Planet of the Apps

It seems like I woke up one day, and all of a sudden I could download and click on an app to do almost everything! If I’m too tired to cook (which happens often) I’ll just use my UberEATS or caviar app. Some of my friends use postmates to deliver everything from food to medicine that they can’t get to a drugstore to pick up. 

I hardly shop in stores for clothes anymore because I enjoy the hunt for sales and cool stuff online from some of my favorite stores like Zara, Forever21, HnM, and Nastygal. Now there are on demand beauty apps popping up every week it seems that allow you to get makeup, hair, and nail services in the comfort of your own home where all you have to do is download the app, enter your payment info, and request away! 

While these apps are amazing for consumers, what happens to the independent freelance makeup artists who make their living solely through providing makeup artistry services? What happens to the beauty brands that provide artistry services at their counters and stores? The answer is that both of those entities will loose business. It is quite simple, convenience rules! Let me break it down.

The average cost to get a makeup service at a makeup counter, beauty salon, or beauty boutique (think MAC, Sephora, or Blue Mercury) can range between $45-$100. That service typically includes a full face makeup application and lashes. Independent freelance makeup artists charge anywhere from $35 (yes I have heard that some artists actually drive to clients, unload their kits, do full faces sometimes including highlighting, contouring, double stacked lashes, etc… for $35) to $500 for a full face makeup application service. 

Now at this point you might be wondering why the range in what freelance artists charge is so wide! Well I’m gonna give you that answer straight with no chaser. Factors that often contribute to a freelance artists rate include education. Let’s think about it, a teacher with a bachelor degree starts at about $35,000 in DC. With a MA the same teacher can start at $40-$45,000. Some makeup artists have bachelor degrees, MA, MBA, etc… Another important factor to consider are their years of experience. Some artists that charge $75-$200 have at least 8-10 years plus experience doing makeup which includes makeup at a counter, several certifications from one brand or many, makeup for television and/or film, magazine credits, fashion show experience, award show experience, representation from an agency, or membership in a union, and on and on.  

Social media plays a major role now and guess what? If you are a consumer who wants your makeup artist to have over one thousand followers on Instagram and several celebrities under their belt, you have to pay for it! Truth is, the more followers and celebrities an artist has under their belt, the more sought after they become. Econ 101 says that in order to control supply in demand, you either raise or lower the cost of the service or product! Be careful what you ask for, because you will get it and it will cost you!! 

One super important factor that is often overlooked is the makeup kit itself! I absolutely love drugstore makeup and believe in 2017 that their are amazing brands at the drugstore that can compete toe to toe with high end department store brands. The cost of high end vs low end matters! If a persons kit is stocked with the latest and greatest including Chanel, Tom Ford, NARS, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, etc…you gotta pay!! Think about it, one foundation from these brands can range from $50-$75! If a person uses mostly high end brands in order for the makeup application service to make sense they have to charge over a hundred bucks!💁🏽

Now the last reason for a heavily inflated price for a makeup application service is gender and sexuality. Let me spell it out for you. Gay males get to charge more because they are gay and male. Let that sink in. Breathe. Calm down. Now let me explain. Many women want and need male attention and love to get that attention from male makeup artists and hairstylists. Even though we know as women that these men typically have no interest in us sexually, we still desire their attention. Guess what? These men know that we want their attention, and they often give it to us however we want it! Guess what? You. Have. To. Pay. For. It.!. Men know how badly some women crave the attention and because of that, they can and will charge exorbitant amounts of cash to stroke egos, provide relationship advice, and apply a smokey eye. Sometimes it might be cheaper to keep her! Lol

Now most apps charge the consumer $75-$100 for a makeup application service making the range of payment much smaller. The smaller range in price and the factor of convenience make apps an easy draw, and I foresee the use of these apps cutting into independent freelancers bottom line in a major way! One of the things that I would suggest to my fellow freelancers is to hop on board! Despite some folks thinking that their is a possibility for our society to go backwards, any person with sense knows that it just ain’t happening. 

Technology will continue to change every aspect of our lives, so it is best that we adapt quickly and go with the changes. These apps can and will provide steady work when we don’t have our own personal jobs, and they can provide networking, training, pro discounts, and new experiences. The other great benefit is that you can create your own schedule and work only when you want! Lastly since it is Black History Month I would like to put this out there. Currently there are no on demand beauty apps that have been started by black women. Currently there are no on demand beauty apps that cater to black women. Guess what my fellow sistas?! We. Have. Work. To. Do.!.

The moral to the app takeover is to join them and keep working! Continue to grow your personal clientele because they will always remain loyal, but for the days where business is slow, work for an app!

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