As a makeup artist I’ve worked with my fair share of wedding parties, and one thing I can tell you as a key piece of advice is that you want to make sure you cover all of your bases and ask as many questions as possible. This is a sure way to avoid miscommunication and conflict when it’s time to pay for your services.
It’s also important to remember that makeup, hair and your dress are probably the most important components of your wedding day in terms of bringing your vision to life. You want to look and feel your best and most beautiful, so keep that in mind when trying to negotiate pricing. Most makeup artists are a little flexible and can try to work with your budget; however, tread lightly. It’s one thing to negotiate a fair price and another to completely low ball. If you would like to understand your makeup artist’s pricing, simply ask them to break it down for you. This way they can show you where the money is going, and make you more comfortable knowing you’re not getting ripped off.
Here are some great questions to help you find your perfect makeup artist:
Do you have a group rate?
This is a good question especially if you know you’re going to have more than three people in your party that will need their makeup done. Most makeup artists are pretty good with negotiating a lower rate per person if your party is over three or four people. If you have a very large party like 10 bridesmaids, for instance, then the makeup artist needs to bring on a second artist assistant which may make negotiations a bit tougher since they will need to pay another person as well. Try to be realistic with your expectations. If your artist has many years of experience with glowing reviews, you can expect them to be pricier than an artist who is fresh out of school.
What do you charge for travel?
Most artists do charge a travel fee depending on the distance from the area they typically serve. It’s a good idea to ask about this so you can make a decision to either go with a makeup artist whose work you love but is two hours away versus someone local (and possibly cheaper). Remember the makeup artist needs to travel there and back so travel could bump up your price significantly if your location is far away.
What brand of products do you use?
Usually, most artists will use more than one specific brand but it’s a good idea to ask about this in case you have any sensitive skin issues, or you know your skin doesn’t work well with certain brands or products. Also, an artist that has an entire kit of high-end products is going to cost more than an artist that has a mixed kit. On average, about $60 of every per person rate goes right back into the artist’s kit, referred to in the industry as a “kit fee” this is to replenish the products which are expensive—and a single foundation can eat that $60 right up.
How much time is needed for each person?
This is an important question for timing purposes on the big day. You also want to provide a little buffer room in case there are any last minute changes. Having a little extra time means hiccups won’t cause a complete meltdown and throw the entire schedule off track.
Do you provide a touch-up kit for the bride?
If your makeup artist is not attending the wedding, then you need to ask this question. Keep in mind that typically if an artist is leaving a care package to touch up your makeup throughout the night this will cost extra. The benefit of this is you can easily refresh and make sure you’re camera ready (even after a long night of dancing and eating).
What are your sanitation practices?
If a makeup artist you’re corresponding with can’t answer this question clearly or is hesitant, that’s a red flag. Most makeup artists wash their bushes thoroughly after each appointment, and use brush cleaner in between bridal party members while on location to limit the chances of passing on any bacteria. However, it’s a good idea to let your artist know if you have anything that could be contagious. Brushes touch mouths, noses and eyes so it’s better to alert your artist if you have some kind of contagious condition like a Staph infection. In certain cases an artist may ask to use your own personal brushes, or buy cost effective ones you can keep along with the makeup.