Thumbtack Logo

How much does a makeup artist cost?

Average cost in 20149: $80 See National


low cost


avg cost


high cost

The average cost for a makeup artist is $80. You are likely to spend between $50 and $135 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated August 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Makeup artists are most commonly hired to apply makeup for weddings, birthday parties, red carpet events, Halloween and costume parties, video production, photo shoots, fashion shows and other special occasions. The most requested makeup looks are glamorous and bold, romantic and soft, or natural and clean. Some people also make special requests for tattoo or scar covering. Rates vary widely by geographic location.

Type of makeup

Depending on the event, makeup application can require more or less product, time and expertise, and therefore, costs vary significantly. These three event requests are common:

  • Bridal makeup often includes full eyes, lips, cheeks, false eyelashes and brows, with an option for airbrush foundation. Bridal makeup generally demands the highest rates.

  • Red carpet makeup often features a similar package to bridal makeup but may cost $25–$50 less because clients generally require less engagement from the makeup artist prior to the event.

  • A more standard makeup package includes full eyes, lips, cheeks and skin. False lashes, airbrushing, and highlighting and contouring bring additional charges.


Special makeup touches or false eyelashes affect the total cost of a makeup artist’s services because they require additional product and time.

  • Lashes: $10–$25

  • Highlight and contour: $20–$25

  • Airbrushing: $25 and up


Many makeup artists offer hair styling in addition to makeup. Bundling the services with one provider may reduce overall costs. Dyana Raz of Celebrity Army offers traditional bridal makeup and hair for the combined cost of $275 and offers the bride a gift. For custom Indian weddings, Celebrity Army has billed up to $750 for the very detailed makeup, hair weaves and elaborate flower accents requested.

Multiple people

Wedding parties and other large events often require makeup services for more than one person. Negotiating a group rate can lower overall costs.


Travel time, car mileage and gas all affect the cost of makeup artist services. Many makeup artists offer a set rate within their immediate area, then charge an additional fee based on distance. For example, Celebrity Army is based in Santa Clarita, California, and charges an additional $150 (round trip) for events in Santa Barbara, California, which takes 90 minutes to drive to one way.


Makeup artists who have trained with high-profile teachers or can boast celebrity clientele often have higher rates than those just starting out or with less visibility.

Special effects

Fantasy makeup (for Halloween, costume parties or added glamour) can include various add-ons or special effects. Here’s how Celebrity Army prices some of these add-ons:

  • Rhinestones: $20

  • Hand makeup: $20

  • Neck makeup: $20


The number of hours a makeup artist is needed on location affects the cost of services. Events such as photo shoots, weddings and video production often require all-day presence. For events such as weddings, makeup artists will often negotiate a per-hour rate after the initial wedding party makeup application.

Cost-saving strategy

Some makeup artists are open to using false eyelashes provided by the client. They will then reduce the false lash add-on rate to just include lash application.

Ready to hire a makeup artist?

Get free custom quotes from qualified makeup artists in your area.

Get Quotes

Cost calculator

Answer a few key questions to get a price estimate in your area.

{[{ pricing.estimation }]}

{[{ pricing.estimationDescription }]}

Something went wrong. Give it another try.

Try again

Recent reviews

Joy The MUA

She is an outstanding make-up artist in Chester, PA that travels to your home!! The experience was wonderful and it took less then an hour. She was prompt and very professional and went above and beyond to ensure I was satisfied. AFTER SHE FINISHED WITH MY FACE, NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE I HAD JUST TURNED 53 YEARS OLD.... :>) She has very reasonable prices. I conducted a cost comparison and her prices beat her competitors. I received many compliments at my 35 class reunion and from many family and friends who saw the photos. She is so marvelous I have an appointment for next month for a family wedding!!! (Want to look my best)

Katya Gudaeva

I really put allot of thought into this review. Unfortunately my experience was less than ideal. I hired Katya for a makeup lesson, to get a few tips (try something new maybe?) and see if I wanted to hire her for my wedding day. I thought a makeup lesson would take an hour, as I've had makeup lessons before and that's pretty standard. So I was expecting it to cost $100. That is what I budgeted for..... My mistake. When we had the lesson she took twice as long as anyone else. It took her 2 HOURS to do my makeup. She chatted, went very slowly, discussed various brushes and makeup, had me repeat what she did on my own face, etc. The end result was decent enough, but I felt a little taken advantage of. I've never had a lesson take 2 hours, and other artists have went over brushes, etc as well so I know it should take about an hour. Anyway, when she was done she looked at her watch and said it took her 2 hours, she charges $100 an hour and it would be $200. Not what I had planned on at all. I had to cough up an extra $100 for the lesson. I couldn't believe I spent $200 for a makeup lesson!! I'm sorry but I did not feel it was worth it at all. Had I realized before she came that it would cost so much I would have canceled and found someone else. Actually, it would have been cheaper to pay for wedding makeup, both a trial run and day of! I should have just paid her for the wedding makeup instead! Would have saved me $20. Oh well, it was an expensive lesson learned, and I will have to do a better job next time of reading fine print, asking questions, making sure the artist knows how much I want to spend in advance, etc. Ya got me, my mistake I should have been on my toes more, I let my guard down that day but it won't happen again.

La Voila Beauty

Maria and the ladies at La Voila were absolutely amazing throughout this entire experience! The online portfolios for the artists were well put together and Maria was very timely in all communications. I was coming in from out of town so ease of communication essential. The bridal trial session went so well several members of the family decided they wanted their hair and makeup the day of the wedding as well. Maria was quick to accommodate these requests without hesitation. The day of the wedding Angela and Justine arrived early and went straight to work. All 7 of us were ready ahead of schedule and our hair / make-up looked flawless! If any of you are on the fence between traditional vs. airbrush makeup I can assure the extra cost is money well spent. Not only does your skin glow in person but it looks absolutely flawless in the wedding pictures. I can't tell you how many compliments we received on our hair and makeup throughout the day. If I ever travel back to NYC I'll be sure book with La Voila. Thanks again were fantabulous :)