A makeup artist has many paths they can take in their careers. Possibilities range from film and television to body painting to runway. Most young artists will say they want to do it all, and that experimentation is necessary for an aspiring makeup artist to find where they fit. In my observation though, most people end up finding their niche and sticking to it. While now my personal path is in education, for a long while it was in bridal. People are often surprised at how much money I was able to make in such a short amount of time.
So firstly, truth be told it was more work than one day a week. Weddings usually fall on Saturdays, and that is the one day I’m referring to. Of course there are more hours required in branding and self promotion, but those hours are completely flexible and to me it truly felt like one day a week! In my area I would estimate weddings to average about $1000 per booking (of course it varies quite a bit) and artists who build their business to around 30-40 weddings per year can do quite well and still have plenty of time on their calendars for photoshoots, films and more to enhance their income. I know makeup artists making 6 figures who are on their game!
Here is some advice for aspiring bridal makeup artists:
1. Your Saturdays are sacred.
If you want a bridal business, this is your mantra. Weddings happen on Saturdays and if you are in a day job that doesn’t allow you that day off, it’s going to be difficult to get a wedding business off the ground. Start saying your Saturdays are already booked. Use that day to work on promoting your business, until your Saturdays are actually booked with weddings.
2. Training. Training. Training.
The title of makeup artist has become quite popular in the last few years. In a sea of self taught instagram artists, you need to stand out as a trained professional. Brides want to look their best on their most special day. In addition to makeup skills, a great training program like AMUA will equip you with the business know how.
3. Invest in yourself
Once you have properly trained and have a comprehensive understanding of how this business works, it may be time to invest in a bridal trade show. Yes, they are expensive, but I’ve known artists who literally booked their entire year off of one or two wedding conventions. My advice is, go attend one first. Take notes. See what other booths are doing that look successful before investing.
Whether an artist is interested in booking a bride here and there, or creating an entire career in the bridal business, Weddings are a lucrative option for the trained professional. Our weekend freelance program is a great option to begin your career. Click here to read more.