Why is bridal makeup more expensive? - Raphael Oliver

Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist and Makeup Educator. Teach courses globally.

Why is bridal makeup more expensive?

Do you wonder why bridal makeup is more expensive than traditional makeup and never found a really convincing answer? Find out in this article once and for all. Check it out!

Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist and Makeup Educator. Teach courses globally.


Much is speculated because bridal makeup is more expensive than social makeup. But what really defines this price difference if both are social makeups?

Let’s understand point by point what makes bridal makeup more expensive. The first step is to understand what are the differences between conventional makeup and bridal makeup, so it will be easier to understand the price differences as well.

Social makeup vs bridal makeup, what’s the difference?

Social makeup

Firstly, social makeup doesn’t have a super charge on the question of durability, resistance to tears, photogeny, etc.

Not that social makeup doesn’t need attention and doesn’t need to be done well, that’s not it. But it’s clear that there’s much more pressure and expectation about bridal makeup than social makeup to go to a traditional event. Agree?

But what about bridal makeup, what’s special about it?

Before talking about bridal makeup, let’s think about the wedding occasion right? 

A very important and remarkable event in the life of anyone, especially a bride, who dreams, plans, creates expectations, idealizes, in short.

So it’s not just the makeup itself, it’s a continuity, a complement, a key piece in the whole process of being a perfect bride according to the bride’s individual style and dream.

So the makeup becomes much more expected, awaited and there’s a much greater expectation over this proposal that will be carried out. 

Not only from the bride, but from everyone who will be there at the event, from the groom, family, guests, photo and video team, in short.

So it’s about the meaning that this makeup represents in the moment of the bride’s life, and so that it corresponds so much to this great expectation, there is a connection with the concept of the celebration, dress, hair, accessories, color palette, and all the other details, a lot of planning and sensitivity of the hired makeup artist is necessary.

In addition to this emotional and behavioral part involved, I would like to highlight a few more key points that also respond “because bridal makeup is more expensive” .

Why is bridal makeup more expensive after all?

1 – Interview & Planning

Unlike traditional makeup that is decided there in a few minutes, with the client already seated in the chair, bridal makeup requires prior planning, a long conversation and research by this makeup artist to deeply understand the whole context of the wedding, the personal style of the bride. Her expectations, an analysis of her face, skin type, hairstyle and what image this bride wants to show.

Average time: 04h if it is just a meeting + pre-wedding advice via whatsapp, email, exchange of messages and all the necessary attention so that the bride feels calm and confident about her beauty.

2 – Test

Once the initial interview with the bride or the couple is done, then the test takes place, which is where the makeup artist offers options for looks, based on all the conversation previously done. Tests the color of the base, applies contours, checks the intensity and tones used, the color of the lipstick, the intensity of the highlighter, the makeup style, among many other details, so that the bride can see herself with the makeup she will use on her wedding day. Being able to remove and redo this makeup from 2 to 4x.

Average time: 4h to 5h

3 – Photogenic test

This may be a new concept for some people, but in my career I have always done the “photogenic makeup test” which is to photograph the makeup in different lighting to see how the makeup reacts.

What does this test consist of?

● Shooting with flash and without flash      

● Photograph the makeup at various angles      

● Shooting from near and far      

The purpose of the test is to check if the makeup will be marked or with a grayish/ whitish effect in some lighting or angle.

Average time: 2h

4- Makeup time

Unlike social makeup that can be done in 30, 40 or 60 minutes, bridal makeup usually requires more time in its preparation to ensure a more refined finish will already be under the focus of many lenses for both photographers and videographers.

In addition, during the make-up, the making-off is still done, which requires a certain amount of performance from the makeup artist to generate good scenes and good clicks for the bride’s album.

Average time: 2h to 3h

5 – Specific products

Not that bridal makeup needs to be done with all products totally different from traditional makeup.

However, there are some specific and much more expensive products that need to be used for the preparation of bridal makeup in order to make it more resistant, long lasting and with the necessary photogenic finish for the occasion, which makes this makeup even more expensive.

6 – Psychological pressure

The makeup artist also goes through a great deal of psychological pressure before and during the rendering of the service, which is not common most of the time, since given the seriousness of the occasion and expectation of the bride, often her emotional sensitivity, the makeup professional also embarks in all this wave of anxiety and ends his shift with great mental exhaustion, due to the great dedication of time and energy.


Because bridal makeup is more expensive, it will not be answered by looking at it from the mere perspective of comparing techniques, but rather from the whole context involved mainly in the pre-realization of makeup, advice, consultancy and during the provision of this service.

The makeup artist is not a mere reproducer of techniques. He is a creative artist and a human being who gets involved in the bride’s dream, and lives it together with her and needs to be prepared both technically and emotionally to live up to her expectations.

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