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Makeup artist-fair rate to pay?

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Hudson_Hawk

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So I randomly met a woman who does freelance makeup artistry for some of the big department stores in Boston. I inquired about her services and whether she ever did in-hotel/in-home work. She said she hadn''t done work outside of the store but was interested in expanding into weddings, etc. I asked what her "going rate" was and she said she didn''t have one as this would be the first wedding she''s done outside of the store. Previously she''d be called into a store to do the makeup for bridal parties, but through the store and on store salary. Obviously there are a lot of questions like does she have her own kit or would we need to provide our own makeup, how long it takes on average for each face, etc, but I need to know where to start negotiating on the fee should it get to that point. What would be involved is the following:

30 minutes of travel to the hotel
makeup for up to 8 people (5 young 20s-30s, 2 older women, and the bride)

The day-of schedule hasn''t been planned yet, but the wedding isn''t until 6pm so I''m not worried about time.

I''m guestimating 30 minutes/girl and 1 hour for me, so 4.5 hours total. Do you think $25/hour with another $25 thrown in for mileage would be fair? given that she''ll be at the hotel for the better part of the day, I''ll provide lunch as well...thoughts?
 

kama_s

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Most MUA''s charge per person though. Would probably work in your benefit too, because you never know how long each person''s make-up would take. Italia would be a good person to ask, she''s the expert!
 

musincy

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I''m going to MAC for my makeup the day of the wedding, but I did price one woman who travels. She charges a flat rate of $150 for the bride (that price includes her travel, but I''m not sure how much time it includes), and $50 for each additional person. I don''t know if that''s normal or not, because I have nothing to compare it to.

Hope this helps!
 

meresal

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HH... I think that is quite low. Most places I have seen charge $45 for per person application, at a bare minimum.

Are you also taking into consideration the trial and getting your make-up done for Bridals?
 

Elmorton

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My wedding day makeup was $75 - flat rate, no matter who you were, trial cost the same. This was at a spa, so it''s not like it was pure profit to the makeup person.

If you can get her for the price you''ve quoted, I''d say it''s a steal!
 

Hudson_Hawk

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This woman doesn't have any established rates so I can do it either way. I personally thought the per/hour way was cheaper than per person, which is why I went that route. at $25/hour for 5.5 hours I'd be able to afford to pay for everyone. $150 for me and $50 for the others would put me WAY out of my price range.

I'm trying to take advantage of the fact that she's trying to build up her book of clients/referrals which is why my rate is low.

I'm not having bridals done and we haven't talked about the trial (which obv is the selling element of this equation)
 

kama_s

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Date: 4/15/2009 3:48:09 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
This woman doesn''t have any established rates so I can do it either way. I personally thought the per/hour way was cheaper than per person, which is why I went that route. at $25/hour for 5.5 hours I''d be able to afford to pay for everyone. $150 for me and $50 for the others would put me WAY out of my price range.
What about 25$/person and 75-100$ for you?
 

meresal

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Date: 4/15/2009 3:48:09 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
This woman doesn't have any established rates so I can do it either way. I personally thought the per/hour way was cheaper than per person, which is why I went that route. at $25/hour for 5.5 hours I'd be able to afford to pay for everyone. $150 for me and $50 for the others would put me WAY out of my price range.
I understand it being the cheapest way... but it's also kind of taking advantage of her, becasue she doesn't know what she could be making. If she agrees to it, by all means, but keep in mind a low-ball MUA would make at least $25 per person, and you're offering $25/hr which would be $12.50 per person... that's REALLY low.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 4/15/2009 3:50:23 PM
Author: meresal
Date: 4/15/2009 3:48:09 PM

Author: Hudson_Hawk

This woman doesn''t have any established rates so I can do it either way. I personally thought the per/hour way was cheaper than per person, which is why I went that route. at $25/hour for 5.5 hours I''d be able to afford to pay for everyone. $150 for me and $50 for the others would put me WAY out of my price range.
I understand it being the cheapest way... but it''s also kind of taking advantage. If she agrees to it, by all means, but keep in mind a low-ball MUA would make at least $25 per person, and you''re offering $25/hr which would be $12.50 per person... that''s REALLY low.
I''m also thinking about it in the sense of if she was called into the Nordie''s at the mall next door. I HIGHLY doubt that she''d be making more than $25/hour for an afternoon there if she was part time.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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The other issue is that this is a question of a "fair" rate, not the "going" rate. Personally, I think the rates MUAs charge are falsely inflated to take advantage of the wedding market. If I wanted to pay $100 to have my make up done I would go with any of the traveling artists that work in my area.
 

meresal

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Very true... I understand what you mean. Does she have her own make-up? or is she planning on using what you and your party already have?

That would be a huge deal to me, in terms of money offered. If you're basing it off of what she would make at the store then I think that is probably a good idea, but just remember, she probably won't be able to work at all that day, and might be missing out on good comission plus apprx 8 hours of workable pay.

