February 3, 2020
Hey, guys! Ever wonder why the price of wedding hairstylists and wedding makeup artists vary so widely? What is the difference in each price category? What extra services do you acquire from a luxury priced makeup artist versus a low end priced makeup artist? In this blog, we are going to take a look at the different price levels, the different factors that affect the pricing, the benefits of hiring a makeup artist, and I’ll also explain my own pricing strategy.
Wedding hair and makeup San Antonio is a highly competitive industry. It is important to set the wedding hair and makeup pricing in such a way as to compete with the local industry leaders. According to Thumbtack, the average cost for wedding hair and makeup San Antonio is $80-$130 per service. (1) This is quite a bit lower than the national industry average. “On average, a professional makeup artist can cost between $90-$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.” (1) According to Wedding Wire, “the average wedding hair and makeup cost in the US is around $300, but typically ranges from $150-$600 depending on both your location and the intricacy of the wedding hair or makeup style you’d like.” (2)
As you can see, wedding hair and makeup San Antonio pricing falls well below the national industry standard. Why is this? I believe that it has to do with the economic health of San Antonio. The average income of a San Antonio resident is $22,784 versus $28,555 nationally. The median household income in San Antonio is $57,652, whereas, the national average is $70,850.00. (11) The lower hair and makeup pricing ultimately affects the annual income of a makeup artist San Antonio. As of January 25, 2020, the average annual salary of a makeup artist in the US is $46,336.00 per year. Based on recent job postings on Zip Recruiter, the San Antonio makeup artist job market in both San Antonio and the surrounding area is very active. People working as a makeup artist San Antonio are making on average $41,722.00 per year which is 10% less than the national average. Texas ranks 40 out of 50 states nationwide for makeup artist salaries. (5) It is easy to see why. With the average income in San Antonio being lower than the national average, brides essentially have less money to pay for luxury services such as wedding hair and makeup.
However, even if the average income in San Antonio is lower than the national average, how can you afford NOT to hire a hair and makeup artist San Antonio? “We recommend hiring a professional hairstylist and makeup artist because they’re the experts. Getting your hair and makeup done may cost extra, but we think it’s absolutely worth it! Even if you are a guru with a curling iron and a master with an eyeshadow palette, your pros will make sure your makeup stays put all day (no matter how much you sweat at your outdoor ceremony) and every strand is in place (no matter how many twirls you do on the dance floor). (6)
Here are few reasons why you should include a hair and makeup artist San Antonio into your budget:
1. Better photographs-professional makeup and hair guarantees that you look fresh and fabulous in your photos. Sure, you could do your hair and makeup yourself or your friend who is “good at makeup” could do it for you but do you or they have the necessary products and tools to ensure that your hair and makeup lasts all day and into the night? Your photographer will be snapping away throughout the entirety of your celebration. I did a wedding recently for which I was only hired to do the hair. The sister of the bride did her makeup. I could tell that they had not practiced this beforehand due to the arguments that arose between them regarding the makeup application. The sister also did not know how to apply lashes correctly and they wouldn’t stay glued down. Is it worth sacrificing the quality of your photographs just to save a little bit of money?
2. Products and skills- professional wedding hairstylists and makeup artists bring skills that go above and beyond day to day hairstyling and makeup application. They also have the tools to create just about any look that you desire. From airbrushing to eyelash application, they can bring your bridal beauty look to the next level. Can your “friend” airbrush? Probably not.
3. Peace of mind-who wants to worry about having the right lipstick color or covering up a blemish on her wedding day? A professional artist will make sure you look picture perfect, so you can relax and focus on enjoying the day. (1)
4. They know how to recreate inspiration photos- it’s a sound plan to find inspiration on Pinterest or another source and show it to your makeup artist during your makeup trial. They’ve got the skills and experience to recreate those looks—whether it be a smoldering smoky eye or a youthful dewy glow—that the average gal probably wouldn’t be able to pull together. With a professional, you’re paying for consistency—that is, getting the exact look you ask for and the peace of mind that it can be recreated again on your wedding day! (Because we’ve all tried, and failed, to follow smokey eye tutorials from women’s magazines before!). (13)
5. A cohesive look-everyone in the bridal party should look somewhat similar despite different skin tones and textures. A professional makeup artist will work around the different skin challenges to create a look that is cohesive and will photograph well. I have seen it time and time again. All bridal party members get their makeup professionally done but there is usually the ONE who opts to do it herself. She ends up being the only one with an extravagant eyeliner wing and bright red lips which stands out shockingly from the rest of the group. I understand that not everyone in the bridal party can afford the services but if you can swing it, do it! Your photographs will thank you later!
