Make-up artists usually work on a freelance basis and are paid a fee for each contract. A typical wedding costs anything from £40 – £130 for bridal makeup and £50 – £80 for everyone else in the bridal party. The makeup trial is also billable and most brides want their bridal party to have trials also.
Bridal hair trial is also essential for a bride so if you have both skills then you could be earning a decent wage.
Editorial and fashion work are usually paid at a higher rate and can usually be anything up to £400 for a daily rate.
As the industry is so competitive you may be required to work within budgets. Check that its is worth your while committing time without pay (TFP – Time for Print), i.e. will it lead to future paid work, will it be a fabulous addition to your portfolio, will you make a new contact from it. Weigh up your options before committing to anything.
As a freelance artist or hair stylist you must register as self employed and pay your own taxes.
Rates can vary and will usually depend on the type of production you are working on. For example, a make-up artist working a 10-hour day on a TV drama could expect to earn around £210.
The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) publishes recommended pay rates on its website. It recommends that trainees are paid at least the minimum wage or the London living wage, if working in the capital.