Is my makeup artist charging too much? Five factors to consider.

Blog post

This is a question that I’ve seen crop up a lot of times on the forums and websites that I visit and one that can’t really be answered in a few words. I thought I’d write a short post to highlight some of the reasons why makeup artists like myself charge what we do and what you can expect to receive on your makeover session. So, here are five popular factors in pricing and why they matter so much.

1. Expertise

Today, it’s not always necessary to have qualifications to become a recognised makeup artist. Some of the most amazing artists who work on the biggest catwalk shows are self-taught, and they do an absolutely wonderful job of making the models look truly fabulous. I am one of the makeup artists however, who has had formal training and forked out quite a handsome amount of money and time to perfect my skills. Expertise is something that takes time and effort to acquire and is a big factor in pricing. For example, a newly qualified makeup artist without an extensive kit or knowledge wouldn’t charge as much as somebody like Charlotte Tilbury who has absolutely years of experience and expertise. Most makeup artists are constantly attending extra classes and paying for specialist development lessons to extend their skills, in an industry that’s ever-evolving, it’s important to keep up to date. This also contributes to the cost of running a makeup artistry business.

2. Products 

This is another massive factor – if your artist is using products from the local supermarket to make over their clients, they obviously aren’t going to charge as much as they would if they were using products from Dior or Bobbi Brown. High end products cost a lot more to buy so each makeover that you undertake obviously costs your makeup artist more to perform. When you consider that the products need to be replenished every so often due to the shelf-life and use, you realise just how much each makeover is actually costing. For any makeup artist, it’s important to ensure that their charges cover their product cost – quality usually comes at a higher cost but the benefits outweigh the negatives massively.

Makeup brushes are also a huge addition to any kit, personally, I can spend anything from £15 to £40 and even upwards just on the one brush. Again, quality brushes last longer and perform better so they’re worth the extra cost. If you consider the amount of clients your makeup artist sees in a week and the wear and tear on their brushes along with deep cleaning each time, it’s easy to understand how costs can creep up.

3. Insurance

Your makeup artist will hopefully be insured. I am a member of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology to which I pay an annual fee. This not only gives me peace of mind, but reassures my clients that I am fully insured, completely professional and that in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, they are more than covered.  As everything these days, insurance costs money, and if your makeup artist isn’t making any money on their makeovers, they won’t be able to pay out for insurance which can be a seriously dangerous pitfall. If you aren’t sure if your makeup artist is insured, ask to see their certificate. If in doubt, don’t make the booking.

4. Travel

Does your makeup artist need to travel to you in order to complete your makeover? If so, then you can expect to pay towards the fuel costs. Not only does this help to fund the actual travel, but this also helps to go towards maintenance on your artists work vehicle that they need in order to be mobile. Having your makeup done from the comfort of your own home is a luxury and often makes the work of a makeup artist harder to complete – our own studios are usually full of natural lighting with plenty of space to work, not to mention that we will often have specialist makeover stools so that our clients sit at the right height to avoid a backbreaking session.

All of these points should be taken into consideration when debating the cost of a mobile makeover.

5. Time and service

Personally, I like to spend as much time with my clients as I think necessary to create their perfect makeup look. This might include chatting about their wedding day theme to come up with a gorgeous palette to complement their day, or discussing their problematic skin and noting the smallest of details down so that I can source additional products that will work in harmony with their skin should I not already have it. It’s about keeping it personal and delivering a first-class service that will not only make my clients feel amazing, but will also make them look amazing and feel confident in their own skin.

If your makeover includes things like lashes, mini-facials or skin consultations, they will cost a little more. Lashes can be expensive for your makeup artist to buy, and if you want the latest offerings from MAC, you have to be prepared to fork out for them just as your artist would have had to in order to stock them in the first place. I don’t believe that you can really put a price on a truly personalised service and that wonderful feeling that you get when you not only look but feel great too – if your makeup artist makes you look and feel like a million dollars, it’s money well spent.

At the end of the day, makeup artists like myself want to provide our clients with a flawless service using the best products that we know will also be kind to your skin. It’s worth remembering that quality usually comes at a price, and that price is worth paying for.


© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.

Beauty. Fashion. Lifestyle.