What Can You Expense as a Freelancer? The Beauty Artist Edition 💋

By Lili • Mar 7, 2021

You make people look gorgeous. You curl hair, you draw cat eyes, you find the perfect pants to flaunt your client’s assets. You see beauty in everything, and you have some of the most glamorous jobs out there – or at least that’s what we think! We want to be like you, so we’re here to help you find glamour in tax preparation – yes, you read that right, we believe there’s something sexy about saving money because you know what you can deduct from your taxable income! (Lili is available on iOS and Android)


  • Hair dryer
  • Mirror
  • Razor
  • Skin cleansing device
  • Digital camera…

The appliances you buy to make your clients look their best or promote your talent should be deducted from your income.


  • Blush
  • Lipsticks
  • Brushes
  • Foundations
  • Hair gel…

These are the raw materials of your business. Everything that you apply on your models is deductible.

Computer Software and Hardware

  • Phone, computer, tablet, smartpad, digital pen, printer, mouse, keyboard…
  • Subscription to software (Adobe Creative, Microsoft…),
  • Subscription to services (Google, WordPress…),
  • Cell phone bill and data usage,

Everything and anything you use for your business when your screens are on.

Online Presence

  • Domain registration,
  • Social Ads,
  • Website hosting,
  • Themes and plugins for your online portfolio,
  • Fonts and stock visuals…

Everything you spend to market yourself online is part of your business expense.

Office Expenses

  • Pens and Pencils,
  • Paper,
  • Envelopes,
  • Sketch pads,
  • Staplers…

If you still do things the old way, all your office supplies are still tax-deductible.

Home Studio

If you use a part of your home exclusively for your beauty business, you can deduct the percentage of that space on your rent and/or mortgage. Note that the IRS also offers a simplified option for this: $5 per square ft, capped at 300sq/ft

  • Desk, furniture and decor,
  • Portion of your utility bills (water, electricity, internet)
  • Portion of your property/renter’s insurance…

Client Meetings

If you meet clients or models face-to-face, 50% of the cost of the food and drinks on the table between you is tax-deductible.


No matter the vehicle you used to meet that client or go to that shoot location, whatever you spent on that vehicle or to make that vehicle move is a work expense: train or plane tickets, gas, van or truck purchases… If you use your own car, track your mileage and check how much you can deduct per mile for the current year.

Classes and Training

Did you take a class to learn a new skill to be more efficient or expand your offerings? These expenses are tax-deductible.

Subscriptions and dues

  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Business bank & credit card fees
  • Agent/manager commissions
  • Magazine subscriptions,
  • Streaming service subscription …

Whatever you spend to keep your business in good standing and stay up to date with entertainment, fashion or music trends is part of your work expenses.

Health Insurance

You gotta be protected and in good health to make art! Some of your health expenses (premiums, a portion of your out-of-pocket expenses…) are tax-deductible EXCEPT if you’re covered under a spouse or a relative’s plan.

Beauty Conference and Festivals

If you participate in a business conference or walk the aisles at a beauty and wellness festival, the cost of your trips (conference pass, tickets, 50% of your meals, hotels) is deductible.

Business Trip

If your photoshoot is more than 100 miles away from your home, the trip counts as a business trip, therefore all the expenses engaged are tax-deductible: hotel nights, 50% of your meals, transportation…

This list isn’t exhaustive. For more details and information, please refer to this IRS article on business expenses.

Click here for the Designers edition.
Click here for the Foodie edition.
Click here for the Social Influencer edition
Click here for the Driver’s edition.
Click here for the Musician edition. 

Written by
Team Lili

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