Updated: Mar 7
This is something a lot of people question and don't quite understand, why is it that I charge a certain amount for occasion makeup and for bridal I charge more?
I wanted to write this blog to explain to brides to be who are trying to budget for their wedding to help them understand the process behind how Makeup Artists decide their prices for bridal.
Here are some factors that effect Makeup Artists Prices.
1. Experience and qualifications.
Some makeup artists are self taught, whereas others have paid to do courses to learn or refresh their skills and this can often effect their pricing. Some courses cost hundreds to even thousands and tens of thousands of pounds depending on the course. The more experienced and qualified your Makeup Artist the more they will have to charge to accommodate for this.
2. Quality of the kit
Some makeup artists may use predominantly drugstore products whereas others prefer to use higher end brands to get better results, a good makeup artists kit costs thousands and will need to be replenished frequently.
I will always research and try out products until I find the best products for the desired result, my kit is expensive and it has taken me a lot of time and money to build it. I prefer to use higher end brands as I find the colours and finish more flattering as well as the products lasting better. I also spend hundreds each month replenishing things for it as well as getting the latest products to keep up to date with trends.
3. Makeup Artists Demand
One of the key factors in me deciding my pricing is working out how much business I will have to turn away to do a wedding, if I am leaving my studio I am unable to do clients when I am usually fully booked meaning I will lose money unless I charge accordingly. Makeup artists who aren't as busy may be able to charge less because their skills are not in as high demand. I can easily turn away 8+ clients to do your wedding and possibly more if I am required to stay overnight for it.
Furthermore the cost also takes into account demand, if your make up artist is in demand and will be turning away many other brides for your date. Many makeup artists would not be able to do more than one wedding a day so their price will reflect how in demand their services are and you will be required to pay an upfront booking fee/deposit to secure your date due to the fact they will be turning other bookings away for your date.
If there is a makeup artist whose work you love, why would you compromise this because they are in high demand, if anything this shows how good they are. A sign of a good makeup artist is them having repeat makeup clients meaning they will be busier.
Like all things in life you get what you pay for, some less professional artists may cancel your wedding to do a larger party because they want to make more profit rather than honour your earlier commitment, leaving you without an artist with little time to find someone else.
4. The time spent corresponding with the bride
I will email the bride a quote and correspond via email with the bride to organise trials, work out timings and secure payments more than I would with a normal client. This is necessary to make the bride feel at ease on the day. I actually have had to outsource an admin team to keep up with my demand for bridal quotes and bookings and this is something I have to account for in my pricing.
5. The time spent packing, unpacking and cleaning their kit
The day before a wedding I usually end up spending my entire evening off cleaning my kit and packing it for the wedding, assessing which products to take using notes from the trial and making sure nothing is missing.This can easily take 45 minutes to an hour and means that any social plans have to be put on hold.
6. The time spent travelling and the petrol cost
The bridal makeup prices will always include a petrol cost allow for the time it will take me to travel to and from the venue as well as setting up times and allowing for traffic. Most mobile artists may charge more than any makeup artist in a studio and this is for the same reason, they will miss out on one or two clients a day because of the time they spend getting to and from clients houses.
7. Makeup Artist Costs
Not only do I have to pay a lot for my kit but I also have to pay for Insurance, Website, Accountants fees and Quickbooks to help me do my book keeping. This is how we pay our bills and make a living so all of these costs must be taken into consideration or we could easily make no profit at all.
Cheaper or less professional Artists may not be insured which is often found out too late when something goes wrong.
8. Assistants Fees
Most weddings will require your artist to bring an assistant, this is depending on the size of your party or the time you need to be ready by. I like to use an assistant I trust to do the members of the bridal party I don't have time for.
This means she brings her own kit and is paid per person that she does or per hour depending on how your makeup artist decides to do it, but quite often you are not only paying your makeup artist but you are also paying her to find someone she trusts to do the same level of makeup that she is capable of and organise bringing her to the wedding as well as paying her.
9. More than just your Makeup Artist
As well as being your makeup artist we are also there to help keep everyone calm, when we arrive we will find the perfect lighting to do your makeup in and often this can be difficult so I will bring my own lighting source sometimes, these can also cost hundreds of pounds as well as a makeup chair as often venues only have small chairs not suitable for makeup application. I will also take beautiful photos of your makeup on my camera incase the photographer doesn't get any that focus on the makeup, these photos may be something you cherish just as much as the professional ones.
10. Social Media Marketing
Along with all of these factors I spend a lot of my free time promoting my services, keeping my website and social media up to date to help brides to be find my work and feel confident that I am the right artist for them. This may not cost me in money but it does cost me a lot of my time making sure you are able to find me easily through my social media or website.
Another question I am asked is "Why does the bride cost more?"
Often makeup artists will factor most of these charges into the brides cost, this is because occasionally brides decide not to pay for the bridesmaids makeup therefore expecting them to cover their own makeup costing.
As it is more of a bespoke service for the bride they expect to pay more as every detail of the bride and bridal parties makeup is discussed with the bride until everything is perfected, a bride is the main attraction of the day and needs to feel extra special.
With every bride I am there until they are in their dress is on and ready on hand for any last minute touch ups before she heads down the isle. I absolutely love being part of weddings and being able to make women feel extra special on their big day. I am so passionate about what I do and I wont finish the bride until I have perfected every last detail, I hope this has helped you understand why it is worth every penny to get someone you trust for your wedding day.
Holly Rose Photography