Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Why do Makeup Artists' services cost so much?


This is a regular theme which keeps rearing it's ugly head - Why do makeup artists charge so much? - It's just make-up right? Actually it's much more than just make-up, it's a service. 

Think about how often you buy makeup and what brands you use. If you buy a foundation you're parting with about £20-£30 for a high end brand. A makeup artist has one in every shade and from many different brands to cater to different clients. Then there's the eye shadow, primers, blusher, mascara, lipstick, concealer, setting powders and sprays, eyeliners, lip liners etc. That would place their kits in the £500-£1000 bracket and all so they can give you a pretty makeover for any occasion.

To be able to apply and clean that makeup we need palettes, brushes, spatulas, cotton buds, disposable mascara wands, cleaning spirits, storage etc. We also need insurance for all of our kit which costs between £30-£100 a year dependent on the size of our kit and where we buy the cover. In order for you to be able to trust us we need to have a qualification from an awarding body like ITEC. A basic course costs between £700-£1500. Naturally there are those who are more talented than others and some people claim to be a makeup artist and pose as such. The problem there is they haven't been properly trained and may not understand the right hygiene practices needed. They also won't have insurance.

On top of all this we give you our time, energy and creative knowledge. 
For example: Your Wedding

A bride wants her big day to be remembered for the rest of her life. She'll look back on that day with pride and remember how beautiful and happy she looked and more importantly felt. She has spent £750 on a made-to-measure bridal gown, £200 on branded shoes and £500 on a photographer. She's booked the stylist and now looking for a makeup artist. She's gets quoted £80 but thinks that's too much as she's already spent so much so trying to haggle a lower quote.

Now I understand that not everyone sees makeup as important. We put it on ourselves everyday so why pay that much for a bridal makeup? Surely the makeup artist has just jacked the price up because the client mentioned wedding! Not true. For that £80 (and that's around the cheap end) the client would receive 2 full makeup applications - the trial and the final look. Between the booking and the day there will be frequent questions, emails, phone calls. We may even have sleepless nights while designing the perfect look to match the clients colour scheme, themed wedding, skin texture, skin conditions, current trends. Every booking can make or break our reputation so we have to take into consideration every fine detail. Your day is important to us. 
We also want to make sure your makeup lasts as long as possible without making you look like you're wearing a mask. I've heard stories of friends doing brides makeup and actually losing the friendship by the end of the day! Why because the mascara smudged or the foundation creased - crazy but it's happened. 
Every wedding has it's budget but don't leave the makeup artist to last and haggle them down. This is frowned upon and she will be highly offended. You clearly liked what you saw on her website or you wouldn't be contacting her. The prices she is quoting have been thought about in great detail and possibly discussed with an accountant. This is to make sure she isn't losing money but offering the best price to her clients. Also if you only budget for a £40 makeup there's no way we can makeup you look you spent £500 sorry. You get what you pay for.

For photographers who need a makeup artist the same above applies. Countless of times I have been contacted to do a collaboration shoot only to turn up and find out his assistant or the model are being paid. Saying sorry our budget didn't extend to a makeup artist or hair stylist but you can have the images doesn't cut it. We won't be recommending you in the future nor working with you again. I have nothing against building a portfolio as long as that's what everyone else is there for. 

We provide you with a professional service which you wouldn't have been able to achieve yourself. You wouldn't expect to jump in a taxi and get from Norwich to London for £5. He'd drive you to the end of the road and kick you out. This is how we make a living. We have rent, bills, petrol and food to buy. We want to be able to put a roof over our heads doing a job we have trained to do and enjoy doing. If we don't charge accordingly we end up in debt and getting a job scrubbing toilets for a living.

Please respect people who are self-employed. This isn't a hobby, we worked hard to be able to provide this service for you. It might be a small part of your big event or photoshoot but it's a part that brings your look together. It's what made you seek them out in the first place.

oX Wendy Xo