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Pricing of Bridal Make-Overs. What determines Your Prices?

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Mrs.Clooney

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For quite a while now, I have been giving some thought as to pricing for Bridal Make-up. I have done fairly extensive research into make-up artists pricing stuctures, and am very suprised at how little most people charge for this professional service. Some people actually charge much less than the price and time it takes to produce a decent set of nails.

Please don't think I am critisizing anybody here, because I am not, but I really do wonder how some people in the make-up industry actually make a living.

I currently charge £30 for the trial which takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The £30 is payable at time of booking and I send the client a self addressed, stamped envelope including Booking Form to be returned with payment. The trial includes an extensive documented consultation, smudge chart, creating the desired bridal look, followed by digital photographs for records. Then when the bride has decided that she wants to book her special day, 50% of £50 is payable immediately with the remainder payable 14 days prior to the wedding. I commit myself to one booking only on the day and travel to the bride's venue for this. I take a digital photo for her to keep and stay until she is dressed as this is when mishaps can occur.

In total, this is about 4 to 4 1/2 professional hours for a total of £80, which works out at £20 / hour. IMO this is fair to both parties considering skill, travelling, expensive cosmetics etc.....

Now let me give some examples of other pricing structures:

1. Trial £25 and Wedding Day £25. This equals £50 total.
2. Trial and Wedding Day £40 inclusive.

Now I know pricing is also based on area and local competition, but what should a bride be looking for in these prices?

For £40 or £50, how long does your trial and wedding day make-over take? Is your expertise reflected in these prices?

What are your thoughts and opinions on this please geeks?
 

pazzy

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Hi there,

Im a £50 for 2 make-ups (trial & on the day) but I dont do as much as what you do - your set up is much more in-depth and more of a personal service than mine.

I spend roughly 1 hr on a trial and about an 1-2 hrs on the day - in that time I may do more make-ups at the house for £25 each and a 'little one/bridesmaid' for about £10pp.

I have been doing this a long time and perhaps I should charge more - but I'm happy with that especially if I end up doing a few more. I will however charge more if it is out of my local area.

Over the years I have found that if anything is going to be cancelled - then it is going to be the make-up - why? simply because it is something that THEY themselves can do (reguardless of how well we do it and how good thay may look when we have worked our magic ) - if on a budget - they can choose to do lots of things themselves.

I can count on one hand how many cancellations I have had after a trial - but quite often it is 'my friend works on Estee Lauder and shes doing it for free' no problem.

I do love the sound of what you do - but perhaps for the service you give - it could/should cost alot more. I do my make-ups and go (I am usually pretty busy Saturdays so always have somewhere else to go) I rarely stay to see the bride and if I do its because I want to see them (it makes me fill up as soon as I see them!!)

I cant see my price changing just yet, and I love what I do so Im happy at the mo - but couldnt/wouldnt rely on my make-ups alone - I love my mix of different services - and I know that the client is getting a great service and at a reasonable price.

I know of make-up artists that charge around £70 for a make-up up here and think thats great if you get the work but despite the length of time I have done this I couldnt justify that price (perhaps its cos I personally couldnt afford that - maybe) and assume that this person is better than me at make-up (I have never been overly confident at anything lol)

Anyway hope this has helped.
 

oey

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Tracey - as you know this is my first year in doing bridal makeup and definately feel that my prices are way too low! Currently £30 for bridal!

The problem I have come across now is that I have a bridal party booked in for wedding trials and if all goes to plan they have said that they would like the bride, 2 brides maids, 2 mothers to be made over on the day totalling 5!

Do you all limit how many people you will make over on the day?
 

Mrs.Clooney

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Tracey - as you know this is my first year in doing bridal makeup and definately feel that my prices are way too low! Currently £30 for bridal!

The problem I have come across now is that I have a bridal party booked in for wedding trials and if all goes to plan they have said that they would like the bride, 2 brides maids, 2 mothers to be made over on the day totalling 5!

Do you all limit how many people you will make over on the day?
You must do what you feel comfortable doing on your own IMO. This is alot of work for one person. I am sure you could make each person up beautifully, but you would need to start early (hours in advance).

Is there not somebody who could accompany you so that you can work together?
 

pazzy

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Its all about timing - sometimes the hair takes longer, phones ringing, flowers arriving, its so busy and the most important one is the bride - she should never be rushed.

If you get there early enough you should be able to do as many as you want.

I only trial the bride and sometimes the mother of the bride - the others may want a make-up once they have seen the brides.
 

Mrs.Clooney

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Hi there,


Over the years I have found that if anything is going to be cancelled - then it is going to be the make-up - why? simply because it is something that THEY themselves can do (reguardless of how well we do it and how good thay may look when we have worked our magic ) - if on a budget - they can choose to do lots of things themselves.

I can count on one hand how many cancellations I have had after a trial - but quite often it is 'my friend works on Estee Lauder and shes doing it for free' no problem.
This is a big problem I have had where the trials have been cancelled with no word from the brides to be because a friend of a friend can do it for free. This is why I now ask for the trial fee up front so that the clients commit to not wasting my professional time.

