Clients I’d much rather not have

Over the last 7 years, Ive met all kinds of clients. From the really nice and sweet ones, to downright unreasonable and rude ones. While I understand it is perfectly normal in the service industry, it doesnt mean I dont get pissed off.

The best part about working for myself is that I can choose NOT to accept business, and I can also fuck people who try to be funny.

Ive encountered enough of crappy clients to actually come up with a list.

1. The classic cheapskate. 

She wants the best possible deal at the lowest possible price. (There was one bride who actually assumed that I was even gonna include a free hair cut for the groom.) There are brides-to-be (BTB for short) who contact me and ask for discounts because they’re working with a “very tight budget”.

I dont mean to sound callous but…. how is that my fucking problem?

I highly doubt my landlord is gonna give me a discount on my rent if I tell him I am on a “very tight budget” next month.

If you are getting married, you KNOW its going to cost quite a bit of money.

A MUA is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest service vendor in the entire wedding (versus the photographer, videographer, bridal studio, flower arrangements etc), so if you cannot afford $600- $1000 for a good MUA, perhaps you might wanna save up for a few more years.

If its a shotgun affair, then just do your own hair & makeup, go to ROM to sign the papers, and get it over with.  I wont waste my empathy for people who dont know how to use birth control corrrectly. My company name is MMB Artistry, not MMB Charity.

2. The SNEAKY cheapskate.

LOVE the sneaky ones.

The sneaky cheapskate will contact me and claim she has 3 other ladies who also need hair and makeup services. I quote lower rates for two or more persons at the same location. Obviously it costs (quite a lot) more for a single pax, because it means I am blocking out slots of my time to provide service for only one person, but I still have to pay two-way cab fare which can cost anything from $30- $50 easily these days. Some people expect to pay only $60 or $80 for hair and makeup. My cab fare is at least $40, so why would I want to do your hair and makeup for a paltry $20- $40?

Please dont assume I will accept ANY job offered to me. It is so rude.

So I block out the entire afternoon for 4 persons, and head down to the location prepared to work on 4 ladies, only to be informed that theres only ONE person who needs the hair and makeup now, because the others have changed their minds/ cant get there on time/ yada yada yada/ blah blah blah. And these people do not even realize how rude and inconsiderate they are.

This is the reason why I now collect 100% full payment in order to confirm appointments. No money, no MUA.

The message is clear. Dont book my time, unless you are absolutely fucking sure about engaging my services. I am a professional, not someone painting faces for fun.

Dont even get me started on the bloggers and wannabes who EXPECT to be “sponsored”, and the people who want to pay me with vouchers and products. I am not a plant, I cant live on sunshine sweeties.

Ive also encountered sneaky BTBs who booked Personal Hair & Makeup for their weddings. (This one managed to blind-side me because we started at 10am.) Like as if I am too blind to notice the giant fluffy wedding dress hanging in your room and the fresh French manicure…!

I know you’re trying to save money. We are all trying to save money.

But there are valid reasons why I charge the fees I do. If you need me to list them for you, Id just much rather NOT do business with you. I do not want to waste my time and energy on people who are trying to “outsmart” the MUA, and getting a kick out of scoring a “deal”, at the expense of others.

Now, I price my services in such a way that it actually costs MORE to use Personal hair & Makeup for your wedding.

3. The ones with unrealistic expectations.

Yes, makeup can do wonders. In the hands of a skilled and experienced MUA, one can be totally transformed. I have stopped doing hair and makeup for mothers/ MILs because they’re impossible to please and hell to work with.

These aunties in their 50s -60s would tell me that they want “very very natural makeup”… like “those Korean stars”.

*inhales deeply*


Let me explain to you why this is a problem.

These Korean stars are in their 20s, have very smooth supple skin, and have had plastic surgery to look the way they do. Short of turning back the clock 30- 40 years and engaging the services of a very good plastic surgeon, I dont think I can make you look like a Korean star with “very very natural makeup”. Sorry.

I have to deal with two major issues- wrinkled saggy skin and pigmentation. If I attempt to cover the pigmentation with thick layers of foundation, concealer and powder, it will look very cakey and the makeup will settle into all the lines and emphasize them. But if I dont apply enough product, the pigmentation is not concealed and they’ll complain that I didnt cover the pigmentation.

I just cannot win.

When I do makeup on mature women, I have to use foundation products which provide maximum coverage without overloading their skin with too much product, so I can minimize any cakeyness. I have to strategically place pieces of lace and eyelid tape on their eyelids to lift the droopy saggy eyelids, and this step instantly make their eyes so much brighter and wider. I use brighter warm shades on their cheeks and lips, to perk up their complexion and make them look more radiant. If I do not apply enough color on their faces, they will look very washed out and sallow, especially in photos.

Lets be honest. These 50+ year old aunties are NOT going to look flawless by any means. But all these things I do for them, will make them look good from a comfortable distance and also in photos. (The lighting is always so dim in hotel ballrooms for good reason.) I conceal their imperfections and enhance their features in the BEST POSSIBLE way to the best of my ability.

But when they look in the mirror, all they can say is,

“HAR? So bright ah the lipstick??”

They are not used to wearing makeup at all, because they usually dont wear any. But at the same time they expect to look beautiful and flawless. What am I supposed to use? Magic dust?

These aunties usually also have thinning hair which can vary from mild to severe, where their hair is so thin I can see their scalp at the crown. But they tell me,

“I want VOLUME”.

Ladies. If I can create hair out of nowhere and make you look like you have a full head of hair when you’re in fact balding, I’ll be richer than Oprah. Okay?

Every time I get an enquiry from someone checking my availability to do hair and makeup for her mother or MIL, saying “Oh she just needs very simple makeup.”… I wont even reply. You’re not the one doing her makeup, of course you think its simple.

Dont tell me how simple you think my job is. 

4. The tardy ones.

I am a time nazi. I hate being late. I dont mind waiting for others, but anything more than 20 mins is just plain rude and inconsiderate.

Punctuality seems to be a problem with most ladies. If we agree to a certain time, it is NOT a suggestion. 3pm is 3pm. It is not 3.30pm. Not 3.45pm. And most certainly not 4.15pm.

Ive encountered some clients who INSIST I need to be at the hotel by 2pm, only to leave me sitting in the lobby waiting for an hour or so, because they have not even checked in. OR I get there and she has not showered, and is happily eating room service food. Then she takes 40mins- 45 mins to finish her food, take a shower and blow dry her hair.  While I sit there twiddling my thumbs. An extra 40-  45 mins nap would have been very lovely, because I had almost no sleep the night before.

The reason why I always set aside more time for my clients, is because I HATE rushing. I like knowing I have more than enough time to do my job properly. So when I end up having to rush like mad, because someone was tardy as hell, I get really annoyed. If I can get ready and arrive on time, so can you. No excuses. Especially when YOU are the one with the wedding schedule planned to 15 minute blocks on Excel spreadsheet, a wedding planner, and about a dozen helpers. I am flying solo, people.

You know, I just really really wish there was a strict barrier of entry for Makeup Artists, and that we would all need a license to do hair and makeup on people. A license which can be revoked if one does not adhere to a strict code of standards and conduct, much like medical professionals.

Perhaps this way people would show a little bit more respect. The general lack of respect is appalling. Ive encountered people who asked me,

“So….. are you planning to get like a proper full time job?”

I always smile and reply, “This IS my proper full time job.”

Says a lot about how civilized I am, that I dont poke your fucking eyes out after you ask me such a stupid and rude question.

Sometimes I moonlight as a penguin trainer at the zoo, but thats just for fun.



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