Now that you know the benefits of hiring a professional wedding hair and makeup artist San Antonio, let’s talk about what affects the cost of and pricing for your wedding hair and makeup. Here are a few factors that can determine the price of the hair and makeup services:
1. Time-“In general, your wedding hair and makeup cost will include your makeup artist’s or stylist’s time on your wedding day. Also, know that for hair stylist’s updos, they tend to cost more than blowouts or just simple curls. (2) My price for wedding hair is the same no matter what style the client requests. This is because you are receiving a luxury service no matter the style. I also charge extra for installing clip in extensions provided by the client. This is because the client is paying for the time and extra work that it takes me to install the extensions.
2. Extra services- There are certain makeup techniques or styles that might add dollars to your bridal hair and makeup costs. Many companies charge extra for lash application and for airbrushed makeup. Braid N’Hairpins includes lashes as complimentary with each makeup application and charges the same for traditional makeup versus airbrushed makeup. I do not believe in up charges and enjoy offering my clients one easy, flat fee.
3. Travel fees-remember that it is a luxury to have your stylist or makeup artist travel to your location versus going to the salon that they normally work out of. The travel fee includes the cost of gas plus the cost of the artist’s time that it takes to travel to your location. The further away, the higher the travel fee will be. Braid N’Hairpins does not charge an “assistant fee” if additional artists are needed for a job but does increase the travel fee to cover their travel expenses. Braid N’Hairpins does not travel more than two hours from the salon and a certain required number of services must be met in order to travel that far. Our travel fees are also a bit higher for downtown San Antonio services. This is because, not only do we have to pay for travel expenses, but we also have to pay for parking or valet fees.
4. Additional stylists or artists-the stylist or makeup artist may charge an “assistant fee” if additional artists are needed for a particular job. I have seen them range between $100-$150 per additional artist. Braid N’Hairpins does not charge an “assistant fee” but will increase the travel fee accordingly.
5. Additional hours/touch ups-do you want your makeup artist or stylist to stay on site throughout your wedding day to provide touch ups or even a new hairdo for the reception? You will have to pay your artist hourly and pay also for the additional products and extra services provided. I have been asked several times to stay throughout the event for touch ups. I always discourage this because I have such confidence in my work and products that you will not need me after the initial work is completed. The feedback that I have always received is that I was right, no touch up was needed. I have been asked to create a different hair or makeup look for the reception. I charge hourly plus the full price for the additional service. This rarely happens, but just in case you are thinking about it, now you know.
6. Hair and makeup trials-most stylists and makeup artists charge for a trial. This is because the trial generally takes even longer than the day of service due to the time that the initial consultation adds to the trial appointment. The same amount of products are used as on the day of the service. I tend to shy away from clients who want to give me push back on paying for the trial. My time and use of my products is not free. They are either willing to pay for professional, quality service or they are not. Sometimes I do see other artists advertising free trials. I suggest taking into consideration the following factors when considering doing a “free trial”. Is the cost of the trial already built into the price of the “day of service” fee? Make sure to check that out. Also, consider why the artist is offering a free service. It is usually because they are inexperienced and trying to obtain more clients or maybe it is because it is a “slow” time for them. Think about why things are “slow” for them and why they feel the need to offer the free trial. I suggest doing some serious research on the artists who offer free trials!
7. Tips-many couples tend to forget about adding the cost of tips into their wedding budget. Wedding Wire suggests tipping your hair stylist and makeup artist on your wedding day just as you would for a regular appointment. They suggest 15-20% of the overall cost of the services.(2) I usually don’t receive tips and I think it has to do with what we talked about previously in regards to the economy in San Antonio. Also, bridesmaids are usually stretched to their limits with weddings costs such as the dress, shoes, ect. The last thing that is on their mind is paying me even more for their services.
8. Kit fee- a kit fee could be charged by the artist for the wear and tear of their tools and for the use of their products. Kit fees can range from $25 and up. (3) Braid N’Hairpins does not charge a kit fee.
