How much do makeup artists charge?
Ashburn, VA

How much do makeup artists charge?

Ashburn, VA

How much do makeup artists charge?

$60 – $170average cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$60 – $170 average cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
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Makeup artist prices

Makeup artists charge $60 to $170 on average, with most customers spending $110 for a basic, non-bridal makeup application. Freelance makeup artists charge $50 to $120 per hour.

Makeup artists charge a flat rate, per hour, per half-day, or full-day, depending on the service.

Makeup artist price list
Makeup service Average cost
Makeup – Traditional $60 – $160
Makeup – Airbrush $90 – $180
Bridal makeup $80 – $300
Hair – Blowout $40 – $80
Hair – Updo $60 – $100
Hair – Extensions (application) $20 – $50
Hair and makeup package (non-bridal) $130 – $270
False eyelashes $15 – 30
Eyelash extensions $120 – $300
Brow shaping / tinting $15 – $40
Brow microblading $450 – $800
Highlight and contour $20 – $40
Add glitter, rhinestones, cut crease $10 – $30
Tattoo or scar cover-up (starting price) $30 – $80+
Body makeup (chest, arms, or back) $25 – $40
Prenatal belly painting $130 – $150
Makeup classes $100 – $350
Prosthetics $200 – $10,000
Special effects $30 – $200 per hour
Face painting $90 – $150 per hour

Get free estimates from makeup artists near you.

Makeup artist charges per hour, face, & day

Makeup artist fee structures vary by artist and project. Half and full-day rates are popular for weddings or photoshoots where the artist works on multiple people or for an extended time.

Makeup artists typically charge per hour for special effects that take several hours or days to complete.

Makeup artist charges & fee structure
Charge type Average cost
Per face $60 – $170
Per hour $50 – $120+
Half-day $300 – $650
Full day $600 – $1,000

Factors that affect the total cost of a makeup artist cost include:

  • Reputation & skill level – Master artists in high-demand charge a premium. Budding makeup artists typically charge less than the local average until they gain experience.

  • Geographic location – Makeup artists in big cities like New York and Los Angeles charge more than artists in small towns.

  • Date of service – Holidays and weekend appointments cost more than weekday services.

  • Minimum service fees – Many artists require a minimum of $300 to $1,000. Weekend minimums typically fall at the higher end.

  • Deposit – Most makeup artists require a deposit to secure the booking, typically 50% of the total or a flat rate, depending on the stylist and services scheduled.

  • In-studio vs. on-location – Makeup artists’ rates are higher when the artist comes to your location.

  • Add-ons – False eyelashes are often a $15 to $30 upcharge. Eyelash extensions cost $120 to $300. Adding glitter, rhinestones, or a cut crease eye look costs $10 to $30.

  • Number of people – Hiring a makeup artist for 3 or more people often reduces the cost per person.

  • Trial run – Some makeup artists include a trial run in their standard price. Others charge a separate fee for this service.

  • Travel fees – Most makeup artists charge extra when traveling outside a specified service area. Travel expenses like parking and valet fees, tolls, flights, and hotel stays increase the cost.

  • Time of booking – Last-minute appointments may add 5% to the total.

  • Appointment time – Early morning appointments cost $25 to $50+ extra, depending on the time, service, and required travel.

  • Makeup brand & quality – High-end brands or organic products increase the cost.

  • Touch-ups – Makeup artists charge $60 to $200 per hour to be available throughout the day for touch-ups. Alternatively, many artists offer a touch-up kit for $40 to $75.

  • Assistant – An assistant or a second artist adds $100 to $250 to reduce the getting ready time.

Professional vs. freelance makeup artist prices

Professional makeup application costs $50 to $100 at a department or beauty store like Sephora or Mac Cosmetics. This makeup application service is often free when you purchase a specified amount of beauty products.

Freelance makeup artists charge $60 to $160 on average for a basic makeup application or $80 to $300 for bridal makeup. Freelance makeup artists often travel to your location and offer a broader range of looks and add-on services.

Average makeup artist prices by event
Skill level Average cost
Freelance $60 – $300
Professional (Mac / Sephora) $50 – $100

A professional makeup artist applying makeup to a woman's face.
A professional makeup artist applying makeup to a woman's face.

Average makeup artist cost by event

Makeup artists charge $60 to $300 for event makeup application. Bridal and photoshoot makeup typically cost the most.

These events require heavier makeup and more time to complete the desired look.

Average makeup artist prices by event
Event type Makeup rates Hair & makeup prices
Trial $60 – $180 $100 – $200
Bridal and wedding $80 – $300 $180 – $600
Bridesmaid $75 – $150 $150 – $250
Party / event / prom $60 – $150 $180 – $320
Photoshoot / performance $80 – $200 $150 – $300

Makeup artist charges for a photoshoot

Makeup artists charge $80 to $200 for a photoshoot when it’s makeup only, while combination hair and makeup prices are $150 to $300.

Makeup artists typically charge on the low end for in-studio appointments and on the high end for on-location hair and makeup application.

Some artists have half-day or full-day rates to remain on hand for touch-ups and look changes throughout the photoshoot.

