Gratuity for a freelance hair and makeup artist is a tricky topic!
I get this the question very often after I finish a hair and makeup gig, “how much should I tip you?” When I get asked this, I always ask myself, did I give my client 100% of my best effort—did I do the extraordinary? If I didn’t, then I do not deserve anything.
My answer, “please tip whatever you feel like my service was.” Tip, should always be an option and should not be a requirement if you are not getting the best of best service. Since a service charge is never spelled out in my contract, you are never obligated to tip me. And this rule of thumb should be applied to every service.
The only time where I think a tip should not be given is when you deal with a makeup artist at a counter. (For example, an artist working at MAC, Sephora, Nordstrom etc). The reason why a tip is not necessary is because it is their job to teach and sell you a product. Also you should not feel obligated in buying a product they use on you if you are 100% not sure about it. I encounter numerous occasions when a representative applied someone on me and pressured me into buying a product when I know it is not the right shade for me!!!
The only time you should tip a makeup artist at a counter is when they are giving you a full makeup over. Remember, they are not expected to give you a full makeup over, unless you book them for it.
When you are working with a freelance hair and makeup artist, you are hiring them for their service and a tip is completely acceptable. Like I stated before, I do not expect a tip and I do not think less of my clients who do not tip. I am forever thankful that I have clients who trust me to make them look beautiful. The most rewarding experience is when I get an email from a new client mentioning that my old client referred them to me! Therefore, Tipping is just the extra frosting on my cake for a job well done.
Remember, the next time you are satisfied with any services, rather it is your server, a cab driver, a carpet cleaner—etc please know that a tip is greatly appreciated. Bottom line, follow your gut and reward for great service.