Other factors that influence pricing are as follows:
1. Years of experience-expect to pay more for an experienced artist versus an inexperienced artist. My pricing has gone up over the years in correlation to my years in the industry.
2. Level of professional education-you are not only paying for the experience of the professional but also for the knowledge that they bring to the table.
3. Additional qualifications-this could include lash extensions, facial waxing, or tape in or sew in hair extension certifications.
4. Local industry- an artist in a big city will typically charge more for services compared to an artist in a small town. Basic supply and demand here.
5. Seasonal or time logistics-Is it wedding season? Is it a Saturday? Most artists will charge more for services during peak times. My pricing remains the same regardless of the season or day of the week. Now I do make concessions for the number of required services that must be booked. During wedding season, I have a minimum of five services that must be booked in order to reserve your date. We also only offer on location services for parties of three or more on a Saturday.
6. Products used-High end or luxury products used for the appointment cost more than drugstore products. (4) I use all high end, luxury products. You and I want the same thing-a long lasting, professional look.
“You have to keep in mind that you are paying for both a product and a service. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it’s important to think big picture when it comes to your special day. If you consider the fact that your wedding photos will last forever, you won’t have to think twice about your foundation melting or an updo falling when you’re breaking it down on the dance floor. It definitely is a worthy expense.” (6)
I receive numerous requests daily asking for pricing information. Not only are the clients asking for pricing from me but they are also shopping price quotes from my competitors. Is it wise to choose the highest quote or even the cheapest price quote? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
According to Thumbtack, the highest price quoted for a full face of makeup in San Antonio is $130. (1) That pales in comparison when you think about the fact that a celebrity makeup artist earns upwards of $150 per hour. (11) Is paying the higher price tag worth it? Here are some things to consider before booking the highest price out there:
1. Is there an up charge from the price quoted for lashes or airbrushed makeup? Are travel fees included in the overall price? The final price may end up being even more than was quoted.
2. What does the makeup artist or hairstylist do that goes above and beyond what a lower priced artist does? Do they provide a take home touch up kit? Do they provide maybe a mini facial prior to the makeup application? Maybe the hair stylist provides a mini scalp massage or deep conditioner treatment prior to styling.
3. How much experience and education does the artist have compared to a lower priced artist? Is it worth the extra money?
4. What about reviews? What are the artist’s past clients saying about them?
5. How many awards have they won?
6. How does their work compare to a lower priced artist? Take a look at their portfolios, accounts on Wedding Wire or the Knot, and peruse their website.
7. Do they use all luxury products? For the price you are paying, they better! Don’t be afraid to ask!
8. Can the rest of your bridal party also afford the higher priced artist? You may personally think it is worth it but I suggest having done your research quite thoroughly before you break it to your wedding party that you have hired the most expensive artist out there.
After taking into consideration the above points, paying the higher price tag for your San Antonio hair and makeup artist may be well worth it if you can swing it! However, what if your budget doesn’t allow for the higher end priced makeup artist? How about a middle of the road priced hair and makeup artist? According to the local research that I have done, the mid ranged price for a hair and makeup artist San Antonio ranges from about $70-$95 per service. Braid N’Hairpins Makeup and Hair falls into this category. Our prices range from $75-$85 per service at the time that this blog is written. Here are some considerations to take when hiring a mid range priced artist and why Braid N’Hairpins falls into this category:
1. Most artists in this category do have up charge fees for lashes and the option of airbrushed makeup. To keep our prices lower and fair for the client, I do not believe that any up charges are necessary. I charge one flat fee as lashes are complimentary with each makeup application and there is not an up charge fee for airbrushed makeup. I just don’t want to deal with the hassle of up charges and neither do my clients.
2. The artist in this price range has a good amount of years and education in the wedding hair and makeup San Antonio field but maybe not have as much as the top dollar artist does. This does not mean that you won’t get an incredible artist, it just means that you aren’t paying extra for any additional years of experience and education versus the higher priced artist.
3. What are their past clients saying about them in the reviews? It’s just as important to read the reviews in this category as it is for the higher priced artist.
4. How does their work compare with the higher priced artist’s? If it is similar, which it may well be, it may not be worth it to hire the more expensive artist. If you like their content just as much as the higher priced artist, then you have your answer.
