In My Own Words: MAKEUP ARTISTS What you’re really paying for…

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In My Own Words: MAKEUP ARTISTS What you’re really paying for…

In an ever growing world of self employment and self made/taught professions it can be quiet hard to sought the men from the mice (figuratively speaking) .

Now I am not saying that self made or self taught is not as important as being trained or studying a craft, but it got me to thinking “Do you know what you are actually paying for?”

There is an ever growing debate on “Industry Standards” vs “Expectations”.

I felt it was time to explain eloquently and concisely from my perspective and on behalf of respective colleagues in my industry  (not through a passive aggressive meme or Facebook status) what it is you are actually paying for when it comes to a Makeup Artist.


Now while it is not absolutely necessary for formal training, (Youtube seems to be a great way for qualifications)  majority of Makeup Artist’s have partaken in some sort of training, whether it be a University course, Diploma/certificate course or workshops from experienced Artists. I can assure you from my own experience ( I paid upwards of $10,000 AUD for my Diploma) that no makeup course is cheap, not to mention the hidden expenses of building and maintaing a kit!

Kit Building/Maintaining

Ever seen a kid in a candy store? Makeup Artist’s are the expensive adult version of this, and it NEVER ends. Starting up a kit is always the most expensive part, but maintaining can be just as pricey, unfortunately our products do not magically replenish. Professional Makeup Artist’s spend alot of time reading, researching, shopping, trying and testing products that prove their worthy enough for professional results and this does not come cheap.

Tools are also a huge outlay, professional quality brushes ( I started with about 20 and now own over 100 with the average price of a GOOD quality brush being approx £10 this is an average only!) , Kits/suitcases ( I have been through about 6 to date) , Disposables ( Eyelashes, tissues, cotton buds, masacara/lip wands, sanitizer, wet wipes and the list goes on) these all add up when being used on a consistent basis.


Like a home or vehicle, Makeup Artists’ need insurance, Public Liability, kit insurance , salon etc. Insurance can vary depending on contents and job specifications.


Whether you drive, take a train, bus or taxis travel is not free. Every country is different, In Australia I would drive to all of my jobs (Petrol, tolls, parking , general vehicle wear and tear). In London I now travel by bus, train, or taxi depending on the job and even that isn’t always cheap or cheerful, not to mention travel = time and time = money.


What cost do you put on your time? Would go to your place of work and let your boss negotiate your wage down? You want to be paid for every hour of your time, sadly it doesn’t always work that way in the industry, when I have mentioned to friends about what I was paid or not paid for a certain job their faces drop and think I’m crazy to even work for that, but in a saturated market with people happy to work for a bare minimum or an Instagram like it can make it really difficult to be respected for the hard work of a dedicated artist.

Time on a job is only half the battle, no one sees the countless hours of brush cleaning, kit cleaning, preparation, product hunting/restocking, researching and travel and of course we are not paid for any of this.

So the next time you consider asking a Makeup Artist to either lower their price or to work for “exposure” that clearly wouldn’t put food on the table or pay the rent, ask yourself if you would outlay all of these costs and expect little to nothing in return.


P x







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