Is hiring a makeup artist worth it?
Well, picture this… You’re all dolled up for your friend’s wedding, and as you take a step back to admire your handiwork in the mirror, you realize that something doesn’t look quite right. Your eyes are puffy, your lipstick is smudged, and your blush is streaky.
It’s time for a wardrobe change – but not before you put on some concealer to cover up those dark circles!
If this sounds like a familiar story, then you know firsthand how important it is to have a good makeup artist on-hand. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about hiring a makeup artist – from the benefits they offer to the key information you should gather before booking with anyone.
So, let’s jump in!
First Thing’s First: What Is a Makeup Artist?
A makeup artist is a professional who uses their creative talents to apply cosmetics and enhance an individual’s appearance. They have the ability to completely transform a person’s look with the stroke of a brush, and they often work in the fashion, film, television, and theater industries.
Makeup artists typically use a wide range of products, including:
- Eye shadow
- Lip gloss
- Fake eyelashes
- And more!
What’s more, they may also use special-effect makeup to create certain looks or bruises.
What Does a Makeup Artist Do?
In terms of job duties and responsibilities, makeup artists typically:
- Meet with clients to discuss their specific needs and wants
- Create a custom makeup look that meets the client’s individual needs
- Apply the makeup using a variety of techniques
- Touch-up the makeup throughout the day or evening as needed
- Remove the makeup at the end of the event or shoot
Furthermore, many MUAs work as freelancers and/or run their own business. As such, they are also responsible for:
Hiring a Makeup Artist: Know The Different Types
There are six main types of makeup artists:
- Beauty makeup artists
- Theatrical and performance makeup artists
- Airbrush makeup artists
- Makeup artists for TV and film
- Special FX makeup artists
- Celebrity makeup artists
Let’s take a closer look at each one, shall we?
Beauty Makeup Artists
Beauty makeup artists typically work in the cosmetics industry. They may be employed by a cosmetics company, department store, or salon. Alternately, they may freelance and/or run their own business. Either way, their job is to apply makeup. They may also teach people how to properly use cosmetics as well.
Bridal makeup artists are a particularly popular type of beauty makeup artist. As the name suggests, they specialize in doing makeup for brides (as well as, potentially, bridesmaids and family members) on their big day.
Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists
Theatrical and performance makeup artists are responsible for applying makeup to actors, dancers, and other performers. They often work in live theater or film and television productions.
Airbrush Makeup Artists
Airbrush makeup artists use an airbrush gun to apply a thin layer of makeup. This type of makeup is often used in weddings, proms, and other special events. It can also be used in the film and television industry.
Interested in airbrush makeup? QC Makeup Academy also offers a self-paced, online Airbrush Makeup Workshop, too. We’ll even provide you with your very own airbrush kit as part of the course – absolutely free!
Makeup Artists for TV and Film
Speaking of the film and television industry, makeup artists who work in this field are responsible for creating makeup looks for actors, actresses, and other on-screen talent. This may include special effects makeup as well.
Special FX Makeup Artists
And then we have special FX MUAs. These professionals are responsible for creating realistic (or even unreal!) effects using makeup. This might include wounds, bruises, scars, aging, etc. Special FX makeup artists often work in the film and television industry as well.
Interested in special effects makeup? You guessed it – you can also get professionally trained and certified in this niche with QC Makeup Academy! Check out our self-paced, online Special FX Makeup Course to see how you can become an International Special FX Makeup Professional (ISMP) in just 2 months!
Celebrity Makeup Artists
Last but not least, we have celebrity makeup artists. As the name suggests, these professionals work with celebrities to help them create red carpet-ready looks. They may also work with models, athletes, and other high-profile individuals.
Should YOU Hire a Makeup Artist?
There are countless scenarios in which hiring a makeup artist can help save the day! For instance, maybe you’re getting married and want to look your absolute best for the big day. Or, perhaps you’ve been invited to a gala or black-tie event and need some help creating a glamorous look.
