Every pro makeup artist and permanent cosmetic technician is bound to end up with at least one or two tough clients throughout their career. We’re familiar with these kinds of clients, the one who won’t tell you exactly what she wants (just that what you’re doing isn’t quite it…), or the one who isn’t satisfied with anything you try even if it’s what she asked for. From totally unreasonable, unrealistic demands to endless re-dos—picky clients are frustrating.

But, they’re also a reality of your chosen profession, so there’s no avoiding them (unless you’re super lucky). So how to you deal with a client who doesn’t really seem to be pleased by anything you do—without wanting to just give up entirely and quit?


You know the type—she knows what she wants, and since permanent cosmetics/makeup is magical, you should be able to give her anything she asks for, right?

Nope. And unfortunately, you’re the one stuck breaking that news to her. This client is especially tricky: you can’t give her what she wants, and if you try she’s just going to walk away disappointed.

The best thing to do is sit her down and explain why what she wants won’t work. Sometimes she’s not used to wearing makeup at all or shaping her brows, so she just doesn’t realize that what she’s asking for is unrealistic. And instead of just focusing on what you can’t do, help her figure out a way to adapt the look so it works for her.


You’ve probably met her before—the client who just asks you to make her “look good.” It might seem like an awesome job at first: your client is giving you complete creative control! She trusts your professional opinion that you know what looks best.! But once you start working on her, the stress begins to build. Everything you do is “fine” (not “good”) and you have no idea whether she actually likes your work because she won’t give you any feedback. You’ll never know (she’s certainly not going to tell you!) but you can work on getting her to open up.

Let her know early in the process that she doesn’t have to worry about offending you when telling you what she wants, so she’s totally free to tell you what she thinks along the way. Sometimes a client just needs reminding that although this is your work, it’s her face, and you want her to go away looking and feeling her best!

You can also try nudging some opinions out of her along the way. Asking “do you like this?” probably won’t get her to open up, and she’ll expect you to know what she wants beforehand anyways, so you’ll need to be more specific. Instead, try going through the products you use and the overall process. Once she’s settled on something she does like and is familiar with the prcoess , you’ll have an easier time building a look around it.


She reaches for the mirror every fifteen seconds to check on your work. Even though you’re a professional makeup artist, this girl just doesn’t trust you to do your own job.

Trying to build that trust in the couple of hours you’ve got with her is a tough feat, and reminding her that yes, you do actually know how to do your job won’t get you very far. It might be time to institute a no-peeks policy—stash the mirror out of sight until she can check out the complete feature, since an unfinished eye always looks, well, unfinished.

Like the last client, you’ll also want to try and help her get a little more detailed about her concerns. Asking her “what specifically is bothering you about this?” or “what are your concerns about my work right now?” gives you an opportunity to explain what you’re doing, reassuring her that you are actually a knowledgeable professional.

It doesn’t matter what this client’s issues are—the bottom line is that she’s just totally unreasonable. Even the best professional permanent cosmetic artists won’t be able to please everyone, so if a client throws a tantrum for something that isn’t your fault, don’t take it personally. When a client is going way over their appointment, is distrustful or treating you poorly, sometimes you may have to draw the line and walk away. Just think of the good clients to remind yourself why you love doing this, and move on!