To get makeup professionally done, or not?

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Nov 19, 2009 3:04 AM

I originally wanted to have my makeup done professionally, but now after researching just a few makeup artists I'm not sure if it's going to be possible. It's definitly more expensive than I thought it would be. The airbrush I can understand, but paying $150-$200+ for regular makeup? Is it just me, or is that kind of high? If they travel I can understand why the prices are high, but that's still kind of out of my budget. Plus, with a lot of them, the trial fee is extra, so I'd be paying well over $200 in the end!

So for those of you who have experience in getting makeup professionally done, I have some questions...
Are these prices reasonable? I know it depends on the area, but I'm just trying to get a ballpark idea here.
A lot of the places I saw charge atleast $75 extra if your a bride, I might as well just say I want my makeup done for no reason, or that I'm a BM and get a cheaper price! Is there any specific reason why?
What's the norm for touch-up's through out the night? Do they give you samples or travel sizes of the makeup to keep with you, because you're more than likely going to need it touched up through out the evening.

Right now I'm thinking of just investing in very good makeup, and mastering the art of perfection with it to do it myself on my wedding day. I'd probably spend less, and I'd be able to keep the makeup!


JerseyGirlVA Posts : 311 Registered: 9/17/09
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Nov 19, 2009 9:26 AM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

I live in Virginia beach and prices here aren't terribly high. But I wanted to share that I went to what people here would consider a 'high end' salon and got my hair and make-up done for $150.00. The make-up was $80.00 and my hair was $70.00. Didn't make sense to me that my hair cost less than my make-up... but I'm not confrontational so I paid and left. That's $150.00 plus tip, it probably cost me $170.00 total.
If I were you, I'd ask family and friends in the area where they've had good experiences. Maybe someone can get you in and get you a deal! Goodluck!


FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Nov 19, 2009 2:06 PM Go to message in response to: JerseyGirlVA

All the prices I looked at were for just makeup alone! I know someone who goes to cosmetology school, I'm going to ask if she can recommend anyone to do my makeup. $150 isn't bad for both, but I couldn't pay that just for makeup. I talked to my mom and she said she figured I'd have to pay and arm and a leg.


MrsS2010 Posts : 336 Registered: 5/25/09
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Dec 1, 2009 10:08 AM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Try looking for someone who doesnt JUST do makeup for a living....When that is someones only source of income they will obviously charge a bit more per client. I do makeup and we offer it at my spa but when I do it on the side I do if for pure enjoyment and therefore dont charge 150-200 lol. So that can be something to consider! I know its more research but its crazy how much you can learn just from talking to those you already know so start talking! :) Good luck!


LisaHorwitz Posts : 35 Registered: 8/18/08
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Dec 1, 2009 12:15 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo


As a makeup artist I know that it is hard to understand why the rates for professional makeup are so high. I'd like to give you some insight. A lot of time and money was spent on training. Then there is the cost of stocking and maintaining a complete makeup kit and brush set. Plus all of the earlier jobs done for free ( or very little) to gain all their experience. There is also their time and expense of traveling to you. And lastly, the everyday expenses of running a business (computer, website, telephone, etc.).

As for the charge for a makeup trial, it actually takes more time and effort, because that is when the actual bridal look is created and fine-tuned. I allow an hour and a half for my trials so that I am sure to have enough time to work with the bride, understand her vision or help her get one, and then work until it is perfect. It is wise to book trial appointments for a time that you have somewhere fabulous to go or something great to do, like a photo session, so that you get to "use" the makeup application.

All that being said, there are lots of brides who prefer to DIY their bridal makeup. I've even come up with a list of ten great reasons why you should DIY. This is the reason that I created The Blushing Bride Cosmetics®, makeup for the most beautiful day of your life. I found that there are many brides who wanted to DIY their bridal makeup but had little access to products that would be long lasting, color appropriate and camera & video friendly. I spent over a year looking for products that would allow brides to successfully DIY their makeup within a budget they could afford.