Party makeup rates

Party makeup costs $60 to $150 on average or $180 to $320 for a special occasion hair and makeup package. Makeup artists can create everything from a natural, “no-makeup” makeup look for a conservative special occasion to a full glam look for a girls’ night out.

  • Extra features like glitter, rhinestones, and cut creases add $10 to $30 each.

  • Prom makeup prices are about the same as party or special event makeup prices. However, some makeup artists charge a slightly reduced student rate.

Engagement makeup charges

Engagement makeup costs $80 to $200. An engagement hair and makeup package costs $150 to $300 on average.

Engagement makeup is typically lighter and more natural than bridal makeup and provides the opportunity to get comfortable with the artist you’re considering hiring for the big day.

Wedding & bridal makeup charges

Wedding hair and makeup costs 180 to $600 for the bride and $150 to $250 per person for the bridal party or guests. Some artists include a trial run in their standard bridal makeup price, while others charge $60 to $180 for a trial appointment.

Wedding hair and makeup charges
Package Average cost
Bridal makeup trial $60 – $180
Wedding makeup $80 – $300
Wedding hair and makeup package $180 – $600
Bridesmaid makeup $75 – $150
Bridesmaid hair and makeup package $150 – $250
Flower girl’s makeup $10 – $50

A wedding makeup artist applying makeup to a bride.
A wedding makeup artist applying makeup to a bride.

Makeup artist FAQs

How long does a makeup artist take to do makeup?

Makeup artists take 1 to 1 ½ hours to do most makeup applications. Wedding makeup takes 60 to 90 minutes for the bride and 30 to 45 minutes for bridesmaids. The final look’s complexity impacts how long it will take.

Some special effects makeup applications take hours or days.

What does hiring a makeup artist include?

Hiring a makeup artist includes an initial consultation and the products, time, and skill to create a customized makeup look. Makeup application typically includes a primer, foundation, concealer, blush, eyes (liner, shadow, mascara), lips, and setting powder or spray.

Some makeup artists include airbrushing, contouring, highlighting, false lashes, brows, and a touch-up kit in their basic service. Others offer these features for an extra charge.

Do you tip a makeup artist?

Most customers tip a makeup artist 15% to 25% after the trial and the day-of application but doing so is not always necessary. Self-employed makeup artists who set their prices do not typically expect a tip. Still, most customers tip for exceptional service.

Tipping a beauty counter makeup artist is not expected, and some businesses do not allow it.

How to save money on hiring a makeup artist

Consider these strategies to save money on hiring a makeup artist:

Get free estimates from makeup artists near you.
  • Skip the extras – Many makeup artists have a list of optional add-ons, such as a pre-makeup facial, clip-in hair extension application, and eyelash extensions, which can increase the total by $50 to $100+.

  • Choose traditional makeup application – Many artists charge $20 to $50 more for airbrush makeup.

  • Eyes only / foundation only – Partial makeup application, such as eyes and lashes or foundation only, costs $30 to $80 on average. Partial makeup is a good choice if you are comfortable handling some aspects of your makeup application.

  • Book a weekday – Makeup artists typically charge more for holiday and weekend appointments.

  • Bring lashes – While some makeup artists include lashes with their basic makeup application, many offer them as an add-on service or charge a smaller fee for the application when you bring your lashes.

  • Bundle – Many artists offer package deals for both hair and makeup or discounted group rates for groups of 3 or more.

  • Go to the artist – Most makeup artists charge extra for travel and parking. Traveling to their location instead saves money.

  • Hire an assistant – Makeup artist assistants often charge less than the artist and have hands-on experience. Consider hiring an assistant if you already have some skill in applying makeup and need a hand making sure your look is flawless.

  • Beauty counter – Professional makeup application costs $50 to $100 at department store beauty counters, Sephora, Ulta, or MAC Cosmetics but is often free with a beauty product purchase.

Finding and hiring a makeup artist

Before hiring a makeup artist, remember to:

  • Ask for referrals from friends, family, or your other wedding vendors.

  • Check out their reviews on Fash and Google.

  • Look for licensed or certified stylists or members of the International Association of Professional Makeup Artists (IAPO)

  • Browse their social media pages or website portfolio to make sure their work matches your style.

  • Ask for references and contact them for personal feedback.

  • Ask about what products they use, especially if you have skin sensitivities.

  • Do a trial run when possible.

  • Read all contract terms before signing.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been doing makeup?

  • Do you have a portfolio?

  • Are you able to create the look I want?

  • What education and certifications do you have?

  • Are you licensed and insured? (License requirements vary by state.)

  • Are you available on the date of my event?

  • What is required to secure the date?

  • Do you have a minimum fee for wedding day services?

  • What is your fee structure – hourly, flat per service, etc.?

  • What is included in your standard makeup application price?

  • What add-on services do you offer?

  • Do you offer group rates?

  • Do you require a contract?

  • Do I need to come to the salon? Is there an extra cost for you to travel to my location?

  • How long will it take to do my makeup?

  • How long will the makeup last?

  • Do you have experience with my skin type/hair type?

  • Do you supply all the products and tools for my look?

  • How do you clean and sanitize your makeup and hair products and tools?

  • Are there any additional fees I should expect?