Other times, you might just need a little pick-me-up after a long week. Hiring a makeup artist for a makeup lesson can teach you techniques to help you feel more confident in your everyday makeup routine.
Additionally, if you have a big job interview or presentation coming up, having your makeup professionally done can help boost your confidence – not to mention make the right impression on your potential employer or client.
In short, there are lots of reasons why someone might seek out the services of a makeup artist. And there’s no shame in it! Hiring a professional to help you look and feel your best is a smart investment.
Benefits of Hiring a Makeup Artist
There are many benefits of hiring a makeup artist, whether you’re getting ready for a special event or you just want to feel more confident in your everyday makeup routine.
For one, a professional makeup artist can help you create a look that’s tailored specifically for you. They’ll take into account your unique features, skin type, and personal style to create a look that flatters you and makes you feel your best.
Additionally, makeup artists have access to the latest products, trends, and techniques. They know which products work best for different skin types and can help you find the right foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, etc. to suit your needs.
And lastly, a makeup artist can save you time and hassle. They’ll do all the hard work for you so that you can sit back and relax while they transform you into a glam goddess!
How Much Do Makeup Artists Cost?
Now that we’ve discussed some of the reasons why you might want to hire a makeup artist, let’s talk about how much it might cost.
The average cost of hiring a makeup artist varies depending on a number of factors, including:
- Their location
- Their experience of the makeup artist
- The length of time needed
- The type(s) of service(s) you’re requesting
Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$200+ for professional makeup services. According to Thumbtack, for example, the current national average cost for an MUA in the United States is between $120 and $170 USD.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for.
If you’re looking for a top-notch makeup artist to help you create a stunning look for your wedding day, you can expect to pay on the higher end of the spectrum. However, if you just need a little help with your everyday makeup routine, you may be able to find someone who charges on the lower end.
It’s also worth noting that many makeup artists offer discounts for groups, so if you’re getting your makeup done with a friend or family member, you may be able to save some money!
What’s Included In The Cost?
When hiring a makeup artist, you’re not simply paying for them to apply makeup in a one-and-done situation. Instead, you’re paying for their time, expertise, and access to high-quality products.
Typically, the cost of hiring a makeup artist includes:
- A consultation: This is where you’ll discuss your desired look, skin type, etc. with the makeup artist. They’ll use this information to create a custom look for you.
- A makeup trial: This is an optional service, but it’s a good idea if you’re hiring a makeup artist for your wedding day or another major event. During a trial run, the makeup artist will do your makeup exactly as they would on the day of the event. That way, you can see how you like the finished product and make any necessary adjustments.
- The actual makeup application: This is the time when the magic happens! The makeup artist will use their skills and expertise to transform you into a glam queen.
- A touch-up: Once the initial makeup application is complete, the makeup artist will usually do a quick touch-up to ensure that everything looks perfect.
What You Should Know Hiring a Makeup Artist: Key Questions To Ask
Before The Consultation
If you’re thinking about hiring a makeup artist, there are a few key questions you should ask before making your decision and scheduling a consultation. These include:
- “How professional is their website?” A professional website is a good indication that the makeup artist is serious about their work and takes pride in their business. It also shows that they’re willing to invest in their career.
- “What is their education and/or experience?” It’s important to hire a makeup artist who has plenty of experience. If they also have some sort of professional training/certification, this is also a great indication that this MUA is the real deal… And will be worth your time and money!
- “What are their rates?” As we mentioned before, the average cost of hiring a makeup artist ranges from $50-$200+. However, it’s important to get an idea of the MUA’s specific rates before booking anything. That way, there are no surprises later on.
- “What’s their portfolio like?” Seeing a makeup artist’s previous work is critical! After all, this will give you a good idea of their style and whether or not they’re a good fit for you.
- “Do they currently have any discounts?” Many makeup artists offer discounts for groups, so if you’re getting your makeup done with a friend or family member, you may be able to save some money.
