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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much do wedding makeup artists cost?

A wedding means love, celebration and tons of wedding photos. Professional wedding makeup artists have you looking your best on your big day and forever after in your wedding photos. The national average cost for a wedding makeup artist is $70-$100, although this price can increase based on your location, the extent of the makeup services and the reputation of the makeup artist. Most wedding makeup artists offer discounts to brides who book group services for their maids, mothers and flower girls at the same time. Wedding makeup artists who also do wedding hair usually offer package rates for hair and makeup combos. Here are some examples of average wedding makeup pricing:

  • Bridal makeup: $85-$125. Pricing often includes full face, eyes, lips, brows and false eyelashes. Airbrush makeup may be an additional $20 or more.
  • Bridal hair and makeup: $150-$200.
  • Bridesmaid and bridal party makeup: $50-$100 per person.
  • Bridesmaid hair and makeup: $100-$150.
  • Flower girl makeup: $25-$35.
  • Trial sessions: $60-$120, depending on the makeup artist. Some charge their full rate and others charge a partial rate for trial makeup services.
  • Hourly rates to stay on and keep makeup touched up throughout reception: $35-$75 per hour.
  • Travel fees: 50 cents to $1 per additional mile beyond a set radius — such as 50 miles.

How much should you tip a wedding makeup artist?

Wedding makeup artists ensure you and your bridal party are looking your best bright and early on your wedding day. Tipping a wedding makeup artist for their hard work is standard practice, and is also greatly appreciated. A tip of 15 percent to 20 percent of the total bill is appropriate. You may consider tipping extra if the makeup artist or someone on their team went above and beyond — for example, squeezing in Aunt Martha at the last second or redoing a flower girl’s hair free of charge after she dunked it in the fountain.

A gratuity is a reflection of a job well done, so if the wedding makeup artist was late, did a shoddy job or didn’t provide all the services you negotiated, you are not required to tip. Talk with your wedding makeup artist prior to the event to ask how they prefer payment and gratuity to be handled. Can you pay by credit card the day of the event and include a tip then? Do you need to pay in cash the day of the event? Find out ahead of time how to manage payment for services so you can be prepared with cash or credit cards as needed. Even better, delegate the task of payment to someone in your bridal party so you can just enjoy your day.

How do you choose the right makeup artist for your wedding?

A wedding makeup artist can ensure a flawless look on your big day. Finding the perfect person isn’t all about price, though. Here are tips for choosing the right makeup artist for your wedding:

  • Research before reaching out. Wedding makeup artists should have an online presence with portfolios of their work. Find someone with an aesthetic you love.
  • Read reviews. You want a wedding makeup artist who’ll be on time, do beautiful work, and add a positive vibe to your day. Pay attention if previous clients report bad experiences with a makeup artist.
  • Consider skin tones. If your bridal party has a range of skin tones, make sure your wedding makeup artist and assistants are experienced and talented working with everyone.
  • Is your top pick available on your date? If so, put down a deposit to secure their services.
  • Confirm rates and payment. Clearly discuss prices and payment plans, and sign a detailed contract so there are no surprises on your wedding day.

Do I need a makeup artist for my wedding?

There are no rules around your wedding day, and that means it’s your choice whether to have a wedding makeup artist. If you’re on the fence about hiring a wedding makeup artist, consider the pros and cons. Some women decide against a wedding makeup artist to save money. The national average cost for a wedding makeup artist is $70-$100, which is an expense some women prefer to do without. Other women just don’t love wearing makeup. Some brides have friends or family members who are talented makeup artists willing to provide their services. If you choose not to have a wedding makeup artist, be sure to do at least two trial runs of your makeup look well before the wedding day to avoid any morning-of panic.

On the other hand, a wedding makeup artist can make the bride feel pampered and confident, giving her a flawless, fabulous look for the ceremony and reception and in wedding photos. For brides who are uncomfortable with heavy makeup, many wedding makeup artists usually excel at the natural look. Many brides consider wedding makeup part of the ritual and tradition of the ceremony, a shared experience with the entire bridal party. Ultimately your choice of whether to hire a wedding makeup artist should be based on what will make you feel most confident and happy.

Reviews for San Francisco makeup professionals
Linda M.
Terrible service, I would have preferred to do the makeup on my own. (my mistake was trust in the reviews) I do not recommend.
Tessa Hair and Make UpTessa Hair and Make Up
Thumbtack Customer
Pearl did an outstanding job on my makeup for a dance competition. I received many compliments. She is wonderful to work with and I use her services again.
Makeup by PurrrLMakeup by PurrrL
Frankie A.
Working with Stephanie was truly amazing. She was super friendly, accommodating, and really skilled in her art. She did my wedding make up for my myself, my maid of honor, my mom, and my sister, able to capture exactly what we wanted - glam and boho all at the same time. She also did really well with my mom's more natural makeup and my sisters more "junior bridesmaid" version. She also did our make up trial at our home, and made the entire experience dare I say fun and relaxing! I cannot recommend her enough! I all be for sure referring her to all my friends getting married or having special occasions. She also went above and beyond, staying for my ceremony so we can all have touch ups before the reception. Full service with a smile, lots of laughs, amazing work, and making everyone feel like their best selves - all for a great value! Everyone without a doubt loved their hair and makeup! Once I get back from my honeymoon, I will definitely have a make up lesson or two. I wasn't able to get great photos but she has some of our event on her instagram. You will not regret working with Stephanie!
Quan L.
My bridal makeup trial with Annam went way beyond my expectations. After having gone through 3 other trials, my hopes were low and I was really tired of keep on spending money only to be met with a lack of talent, professionalism, patience or customer service. Annam exuded all these qualities and more. After reviewing the looks that I had in mind, she carefully executed by checking in with me every step of the way to ensure that the look was still within my vision. After hearing feedback from me, she would give her expert input and proceeded to ensure my expectations were met but realistic. After we finished she took copious notes of everything we tried and discussed. She spent hours with me and gave me her full attention all afternoon to ensure I was happy. She’s a diamond in the rough. I’m very picky since I normally do my own makeup fairly well and want a natural but glamorous look on camera. All the previous trials left me looking either too cakey or too oily, and not so glamorous. I’m extremely happy with Annam’s work and can’t wait for the big day. Btw she’s also amazing at contouring. I almost thought I had a nose job and lost weight in my face after ward. It looked so unbelievably natural! Go with Annam. You will be in for a treat!
Restless Beauty MakeupRestless Beauty Makeup
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