How to hire a Makeup Artist…the right way!

Makeup, Toronto, GTA

Booking a Makeup Artist for a formal event can be easy if you are aware of what to look for and what to avoid.

At Elite Beauty Makeup we want you to be armed with all the info you need to hire a makeup artist properly, whether you book with us or any of our industry friends!

Some questions you should have: What does the artist charge? Do they travel? What is included? How much for a trial? How much experience do they have? Are they trained or self taught? 

Now before I dive in to the answers to those questions there is some background info you need… For a lot of makeup artists, freelancing is their primary source of work. This is their JOB, how they feed their families and pay their bills.

When you go to work and your boss asks you to stay late or anything else that is over and above, you expect to be compensated for this, right? Same goes for any of your service staff, whether it be your photographer, hair stylist, or makeup artist they all make their living on providing you this service. Please make sure that you consider the facts: they most likely have paid for extensive education, have expenses to run their business like any other establishment, stock and refresh their kit regularly, keep up with trends and new education, bring their own lighting and equipment, and spend hours consulting with you via phone or email prior to even providing the services to you or receiving payment for all of this. Take into account their time, it is very valuable, just like yours is! With most freelancers, you can usually reach them at almost any hour of the day, there are no standard business hours and this is part of the convenient service that they provide. Convenience and dependability are vital to this process and does come at a cost.

Lets talk about experience for a moment. This is very important. An artist with years of experience in the industry and professional training, has the background to be able to understand what it is that you want and be able to achieve this with precision, they also have a vision of what will suit you and your needs. They are also rigorous with sanitation and practice proper sanitary procedures to ensure the safety of their clients. Lesser experienced artists may not even be aware of proper sanitary techniques and can unknowingly contaminate product, which can result in not so fun irritations and infections! Yuck!! If precise attention to detail is not important to you then hiring a less experienced artist who fits into a lower budget is the way to go. BUT if you are the type of person who wants to look like Kim Kardashian, perfectly flawless, and you don’t want pink eye, then you will need to expect to spend more for this level of expertise. Most people do not realize that for most celebrities in order to look as great as they do, are wearing a full face of makeup and it took a team with several hours to create that! They do NOT roll out of bed looking like this! 

Cost. The average Canadian makeup artist with 1-5 years of industry experience can charge between $50-$80 per face. They may also give a complimentary trial or charge up to the rate of $60 for this. For artists with more then 5 years of experience rates can range from $80-$300+ per face and most will charge the same rate for a trial because they use the same level of precision during this time and they also spend a lot more time with you then on the actual event day. Other things to consider with the cost is that usually artists accept cash only, this means that they will not be charging you taxes on top of your fees however they may be paying out taxes in most cases for supplies and income. They also do not charge you for all of the communications back and forth that are needed to coordinate the services, gas and millage depending on how far they will need to travel to get to you because of course they bring you this service in the comfort of your own home! Convenience comes at a premium!

If budget is the dictating factor in your booking, be upfront with this information. An artist will not be offended if you say to them “I can only spend X per person for makeup, what do you charge?” DO NOT ask them to meet your budget unless there is only a small difference between the two ($5-$10). Have realistic expectations, if you can only afford $50 each for makeup then try to contact makeup students or artists just starting out, but do not expect to receive the same level of professionalism and skill as an artist who charges you $100+ each. If the artist does not have to come to you or your salon then usually they will offer a slightly lower rate to reflect that.

Professionally trained vs self taught. I know some really bad professionally trained artists and some great self taught ones, however these are rare! More often then not an artist with proper training is going to have a much better business sense and work ethic, sanitary practice, and skill level. In the end it comes down to how much experience they have. If they just started out and have only ever done makeup on their little sister please do not expect magic. Like anything in life, practice makes perfect so the more makeup they have done on more types of people then the more skill they will have acquired over time.

Booking your artist, please don’t leave this to the last minute, you should have an idea of cost and start discussions with your artist minimum of 3 months in advance. If you leave yourself with less time then this you run the risk of cutting yourself short on time and not finding someone. 1 year in advance is a lot but the earlier you book the better!

I hope this helps give you some better insight that all makeup artist are not created equal and some of the things you should be looking for so that you are not disappointed on your big day! Realistic expectations are key!

Yours Truly,

Elite Beauty Makeup Artist,

Amanda Florio

Elite Beauty Makeup Artist Amanda Florio



2 thoughts on “How to hire a Makeup Artist…the right way!

  1. Hi, I was wondering if you know how to domaleficent make up, for my daughter. Please contact me as soon as possible. I have a picture/video of the tutorial I like, if you want.



      We are booked up solid this Halloween, but if you follow the tutorial you found and give yourself lots of time to work at it I’m sure it will turn out wonderful! Ideally prosthetic’s on the cheeks will give the most dramatic effect but contouring and highlight will also provide an accurate makeup. I always like to use Chromacake’s from MAC Cosmetics for this type of character makeup. Hope this helps! Happy Halloween!