The Value in Hiring a Makeup and Hair Artist.

Any special occasion brings up two main topics, first of course is the excitement of the occasion and all of the fun preparation of the big day; then second is the budget.

You've now gotten the dress, purse, shoes, jewelry and lastly the makeup and hair.

Makeup and Hair, unfortunately, is the most underrated and overlooked final piece of the puzzle to complete a stunning look. Also unfortunately, because it is most often times last on the list, the budget has been expended and people then try to get a professional service for a rock-bottom price.

This is the reality, and heartbreakingly, not only do the artists lose-out to cheaper (maybe less qualified artists) but the client also doesn't get what they wanted and sometimes it ruins the whole look that they've spent so long and hard to achieve.

To give you an idea of what artists actually go through to do-what-they-do, I am going to show a little bit of the things I go through to make your appointment with Makeup and Hair magical and exactly what you want.

Cost of Products.

To cater to a wide variety of beautiful faces, an artist must be prepared. There is oily skin, dry skin, combination skin, light skin dark skin. People with scars, acne and skin sensitivities. Not to mention people's views on certain products and ethics (testing on animals). That is just the short list for makeup, hair is just as extensive.

Keeping ALL of this in mind we must carry everything we need to you on that day to cater to whatever situation arises.

Plus because of the sensitivities of the skin each and every product I buy for my kit is dermalogically tested, paraben and phosphate free. 99% of my products are PETA approved as well.

That means a multitude of moisturizers, primers, foundation colours, concealers, setting powders, blushes, bronzers, eye shadows, eye liners, lipstick, hairspray etc etc etc the list goes on.

This list of items do not include the background of tools, disposable items and cleaning supplies needed to ensure sanitary and healthy practices. Items such as brushes, cases, curling irons, straighteners, brush cleaner, sanitizers, rubbing alcohol, cotton pads, q-tips etc etc etc.

As you can imagine, these items do not come cheap but are worth it to an artist (especially myself) to make sure that whatever I put on your face will not only keep it radiant, rash free and ethically sound plus last all day.

An experienced and well-educated artist will have all of these things in mind as well as on hand to tackle any makeup and hair with expertise and care for a client's requests and needs.


There is some debate about artists when certified or not, please don't misunderstand, there are some very talented self-taught people out there who do amazing hair and makeup who have worked hard to get where they are.

They, like most of us though, who have the experience, do not offer rock-bottom prices on kijiji.

Similarly someone who went to school may not have the "talent" that you are looking for vs the price.

In my case I have studied hairdressing since I was 15 and was a hairdresser for 10 years. I attended the 2nd best makeup school in the world (1st is in Vancouver) and paid $25,000 to attend. This doesn't include the amount of extra makeup and hair seminars, classes and books I have practiced to improve my skills.

There is so much that I learnt that wouldn't have even crossed my mind to consider if I had been self-taught and am grateful that I spent the time and money to go.

I don't tell anyone this to show off, more to tell that these experiences shaped how I do things and what is important in catering to any client's needs.

If you take only one thing from this post, I hope that it is to do your research. Look at your artist for what they do and what you like before looking at the cost.


One of the other many services we artists offer is travel. That means things like not only the gas, mileage and car maintenance but also making sure that our giant list of products are transportable; special cases on wheels, portable chair (sometimes people don't have a seat to sit on), tables, mirrors and lighting.

I'm often asked why I charge a travel fee, now that you see the list, it's worth ii. Not only do we drive to you but unpack and pack an entire salon out of a car (not to mention the chiropractic appointments later on).

These things ensure you get to relax on your special occasion day (plus sample some champagne) without having to go to a salon (no champagne there) where they don't incur these tasks/costs

Places like Sephora and Mac.

I love shopping in Sephora; do I like to get my makeup done there? Not so much. Further to my education point above, to be employed at Sephora or Mac, you do not need to be a makeup artist, just be enthusiastic. While training does occur, their goal is not to give so much, the best product for you, but to sell you the most expensive or flavour-of-the-month product. That's their job and understandable so when you pay $50 for a consultation the goal is to make you also spend an extra $200 in product that may not be 100% right for you.

Not all associates are like that obviously but it is the goal of the big-wigs to sell as much product as possible.

On a purely yucky basis, the associates at Sephora and Mac cannot have eyes everywhere and while they try to keep all samples used properly with disposables.

The products that they use on your face may have been subjected to people who used that lip-gloss wand straight out of the bottle, onto their lips, then put it back on the shelf, contaminating the whole product. Then that the associate unknowingly puts on your face.

Personally, I am very methodical in cleansing and sanitizing all brushes and products between each person with no cross-contamination.

Doing it yourself.

So not that you've read all of the fun stuff we get to do, your next thought is "well why don't I just do it myself?!"

What a thinker!

There are a few avenues to think about when doing it yourself.

A. The stress of doing it yourself.

You might be a pro at doing it yourself, fantastic! I'm truly happy for you and if you decide that this is the best avenue I wish you the best of luck.

Personally, I had issues on my own Wedding Day (I know, shocked right!) not because I couldn't do my own makeup and hair but because I was a bit frazzled.

We had a tight budget and did everything ourselves. So after setting up the hall etc etc etc I got to the hotel room to get ready and my hands started to shake. I couldn't put in my hot rollers! Luckily, I had someone to help me and as I was able to sit and get my hair set, I felt better and was able to execute a flawless finish.

I am not saying that you are not capable of doing an amazing look all by yourself (or that you'll get frazzled as I did) all I am saying is that, that a moment of time out to get pampered and feel amazing in among the chaos can really make a difference.

B. Buying new products and trying to learn from YouTube.

YouTube can be an amazing source of information. However, unless you're ready and willing to dedicate extra time and energy to not only find the right tutorial (not everyone on YouTube knows what they're doing) but to study and practice.

Also if you do decide to buy the products you need the cost may be even higher than hiring someone and honestly, you may not use all of your new products again.

The Verdict.

There are ups and downs to every path you take, as with everything in life. I hope that with the education provided here that it will help you on your way to make you next special occasion make you feel and look as stunning as possible!

As always I hope you enjoyed this blog post.

Chat soon,


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All photos and articles are copyrighted under © Alana Wagner, MUA and its affiliates and used with the permission of governing parties. No photos from AW Magazine or may be used or altered without permission of Alana Wagner.
Alana Wagner, MUA.