and goes on to pour out his/her heart to the MUA, even seeking their help to make life decisions. Do not take advantage of the MUAs intentions to make you feel comfortable and good about yourself. They are not there to help you celebrate your milestones or mourn your losses in life. Keep it professional, please.

Contouring is not for everyone
You love Kim Kardashian’s contoured look and you want to pull it off at some grand event, so you invite the MUA and insist on heavy, contoured makeup. You are unwilling to consider the fact that 1. You do not have a full glam squad that will hang around you at the event for touch up and blends. 2. Your face is not just cut out for contouring and forcing it will not give you the flattering look you are aiming for.
Be assured that contouring is high maintenance and impractical and should not be a do-or-die affair, especially when the MUA has advised against it.

Be realistic; if you are must copy a look, find someone with your with a skin tone that’s as close enough to yours, as possible

Mind your manners and don’t forget gratuity
Yes, your makeup artist is rendering a service to you and expects to get paid at the end. The fact that you are paying them for their time and skill does not in any way make you superior to them. It is not justification enough to be rude to them or disrespect them in any. Don’t sit in your chair and say things like” “I hope you know what you are doing oh, I don’t want to come out looking like Bobrisky” or treat them like lepers – refusing to let them sit on your furniture maybe. or making them take off their footwear outside the gate.

The make up industry is a small circle and you don’t want to be marked as the uncouth one. Also, don’t try to pull any stunt like refusing to pay up at the end of the session because the MUA did not make you look like Nicki Minaj.

Photo Credit: © Dmytro Zinkevych | Dreamstime


  1. Asa

    October 10, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Every Nigerian is a therapist. We can’t survive Nigeria otherwise. It’s not limited to MUAs and no Nigerian should feel burdened by listening to people’s problems in their line of work. It is what we do. We cry to our lawyers, taxi drivers, doctors, hair stylists, our teachers too. You may be the one crying next and since professional therapists are hard to come by over here, who knows who you may be crying to. Again, this article is an unnecessary sob story. When someone calls you to book your services, politely tell them to come with a clean face. If the pimpled that some have through no fault of theirs irritate you, refuse to make them up since their skin is dead. Writing the items you used for a client won’t turn that client into a make up artiste. And if you were business savvy, you would not just write for them, you would sell to them. As long as they don’t say teach me and even when they say teach me, seize the opportunity to tell them to sign up for your classes.

    If you dear writer are a makeup artiste, I advise you to change your attitude fast or your profession.

    • Tutu

      October 10, 2017 at 7:58 am

      Only in Nigeria. If this person is a makeup artist and wrote her handle or name, I’ll boycott her. She reeks of terrible customer service. Ahn ahn!

    • Ramat

      October 10, 2017 at 8:32 am

      What Asa said.

    • Dr.N

      October 10, 2017 at 10:11 am

      You captured some of my thoughts. Yes there are some uncouth people but the world has got to the stage where family systems are eroded and some people won’t confide in pastors cause for whatever reason. We all have to be available to listen to comfort and counsel the hurting level of wealth belongs to those who know how to present a human face in their business
      Aunty writer…pardon your clients for unburdening to you

    • katiana

      October 10, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Asa, I couldn’t agree more

  2. king bey

    October 10, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Asa thank you Jare,from her write up she come accross to me,like someone who’s got an attitude problem,please go work on yourself

  3. Ekene Olaedo Ejiofor

    October 10, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Seriously? Like Seriously?
    No wonder services rendered in Nigeria are the way they are today. With people’s mindset like this, it can only get worse.
    Operation boycott.

  4. lulu

    October 10, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Wow! I didn’t know there are faces that aren’t cut out for contouring. Here i was thinking every face can be contoured but just not in the same way. :'(

  5. FA

    October 10, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Ok oh . sorry ma ….the writer is so rude !

  6. Jay

    October 10, 2017 at 9:52 am

    You sound like one with no passion for the job as a MUA. You are dealing with people not animals.. People with feelings who expect more than the ‘services’ you are rendering.. So whether you are keeping it professional or not,there are little sacrifices you have to be willing to make.
    It’s a good thing you didn’t attach your name to this article….

    • Uberhaute looks

      October 10, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      1. I know where the writer is coming from. Our job as a Makeup Artist in Nigeria isn’t yet rewarding as that of other countries like US, UK, France etc.

      2. So many people are still battling with how to survive talk less of popping pimple.
      However, the job of a MUA is like that of a Lawyer, Doctor and Psychotherapist. Clients unburden their minds and expect you to be their listening ear.

      3. Contouring is meant for everybody my dear writer, only that you know your clients face shape to know if they need it and where to place it; and I’m not talking about Instagram makeup here.
      In all, just enjoy what you do then the reward will follow.

      4. By the way, draw up a contract with your client (although we don’t do that here), which is the same as agreeing on a price and 70% deposit up front.
      So, dear writer, endure you hear.

  7. ***

    October 10, 2017 at 10:01 am

    This writer is so rude and insensitive gosh! What is wrong in trying to establish friendship with my m.u.a? Even the kardashians go heart to heart with their … well there are people who are struggling with skin issues and believe me they do all the stuff you mentioned before a session but still show up ‘dry and dirty’ as you put it, don’t assume it is ignorance or obstinacy … And as a m.u.a shouldn’t you have basic knowledge on skincare and dermatology? (Dermatologists are not readily available and affordable plus you work with skin so people assume you know a little extra, pls go easy on clients… i don’t think it is out of place to ask my m.u.a about a sudden outbreak of rash or irritation) … you need to change your approach to business; it’s not good to be too rigid and callous … one of the key tips to a successful business is building consumer loyalty and you cannot do that being so ‘professional’ a jackass lol

  8. Moving on Swiftly

    October 10, 2017 at 10:17 am

    What kind of stupid article is this? ? Writer you are very uncouth and you need a 360 orientation. Kai.

  9. californiabawlar

    October 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Okay. You better tell them!! I like your article jare Miss MUA, don’t mind all these people and their nonsense empathy and customer service bs. That’s why we are not moving forward as a country. You definitely come across as a hygienic person with very high standards. Very good writer too… my kinda girl!

    Sooooo…would you mind sharing your contact? This whole anonymous thing is robbing you of the full credit you deserve.

  10. Tee

    October 10, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Loool @ the therapist session
    Wait till you meet Taxi drivers

  11. larz

    October 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I am an accountant and people still share stuff going on in their life. Like someone said, it doesn’t sound like you have a passion for your job. If you did, you will find a better way of ceasing whatever opportunities (e.g. selling products or giving classes)

  12. Bj

    October 10, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Silly article….all dis our Instagram business owners or so called entrepreneurs that feel so highly placed to render you their services. Rubbish!!!!

  13. iou

    October 10, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    “They are not there to help you celebrate your milestones or mourn your losses in life. Keep it professional, please.”- Very cold hearted statement, almost offensive. Also if they ask you to take off your footwear at the door ( never heard of anyone s asking to take off footwear at the gate)you need to respect that.
    Not nice lady! Not nice!

  14. tunmi

    October 10, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    It’s not coldhearted. The therapy one…well, not everyone wants to be a therapist otherwise they would have pursued that path.

    With the request for lessons and whatnot, turn that into a class and gently let them know you charge for skin care classes, X amount at Y times a week.

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