Why you need a little perspective when hiring a makeup artist for your wedding day

by 11:54 AM 12 comments
A little while ago, a friend of mine and extremely talented makeup artist Nikita Pere, wrote an article called "Is the makeup artist for my wedding ripping me off?". If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do, whether you are planning your wedding, or know someone who is, it gives you a comprehensive look at what we do, and why we charge what we do.

I don't need to recap on what Nikita wrote, but I do want to take it a little further and extend on the point. Working within the bridal industry, it never ceases to amaze me that kind of money that people put into their wedding, which is fine and now totally normal - it's your day so go as big or as small as you like. What I notice the most is that these same brides are lacking perspective when it comes to what they should and shouldn't spend their money on.

Do you know how often I get asked to lower my prices because a client has spent a little too much on their dress, their shoes, dinner, their lolly buffet, etc? ALL THE TIME. And you know what? It's insulting. It's insulting to every single makeup artist, nail tech and hairdresser that you ask, right after you've finished telling us that you spent $10k on a wedding dress, $500 on a pair of shoes no one is even going to see under you dress, $3k on a lolly buffet that is there for decoration. Oh, and let's not forget your $15k honeymoon. I get it, you've spent heaps of money on your wedding, you might have gotten a little carried away. You'll complain that your photographer is costing you an arm and a leg, and you can't believe that someone could charge $100+ just for bridal makeup, because "It's just for one day!".

Let me tell you why we charge so much for your makeup for one day, and why you should pay it.  In addition to all of the things Nikita listed in her article -
  • Because we are the very best at what we do;
  • Because in the months leading up to your wedding, you, your bridesmaids and probably your mother will call and email me at all hours of the day to ask questions you could have Googled yourself. But I will smile and answer politely, because that is what we do;
  • Because on your wedding day, you're going to be stressed and so is everyone in your bridal party. Do you know who is normally on the receiving end of that? Makeup artists and hairdressers. 
And the most important reason that you shouldn't try to haggle us down?
  • Because long after your guests are gone, your lolly buffet has been eaten, your honeymoon is over and your expensive shoes that you kicked off as soon as you got to the reception because they hurt your feet are gathering dust in the corner, what you have left is your photos and your memories. 
We are there to make you look good, to make sure your makeup stays put all day through extreme heat and cold, tears and laughter, and anything else that may get thrown your way. We know exactly how to enhance your best features and make your makeup look natural and elegant, but still show up in photos and make you look flawless. We are the ones who cover the dark circles under your eyes because you haven't slept for a few days, the stress pimples that are breaking out, acne scarring, tattoos that you're not so proud of anymore. All of these things and so much more.

You can spend all the money in the world on a cake, venue and dress, but would you really show up without makeup on or worse, in makeup that you will look back and hate? Because sometimes when you do it yourself and let your friend do it for you that's exactly how it looks. I'm certainly not saying that your makeup looks bad all the time, not at all, what I'm saying is that wedding makeup is very different to everyday makeup.

As makeup artists, we are well trained, we spend years finding the best products from all over the world, we spend a fortune on those products, as well as regularly attending classes to update our skills by working with renowned artists. We go to trade shows, listen to lectures, research, put in hours of unpaid practice - just to make sure that on your big day we have done our absolute best to make you feel like the queen you are supposed to be. 

It's an industry where you get what you pay for. Want to look like Kim K or Kate Middleton? No problem, but someone offering $30 makeups is going to make you look more Lindsay L after a big night than Kim  or Kate at their regal best.

So good luck, it's not an easy industry to navigate, I know. There are so many options, so many price points - where do you even start? My suggestion would be to get some trials done. Listen to recommendations of friends. Book in advance - I cannot stress this one enough. Great makeup artists are booked months and months in advance, they're in high demand for a reason. Don't leave your makeup to the last minute or you will have to get your friends neighbour's cousin who once worked in a chemist to do it.

Most importantly, pay your artist what they are worth and don't insult them by trying to negotiate or haggle. We've worked hard to get to where we are. You wouldn't ask a plumber to cut his costs because you spent too much on your table setting, would you? Your mechanic to lower his because petrol is so expensive? It's the same thing.

So there you go, a look at why a little perspective goes a long way when budgeting for your wedding. Hope this has been helpful, and feel free to weigh in below. If you disagree, tell me. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic.


Makeup Artist

I am a fully qualified makeup artist who is internationally published, and I have worked with and been mentored by some of the very best in the business! Now I'm ready to share my tips and tricks, answer your questions and most importantly, help you make every makeup moment a memorable one.


  1. Well said Bec, it's not often we get to hear the other side of the story. People are so easy to complain as consumers, yet don't take into consideration the costs, years of study and time involved for the professionals. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks guys! I know that a lot of this stuff applies to you as a photographer too Caede, so you know exactly where I am coming from!

  3. We'll said! Work in your budget and respect you makeup artist - they are a PROFESSIONAL!!

  4. Thanks for sharing this to us, This article is very informative. I love it!!
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  5. WORD!! can I Send This To Clients lol

  6. I totally agree with your well-expressed statement. You words are well-informed and they go to the heart of the facts. My daughter, she is a make-up artist and wardrobe specialist. She works very hard; with total dedication, honesty and integrity. She labored tirelessly to get where she is right now! I admire her hard work, her integrity and her positive outlook. And her work is flawless and she is the most discreet person I know. Always professional and dedicated. I absolutely recommend my daughter for her outstanding work, not because she is my daughter, but because she deserve my respect as a professional.

  7. Thanks for writing in such an encouraging post. I had a glimpse of it and couldn’t stop reading till I finished. I have already bookmarked you.

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  10. This is what my sister need. She is into hiring makeup artist in the Philippines for her wedding day.

  11. Yep, and people get cheap treatment if they pay their MUA so low.
    A certain wedding makeup artist in the Philippines said so.