While you always have the option of doing your own makeup, it is definitely worth considering enlisting a professional for the task. Your wedding day will be one of the most-photographed days of your life after all!
But how much should you factor into your overall budget for wedding day beauty? Ahead, makeup artist Erica T. Martell shares the average cost of wedding makeup, what is included in the price, and additional services to consider.
Meet the Expert
Erica T. Martell is a makeup artist based in the northeast and has worked in the industry for over 20 years.
Average Cost of Wedding Makeup
Bridal makeup costs can vary wildly from place to place. Martell says to expect a wide variety of price points depending on where you live and the artist’s level of expertise. "There is a huge range of artists and options out there. Inexperienced artists, makeup counters, salons, and large companies with teams will have the lowest pricing, and experienced specialists like myself will have the highest pricing," she explains.
Once you’ve found an artist whose work fits your vision, you’ll want to discuss what’s included in their rate or package—and depending on what you’re looking for, you could develop a close and collaborative relationship in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding day. You may also be able to customize the perfect plan for not just your makeup, but your skincare routine, too. "My pricing includes access to me, flexibility, and a direct line of communication from the moment we go under contract," says Martell. "My pricing can include assisting them with their skincare routine, giving product recommendations...referring them to other professionals in their area if they don't live close by, or FaceTiming with them to give consultations to help them achieve their best skin for the big day."
Your artist may charge separately for a trial session and travel, as well as items like face masks, lash application, and more. "I set pricing appropriately based on each person’s needs," says Martell. "The goal for me when I am done is that [my clients] don't think about or feel their makeup, and they can just be present and worry-free to truly enjoy their day."
If you have questions or concerns about pricing or what is included, the best thing to do is just ask your artist and be very clear about what you’re looking for.
Other makeup services you can consider adding to your wedding budget include makeup for your engagement photos, shower, bachelorette party, or rehearsal dinner. If your mother is having her makeup done, she may request a trial to ensure she feels comfortable with her look, too.
If you’re working on a tight budget, Martell recommends examining what’s most important to you on your big day. "If you value beauty services and surrounding yourself with people who will handle everything and reduce your stress and worry so you can be present and truly feel like a million bucks, figure out how to prioritize your budget to go towards that over something that matters less to you," she says.
Additional Cost Considerations
We recommend tipping your makeup artist anywhere from 15 to 25 percent when they complete the service, so remember to consider that amount when budgeting for wedding makeup.
Brides can also consider doing their own makeup or asking a friend or family to help if they feel comfortable. In that case, a makeup artist wouldn't be necessary. However, Martell believes that hiring a makeup artist is worth the extra expense. "You can surround yourself with the right people whose only job is to get to know you, what you love, and how to make you feel like your best self, so by the time you get dressed and the photos begin, you are already feeling loved, pampered, relaxed, and worry-free. To me, that's the why, and you can't put a price tag on that."