by Christina

Ever find yourself in the position where you have a service done (such as a haircut, color, mani/pedi etc) and can't quite figure out what to leave for a tip? Today is a lesson in tipping etiquette my friends! After doing a little research, I've got the lowdown and what's appropriate, what's not, and everything in between:

Hairdresser: 15-20% of the service price. Can get expensive...yes, but that's the standard rate for beauty these days. Luckily for most, a visit to the salon comes every 2-3 months, so it isn't a total bank breaker. Be sure to remember, if you have a separate person washing your hair, it's courteous to leave a few dollars for them as well. I usually hand them a $5 bill and leave the tip for my hairdresser at the front desk. 

Nails: This can vary due to what type of mani/pedi you are getting. Basic? Tip 15%. If you are getting a design, or having fake nails put on, I would hand them a few more extra dollars due to the extra work. If you have two separate people working on you, be sure to split the tip. I've witnessed many times one worker taking the total tip for herself. Be sure to walk it over to each separately, and give your thanks.

Wax: Again, 15-20%. Though, I tend to base this one on how much I am getting, um...removed. If it's been a while since my last bikini wax, it's safe to say I am going to give a few extra bucks for the extra product needed to get the job done. When your checking out, always look for an envelope to leave the money. My place does not have them, so I hand it to my girl as soon as we've finished the service.

Spa: If you plan to tip 15-20%, like hair, this can get pretty pricey depending on the amount of services ( look into getting a monthly membership, it's cheaper than paying for all those services separately!) Getting the works done...massage, facial etc? Be sure to tip for each service. Spa's almost always have small envelopes you can leave your cash in up at the front desk.

Makeup: If you head to the mall, Most makeup counters do not allow their artists to receive cash tips. When I worked at MAC, many times I would receive a treat from the food court (hello Cinnabon!) a gift card, or a friendly note showing gratitude that was left in the hands of my manager instead. Getting your makeup professionally done? Be sure to leave them at least 15%. Though they may be charging you a pretty penny, makeup artists need to replenish their kit, cover gas/parking fee's etc. Once it's all said and done, they may not be banking what you think they are. A tip helps cover the costs, along with showing gratitude for the service provided.

A few more things to remember:

Always have cash on you. After working in this industry for a while, I will tell you...almost always cash is preferred. If however you only have your card on you, don't sweat it, most places accept credit cards. 

At the end of the day, the amount you tip always depends on you and your own judgement. Never not tip just because the person had an attitude or you simply did not enjoy the service. If you have encountered bad customer service, ask to speak to a manager and dish about your experience. It is unfair to leave the person nothing. For most, that's a large portion of their income. You could have caught them on an "off" day or so on. If by chance you come across another poor experience at the same place, at that point consider it a major red flag and take your business elsewhere.

If you have had an excellent experience, be sure to not only tip them well, but let the manager know. Many places pride themselves on customer service, have contests for staff members or an incentive program. No manager on site? Leave a comment on Yelp.com for them to spot later. It gives you good karma, and makes for one happy employee!