How Much to Tip Makeup Artist for Trial


When it comes to planning your wedding day, there are many factors to consider, from your flowers to your hairstyle. For brides, a huge consideration is their makeup. If you don’t know any artists, you’ll likely have to try some out beforehand until you find the right fit. However, while some of these trials will have costs built in, you should also know how much to tip makeup artist for trial before you begin your search.

Do You Tip and How Much to Tip Makeup Artist for Trial?

When it comes to cosmetics – whether nails or makeup – it is customary to tip for the service you receive. While these processes aren’t free, the reason you tip is because you are receiving a service in addition to the actual products being used for whatever procedure is at hand.

Chances are, you may find yourself needing to try-out a number of different artists before you find the right one, but you want to make sure to reward everyone for their help, regardless if you end up working with them or not.

“But it’s just a trial,” you may think to yourself, “why should I pay so much?” First of all – they are doing the work to help find the right color matches, and identify your desired look. This takes time and energy to work out.

Keep in mind that you will very likely have to pay a fee for your makeup trial – especially if you are satisfied with her service. It’s a trial for you, but it’s another appointment for her. That’s why figuring out how much to tip makeup artist for trial is so important. Know that typical amounts are 15-20%, so consider this into your budget before you start making appointments. Of course you can also choose to not tip if you had a horrible experience.

To Tip or Not: What Others Say

Tip if you are happy with it

“I’m not sold on the idea of tipping for bad service, but if your artist does a good job and you’re happy with it, then you should tip.”

Advice from a hair stylist and makeup artist

“I’m a professional hair stylist and makeup artist, and from my perspective, you should absolutely tip for a trial the same way you would do on your wedding day or at any salon you might visit. The industry standard – backed up by wedding sites like The Knot – is 20%; this goes for all cosmetic/beauty needs for your big day.

However, I will say that I’ve had extremely happy brides who ended up not tipping anything, and others who have tipped far more generously than I would have expected. Look, we know how expensive weddings are, so even if you can’t give a tip, maybe just a nice note thanking them or an offer to review their services can go a long way.”

Tip as much as with any salon visit

“I would not have even thought to tip after my trial, so I’m glad that someone brought it up! I don’t know if there is a formal process for how much to tip makeup artist for trial, but I would do the same amount that I would with any salon visit.”

Just do what feels right to you

“My artists had to travel to me, they gave me a good service, and so I felt that tipping was right in this situation. There wasn’t any formal rule I followed, just did what felt right.”

Awful experience! No tip!

“I had such a bad experience at my first makeup trial session that I didn’t tip. However, my second trial was much better, so I did tip.”

Tip those who work at a salon but not if she's the owner

“I think tipping depends on the situation. When I work with an artist who owns her own salon, I often don’t tip for in-house services. However, for someone who works at a salon, I think it is typically right to tip. That being said, whether she owns or works at a salon, if she does an amazing job, I will definitely tip!”

Great service provided!

“My trial was over two hours, and considering that was time that she could have spent with other clients, I felt it was appropriate. Not to mention, she did such a good job that she absolutely deserved it.”

Tips for Booking the Makeup Artist if Satisfied

The worst thing you can do is wait to the last minute to start makeup trials. If it goes bad, then you may be stuck, since makeup artists book up quickly in the wedding industry. It’s always a good idea to start one or two months out so you can try other options if you need to.

If the trial goes well, discuss what the anticipated cost will be for the big day. Keep in mind that bridesmaids and relatives may also need makeup done, so you can probably negotiate better prices if you have more people who need services. If you know how many people will want makeup done and where you’ll need it done, your makeup artists will better be able to anticipate costs. In most cases, brides don’t have the day-of makeup and hair done in a salon, so be sure to ask about travel costs. Also, be sure to ask about any assistants the makeup artist will be bringing, and get an idea for how much time the entire process will take.