There is no obligation to proceed with the wedding day makeover but I aim to please so that they want to book me. This is one of the most special days in their lives and looking fabulous in their photograph which are their keepsakes is so important to a bride.

I know of make-up artists that charge around £70 for a make-up up here and think thats great if you get the work but despite the length of time I have done this I couldnt justify that price (perhaps its cos I personally couldnt afford that - maybe) and assume that this person is better than me at make-up (I have never been overly confident at anything lol)
I don't plan for this to be my only form of income, although I do know of make-up artists who do well out of bridal make-overs alone. Thank you for your answer.

quote]
 

Alimac

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OMG I have charged way too little.

I did a bridal party make-up yesterday. I charged £17.50 for the bride and bridesmaid and did the 12 year old bridesmaid free - I ended up spending the same amount of time on the 12 year old!

For the trial I only charged £15 that was for 2 spray tans and 2 make-ups.

Also on the day of the wedding I got there at 0830 and left at 1300 AND travelled 35 miles! This was my first one though and I was more concerned with getting the make-up right I didn't give a lot of thought to the pricing.

This thread has made me realise I need to give this more thought along with what service I will provide (eg just make-up or the extras mentioned by Mrs C - which sound very professional!)
 

estherlou

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Tracey - as you know this is my first year in doing bridal makeup and definately feel that my prices are way too low! Currently £30 for bridal!

The problem I have come across now is that I have a bridal party booked in for wedding trials and if all goes to plan they have said that they would like the bride, 2 brides maids, 2 mothers to be made over on the day totalling 5!

Do you all limit how many people you will make over on the day?
I'm the same, 1st year doing bridal make-up, I charge £45 for the bridal make-up including a trial one month before the day. These prices are for the bride to come to me, if the bride is very local i'm happy to to the make up on the day in their home but if i have to travel i charge accordingly. I take the full £45 at the time of the trial. Additionals i charge £12 for without a trail. If they want a trial, i double that but these are strictly when booked with the bridal as they are discounted in comparison to my special occasion make ups. also they don't include corrective make-up.
I'm alot cheaper than alot of salons in the area but wanted to build a bit of a reputation before charging more as the salon is so new xx:)
 

Mrs.Clooney

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OMG I have charged way too little.

I did a bridal party make-up yesterday. I charged £17.50 for the bride and bridesmaid and did the 12 year old bridesmaid free - I ended up spending the same amount of time on the 12 year old!

For the trial I only charged £15 that was for 2 spray tans and 2 make-ups.

Also on the day of the wedding I got there at 0830 and left at 1300 AND travelled 35 miles! This was my first one though and I was more concerned with getting the make-up right I didn't give a lot of thought to the pricing.

This thread has made me realise I need to give this more thought along with what service I will provide (eg just make-up or the extras mentioned by Mrs C - which sound very professional!)
I would say that if this is your first wedding, then don't knock yourself on the head for charging so little. I hope it was a brilliant experience for you, but definitely charge more next time.

I believe that to be seen as professionals then we need to provide a very professional service but for a professional fee. This is how I was taught. In the grand scheme of things, a wedding is such a special occasion and I think the bride should should have a make-over which makes her shine and sparkle (not literally) on her big day.
 

Nicki-Marie

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I use Bare Escentuals mineral make up and I charge £65 for the brides make up, £55 for bridesmaids,£50 for other bridal party members. All of these prices include a prelim and travelling out to their location on the day of the wedding.

For the prelim they do come to the salon which i allow 1-2 hours per person for their consultation and application of make up, also talking them through skincare at the same time. On the day of the wedding I arrive nice and early to allow plenty of time, as we all know how manic these wedding mornings can be! I dont leave there until the bride is ready leave, this is when i add finishing touches, such as extra lipgloss or dusting her decollete and back with reflective bronzer.

Most other therapists/artists around this area are mobile so im not aware of everyones pricing structure. I do have a salon, therefore have to close it on a saturday as its just me there! So when looking at my prices i also took that into consideration. For the professional service, advice and time offered i do think my prices are reasonable and lets face it wedding make ups are challenging and all our professional efforts are put into making sure these ladies look fantastic and glowing for their big day.

And those wedding photos and memories will last a lifetime! Its lovely to be made a part of their special day.
 

pazzy

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Kind of going off the thread a bit but I did a trial last week and it was late on a Saturday afternoon and hadnt had a bite to eat...did the trial and she was difficult to get feedback from so I did the best I could going off what she said...(I try not influence them too much and want them to be honest how they feel about the make-up as it can be a shock if your not used to make-up) anyway she really liked it (asked her to look in different mirrors around the house and stand outside with mirror) she said she liked a little more liner but loved the way I did it etc.

Anyway got a call the other day to say could she use her own eyecolours - fine no problem (thinking she was allergic) because her brother-in-law said she looked like uncle fester (eh?) I said he must be winding you up - she said he said it just didnt suit her. Im amazed because she looked lovely without being 'made up'. I dont know how using her eye make-up will make any difference, I was tempted to say maybe she should do her own make-up and was expecting her to cancel but she didnt.
Ah feel better thats off me chest lol!!!
 