ETA: Just read that you aren't sure about these things yet. Ooops
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Yea, I hear you Mer. Luckily there's lots of room for negotiation in this situation. She's young, so I look at this like hiring a new graphic design grad to redesign a webpage. I expect good quality but I'm not going to pay you top of the line rates because there's risk involved due to inexperience. I feel relatively comfortable with this (as opposed to hiring an inexperience photog), because I know the makeup can be washed off if I don't care for it and it's only a nominal price.
 

kama_s

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Date: 4/15/2009 4:07:08 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
Yea, I hear you Mer. Luckily there's lots of room for negotiation in this situation. She's young, so I look at this like hiring a new graphic design grad to redesign a webpage. I expect good quality but I'm not going to pay you top of the line rates because there's risk involved due to inexperience. I feel relatively comfortable with this (as opposed to hiring an inexperience photog), because I know the makeup can be washed off if I don't care for it and it's only a nominal price.
What do you think of the price point I suggested above? It's not too bad considering it's per person, and it might be beneficial to you in the long run.

25*7 = 175
HH = 75
Travel = 25
------------------
Total = 275
 

Hudson_Hawk

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I don''t think it''s bad, but I think she might react more favorably to hearing $25/hour vs. $25/person I know I would...It''s silly because it''s really just the way it''s worded and how it''s percieved.

I''d also like to mention that this doesn''t include any tips the girls would give.
 

kama_s

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Yeah, true, I see what you mean.
 

havernell

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I say it's a free market! If the make-up artist thinks her time is worth more than $25 an hour, she can either decline to take the job, or she can come back with a counter offer. It's not like you are forcing her to work for a certain rate. You are not "taking advantage" of her if she agrees to a certain price. I also don't think it's your job to worry about what the "going" rate is- that's her job and, as a professional, she should do her homework on what the going rate is in your area and then let you know. I'm sorry she's put you in this kind of uncomfortable spot by making YOU figure out what HER rate should be.

Clearly, like everything else in the wedding industry, cost is partially determined by location. In upstate NY where my wedding will be, my make-up artist (from a normal salon) costs $15-20 per person plus tip (with her bringing her own make-up). So, no where near the $75-100 make up artists can command in more urban markets. HH, I know you are in RI, which normally is a more upscale market than Upstate NY, but since this woman is just starting out/building her portfolio for wedding make-up, I agree with you that she can't yet command top price.

I think $25/hour is a reasonable place to start the negotiations with her. Again, if she feels she deserves more per hour, she'll ask. Congrats on finding a good lead for this part of your wedding!
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Havernell, where in upstate are you getting married?
 

Elmorton

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Date: 4/15/2009 4:22:23 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk

I''d also like to mention that this doesn''t include any tips the girls would give.

Wait...are you paying for your BP? If so, I might make sure that your BP knows that it''s appropriate to tip on their own. When I''ve been in group situations where someone else has paid for a service, I''ve assumed that they''ve also paid for the tip. Otherwise, I''d specify with your makeup artist that it''s "25/hr before tip" or something like that, to clarify with her that you will also be paying her tip.
 

bee*

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I think that if you can get her at that rate that would be cool. It''s definitely on the low side as to what I''m paying. She can always say no if she thinks it''s too low.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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No but FI is from Morrisville and a good friend of mine/bridesmaid is from Utica. I''m very familiar with the leatherstocking region! LOL
 

tropiqalkiwi

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I agree with Havernell, it''s a free market. Offer whatever you want and if she values her time differently she should give you a counter offer. I think your offer of $25 an hour is an absolutely fine starting point. I would just make sure both of you are aware of what the amount is covering (i.e. is makeup included or not? and if not, does the rate still feel do-able to you?)

Also, before you agree to an hourly rate, ask how long she thinks it will take her to do each persons make-up. If she is used to spending 90 minutes per person that will up the hours she needs to work.

Good luck!
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 4/15/2009 4:40:12 PM
Author: tropiqalkiwi
I agree with Havernell, it''s a free market. Offer whatever you want and if she values her time differently she should give you a counter offer. I think your offer of $25 an hour is an absolutely fine starting point. I would just make sure both of you are aware of what the amount is covering (i.e. is makeup included or not? and if not, does the rate still feel do-able to you?)


Also, before you agree to an hourly rate, ask how long she thinks it will take her to do each persons make-up. If she is used to spending 90 minutes per person that will up the hours she needs to work.


Good luck!
I agree totally. There will be a contract drawn up (by me) specifying a limit on each person based on her time estimate and it will also note whether makeup will be included, as well as lunch/travel.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 4/15/2009 4:34:00 PM
Author: Elmorton
Date: 4/15/2009 4:22:23 PM

Author: Hudson_Hawk


I''d also like to mention that this doesn''t include any tips the girls would give.


Wait...are you paying for your BP? If so, I might make sure that your BP knows that it''s appropriate to tip on their own. When I''ve been in group situations where someone else has paid for a service, I''ve assumed that they''ve also paid for the tip. Otherwise, I''d specify with your makeup artist that it''s ''25/hr before tip'' or something like that, to clarify with her that you will also be paying her tip.
This is yet to be determined. To be honest, I''ll probably end up tipping her myself.
 

vintagelover229

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I am paying 112.50 for myself, one BM and a flower girl to get our makeup done, which includes traveling fees, etc. The other BM is paying for her and her daughter to get it done, I think that is like 65.00 total. So I didnt think that was to bad...she said she''d do both FG''s for 25.00 so we split the costs there and then I''m paying for myself, and my 2 sisters (one is the FG other a maid). So I decided to go for it!

I think that rate is fine! If she does great and it takes less time than you think, you can tip her really well!
 
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