There I was tossing and turning in bed, half-awake. It was still dark outside. I did try going back to sleep but I couldn’t: blame the birds, there’s a tree within touching distance of my flat which seems to house the noisiest of Stockwell’s avian population, and I have to remind myself when they wake me up, You’re bloody lucky having this problem, you could live next-door to a crack house or all-night ravers . Anyway, there I was thinking about the week ahead and assessing the week just gone, worrying about this and that. I couldn’t get back to sleep. But that’s the life of a freelancer – never able to properly relax, not even at 6am on a Sunday. Having to deal with me drives the boyf nuts sometimes – actually, it drives him nuts all the time – so, rather than lie there envying him being able to sleep for ten hours solid, I thought, right, why don’t you just get up, write down what’s on your mind, maybe start a blog about what it’s REALLY like being a freelance make-up artist.  Well, only time will tell if this does end up being a blog or just a one-off rant but here goes… Being a freelancer it’s either feast or famine, and this week it’s been feast. I measure how busy my weeks are by how many episodes of Loose Women I watch; last week I only saw it once, on Wednesday, and I won’t see it again until next Friday. So yes, it will have been a bloody good couple of weeks. After next Saturday though, I’ve got nothing booked in until March 7th. I’ve had an enquiry for the week after next but they haven’t got back to me yet. So, THAT is why I was tossing and turning, thinking should I email them, reduce my rates etc. Then, I thought NO, WHY THE BLOODY HELL SHOULD I? Now, this prospective client is an online clothing company whose dresses – nasty prom/bridesmaid things which upset my retinae and would probably give the wearers a rash – retail at between £100 and £300. They enquired how much I’d charge to do make-up and hair, stressing that there would be LOTS of hair changes, oh, and it would be in Romford – which would mean I’d probably have to leave home at 7am and wouldn’t get home until 8pm if not later. I quoted £300, and I haven’t heard a dicky-bird since. Now, if it was a friend who was asking, or a friend of a friend, of course I would quote less, but I don’t know this person from Adam, and they are running a successful business. Surely they can afford £300? It’s just that they obviously don’t WANT to pay £300 as they don’t think I’m worth it.  Well, to this Romford ‘designer’, I have been a hair and make-up artist for twenty-seven years, you get what you pay for, and if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.  I REFUSE to sell myself short anymore; that’s why I REFUSE to work for Amazon’s fashion department that pay £150 per day when they are making MILLIONS. For today, I’m off to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge where I am working this weekend as part of a make-up team doing the wives of BAFTA nominees. I’ll be doing the wife of a guy who worked on ‘The Revenant’ who is up for ‘Best Sound Engineer’. I did her yesterday too, for a BAFTA party at Kensington Palace. We clicked straightaway and she asked if I’d do her again today too. Then tomorrow I’m off at 5.30am to Wales for a three day photo-shoot.  And on Thursday I’m doing a private client who runs a successful skincare blog. They are all lovely people who value what I do. I base my rates on what the job entails and on clients’ financial situation. I’m not greedy, I’m just trying to make a living doing what I do, so to anyone who enquires ‘how much?’ whatever I quote is, as the L’Oreal ads say, ‘BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT.’