TOP REASONS NOT TO WORK FOR BEAUTY APPS
If you haven’t heard by now, there are a ton of beauty app’s hitting the scene. Everyday it seems there is a new one hitting the the app store in your precious iPhone.
Today on Glossible, I want to share some deeper concerns than what I have previously written and give you my top reasons on why we shouldn't work for these beauty apps.
What are Beauty Apps?
Beauty apps give customers a way to summon a beauty professional to have hair, makeup or nails done at their homes. Just think of your “on location business” on a bigger scale. In the article I previously wrote about Glamsquad, they have no minimum of services per call out. Let’s not even discuss these email blasts you get that run specials like “Get a Blow Out for $30”.
Whoa. I can’t even go to Dry Bar and get a blow out for $30! Are you feeling sick to your stomach yet?
One of the biggest games in town is Glamsquad. While it seems I am picking on them exclusively, Glamsquad seems to be raising the most capital for their app to do one thing and one thing only. Dominate.
To date, according to the website CRUNCHBASE , Glamsquad has raised $24 million in 3 rounds of funding from 7 investors.
Hell, can someone give ME $24 million in investments and let me show you how it’s done?
The founders, who decided to create this app, wanted their own affordable luxury services and decided to make a business out of it. None of the founders have ever worked as a beauty professional. I don’t know what is more offending? That they think so little of us collectively as an industry or that they have no idea what it’s like to be working class in America?
The History of On Location Beauty Services
I have been an on location beauty service provider for 16 years. 8 years with a team. The Glamsquad model is so flawed for the artist, (and I think for the company) that you have to hustle several services in one week to make what most of my artists make in 1 event.
The beauty industry has been very self supporting in the 16 years I have been a full time makeup artist. I pay my team a very generous commission and we have been profitable since day one. I can’t do it without my team and they can’t do it without me. Teamwork is the core of my business.
Glamsquad claims to be empowering women and their team but they only admit they want to be everyone's beauty obsession.
I think most reasonable people would agree that on location beauty services is a luxury service. As a beauty professional, you are servicing the client in their home, making it convenient for them to enjoy a little pampering without the stress of rushing all over town to have services done.
Over the years, all of my clients have understood there is an upcharge for that luxury. The flawed beauty app model with Glamsquad is that their rates fit in line with a salon or makeup counter. These big companies are turning our luxury services into a culture of fast and cheap. Think this doesn’t affect you? Think again. For those of us in the wedding industry, it’s like having McDonald’s at your Ritz Carlton Wedding.
Why you should be paying attention
Glamsquad’s goal isn’t to be profitable right now. Glamsquad’s goal is to dominate the on location beauty industry and get as big as they can before they generate profitable revenue. It’s a classic tech industry business model. Make their money and then get out, even if they break even or lose money.
What does that mean for you?
They are coming to rape your fields and destroy your land. Their goal is to leave nothing for you to harvest and eat. This model will put an entire industry out of work. The end result? This will put you out of a job or force you to work for their company.
I envision people standing in a bread line with their hands out, begging for food and water as a result. If you don’t think this will affect you, you are living in fantasyland.
How Glamsquad Will Affect You
If Glamsquad and beauty apps have their way, (and they are) they condition the general public that the $30-50 makeup and blow out is the norm for on location beauty services. People don't know that coach sucks if they have never flown first class. They don't know the difference between a crap makeup artist and a good makeup artist. And this is what Glamsquad and other beauty apps are betting on.
Most artists will tell you it costs them $30-40 to service clients on location. This is before they make any profit. Did I fail to mention to you that you have to supply your own kit, transportation, etc? Oops.
Work in TV & Film Industry and think this doesn't affect you? Not so fast! Recently a friend of mine was dismissed from a 2 day job with a national TV show because Glamsquad came in and offered to do the makeup for their show, FOR FREE in exchange for a shout out. How can you compete with free? The result? My friend lost out on an opportunity to make enough money to pay her rent. And for what? Some publicity?
Glamsquad is NOT empowering Women!
Women have longed relied on the beauty industry to find themselves out of helpless situations..
An abusive husband, bad relationship or dead end job that didn’t make ends meet.
No matter what you think of Mary Kay, think about what her company did for millions of women in the 60’s. Mary Kay made a hell of a business empowering women to be independent and self sufficient. Mary Kay made millions of dollars and lifted other women out of desperate situations. It was a win win for both the company and the independent beauty advisors.