- “Are they on social media?” Social media is a great way to see what kind of work a makeup artist does on a day-to-day basis. It’s also a good way to get an idea of their personality and see if you’ll be a good fit.
- “What do their reviews say?” Checking out online reviews is always a good idea before hiring any type of professional. That way, you can see what other people’s experiences have been like and get an idea of what to expect.
During The Consultation
Once you’ve found a makeup artist whose work you like and who you feel you can trust, it’s time to schedule a consultation. This is where you’ll discuss your desired look, skin type, etc. with the makeup artist. They’ll use this information to create a custom look for you.
Some things you should ask during the consultation include:
- “Do you offer trials?” As we discussed earlier, trials are a great way to see how the makeup artist’s work will look on you in person. Not all makeup artists offer trials, but it’s worth asking if they do.
- “What’s included in your rates?” When hiring a makeup artist, you’re not just paying for them to apply makeup. You’re also paying for their time, travel expenses, etc. So, it’s important to know what’s included in their rates.
- “What products do you use?” Make sure to ask about the products the makeup artist uses. That way, you can avoid any potential allergies or skin reactions.
- “Are you available on the day and time that I’ll need you?” This is critical! Make sure to ask about the makeup artist’s availability before booking anything.
- “Can you do my makeup on site?” If you’re getting your makeup done for a special event, you’ll want to make sure that the makeup artist can do your makeup on site. Otherwise, you’ll have to travel to them, which can be inconvenient.
- “What is your cancellation policy?” Life happens, and sometimes things come up that we can’t control. So, it’s important to know the makeup artist’s cancellation policy in case you need to cancel or reschedule.
- “Can I take a look at your contract?” Always, always, always read over the contract before signing anything! This will help you avoid any misunderstandings or surprises later on.
- “Do you have insurance?” Hiring a makeup artist who is insured is always a good idea. That way, if anything goes wrong, you’ll be covered. If you discover that the MUA does not have any insurance, this should be considered a red flag.
- “What makeup look would you suggest for me?” Although you may come prepared with some inspiration/reference photos, it’s always a good idea to get the makeup artist’s professional opinion. After all, they’re the experts!
- “Do you have any questions for me?” This is an important one! Make sure to ask if the makeup artist has any questions for you. This will help them understand your vision and create a look that you love. And if they don’t have any questions for you, just know that that’s a bad sign.
How To Pick a Makeup Artist: Breaking Down The Process
Now that you know what to ask and what to look for, it’s time to start the process of finding a makeup artist. Here’s how to do it:
1. Know what you need!
The first step in finding a makeup artist is knowing what you need. Are you looking for someone to do your makeup for your wedding? Or do you just need a makeup lesson? Once you know what you need, you can start the process of finding a makeup artist who can provide that service.
2. Set a budget!
Before you start reaching out to makeup artists, it’s important to set a budget. Makeup artists typically charge by the hour, so you’ll need to know how much you’re willing to spend. That way, you can avoid any sticker shock later on.
3. Do your research!
Use Google, social media, etc. to find makeup artists in your area. Once you’ve found a few MUAs that you like, check out their websites and social media pages to get a better idea of their work.
4. Make a list of your top 3-5 choices!
After you’ve done your research, it’s time to make a list of your top 3-5 choices. Once you have your list, you can start reaching out to the makeup artists to set up consultations.
5. Set up the consultations!
This is where you’ll get to meet the makeup artists in person and see their work up close. During the consultation, be sure to ask all of the questions that we listed above. And when you’re done, you should have a good idea of which makeup artist is the right fit for you.
How To Pick a Makeup Artist: Red Flags To Avoid
Now that you know how to find a makeup artist, it’s time to talk about some red flags to avoid. Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Makeup artists who are underinsured or uninsured. As we mentioned earlier, it’s always a good idea to hire a makeup artist who is insured. That way, if anything goes wrong, you’ll be covered.
- Makeup artists who refuse to sign a contract. A contract is important because it protects both you and the makeup artist. So, if a makeup artist refuses to sign a contract, that’s a major red flag because it shows that they’re not professional.