Mrs.Clooney

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Kind of going off the thread a bit but I did a trial last week and it was late on a Saturday afternoon and hadnt had a bite to eat...did the trial and she was difficult to get feedback from so I did the best I could going off what she said...(I try not influence them too much and want them to be honest how they feel about the make-up as it can be a shock if your not used to make-up) anyway she really liked it (asked her to look in different mirrors around the house and stand outside with mirror) she said she liked a little more liner but loved the way I did it etc.

Anyway got a call the other day to say could she use her own eyecolours - fine no problem (thinking she was allergic) because her brother-in-law said she looked like uncle fester (eh?) I said he must be winding you up - she said he said it just didnt suit her. Im amazed because she looked lovely without being 'made up'. I dont know how using her eye make-up will make any difference, I was tempted to say maybe she should do her own make-up and was expecting her to cancel but she didnt.
Ah feel better thats off me chest lol!!!
Actually, I don't think this is off topic at all. In fact I think you have raised an interesting point. I take it this was a client who doesn't wear much make-up?

Now one of the reasons my trials take 2 to 2 1/2 hours is this; if you have a bride-to-be who is not used to wearing make-up or does not like heavy make-up, you begin by applying a light minimal look (almost looks make-up free). Then if they want more make-up, you can build on top of what you have already applied because as you say, the client can get a shock if she is not used to it.
 

pazzy

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Actually, I don't think this is off topic at all. In fact I think you have raised an interesting point. I take it this was a client who doesn't wear much make-up? .
Actually she said she usually wore more eyeliner than I applied but was happy to have it the way I had done it. She looked incredibly radiant and the whites of her eyes looked bright and healthy. Kept lips a nude glossy look. A rosy pink blusher and gray and neautrals with a slight shimmer on her eyes and brown mascara. She was blonde with a slight tan.

I too start with a minimal amount then gradually build up to an agreed level.

When a bride says 'ooh I like a smokey look and wear quite a bit usually' you can guarantee that when you apply quite alot of make-up she will look at it only to say that its way too heavy.

I was taken aback that her brother - in law said this to her which I think is unfair on her - (what a pratt saying something like that to her).
 

Nicki-Marie

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Ive been in a similar situation. I ask clients to arrive wearing their own make up so i can get an idea of how they like their make up to look. colours and foundation coverage and such.
I applied make up to a brides mother, lightly to start, then building up coverage with colours etc as she wanted it, although with bare escentuals you cant really over do it, because its so natural looking. She did the same as how you explained your lady did, checked in different lights, said she loved it but she said the eye make up was slightly too reflective for her, so we darkened it slightly, again she just wasnt sure. I adjusting it several times which is fine, its all about what the client wants and i want them to be comfortable and happy with their treatment.
Eventually she went home and made a choice that she wanted to do her own make up as she couldnt get used to it. It was natural and radiant in my opinion and even the bridal party loved it, her husband even liked it.
Its kind of a kick in the teeth after you spend all that time perfecting her make up that she decides she'll do it herself anyway.
 

pazzy

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I guess thats what a trial is all about. They are unsure to start with - the trial will make up her mind. Sometimes its all about getting ideas for them to do it themselves.

I can totally understand - its their wedding day and they have to feel right but it is a bit of a shame when you know you have made them look beautiful and they cant 'get away with it' or they just want to use you for ideas so they can do it or their pal can do it.


I also get frustrated when they say 'its not like the way I do it' and I'm thinking 'of course its not thats why your getting someone else to do it' if thats the case then they should just do it themselves.
 

Good Skin Day

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I would never do smokey eyes for a wedding anyway! I've had a few brides wanting that look and I've done my best to steer them away for it. Most weddings are in daylight and smokey eyes just look too much, especially if they're wearing white or ivory (or similar). Also, in the photographs, there will just be a pair of eyes....just too harsh for wedding makeup.

I charge £30 bride's trial, £20 bridesmaids/mothers/mils trial, £10 flower girls trial: £60 bride's on the day, £35 bridesmaids/mothers/mils on the day, £15 flower girls on the day.

Pricing structure should reflect experience, skill, quality of portfolio, level of education and area.
 

Alimac

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I have some photos from yesterday if anyone is interested:

Photos

Sorry, they are not the best as this is my old camera and my photo editing is not the greatest!

Ax
 

bombini

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I charge £50 in the salon and £60 mobile. This includes the trial which I allow up to an 1 1/2 hours. Some brides know exactly what they want so don't take long others want reassurance every step of the way, constantly checking mirror etc so they tend to ages !

I think prices should also reflect the quality of the products used, I don't think many brides would be impressed if they were paying £50 and the therapist has a box of manky old products.

I also include a 10% discount off any make up the bride purchases for the wedding - this has worked quite well so far ! :)
 

minky

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I have some photos from yesterday if anyone is interested:

Photos

Sorry, they are not the best as this is my old camera and my photo editing is not the greatest!

Ax


Hi WoW
You're make overs are really fab and so natural looking
and the amount of eye make up was just right . Well done :hug:
 

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