How to Save Big Money by Not Hiring A Professional Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist

Or "Why Your Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist Is Overcharging You"

I recently read a very informative blog: How To Save Big Money by Not Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer. Clearly saving money is the most important part of one of the most expensive days in your life! Not only can you rent out expensive equipment and hire one of your friends to take photos to save money, but you can also save money by having one of your family members do your hair and makeup for the whole bridal party! Forget relaxing in the hands of a professional the day of your wedding, make sure that you can afford your thousand dollar dress by skimping on your hair and your face! It’s a win-win!

Of course, you will need to purchase a few things so that your little sister can become a professional hair and makeup artist overnight.

Since you’re hiring your friend’s kid to do the photography, you can’t rely on his photoshop skills, so you need to get professional, high quality makeup that lasts all day and night. A shiny face after dancing with your new husband at your reception makes for a difficult editing job. Reapplying lipstick and eyeshadow all night certainly is a drag, too, so make sure the makeup you're buying is top quality and will last through crying, kissing, and Grandpa's bear hugs.

I’ve made a checklist of the absolute basics that I bring with me to do wedding hair and makeup.

  • $33.95 Bella di Terra Rose & Aloe Toner
  • $55.00 Merle Norman Brilliant C Moisturizer
  • $30.00 Merle Norman Anti-Redness Foundation Primer
  • $25.00 Merle Norman Foundation Primer
  • $16.25 Merle Norman Cover Up Light
  • $16.25 Merle Norman Cover Up Warm Light
  • $35.00 Merle Norman Soft Touch Eye Pencils in Black & Brown
  • $22.50 Merle Norman Eye Shadow Primer
  • $50.00 Sephora palette of eyeshadows
  • $17.50 Merle Norman Mascara Primer
  • $20.00 Wicked Lash Mascara
  • $60.00 3 Lasting Cheekcolors, $20 each
  • $18.75 Merle Norman Natural Brow Powder in Brown
  • $90.00 Ultra Powder in Fair, Cameo, Cream $30 each
  • $27.50 Merle Norman Flawless Effect Oil Control Powder
  • $187.50 Merle Norman Creamy Lipcolor in 10 shades, $18.75 each
  • $18.75 Merle Norman Dual Action Eye Makeup Remover
  • $20.00 Expert Touch Finishing Spray
  • $5.00 False Eyelashes for the Bride
  • $5.00 False Eyelash Glue
  • $299.00 Dinair airbrush, Air compressor, Airbrush cleaner, 16 shades of Dinair foundation
  • $40.00 Set of Mid-Range Brushes
  • $3.00 Disposable Sponges
  • $12.00 Brush Cleaner
  • $2.00  Headband
  • $1.00  Disposable Mascara Wands
  • $1.00 Q Tips
  • $2.00 Black Large Bobby Pins
  • $2.00 Black Small Bobby Pins
  • $2.00 Gold Large Bobby Pins
  • $2.00 Gold Small Bobby Pins
  • $5.00 Wide Tooth Comb
  • $2.00 Teasing Comb
  • $18.00 Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play
  • $50.00 Babyliss Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron
  • $2.00 Hair Clips
  • $1.00 Hair Ties
  • $40.00 Flat Iron
  • $100.00 A giant makeup box to carry it all in

You only have to spend $1,356.70 to be able to do your own professional makeup!

That’s just the basics. If you want to get really fancy, let’s add in some really nice professional brushes that I keep in my kit and use when the mid-range brush set doesn’t cut it. Professional brushes won’t leave bristles on your face, apply makeup more smoothly, and keep eyeshadow from falling out onto your cheekbones. Remember that you need enough brushes to do all of your bridesmaids!

  • $32.50 Merle Norman Face #2 Powder Brush
  • $32.00 Sephora Face & Eye Travel Kit
  • $55.00 Aveda Flax Sticks Special Effects Brush Set
  • $65.00 Aveda Flax Sticks Daily Effects Brush Set

Just for fun, here are some other things in my kit that are available to purchase for your wedding kit, just in case one of your bridesmaids needs something a little different, like concealing birthmarks, acne scars, or discoloration, has severely dry skin, or you need to adjust a foundation to match perfectly.

  • $36.00 Kat Von D Eyeshadow Palette
  • $10.00 Profusion Eyeshadow Palette
  • $14.00 Dinair Moist & Dewy Natural Facial Moisturizer
  • $16.00 Dinair Light Yellow Concealer
  • $12.00 Dinair White Color Adjuster

So now you’re looking at a paltry $1,649.70 (plus tax) for a nice wedding makeup kit. We won’t get into buying skin care for different skin types, more colors of concealer, powder, cheek colors and eyeliner, different sized curling irons, or having several different types of hairspray and hair product, or even the cost of Cosmetology school (roughly $15,000) because that would be just ridiculous. I'm not going to add the safety pins, fabric tape, or a mini sewing kit in case of wardrobe malfunctions either.

Now that you’ve bought all of these items, you can go into the wedding hair and makeup business yourself! You’ll just need a state issued Aesthetician license to touch people’s faces. Here in Wisconsin, this requires 450 hours of study, but the best program has 600 hours.  In Illinois, you'll need 750 hours of education. Each state is different, the required hours range from 300 to 1300.

  • $7,125.00 Aveda Institute of Beauty and Wellness Esthiology program (plus student loan interest)     
  • $10.00 Temporary Aesthetics License                 
  • $391.00 Esthiology State Board with Pearson Vue  (better hope you pass on the first time otherwise you pay the full price again for a retake!)                
  • $85.00 Wisconsin Aesthetician License    
  • $20.00 Making Faces by Kevin Aucoin for background reading

Congratulations! After 600 hours of in school studying different skin types, workshops, countless hours doing homework, projects, and studying for state board, gas to get to school and back, change to pay the street parking meter every day, State Board Stress Syndrome (which should be listed as a legitimate syndrome any day now), you’re now a licensed Aesthetician. But wait! Just a few more dollars to be a legitimate freelance business and you’re set!

  • $75.00 Esthetics Establishment license
  • $259.00 Associated Skincare Professionals Insurance (per year)
  • $25.00 Business Tax Registration
  • $10.00 Business Cards
  • $130.00 Department of Financial Institutions to file your LLC

So you’re looking at pocket change, really! Just $9779.70, which in the grand scheme of your wedding, isn’t really that much.

And now you don’t have to tip!