After 13 years as a restaurant manager I left my career happily to be a SAHM to my two children two years ago. I'm thinking of retraining as a makeup artist and going down the route of Bridal Makeup. I want to work only 2 days p.w. so the daily ratel is a big part of my decision as the course costs £2000. The college suggested I could command £200-£250 per bride but I don't see anyone charging more than £80 locally (Manchester/North West) Does anyone out there work in this field or is anyone in a position to advise me before I proceed??
I'm based in the North West (not far from Manchester) and when choosing who to do my wedding make-up the average seemed to be £50-60 for bride and £25-30 per bridesmaid. Remember that you will need to do pre-wedding trial before the wedding day (included in the price) so you would probably need to do that one evening the week before the wedding. Most weddings are at the weekends so you would need to be willing to work every Sat as a minimum.
I looked into doing it, but decided it wasn't worth it unless I did a full beauty therapy qualification and worked in a salon during the week. If you managed to do say 2 weddings per week (you could possibly fit in more, but would depend so much on times of wedding etc that I didn't want to factor it in) with say an average of 4 bridesmaids (sometimes you would just be doing the bride, other times more people) then that works out at £180 per wedding, £320 per week. You would also have to do 2 evenings per week unpaid to do the make-up trial. That's £16,640 per year, if you manage to get 2 weddings a week which is unlikely for the first year or so while you build up your reputation.
Works out to about £1,100 after tax per month, but for that you will be losing your weekends and 2 evenings per week. Depends if its worth it to you.
I would sign up for salongeek.com and take a look at the forums on there. Also there's makeupadviceforum, although you need special access to get to the pro boards for advice you can post asking for advice on the open boards.
I have looked into this time and time again. My research has left me believing the following: You need to go to the best school, which I think is probably School of Makeup in Stockport (for north west - this is where I am too). They have the best contacts and will be able to help you get paid and unpaid work doing makeup and hair. You will need to do lots of practice before you can charge - they told me when I went for a look around that if I am good, and reasonably able, it would be 'a few months' before I could advertise for paid bridal work.
You realistically need to do hair too. Not everyone does and certainly there are bridal makeup artists making money who can't do hair - but, you will find many brides want a package deal.
The amount you can charge depends on local demand. I personally think in your area (kinda my area too ) that demand is high, and you can charge a decent rate. I was looking at £120 for hair AND makeup for bride, £60 for other members of the bridal party. This is about what I was quoted for my own hair and makeup in 2008/09 and it's not gone up much. The most expensive (and very talented) artists are Peaches and Cream and they charge more than double this amount - and they're booked up to the hilt.
You will need to spend a lot of money on kit.
You will need to do work for free to get your name out there - modelmayhem is a good way to get time for print shoots.
Hope this helps. I am not going to be doing it for a few years as I have got a part time job that I enjoy and have two young DDs, but it's something I really desperately do want to pursue when I have more time and money - probably in 3 years. You can make money out of it if you're business-minded. And PS most artists charge separately for trials, they wouldn't be included in your pricing - but you'd be looking at £25 ish for a trial.
I'm getting married in 6 months and I have recently booked my makeup artist - (She also does hair) She is charging £80.00 for the trial and £120.00 for my hair and makeup on my wedding day. I live in Leeds.. Hope this helps if only a little.. :/