This morning, I woke up and saw a photographer posted this helpful post titled: “Why are Professional Photographers so expensive?
” and after reading through it, I feel like if you just switch some words in the sentence around and replace it with words related to makeup/hair services over photography, the article totally works to answer the question “Why are Professional Makeup/Hair Artists so expensive?” Well…of course as the vendor providing the service, I honestly don’t feel it is expensive. When I was a bride, I also expected my Hair/Makeup services to cost about this – anything less expensive I would start to wonder how they make a living! I guess this is a post that’s a continuation of my previous blog post this year “What you should know before hiring a makeup artist
I’ve seen so many threads on wedding forums talking about the ‘sticker shock’ and I bet a thought that crossed their minds are: “If it only takes 2 hours to complete my hair and makeup, WHY does it cost x?! This is robbery! They are extorting me just because it’s my wedding! “
Similar to photographers, the time we spent on one client is not just the few hours we spend performing the makeup and hair service, but additionally, makeup artists need to:
- Administrative (Respond to inquiries, emailing, phone conversations, setting up and confirming appointments, preparing contracts and invoices.)
- Perform makeup & hair services at a trial or consultation appointment.
- Clean & pack kit, double check kit, load it on the car.
- Travel to the session
- Setup, prepare to perform services.
- Perform the services
- Travel from the session/return
- Unload kit from car, pack & clean kit
- etc etc etc.
On average, I spend 6-10 hours min. per client. If I also take the photos for photography, then the list is the one above, plus the one in the photography article! Some clients only send you 5-10 emails, and others send 50-60+. So…while on average I spend 6-10 hours, some I spend double the time. It depends on the circumstance, and no client is exactly alike! Therefore, in a sense you are always receiving a customized service.
Then, there’s experience/expertise. As wedding coordinator Christine
told me during our first meeting about the importance of hiring a professional makeup artist something to think about is: Can the artist complete the service in the specific setting [Bridal]? Can they handle the time pressure, understand time management and also satisfy the demands of my demanding [insert friend/family name here]?
In the article, they talk about Wal-mart/chain store photo booths that gets the job done fast, with a standard push of a button, and if the child cries, then there is most likely not enough time to care what the outcome is, and “you get what you pay for.” But a personalized service provider would take the time to take care of the child, make him/her laugh and deliver a great photo. On a similar note, if you want to, you can go to a Mall, or to a specific makeup counter, pay $50 in product purchases, and have the “makeup artist”/sales associate do the makeup for you for the occasion. What if they allocated 30 minutes, but did not completely finish, but there are other customers ready to pay for other products and the makeup artist/sales associate needs to stop the complimentary makeup application, and actually make more sales, as her salary/wage depends on actually making the cosmetic sales, and not how lovely of a makeup job she does for you? What a sales associate sells is the products, but the makeup artists sell only the service. On the same note, why not just buy the products, and do it yourself? The authors of the article puts it beautifully:
“A pair of scissors costs $1.50 at the drugstore. Still, most people will gladly pay a lot more to hire a professional hair dresser to cut their hair.“
On that note…Do you remember the translucent powder fiasco? You might have seen it on the gossip news or something and the big thing was that it was Makeup Forever’s HD powder that caused it but only visible with flash photography. In the end, if I recall, (feel free to correct me!) it was said that Nicole Kidman did the touch-ups herself in the car, and not the makeup artist. Makeup artists would have known that you would never use that much translucent powder, whichever the brand! My point is…is it really worth the risk on an important occasion like your wedding or your very special events to walk out like this by either doing the makeup yourself, or paying a “chain store” for the $50 worth of products and makeup application at the makeup counter?
The bottom line – it’s an investment, and there are some things that are worth the investment!