There are few niche markets that are more lucrative for makeup artists than the wedding market. Making your way into the wedding makeup market takes some work, but if you are committed to making brides look and feel beautiful on the biggest day of their lives, you could very well take your makeup artist business to the next level, both professionally and monetarily.
To succeed in the wedding market, you need a skillful hand, an impeccable eye, more than a few tricks of the trade up your sleeve, and a solid game plan.
Giving bridal parties gorgeous makeovers on the day of the wedding is just the beginning. Here are some other things to consider when building and marketing your business:
Providing your makeup services in a salon is great, but traveling to your clients is even better. You can charge more for on-site makeup services and include your travel time and hotel stays in with the fee.
For the bride, on-site services eliminates the stress of having to go to the salon on her wedding day, and it’s far more convenient to provide your services to all of the members of the wedding party, including moms and bridesmaids, when you can travel to where the wedding is taking place.
On-site makeup artistry takes the hassle out of salon appointments and allows you to be on-site for last-minute touchups. Some brides even hire makeup artists to stay for the entire day so they can refresh their makeup after the ceremony, during photograph sessions, and before the reception.
Offering Bridal Party/Wedding Packages
One of the best ways to grow your wedding makeup business is to lean toward offering packages over services, as it boosts your revenue while providing clients with a discount for purchasing a package versus a la carte services.
For example, you can bundle a personalized wedding makeup consultation, trial run, and wedding day makeup and lashes into a package deal, or you can offer clients a package deal that includes makeup services for all members of the bridal party.
Some of the services you may want to offer as a package include:
- Personalized wedding makeup consultation
- Makeup trial run
- Skin prep and priming
- Professional airbrush makeup
- Wedding day makeup
- Wedding day lashes
- Bridal party makeup
- Mother-of-the-bride/groom makeup
- Touch-up services
- Tattoo covering/corrective makeup
Presenting Your Work with a Wedding Makeup Portfolio
You must be able to pique potential clients’ interest by providing them with samples of your work. It is important to have a comprehensive portfolio with a variety of makeup options that will inspire your clients and show them the quality of your work. A beautiful website that displays your work is a must for garnering the attention of today’s brides.
Some examples you may want to include in your wedding/bridal makeup portfolio include:
- Elegant: A light eyeshadow, a pearly pink lip, and a subtle bronzer
- Classic: Matte neutral eyeshadow, defined eyeliner, and a rosy blush and lip
- Delicate: Pale pink hues on the lips and cheeks and warm nude tones on the eyes
- Romantic: Glowing skin and soft pink lips and cheeks
- Minimalist: Peach and brown hues with a dewy lip
- Sophisticated: Shimmery taupe shadow, black eyeliner, illuminating powder and peach blush and lipstick
- Glamorous: Smoky shadow, big lashes, and a shiny pink lip
Partnering with Stylists
Partnering with mobile or on-site stylists is a great way to grow your wedding makeup business. Find a stylist who best fits your esthetic as a makeup artist and consider offering package services that include both hair and makeup. Well-established relationships between makeup artists and stylists result in beneficial collaborations and outstanding services.
Building a Mobile Makeup Bag
Your wedding makeup bag needs to be fully stocked with all of the fundamentals. Although your makeup bag will reflect your personal preferences, there are a list of essential items that every makeup artist should have:
- Water spray bottle
- Cream-based blushers
- Powder-based blushers
- Eye pencils (black, brown)
- Cream eyeliner (black, brown)
- Foundation (light cool, warm tone, medium cool, warm tone, dark cool, and warm tone to provide you with plenty of options for mixing colors)
- Setting powders (translucent, light, and dark)
- Eyeshadow palette
- Mascara (black, brown)
- Lipstick (nude, soft pink, coral, plum, red)
- Lip liner (nude, soft pink, red)
- Lip balm
- Clear lip gloss
- Cotton pads
- Eye makeup remover
- Cotton swabs
- Baby wipes
- Clean towels
- Lashes, lash adhesive
- Makeup brushes
- A selection of shadow brushes
- Blusher brush
- Powder brush
- Eyebrow angled brush
- Eyeliner angled brush
- Lip brush
- Eyebrow comb
- Foundation brush
- Concealer brush
Training and Licensing Requirements for Bridal/Wedding Makeup Artists
In most states, you will need to hold an esthetician or cosmetologist license to work as a makeup artist in a licensed salon. However, what is not so clear is whether you need a state license to work as an independent or freelance makeup artist if you do not work in a salon setting.
In most cases, state cosmetology boards can only govern who works in a licensed salon or spa, which means that if you offer wedding makeup services solely outside of a salon setting, you may not need to hold an esthetician or cosmetologist license.
However, ignorance of your state laws is never acceptable and there is no substitute for contacting your state board of cosmetology to ensure you are working within the parameters of the law.
Even if you don’t need to possess a state license to work as a makeup artist, completing a makeup artist program through a reputable beauty school is always beneficial for your career and for the health and safety of your clients. It is also a valuable addition to your esthetician or cosmetologist license.
A makeup artist program includes hands-on training in areas such as:
- Makeup supplies and tools
- Steps of applying makeup
- Specialty makeup
- Fundamentals of makeup
- Corrective makeup
- Makeup artist business and marketing
The successful completion of a makeup artistry program generally culminates in a certificate of completion. Many makeup companies offer makeup artistry certification programs.
Some programs are offered entirely online, allowing students to learn from informational videos and then complete practical assignments.
Advanced makeup artistry programs (often called pro makeup artistry programs) offer training in cutting-edge techniques in specialty areas that include bridal makeup.