- Makeup artists who are late to the consultation. This is just unprofessional and shows a lack of respect for your time.
- Makeup artists who are inexperienced or untrained. Hiring an inexperienced and/or untrained makeup artist is definitely a gamble. And while you may get lucky, it’s probably not worth the risk.
- Makeup artists who have little to no online presence. In today’s day and age, it’s important for businesses to have an online presence. So, if a makeup artist doesn’t have a legitimate website or social media page, that’s a major red flag!
- Makeup artists who have more bad reviews than good ones. When you’re looking at reviews, it’s important to take the bad with the good. But if a makeup artist has more bad reviews than good ones, that’s definitely something to be aware of.
- Makeup artists who are self-taught through YouTube videos. Watching YouTube videos does not make someone a professional makeup artist – FULL STOP! Hiring a self-taught makeup artist is a huge risk because they likely have no formal training. Instead, they’ve only learned the style of “social media makeup”, rather than actually learning the core techniques that’ll allow them to do ANY style of makeup.
So, Is Hiring a Makeup Artist Worth It?
Now that we’ve gone over everything you need to know about hiring a makeup artist, it’s time to answer the big question: is hiring a makeup artist worth it?
The short answer is: yes, hiring a makeup artist is definitely worth it! Here’s why:
- A professional makeup artist has the experience and training to do your makeup exactly the way you want it!
- Professional makeup artists will save you time and hassle!
- A professional makeup artist comes with a kit full of high-quality products – products that you likely don’t have access to!
- Professional makeup artists can give you advice on what colors and styles will look best on you!
- Hiring a makeup artist is a great way to pamper yourself and feel your best on a special day!
How To Become a Makeup Artist Yourself
If by now, you’re thinking to yourself, “Hey, that sounds like an awesome career… I want to do that!” – then great news, because you can ABSOLUTELY make this happen.
What’s more, with the help of QC Makeup Academy, you can make it happen in as little as 2 short months!
With QC’s self-paced, online makeup certification training, you’ll gain all the skills you need to take the beauty industry by storm – all while learning right from the comfort of home, on your preferred schedule!
Starting from the date you first enroll, you’ll be given two full years to finish your program. However, since there are no deadlines or due dates, you get to choose how much or how little of those two years you’ll actually need. For reference, many of our grads found that they could complete their training and earn their internationally-recognized certification in approx. 2-6 months… All by dedicating a mere 1-2 hours of their week to their studies!
Helpful Resources To Bookmark
From there, we recommend bookmarking the following resources to help you on your journey:
- How To Become a Makeup Artist: The Ultimate Guide
- A Day In The Life Of a Makeup Artist
- How To Choose The Best Online Makeup School
- 15 Best Tips To Market Your Makeup Business
- How To Brand Your Makeup Business
- How To Find a Niche For Your Makeup Business
- The Basic Skills EVERY Makeup Artist Should Know
- How To Boost Revenue For Your Makeup Business
- How To Build a Makeup Artistry Portfolio
- The Pros and Cons Of Working As a Makeup Artist
- 15 Tips To Grow Your Makeup Business
- The Most Profitable Services To Offer As a Makeup Artist
- How To Get Clients As a Makeup Artist
- How Much Should You Charge For Your Makeup Artistry Services?
Wrapping It Up
We hope this article has helped to give you a better understanding of what’s involved in hiring a makeup artist, as well as whether or not it’s worth it for you.
Remember, if you’re thinking of becoming a professional makeup artist yourself, then QC Makeup Academy can help make your dream a reality! With our world-renowned, online makeup courses, you’ll be able to study right from home and graduate in as little as 2-6 months!
Have any questions? Feel free to reach out in the comments below and we’ll answer them as best we can. Alternatively, our Support Team is available 7 days a week (between 9am and 5pm EST) and are always happy to chat. Don’t hesitate to contact them by email, phone, or live chat.
Thanks for reading! 💕