How to protect yourself as a makeup artist


Well-known member
Hi, for those who are freelance makeup artists, what are some precautions you take in order to protect yourself? For example, my friend who is a freelance mua, she only accept cash as a form of payment. You can't take too many risks especially if you don't personally know the client.

One thing I've been wondering about is how do you mua's protect yourself if the customer claims they have an allergic reaction to the products u used on them and demands their money back? Is it necessary to have them sign a liability form so you don't get into a huge mess if they decide to complain and accuse you of certain things? Do any of you do this?? I've always wondered this...How do you deal with unhappy customers? TIA to anyone who has gives any input.


Well-known member
i think for any service job you should definately have some sort of liability because people sue for the silliest reasons these days so you should have your customers sign an indemnity that protects you from allergies etc and you should definately take cash only until you establish some kind of a relationship with your customers.


Well-known member
With all my clients I get them to fill in and sign a form detailing any allergies, colds, or other illness they may have and details of their doctor/GP. This is to cover several things:

1) If my client says they have an allergy to an ingredient in makeup/skincare it means I can either try to use any makeup that doesn't have that ingredient in or I am entitled to refuse them service. I don't want to give them the blotchies or worse!

2) If they don't admit to any allergies and then they say for example, tried to sue me after suffering a reaction I'd have all the proof I needed to say that this person signed to say they had no allergies etc. whatsoever.

3) If they have a cold it means I can refuse service. Not only does doing their makeup when they're ill put me at risk but it puts my other clients at risk if I go and do their makeup thereafter. It also could mean I'd be unable to do my work for several days losing business and cancelling appointments etc.

4) If they have something more serious like conjunctivitis/wart then it means I can also refuse. I can't risk spreading these. Despite using alcohol to clean my entire kit before each new client, you don't want to take your chances!

I have a friend who nearly did makeup on a lady who said she was merely suffering a slight tickly cough after a flight back from Kenya. My friend, although she had turned up ready to start, said she couldn't carry through and would have to go home and come back when she was feeling better. The lady was very insistent that she was fine but after she visited her doctor it turned out she had some sorta bug from Kenya and she had to take antibiotics - so go with your gut instinct, if you're not sure don't agree!

Of course you don't have to be awkward about it - I simply explain to my clients I just need them to fill it in (standard procedure blah blah blah) and it normally comes across like I'm also making sure I put them at no risk and they're in safe hands etc.

I've not yet had an unhappy customer (touch wood), but of course you can't please everyone. One of my first wedding trial appointments the client had some constructive criticism and luckily she was very nice about it (some people might not always be) but I took it in my stride and went with the flow making sure to let them know I wanted them to feel their best. On the wedding day itself they were very happy and even sent me a very kind thank you letter!

I usually pop nice little extras in like give them a free brand new unopened lip gloss in the colour that has been chosen for their wedding day so they can apply throughout the day and keep for future use! It's often the nice little touches (freebies etc.) that go a long way. I think if I ever got a complaint I'd be very apologetic that they felt that way, offer a way to go round the problem and then offer a free piece of makeup to say sorry and thanks for your time...

HTH! x


Well-known member

If you're going to operate/own a business, you should have an LLC. Here's a wiki link to explain what it is.

Limited liability company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Among other things, having one means that if someone sues for work you did, all they can take is what belongs to the business, and not what belongs to you personally, like, say, your house.

Contracts are also really good. So is having the name of a good attorney who handles small business related matters, so you can consult with an attorney who is familiar with laws relating to your situation - not just if you get in trouble, but to help you out with the legal side of things if you need them (like if you're hiring an employee for the first time).


Well-known member
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork! The best way to protect yourself is through liability forms and contracts. A simple medical form detailing any allergies is great too! The best thing to do for yourself is to consult an attorney to make sure that it is airtight, I know that attorneys are expensive but if it means you don't get sued it is worth the money in the end. You would be amazed what people will sue over; my father is an attorney and he tells me the funniest stories about some of his cases and friend's cases.


Well-known member
If anybody could PLEASE post example contracts that would be perfect.
I have a contract for photographers that I would give to them for paid shoots, and one for TFP shoots. I NEED one to give to models that would cover injuries and allergic reactions. I also need one for customers who are paying me to do their makeup.

Any help with these is greatly appreciated, I'm just starting out and there isn't much info on this on websites that I have found.


Well-known member
I have a contract that I sign with most clients (especially weddings) that addresses the legal aspects - I have a cancellation clause saying I won't loose the deposit from the client if they cancel the wedding, saying that we agree on the final total, having the bride and bridesmaids sign off on the contract that they have no allergies, infections, open sores, etc.

This is important for jobs where there are more then a few dollars profit involved.

I also only accept cash as a form of payment, unless I am close with the client and their family, and know that a cheque won't bounce.


New member
Would you mind sharing the wording of your contract? I am trying to come up with one but I want to make sure I cover all the bases. Thanks


Well-known member
I'm not a "registered" makeup artist, (if registered is even the right word, doesn't sound right), I'm self taught and I'm planning to go to makeup school soon. But... besides the point, I've been a makeup artist's assistant and have done events on my own as well, and I think that having a client sign a liability form is very important. Also doing trials really helps you to connect with your client and understand what they want. I've never had any complaints personally but I have been told many horror stories of unhappy clients.

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