Hair and makeup artists, are they worth it?

are hair and makeup artists worth their price

Why a good hair and makeup artist is worth their weight in gold

Why do they charge what they charge? A completely understandable question which I am about to answer.

Today I sent a quote through to a client and I received this response….

“Just wondering how the price is $150?”

A fair question that I’ll try to explain. So, Mobile Make-Overs Australia is in the ‘average’ price range in Adelaide for hair and makeup artist services. I personally have close to 2 decades worth of experience, multiple 5-star reviews, awards and I am a makeup trainer, with many of my competitors being my students. But this is not the first time we’ve been queried on price, or asked to lower my prices.

Although I feel a bit saddened to have to explain this, I thought I’d write a blog to give some honest insight and hopefully allow people to understand that a good price should be fair for both the customer and also the artist doing the work. And a bargain, is only a bargain when the quality is high.

In Adelaide the average cost for hair and makeup packages are between around $140 and $170 per person. Much more, or less than this and I’d be a bit worried. In Sydney this price can range from $200-$300 per person, so we are pretty lucky in Adelaide.

But why this price range?

Firstly, what do hair and makeup artists actually do?

We make people feel great!

Most clients want to hire a hair and makeup artist because…..

  • They have a special occasion and they want to look the part.
  • There will be photos taken and they want to ensure they look amazing in them.
  • They want to look more glamorous than what their own skills can achieve.
  • They want the hair and makeup to last longer than usual.
  • And they don’t want to look white and pasty in their photos.

A great Hair and Makeup artist will have to achieve all of this and more, not just to meet client needs and expectations, but to exceed them. That is value for money.

We are trained to make you feel confident, sexy, stunning and simply amazing, by making you look gorgeous. We are in the game of creating happy people, by using beauty styling.

How do we achieve this?

Professional makeup training

Our first port of call is to get some professional training to understand all the face, eye and lip shapes. To understand different skin tones, colour schemes and the multitude of different makeup designs. And most importantly to master the knowledge of the science between photography and makeup reflection and learning why the choice of products is crucial to ensure the best results.

Good hair and makeup courses range from around $3500 right up to over $12,000!! This is a critical investment for our clients’ benefit.

Professional makeup kits

We also have to make sure our kits are fully equipped with the best, high quality products and tools. Now although professional brands do tend to be cheaper than your commercial department store or supermarket brands, we need to make sure we have everything for every client and every look. This can make our kits cost anywhere from $3000 to $10,000. I wish I was exaggerating on this.

Advertising and Insurance

Then we have to advertise to attract clients to us, otherwise how can you find us. Advertising can cost anywhere from $300 to thousands of dollars every year. The easier you find us, the more we are likely to have paid for it.

Next is making sure we are insured for your protection and ours. Insurance can cost anywhere from $400-$1000 every year.

Makeup studios and transportation

Many of us are mobile and many have studios. Those who are mobile have to make sure our vehicles are as reliable as possible. This entails regular servicing, insurances and road side assistance memberships, not to mention petrol costs. This generally adds up to a few thousand dollars every year. Those who have a studio, have electricity, water, rent, and set up costs. This also adds up to somewhere in the thousands.

Behind the scenes work

I also get the comment “I wish I got paid that for 2 hours work”. A 2 hour client booking can take up to 1-2 hours of unpaid behind the scenes work to get that booking. So once you take off all our expenses, then divide that money by 2 for bookings and business support work, that money can add up to less than the average Australian hourly rate. I can’t stress how much I wish I was exaggerating on this point!!!

Competing with hobbyists

Yes, there are cheaper artists out there and many of them do it as a hobby or for extra income, are new in the industry, or are self-trained makeup enthusiasts. Now this does not make them bad at what they do, but when I get so many phone calls from stressed out clients saying their artist has cancelled at the last minute, or they have hated their trial, or brides needing to do wedding photo re-shoots because their makeup looked terrible in the photos, I have to wonder how seriously some of them take their clients’ needs.

So there are a few costs involved in setting up our businesses and to survive we do need to make enough money to cover these and hopefully give us some income to cover our living needs like food, clothing, mortgage, bills and general living, just like any other person out there.

We want our client’s to feel great and I’m sure many artists will agree with me when I say, I am honoured and feel incredibly appreciative when a client chooses me for their occasion. With all the brilliant talent out there, my clients mean the world to me and I thank them graciously and according to all their reviews, it seems they think I am worth the price. So when shopping around for a makeup artist, do your research and remember a cheap price often does not mean a bargain.

There are so many amazingly talented artists out there, but finding a great one can be a bit tricky. Please check out my blog Six Steps to Choose the Perfect Makeup Artist on tips on how to do this.