The Ultimate Spending Guide for Your Makeup Salary - QC Makeup Academy

Now that you’re a certified professional makeup artist, you’re probably racking up job offers left, right and center! But more clients may require you to expand your operations to accommodate them. This does not only mean purchasing a storefront to sell your services! You can expand your operations in any number of ways. In fact, simply buying different types of makeup so that you can work on a wider variety of clients can be a great way to expand your services.

But whether your salary is on the higher end of the spectrum or the lower, it’s important to know just what you need to be spending on to grow your business! If you’re not sure how you should be spending your money, read on!

Paying your living costs

First things first: let’s budget away the rent, groceries, entertainment, and other bill payments from your salary! You need to make sure that you’re keeping yourself happy and healthy on the most basic level. A girl’s got to eat!

Building Your Makeup Kit!


makeup kit

As a professional makeup artist, you’ll need to redirect a lot of your salary towards building and expanding your kit! Especially since you’re probably well aware of the turnover rate for makeup products, you may be replenishing your kit with some products sooner than others. Anticipate shelling out around $2,000 each year to replenish your makeup stores!

If you’re a recent graduate from QC Makeup Academy, chances are that your bonus makeup kit is still good to use! It’s carried you all through your makeup artistry certification training, so why leave your trusty kit behind when embarking on a new adventure?

But you’ll need more than just our standard kit when you’re a working professional. Check out this article we wrote on the types of makeup products you will need to build a well-rounded makeup kit! Your kit will probably be a mix of high-end and drugstore makeup as higher-end brands aren’t cheap, and a kit made solely of pricy brands will take years to build. Remember that some drugstore products can work just as well as their high-end counterparts without the hefty price tag.

Here’s a brief list of drugstore makeup that’s better than the big-name brands. They usually have the same formulations and work virtually identically!

  • Mascara
  • Blushes
  • Lip gloss
  • Kohl eyeliners
  • Lip balms
  • Brow pencil

drugstore lipstick for makeup kit - where to spend makeup salary

Other drugstore products are hit-and-miss in terms of pigmentation and lasting time. Pigments are usually ground finer and there’s usually more pigment packed into designer products. If you find yourself unable to splurge on expensive palettes and shadows, having at least a solid primer will make everything look smoother, brighter, and last longer! Here’s a list of products that are worth splurging for:

  • Eyeshadow primer
  • Lipstick
  • Face primer
  • Face powder
  • Eyeshadows

The ultimate beauty hack? Buying palettes that do triple duty! The Make Up Forever Flash Palette can be used to mix unique shades for the eyes, lips, and cheeks. Check it out here.

Business overhead

You’ll see a high spike in business-related expenditure when first starting. Building websites from the ground up or extensively promoting yourself to build a client list can cost you a pretty penny. But once your website is up and running, and your client list starts to grow via word-of-mouth, the costs can be kept quite stable!

makeup artist travelling

Especially if you are doing television and film makeup or bridal makeup, you’ll be traveling all the time to meet your clients. If you’re paying for a vehicle, insurance and gas money can be factored into your cost—these are business related expenses if you have to travel outside your working area for a client.

Remember that lots of professional makeup artists do factor in a mileage fee, around $0.50 a mile to go outside their normal working zones.

Some makeup artists think that just having a social media presence is enough to build a brand. While social media is a really great resource to allow you to connect with other businesses and individuals who may be in need of your services, you do need a business website page with your full profile and details about your services—this is something social media websites do not focus on!

Even when you are just starting out, you need to make sure that your website has a standalone domain name to present yourself in the most professional light. As you get more and more clients, your website will need to be upgraded to reflect the kind of clientele you wish to attract! WordPress has business website templates for you to use that cost just $30 a month to maintain. If you decide a custom website is necessary, you’ll want to look into hiring a web designer. Their services can run between $3000-$5000 depending on the level of customization and additional features requested.

makeup artist building website

Since we’ve already established how expensive your kit is—especially when you are working for affluent clients who demand use of expensive brands, insuring your kit is definitely a smart idea. Anything can happen to it—maybe your kit gets stolen, or maybe it gets smashed up in transit. Whatever the situation, make sure that having a broken kit doesn’t hold you back from fulfilling any appointments with your clients!

There are different levels of insurance your local insurance company will offer you. Make sure that you select the coverage that’s best for your needs. Keep in mind that some jurisdictions may even require you to purchase insurance, as you are self-employed!

Insurance can be anywhere from $10 a month to $100. Do your research!

Remember, just because you may have a high-paying salary doesn’t mean you should be spending all of it at once! Make sure that your salary covers whatever is necessary for your business first before dropping extra money on bells and whistles!

Running low on makeup? Don’t forget that QC students and graduates get major makeup discounts from select retailers!

Author Celina Feng

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