How to maximise your bridal make-up offering

Q: I’m a freelance make-up artist and have started doing bridal make-up. How can I make this profitable?

The wedding market can be an exceptionally lucrative one for make-up artists and by being smart in your approach it can become a core part of your offering.

Determining how much to charge for your services is key. While you don’t want to under-price yourself, it’s important to keep your rates competitive, so local competitor research is essential. Charge a fixed fee that includes the trial and wedding day make-up, and when taking your services mobile make sure your prices include any travel costs you incur.

Value-added treatment packages, such as make-up, nails and tanning, can help maximise revenue and introduce other services you offer. Package deals for the whole wedding party are another way to make the most of each appointment; consider offering tiered options with varying values. As well as boosting earnings, this will promote your services to potential new clients. For example, bridesmaids at one wedding may be next year’s brides.

While word of mouth is effective once you’re up and running, the modern bride will often look online to find and compare suppliers. Create a website and Facebook page to showcase your experience and include an image gallery to give brides an idea of your make-up style. You could also team up with other providers in the industry, such as photographers and hairdressers, and work together to offer brides the full package.

And don’t forget to retail. Your bride will need essentials such as pressed powder and lipstick to touch up during the day, so cost these products into the price of your package.

Kirstie Bower is national sales manager for Mii Cosmetics at Gerrard International and helped to launch the brand in 2011. Bower trained at London College of Fashion and went on to run her own freelance make-up business.