I completely agree with you that with the correct products and tools, plus some practice, you can achieve a picture perfect makeup application for not just your wedding day, but every day. Good luck!

Lisa Horwitz (my new blog)

Makeup For the Most Beautiful Day of Your Life


FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Dec 11, 2009 3:06 AM Go to message in response to: LisaHorwitz

Thanks for the input Lisa! It does make sense once you break it down like that, but it still is expensive to me to pay that much for makeup. One thing I really don't understand though is that you said "Plus all of the earlier jobs done for free ( or very little) to gain all their experience", so does that mean that part of the costs include covering jobs that a makeup artist did while training? If so, that is completely unreasonable to me. When you go and get your hair done they don't charge you extra to make up for training time that they did in the past. Jobs you did while training are used for you personally to gain experience and to build your portfolio. To me, that's like saying "I didn't get paid while doing an internship, so now that Xcompany is hiring me, they need to pay for that as well".


LisaHorwitz Posts : 35 Registered: 8/18/08
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Dec 17, 2009 2:44 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

I guess that I did not explain that point clearly. I am just saying that now that they have gained those skill sets and experience they are charging more for their work than someone just starting out. I'm sorry for the confusion.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or would like some tips for DIY'ing your makeup.


Lisa Horwitz

{color:#ff6699} {color}

Makeup For the Most Beautiful Day of Your Life


CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Dec 17, 2009 7:53 PM Go to message in response to: LisaHorwitz

My makeup was done by a professional. She did it for my wedding gift, but I can tell you....the amount I LEARNED just from having her apply my makeup was amazing. How I do my own make up now is different than it was pre-wedding.

This is what she did:

I loved how even though she used color and everything, I didn't look like some sort of 80s punk, and I didn't feel like I had a whole host of goo caked on my fact. I looked good in person AND in pictures -- not like I had on stage make up.

And this is is what I did AFTER I had her do my make up

The lighting is obviously very different, but I look rather different than how I used to apply make up.

My gal has done many weddings (she usually charges about $200 for it), and I can tell you, she's very good. She was definitely worth that price. When I looked in the mirror, I didn't see a stranger, I saw what I looked like as a glamorous movie star (I've always said that if I had someone following me around doing my hair and make up, I could be drop dead gorgeous too!) And that is what a make up artist can make you feel like. Sure, if your budget won't handle it, then it won't. But if it can, look at it this way... if you already spent a mint on the dress, wouldn't you like to look like you belong on the red carpet in it?



2009ToBeMrsV Posts : 256 Registered: 12/30/07
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Dec 22, 2009 11:03 AM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

The prices sound about right. As for doing your own make up, I definitely recommend hitting up a local Sephora if there is one in your area and looking up videos on youtube on how to achieve different make up looks and using different techniques. Sephora will also do free make up trials on you and show you exactly how they are doing applying and what products to use. The good thing about the Sephora website also is you can find lots of useful reviews on the products, plus there are a lot of people on youtube that do reviews of the same products as well that are very helpful. This is how I learned over time and have applied it in my daily make up routine as well and honestly I can't tell the difference between what I do and what a "professional" does. Good make up will come at a price, but at the same time you figure if you spend $150 to $200 on make up at least you get to keep it and use it whenever you want vs. paying a professional for a one time application, this was how I justified what I spent on make up products to my husband LOL. I'm also a make up junky though haha.

Here is how my make up turned out courtesy of myself:

I also did 3 of the 5 girls make up pictured, the on the left and the 2 above me that have dirty blonde colored hair.

here are a few more pictures and what I used on each:

For me:
Smashbox Photofinish Primer
Make up Forever HD Foundation
Make up Forever HD Micro Finish Powder
Bare Escentuals Blush
Too Faced Illuminizing powder
Urban Decay Primer Potion (for eyeshadow)
Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes pencil liner (just on my bottom water line)
Make Up Forever false lashes (if you don't want to fuss with them, because I wish I didn't I recommend Maybelline Lash Stilleto black waterproof mascara)
For eyeshadow I used a mix of different ones I had from MAC to the $20 pallete and urban decay.

