On average, event makeup artists generally charge $75-$125 per person for hair and makeup. Services like false lashes, glitter, and touch-ups can add to the cost.
For certain special events, you want to go above and beyond your go-to looks. A professional makeup artist knows all the makeup tricks and has access to the best makeup to give you a flawless finish. From avant-garde makeup to covering under eye circles, makeup artists can do it all.
Makeup artists are most commonly hired to apply makeup for weddings, birthday parties, Hollywood red carpet events, Halloween and costume parties, video production, photo shoots, fashion shows and other special occasions. They can also create special effects makeup or theatrical makeup look.
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.
What’s in this cost guide?
How much does a makeup artist cost?
On average, a professional makeup artist can cost between $90 and $475 nationwide, depending on the services you select.
For different event styles, makeup application can require more or less products, time and expertise, and therefore, costs vary significantly. 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.
What affects the cost of a makeup artist?
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 professional makeup artist’s services because they require additional product and time.
- Lashes: $10–$25
- Highlight and contour: $20–$25
- Airbrushing: $25 and up
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
Many hair and makeup artists offer packages that combine hair styling and makeup services. 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.
Number of 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.
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.
How to hire a makeup artist
- Read reviews: Look for reviews from people who used a similar makeup style to the one you have in mind. If you’re looking for special effects makeup or a red carpet look, seek out reviews that cover those service.
- Look at their portfolio: Makeup artists typically have a portfolio where they can show you looks they’ve created for other events.
- Ask about products: Especially for those with sensitive skin types, make sure the beauty expert is using quality products.
How to save money on a makeup artist
- Skip additional services: Add-ons like lashes or airbrush makeup can add up. Keep the price low by sticking to a more streamlined beauty package.
- Bring your own lashes: If you are interested in adding on lashes, 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.
- Bundle salon and makeup services: If your makeup artist offers salon services, find out if they do package deals if you hire them for hair and makeup.
- Travel to the makeup artist: If it’s convenient, get your makeup done at the makeup artist’s studio instead of having them travel to your location. This will cut travel fees from the overall price.
Benefits of a makeup artist
- Better photographs: Professional makeup guarantees that you look fresh and fabulous in your red carpet or special event photos.
- Products and skills: Makeup artists bring skills that go above and beyond day to day makeup application, and they have the products and tools to help you create any look. From airbrushing to eyelash application, they can bring your beauty to the next level.
- Peace of mind: Who wants to worry about tracking down the right foundation or covering up a blemish before a special event? A makeup artist will make sure you look picture-perfect, so you can relax and focus on enjoying your event.
Should I tip a makeup artist?
Most customers tip their makeup pros 15% or 20% of the total cost.