Makeup Artist Discounts Aren't Always Fair--Here's Why! / by Erin Baynham

On the Scandalous Beauty Facebook Page, I've been doing a 25 Days of Makeup Artist Programs. I've been sharing all types of discounts from various companies that can be used at anytime. Go on over to see what Bobbi Brown, Make Up For Ever, Mally Beauty and more are offering!


My friend Niki pointed out something that I haven't thought about in awhile.

She's right. There are thousands of makeup artists that aren't doing photo shoots for huge magazines or on movie sets. There are a bunch of artists that only do weddings or events. Many of these artists don't have licenses.They still apply products to faces that could end up making the company money. Are they not reputable too?

To be fair, I'll play devil's advocate. There are a lot of people who love makeup, and would say they are artists just for the discount. Sure, anyone can make a site and some business cards. There are probably billions of clients that don't need proof of your skills, but will hire you because "you do makeup". Should a brand use precious dollars just to give someone a hook up?

Niki pointed out that MAC has one of the easiest programs to get into, since you only need a website, resume, business card, etc. However, MAC is one of the only programs that you have to pay to use. It's like MAC is saying "Hey you! We'd love if you would buy our products to use on your clients. You just have to pay us first, or you're going to have to pay regular price." If you spend enough money throughout the year, you can offset that price.

The Powder Group recognizes that every artist isn't flown worldwide to take a gig. Their criteria for their pro program ($125 membership/$65 students) is as follows:

Membership requires proof of profession in the form of any of the following: business card, website, call sheet, letter of employment, paystub, union card, cosmetology license, certificate of diploma from an accredited makeup program or school, tear sheet with name credits.

Again, all makeup brands aren't charging your or holding you to elite artistry status to use their programs. There are a couple of ways to beat the system:

  • Work at a counter: There are brands that will train you on how to do makeup if they trust you enough.
  • Take a class at a counter: Some classes offer discounts on products when you attend a class. Not always, but it's worth a shot.
  • Makeup School: Most of the pro programs offer students a special discount, not as high as the pro discount, but it's something!

Share Your Thoughts

If you are a makeup artist that is self-taught, do you qualify for these discounts? Is it difficult to get them? Are there any ways to "beat the system" and get discounts without winning an Oscar? Share with your makeup artist community!

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