Getting certified as a makeup artist takes a lot of hard work and practice, so when will you see your income reflecting the amount of effort you’ve already put in?
There’s a few rules to follow when pricing your makeup artistry services, but none of them are black and white. These guidelines differ for every makeup artist, depending on your area of expertise, location, and much more. But one thing is for sure: you need to know the right amount to charge!
Follow along as we lay out best practices for pricing your makeup services – your income will grow once you start charging the right amount for your makeup jobs!
Wedding Makeup Artistry
Let’s start with one of the big-ticket items on any makeup artist’s list of services: bridal makeup. Every bride gets their makeup done on the big day, and so do their bridesmaids, family, and sometimes even their friends. So how much can you charge as a bridal makeup artist without pricing yourself out of the park?
The most important thing to remember for your makeup business is finding the middle ground. You need to strike a balance between what your work is worth, and what your local rates are. As an emerging makeup artist, you should not be charging the same amount as another artist who has 15 years’ experience! But we trust you already know that.
For example, if the average rate for bridal makeup in your area is $80.00 per application, you should stay within about $10-$15 of that price. You are qualified, and your prices should reflect your education! And remember, the bride’s makeup should (almost) always cost the most. Unless her bridesmaids are paying you for hair styling as well, the bride is the main focus! Makeup for other people in the wedding party comes second, and should be priced a tad lower than a bridal application.
As a makeup artist who specializes in bridal makeup, you can charge the average rate OR a bit more – depending on your level of experience. A word of warning: make sure you market your business and get the word out before raising your prices. No one wants to overpay for a makeup artist they’ve never heard of!
Special Occasion Makeup Artistry
Like bridal, special occasion makeup prices take on the same structure – charge within range of the average makeup artist in your area. It’s important to remember that “special occasion” can mean a lot of different things, from prom to corporate parties, so the consultation will play a big part in whether a client pays more or less.
Of course, we recommend sticking to your regular pricing structure to avoid confusion (and keep your income steady), but if a girl wants to look extra glam for her prom then you should be paid accordingly.
Special occasion and glam makeup are generally priced between $50-$70, give or take. Now, if you’ve spent a few years mastering the art of prom makeup, feel free to charge a bit more! The great thing about running a makeup business is that you can always raise your prices if you notice you’re either a) not getting enough clients, or b) not able to pay the bills!
Regular Makeup Artistry
Some days, a girl just needs to treat herself to gorgeous makeup. This is where you come in – especially if you’re working a makeup counter job or as a salon makeup artist! People come in every day wanting to feel a bit more special than usual, or they want their makeup done to accompany a new hair style. Either way, you can make bank by booking these clients.
You can also market your makeup services as “casual” or “every day” so people know you’re willing to do smaller applications. These are great for subsidizing a work day where you only get one appointment. Plus, if you do a good job and make a friendly impression, that client is guaranteed to call you back for another casual application!
Performance Makeup Artistry
It’s likely that you’ll get called to do makeup for a show, whether it’s from a theater company or a small town singer. This is why your makeup course should cover theatrical and film makeup, since there are more factors to consider compared to regular makeup. You never know, you might end up signing a contract with a local star or production company!
So how much should you be paid for these makeup jobs? Again, it depends. If you’re working on a few actors for a play, you should be paid hourly x amount of faces. If you’re meeting a singer at the venue and applying her makeup before the show, your rate should be application x travel time.
With performance and set jobs, your pricing structure will have to be easily adapted to the task at hand. Keep this in mind when you’re setting your regular makeup prices! Having an hourly rate set out before you land these jobs will help you in negotiating payment.
The Key Takeaways
No makeup artist should ever sit with the same prices for more than a few years. Each time you apply makeup on a client, you’re gaining experience and adding to your portfolio. There’s no reason why you can’t earn over $100.00 per bridal application after a few appointments.
We’d just like to point out that pricing lower to start is probably the best route to take for your business. It’s better to raise your makeup prices as quality and experience grow, rather than lower them because you’re not booking any clients! Plus, you’ll need to make room to add a few extra dollars to your prices to cover travel expenses for each job.
Do your research – look at what your competitors are charging, and look at how your skills compare to what’s available in your area. If you’re the only makeup artist around who knows how to use an airbrush makeup machine, feel free to set the standard!