5. They do not usually offer a take home touch up kit. The touch up kit costs the artist more out of pocket expenses and will cause the artist to build the cost of that kit into the final price. In order to keep my pricing lower, I do not offer a touch up kit. I always will let the client know what lip color I used at the trial to give them the opportunity to go out and buy it themselves. I usually use a lip paint on my brides so this isn’t usually necessary but some brides like to have it on hand just in case.
6. The mid range priced makeup and hair artist may be more budget friendly for your bridal party. They are getting a quality artist without the fears of hiring the cheapest which we will discuss in just a bit. It could be that with this price level, more of your wedding party will opt to have professional services done which will lead to that appealing cohesiveness in your photos that we talked about earlier.
7. In order to keep prices lower, this mid level priced makeup and hair artist will most likely not offer additional luxury services as mentioned above. I do nothing more to your skin but cleanse and moisturize it. If you would like suggestions on how to care for your hair or skin prior to your wedding day hair and makeup appointment, I am always happy to give suggestions and point you in the right direction for certain products that you may need but I do not offer them as part of the service that you receive.
8. The products used may be a mix of luxury and cheaper but not drugstore cheap products. That doesn’t mean that your look won’t be flawless and long lasting, it just means that they will most likely not use all luxury products.
If you can’t afford the higher priced hair and makeup artist but still want someone with experience, good reviews, and quality work without all the bells and whistles of a higher priced artist, this may be the price level that works for you.
With the two above mentioned price levels already discussed, what if you are just trying to find the cheapest artist out there? I have seen artists on Facebook who offer “full faces” for $35-$45. I understand that not everyone can afford a higher priced artist but there are definitely concerns that should be red flags when hiring the cheapest artist that you can find. “Cheap makeup artists are cheap for a reason, sometimes for multiple reasons. I guarantee that if you hire the cheapest makeup artist, one of the following things will happen.” (10) Let’s take a look at what you need to consider before hiring an artist in this price range:
1. Your makeup will look amazing but will take forever. Your artist may be talented but lacks the experience needed to do a quicker job. This could leave you stressed and pressed for time.
2. Your makeup will be finished quickly but will look terrible. Anyone who is cheap and fast is either going to do terrible work or have subpar products. (10)
3. What type of products are in their kit or do they even have a kit? You need to ask this! They may even ask to use your own personal makeup for the appointment. If they do have their own kit, it will most likely contain subpar products. A cheaper priced makeup artist simply cannot afford to stock their kit with higher end makeup products.
4. Will your makeup artist even show up? I have been contacted several times by brides who are in a lurch because their makeup and hair artist cancelled or did not show up. There just isn’t enough money to be made by an artist at this price level to motivate them to come through for you.
5. Most likely will not offer lashes or know how to airbrush. Lashes are not cheap and neither is an airbrush machine and the training needed to learn how to airbrush. Not to mention that airbrush makeup is expensive to keep stocked!
6. It is also so important to read reviews on this artist. Due to their lack of experience, they may have just a few, if any at all. This is pretty scary when booking someone to have you looking your best on your big day!
With all this being said, it is always the wisest decision to research your makeup and hair artist and their pricing before the initial contact. Most artists display their pricing on their websites but I have also seen just a “price quote” request page. Brides contact me all of the time through my contact page on my website for a “quote”. My prices are clearly posted on my site and do not change with a “quote”.
I hope this discourse on wedding hair and makeup San Antonio pricing has been helpful! There are pros and cons for all price ranges. Just do your research beforehand so that you will be confident in knowing that you picked the very best artist for your budget.
4. Celine Fang. “Pricing Your Bridal Makeup”. www.qcmakeupacademy.com/2019/pricing-your-bridal-makeup-services-flat-rate-versus-hourly/
6. Sophie Ross and Maddy Simms. “How Much Does Wedding Day Hair and Makeup Cost?. www.theknot.com/content/average-cost-wedding-hair-makeup
7. Maggie Seaver. “Here’s Who Actually Pays for Bridesmaid Makeup and Hair”. www.theknot.com/content/who-pays-for-bridesmaid-hair-and-makeup
9. Mandy Davis. “5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Makeup Artist”. www.projectfacemakeup.com/blog
10. “Why Are Wedding Makeup Artists so Expensive?” www.moxxiemakeup.com/moxxieblog
13. Lauren Rodrigue. “Why a Professional Makeup Artist is an Absolute Must for Your Wedding”. www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-makeup-artist