For BM:
Bare Escentuals mineral foundation and blush (this is what she prefers to use regularly and it works for her)
Urban Decay Primer Potion for eyeshadow
Urban Decay eyeshadows in a soft purplish/pink color
Bare Escentuals flawlish finish mascara in black

For BM:
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
L'Oreal Infallible liquid foundation
Bare Escentuals blush
Too Faced Illuminizing powder
Urban Decay Primer potion for eyeshadow
Soft pink and brown eyeshadow color
Dior waterproof black mascara (this is pricey and works well, but I still recommend lash stilleto as it is cheaper and achieves the same greatness)

For BM:
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
Make Up Forever HD Foundation
Make Up Forever HD micro finish powder
Bare Escentuals Blush
Too Face Illuminizing powder
Urban Decay Primer Potion for eyeshadow
Soft natural pink/brown eyeshadow
Dior black waterproof mascara

If you are doing your makeup yourself I definitely recommend the Make Up Forever HD foundation, this foundation is light, will last all day, and gives you a flawless finish without looking too made up. The benefits of an HD foundation is that they are specifically designed for digital photography to reflect light so that you have a more flawless look. The Smashbox Photofinish Primer goes on before your foundation and it makes you skin extra soft and smooth and fills in any fine lines so that your foundation goes on smooth.

If you have any imperfections you want to cover up or red marks/spots or even dark circles you can use any types of concelear, I used the make up forever concealer pallet that comes with a few different skin tone shades for blending and matching as well as the green which neutralizes red spots/blemishes.

I apply my foundation with my finger and then use a clean/new make up sponge (those cheap wedges you can buy in a package at target or walmart for less than $2) and I just gently use the wedge to sort of stiple and smooth out the foundation. This will cut the cost of buying a good foundation brush.

You are looking at just under $80 for the foundation and primer I used but IMO for yourself this is where you want to splurge and quite honestly the most important part of your wedding day make up. Maybelline Lash Stilleto is about $7 at Target, you can buy some inexpensive eyeshadow colors at Target or Walmart or you can venture into Sephora and get a nice pallete for $20 to $30 that has several different colors. Just depends on your preference and what kind of look you are going for. I spent the extra I think $15 on the Make Up Forever aqua eyes pencil liner because it is waterproof and because I was putting it on my bottom water line I wanted it to last. But like I said this is make up that is YOURS to keep and continue using.

I hope this helps :o)


Engaged: January 1, 2008
Getting Married: September 19, 2009


WellWisher Posts : 175 Registered: 1/2/10
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 2:14 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

This is my first attempt at posting anything, so if I do it wrong, that's why.

I'm 20 years old and have always done my own makeup. My mom took me into a clinique counter when I was a junior in high school and the woman told me everything I needed to know about makeup. Since then I have visited the same counter for advice on makeup, and even took a very dear friend there to plan her bridal makeup; she didn't have much money at all and was able to create a look by herself without paying hundreds of dollars in fees.

My advice to you is to visit your favorite makeup counter in a shopping mall and set up a free appointment with a worker there. They know their products back to front and have had a lot of training and practice with them. Tell them what you want, and ask a lot of questions. Don't be afraid to ask anything, it's their job to be there and their favorite part of their job is actually putting the makeup on you! Tell them you want to try a different variety of colors in everything. Tell them you want your makeup to last a long time. Bring in pictures of your dress, jelwery and if you're wearing your hair up, down, or somewhere in-between. All of these things can help them choose the right colors for your makeup so that your guests will say that you, not the makeup, look beautiful. Don't be afraid to tell them that you want a special part of your face accented, or if you don't like the colors they choose. You are the customer and it is their job to please you.

I would bring a friend along (like your MOH and/or mother) along to get a second opinion. I would also bring a camera along so you can see how the proffesional outcome looks. Have her write down all of the products she used and the prices of them. If you're confident in how you look, buy the necessary products then. If you're hesitant, tell her so and go back later when you feel confident. If you're buying a product that's supposed to be long-lasting, wait and see how it actually holds up during the day.

