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A Conversation About Value

A Conversation About Value

A mother and daughter came in and asked my permanent makeup artist friend how much it would cost to do the mother’s brows.
My friend told them: $595
The client’s daughter responded: That’s seems really high.
My friend asked: What do you think is a reasonable price?
The client’s daughter answered: $250 maximum
My friend responded: Ok, then I invite you to do it for her.
The client’s daughter answered: But I don't know how.
My friend responded: For $3500, I’ll teach you how in a 3 day microblading class.
The client’s daughter answered: But I can't justify spending all of that money for just one set of brows.
My friend responded: But you’ll learn valuable skills that you can use to earn extra income. In fact, you can easily earn over 6 figures a year, just multiply the price of brows by the number you can do in a day!
The client’s daughter answered: Wow! that sounds like a great idea. So, I will be ready to microblade my mother’s brows and earn a 6 figure income after 3 days?
My friend responded: Well, not exactly. You mother is a little older and has thinner sun-damaged skin, so microblading is not really the best technique for her.
The client’s daughter replied: So, how do I do her brows?
My friend replied: Well, I can add a 2 day brow shading course for an additional $2500 or $3750 including equipment. Of course, once you learn brow shading you will be able to treat many more skin types, so it is valuable to learn.
The client’s daughter replied: OK, so a full week off work, but what type of equipment do I need?
My friend replied: You will need to do some research to determine what type of PMU machine you would like to work with. You will also need a power supply, foot pedal, RCA cord and a variety of needles. Once you have that you will also need to purchase all of the required disposables including clip cord and machine covers, barrier film, anaesthetic, pigment cups, aftercare products, and so much more.
The client’s daughter replied: Oh my! This seems overwhelming! Where do I start and how do I know what type of machine or needles to buy?
My friend replied: Well, I don’t teach that but there are some good courses online or you could travel to the next town where another artist teaches that.
The client’s daughter replied: What? Now I have to account for travel time and purchase another course as well as purchase all of that equipment?
My friend replied: Well, yes, if you want your mother to have nice brows that are appropriate for her skin type.
The client’s daughter answered: Ok, assuming I do all of that, THEN am I prepared to do my mother’s brows?
My friend responded: Well, no, not exactly. Your mother’s skin type is a little thin and that can result in the pigment healing a little cool. Do you know what that means?
The client’s daughter answered: No.
My friend replied: Well, in that case you should probably also consider a colour theory course as well as pigment chemistry. Maybe also anatomy and physiology of the skin so that you understand healing and why this happens with aged skin.
The client’s daughter replied: OK, at least I will have that 6 figure income to look forward to!
My friend responded: Great! We will start your course on Monday.
The client’s daughter answered: I work Monday through Friday. I’m only available on weekends.
My friend responded: This is when the class runs, you’ll have to take time off work.
The client’s daughter answered: That means I’m going to have to sacrifice pay or use vacation time!
My friend responded: That’s true. Remember, when you do this job for yourself you always need to account for unproductive time in your pricing.
The client’s daughter answered: What do you mean by that?
My friend responded: Doing a set of brows completely from start to finish not only includes the time spent to take these required courses and time practicing, learning the nuances of your pigment line or multiple pigment lines, researching and purchasing the best equipment and disposables, travel time and gas and accommodations to do all of that, set up time, clean up time, and very likely additional time to take more courses so that you can offer other services when you’re not fully booked with brows. That’s all in addition to the actual brows themselves. And speaking of time, class will run from 8 am to 10pm.
The client’s daughter answered: 14 hours! That’s way too long! A workday is only 8 hours.
My friend responded: Right, but if you want to succeed, we will have to spend time after class setting up your business license, finding a space to work from, getting insurance quotes, learning the ins and outs of several social media platforms, preparing all of your advertising posts for the coming months, designing a logo, building a website and writing all of your website content, writing a business plan, setting up a booking system, and writing out all of your intake forms and consent forms – oh, did I mention you will need a lawyer to review those?
The client’s daughter answered: You know, I’m realizing that a lot more goes in to doing brows than I thought. Even though it sounds like a great 6 figure income, I didn’t consider that my days would be so long, resulting in an hourly wage that is not too different than what I currently make. Your brow price of $595 is very reasonable. I would like you to do my mother’s brows.
When you pay for brows or any other procedure, especially with an experienced full-time artist, you not only pay for the supplies and the work to be completed. You also pay for:
Customized Skills
Practice time
Work Ethic
As service providers you should know your worth and be confident in it!!
Don't negotiate or lower your pricing because a customer does not value your work or respect your education. If your proposal exceeds their budget, there’s nothing wrong with them getting other proposals. Just remember that they will get what they pay for.

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