If you think Glamsquad or the beauty apps are empowering women to be independent and have careers, take a closer look. They are using you to grow their company all while giving you table scraps. This isn't empowering, this is a form of class warfare.
For those of us who have been in the beauty industry for more than 20 years, remember what Groupon did for the salon business? People who used to make high commissions in salons and spas made a very generous living. When Groupon and coupon culture became a thing, this changed how customers interact with salons and spas. Today, customers are always looking for a deal or cheap service. Today it’s rare you will see those same beauty service providers making what they made in the 90s. No one has gotten a raise. Dare I say people made more in 1996 than in 2016?
Why can’t we embrace a business model that gives a great service and empowers staff at the same time? How many yachts do you need? I believe in capitalism and free enterprise but not to the point you turn us all into low wage earners!
>>There Has Always Been Cheap Beauty Service Providers, Right?
People who are on #teambeautyapp argue that there have always been “cheap beauty services” and that is absolutely true. I'm not going head to head with small independent makeup artists who charge $10 for on location makeup. Those artists will eventually go out of business.
The difference is Glamsquad and other beauty apps is the sheer amount of money they have behind them to dominate and keep going, making it an unfair playing field for an entire industry. The 1% are dictating all industries and now we are in a black hole of reality. They are controling the jobs and putting small "mom and pop" operations out of business. As a matter of fact, I bet money they are laughing right now at my article here on Glossible. To them, any press is good press. They don't care. They have enough money NOT to care.
>>Beauty App Vetting
One of the most disturbing aspects of these on location beauty apps, is personal safety. What do they do to guarantee your safety on jobs? Anyone can put in a credit card and summon you to their home. Sure they may call you on the phone but what do they do to guarantee your personal safety?
Tracking device? With most artists being women, what will a tracking device do?
For example, Uber has a tracking feature that you can send to friends and family to track your “trip”. Does this make you feel better? Why? You are already in harm’s way. In the case of Glamsquad or other beauty apps, you are already in their home. The only thing a tracking device will do is show the authorities where to find your body.
If I were an investor in this type of app, this would give me the greatest concern. Obviously this could happen to any of us with even the most diligent precautions. With young makeup artists showcasing their faces all over social media, bragging they work for Glamsquad, you never know who is watching or picking up the phone to come to summon you to their home. Be smart.
>>Beauty Schools Are A Big Part of the Problem
If you are currently in makeup school, if you think for one minute this is your path to riches, you need to ask yourself where it is you want to end up in the industry. They sell the dream to young millennials that there is fame and fortune in the makeup industry.
Is there? Sure. But beauty apps aren’t it. How can you “get rich” when you run all over town for $30?
If you are looking to be successful, you will be better served to work at a cosmetic counter with more hours and health benefits. You will make more money and learn better communication skills and how to work with the general public.
The sad reality is, most new makeup artists don’t know that to be successful, you MUST have a sense of business skills. After beauty school, take some business classes or webinars from seasoned pros who are in the industry.
Cheap Causes Cheap
I want to end here because I think this must be said. One of the biggest irony in this entire mess is this: Cheap causes cheap.
The American public has become a nation of “cheap”. Groupon did it to the spa and salon industry and now Glamsquad and beauty apps are destroying the on location beauty industry.
Too many people want “cheap” but when it comes to being an independent freelance beauty contractor, you expect to be paid prime. This has become the American way. You can’t have it both ways. And there lies the rub.
The Good News:
The good news in all of this is, eventually these types of beauty apps will cannibalize each other. They are popping up everyday and trying to dominate at every turn. Bad news is that they will have destroyed the entire industry by the time they done using the current business model.
The best news is that only the really good artists will survive. Hopefully once this is all over we can bring back the integrity of greatness to our beloved industry. But the rules of engagement are changing and it's time to keep up.
Here are some great tips to be sure you are successful without the help of Glamsquad:
Network and build relationships with everyone you meet.
Do great work.
Be helpful to your client.
Be active on social media.
Stay on Top of your Education in beauty AND business.
Return phone calls and emails in a timely manner.
Promote your business every chance you get.
Show up to your jobs and on time.
Don’t take low paying jobs out of desperation.
Figure out what you need to charge to earn a living.
(Need help? Download How To Set Your Rates Here)
I love my industry. I love my readers. I want to empower you with unbiased info that keeps you successful.
If beauty apps don’t have a workforce, how will they survive?
Let’s take back our industry. Let’s raise the bar. Let’s empower each other. We can do good work and not become an industry of low wage workers.
Will you stand with the rest of us?
Peace and good fortune,