I prefer to buy products that are more expensive and then have them to use whenever I want than pay someone hundreds of dollars to do it once and then take it all home with her. It just makes more sense to me, I would rather pay $100 to look beautiful for as long as I have the makeup than to pay $200 to have it done for one day.

And of course, you and the people you went with saw how the counter woman put it on, so you can practice until you can do it yourself.

If I get married someday I'll definately do my own makeup, and keep it too.

I hope this helps.


MicahEJ Posts : 7 Registered: 1/30/10
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 3:28 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

I would go with buying your own makeup instead of a professional. It's much cheaper and you can do it exactly how you want. For the eyes I found that the Coastal Scents 88 Palette is probably the best. It's a really good price for a really good product. Also check out some of the makeup gurus on youtube. The have some really great ideas, tips, and tricks. Some of my favs are TheBubbleGumPrincess, Juicystar07, AllThatGlitters21, julieg713, and vintageortacky.

"Come what may, I will love you until my dying day."


LeopardPrintBride Posts : 17 Registered: 2/20/10
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 3:42 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Hair is one thing, but make up is another, and personally, I am FAR too much of a control freak to allow someone else to do something that I am experienced in doing for myself, every single day. I don't typically work much with my hair because I'm just a little lazy about it, but as far as my make up goes, I'm pretty confident in my own skills. I'll be doing my own make up for my big day. :]

<center>- - - - - - - -
18. Young bride-to-be. Cohabitating. Planning an Oct. 2011 wedding.


TheeBride Posts : 130 Registered: 1/17/10
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 10:28 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Whoa, I think those prices are really high for just make up. I think on average, well even on the high end $60-70 is what's local here for having full make up done...either at the salon or say the MAC or Clinique counter. If you can't find anything less than what you're finding now I say do it yourself, unless you can seriously afford it. To me, 20 minutes or so is more than worth saving 200 bucks plus you can do as many trials on yourself as you want beforehand to make sure you know exactly what you want.

"I carry your heart with me, I carry it in
my heart. I am never without it, anywhere
I go you go, my dear..."

E.E. Cummings

Daisypath Wedding tickers


2dBride Posts : 158 Registered: 3/16/09
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 11:41 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

We had to pay to have hair and make-up done four times, since we were a same-sex wedding and had the ceremony and reception on different days in different cities. Given that, we definitely looked for budget alternatives! We ended up finding people on Craigslist in both cities. The one in Boston was $50 per person (for combined hair and makeup), and the one in DC was $60 per person. The one in DC even did a free trial for us. So, it's worth looking around to see if you can find someone who fits your budget.

Our wedding Web site and items for sale


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: To get makeup professionally done, or not?
Posted: Mar 2, 2010 5:45 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Dear Mrs L,

"One thing I really don't understand though is that you said "Plus all of the earlier jobs done for free ( or very little) to gain all their experience", so does that mean that part of the costs include covering jobs that a makeup artist did while training?"

The cost of any professional job includes the time and effort the person put in the training phase. A doctor makes more money than does a nurse because it takes longer to train to be a doctor than it does to be a nurse. You pay for additional training and additional years of experience. I don't have a single problem with that.

That's one of the reasons people pay big money and dedicate themselves to school to get credentials, degrees and other advanced training: so they'll make more money during their working career.

Totally normal.


Next comment: If you normally wear makeup, and if you want a different "look" for W-Day, then I'd say hire a professional and pay them appropriately.

Consider, however, minimalistic alternatives. I never wear makeup. Never. Not even as a bride on my own wedding day. Nor do I like fussy hair styles.

The morning of my wedding, I jumped in the shower, scrubbed my face like every morning, washed my hair like every morning, then blew-dried my hair with my mom's dryer. Once that was done, I went about my business, then ran a comb through my hair when we were ready for photos. I have "easy" hair that doesn't get messed up that much. My photos look just great.

I pretty much did the same thing this morning. Shower, scrubbed face, shampoo, blow-dry. Only difference is more wrinkles on the face and more grey in the hair.


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