Why does makeup artistry cost so much?
So, so, so, so many people have asked this question to me, other makeup artists, and other creative professionals. There are several reasons why makeup artists charge their worth. So many reasons that I have made this a 2-part blog post. This first blog will focus on just the artist.
A makeup artist has spent so much time (hundreds, sometimes thousands of hours) honing her (or his) skills. (I will refer to the artist as her, simply because I am writing from my perspective and I am a woman. These points are just as applicable to male makeup artists). She has educated herself to the best of her ability to be the best artist she can be. She has invested her time to attend classes, read books, and even been a mentee of other successful artists. After all of this, she must continually study all that she learned so she doesn’t lose any of her skills.
She has also spent SO much time practicing techniques on herself. Once she has mastered that she practices on friends, family, even past clients so that she is always on trend with her technique.
Before your event she has spent so much time researching the best tools and products for the client. After she has invested in those things, she spends time cleaning and disinfecting her tools. Then, she must have spent time to pack her makeup kit, pack her lighting equipment and then load her car in preparation to come to the client.
On your event day, she is spending time to travel to you and apply your makeup. She might even stay later for additional touch ups.
Almost everything mentioned above comes with a cost. (They say you have to spend money to make money, right?) She has spent her hard-earned money on books, formal education in a class room or with a mentor. She is continuously investing in herself as an artist so that she can help her client shine when it matters most.
She has also invested in her professional kit, but those details are reserved for part 2 of this blog. She has taken the time to understand her kit and have the know-how to know when to use each item and how to use it.
When she is traveling to you, she is investing in dependable transportation. That could be a sound car with a full tank of gas, hailing a cab or riding mass transit for a fee.
Most freelance makeup artist are mobile – meaning they come on-location to provide the makeup service. She is planning ahead so that she can arrive on time (which is actually early) to meet the client that booked her. A good makeup artist will have you sign a contract. That protects you so that she is not a no-show. You can legally hold her to a standard that you both agree on. She is also providing a service. Yes, you can get your makeup done for cheaper at the counter, but when you book a freelance MUA you are able to sit back, in the comfort of your own home/hotel room/set location, and wait for her to arrive.
Novice artists might focus more on getting bodies in her chair and getting her brushes on as many faces as possible (no shade, I’ve been there). But as an artist transitions from novice to seasoned, she begins to provide more of an experience, and charges accordingly. She fosters a trust with her client between the first inquiry and the event date. She can provide suggestions on timing and ideal looks for the client, having confidence in her past experiences. She is confident. She brings a measure of calm to the clients’ special day. She is very prepared and never shows signs of being frazzled. She is focused on the client and not bringing any issues from home or personal with her. She is quick and efficient with her set up and cleaning up of her kit. She takes everything with her, and doesn’t leave trash behind. When she is done beautifying her clients’ the only thing they are left with is peace of mind, a beautiful face and an enjoyable experience.
Being able to have a trusted makeup artist enhance your beauty is an invaluable resource. You will always look good in pictures, feel good in your skin, and have memories that last a lifetime. So, when you inquire of an artist for her services, just remember you are paying for a lot more than makeup. You are paying for her time, talent, investment, and confidence that makes that artist desirable.