Not often, but every once in a blue moon I receive an email that goes a little something like this…
“Hi! I absolutely love your website and portfolio. You do such beautiful work! I would really love to have you as the makeup artist for my wedding day. I know your contract says you charge XX amount of dollars per person, but another makeup artist that I reached out to only charges XX amount of dollars. Since the other person’s pricing is more in my budget but I really want you as my artist, I am wondering if you’ll match their price. Thanks in advance!”
Unfortunately, this isn’t Best Buy. There is no “price match guarantee” when it comes to makeup services. At least, not with mine. Let me explain.
What I offer is not the same as what another makeup artist offers and vice versa. We as makeup artists are not selling a product; we are selling a service. Same goes for hair stylists, photographers, florists, DJs, bands, and so many other professionals in the service industry. We spent countless hours that turn into years honing in, improving, and perfecting our craft that is so unique to each and every one of us.
Stores such as Best Buy and Walmart are able to do price matching because they are selling the same exact product as another store. Therefore, they should price match! Because again, it is the exact same product. But with a unique service such as professional makeup, there is no exact product or service match to that. No two makeup artists are the same.
Here are some things to take into consideration when hiring a makeup artist, aside from pricing:
1. YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
I have been doing professional makeup, specifically wedding makeup, since 2012. I have done wedding makeup on more than 750 faces. That’s not including other clients, friends, family etc. You should not compare pricing between an artist with five months of experience and an artist with five years. When I first started out, my prices were less than they are now because I was new.
In addition to being in the industry for a decent amount of time, I also pride myself on keeping up with the latest techniques and trends so that I can always accommodate my clients’ requests. You should make sure whoever you are hiring is also up to date with makeup techniques. The same goes for hair, nails, photography, and other services.
Quite possibly the most important thing when selecting your makeup artist is determining how professional they are. I mentioned experience and technique above, but here I am talking about how polite they are, what is their personality like, do they seem organized, do they seem genuinely interested in you as a client – the list goes on and on. These are all things that you should be mindful of.
You want to hire someone who is timely, accommodating, and will go above and beyond to make sure you are happy with your services. You would not believe how many calls and messages I receive from desperately panicked brides telling me, “I hired my makeup artist a year in advance. I did my trial with her. And now, the morning of my wedding day, she decides to not show up. Is there any way you could do my makeup?” You have no idea how bad I feel for these brides. It is astonishing to me how a person can just be a no show.
This exact situation actually happened last week. I received a phone call from a bridesmaid who’s friend was getting married that day, and she said, “CAIT! We need help. We have an emergency. It’s been two hours since our booked makeup artist was supposed to start and we realize she’s just not coming. Please tell me by some miracle you can come do the makeup.”
Even though I was not planning on this incident, I was able to change my plans, rearrange my schedule, and drive 30 minutes away to do the wedding makeup for a party of 10 (starting three hours past the original start time). It was crazy! But I am so incredibly happy I was able to help. When I arrived at the house, the bride was in tears, as she still couldn’t believe her makeup artist stood her up. I asked if she knew what happened, and she told me the makeup artist kept changing her story. First, it was she was having car problems, then it was she couldn’t find the house (mind you, the bridesmaids said “no big deal, we will go pick her up!”). Then she stopped answering their calls and texts, and well, you get the story from there.
Moral of the story: do lots of research when selecting a vendor. This can be tricky because sometimes people have 5-star reviews that lead you to believe everything is wonderful, but be sure to ask other brides their personal experiences.
What I’m going to say next might come off as tooting my own horn, but…hear me out. I have built a business, a brand, and a reputation for Makeup by Caitlyn Michelle that I am proud of. And that did not happen overnight. Now that I’m where I’m at today, receiving 20+ requests each week and booking 20+ weddings per year, I realize that my services are in high demand.
That does not mean I’m going to go crazy with pricing and rip anyone off – it just means that I know I have a talent that lots of people are more than willing to pay for. So if someone wants their makeup done but wants it done cheaper, be my guest and get it done with the cheaper artist. Do you think people email Mario Dedivanovic and say, “I really love your work and want you to do my makeup but can you match so and so’s pricing?” Um, no. PS, if you don’t know who Mario is, you should totally Google him.
The point I’m trying to make here is if you want the best photographer, the best videographer, or the best DJ (etc.), then realize you are likely going to pay for it. Truly exceptional vendors are in high demand and have the upper hand in controlling their pricing since they aren’t begging for work. That’s not to say that every great vendor is expensive; that’s not true either. But more often times than not, you get what you pay for.
Location is a major factor in a professional’s pricing. Just like the salary for a job in Los Angeles or New York City will pay more than the exact same position in Rochester, NY, service pricing is the same. Take location into consideration when you are choosing your makeup artist and don’t compare pricing between two different cities (it likely won’t be the same).
For example, I have a friend who’s a makeup artist near the town that I’m from. It’s a smaller town than Rochester, which is where I live now. She is an incredibly talented makeup artist who I consistently bounce ideas off of and I admire her work very much. Since her clients are mostly from smaller towns and used to cheaper pricing with everything (drinks at bars, food at restaurants, manicures at nail salons, etc.), she fears that if she raised her pricing to match what artists charge in slightly larger cities, her clientele would not be as willing to pay.
So again, location is just something to keep in mind when selecting your wedding vendors.
Have you ever wondered why makeup services typically cost more than a manicure or a hairstyle? That’s because makeup artists use SO many products! A wide range of products are needed for different skin types (normal, dull, dry, oily, sensitive), different skin tones (fair, light, medium, tan, dark), and so on and so forth. If you hire a good makeup artist, they are probably using really expensive, high-quality, high-end products. That all gets factored into pricing.
I pride myself in using only the best products that I’ve researched, reviewed, tested on myself, and invested a lot of money in. I also keep all of my products sanitary and replace anything that has expired after its due date of 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. Be sure your artist is doing the same.
If you want to see what’s in my makeup kit, read my recent blog post here!
What else do you take into consideration when hiring vendors? Leave a comment!