Tipping Advice, Part Two: Hair and Makeup

I recently shared a blog I wrote about tipping your wedding vendors.  I promised to elaborate more particularly on hair and makeup.  I sat down with good friend, Lindsay Shields, owner of #NoFilterGlam, to discuss tipping etiquette for hair and makeup services for a private event like a wedding, party, or photo shoot. Here’s what she had to say:

Why is it necessary/appropriate to tip a hair stylist or makeup artist?  Gratuity is essential for artists in the hair and makeup industry. In order to understand this, I feel you must break it down in every aspect of what we do. Typically, artists have spent countless hours training (getting licensed or certified) and most of the time it has taken years to hone our skills.  Artists also are interpreting your wants and desires and creating a vision for the client that we hope they will love. This is subjective and often hard to do; i.e.: our natural and your natural may be very, very different so we need to create what our client is looking for in a sanitary and efficient way.  Our kits are comprised of thousands of dollars’ worth of products which we have curated over the years.  Often, clients will balk at an artist’s pricing without realizing everything on the back end that we do. From the initial email to scheduling a trial, to creating and sending a contract, to scheduling other artists if need be, to constructing day of timelines (for a wedding) and then traveling to the client and preforming makeup and hair applications…artists typically only get paid for the time they do the actual application. Gratuity says to us, “Thank you, we appreciate your artistry and everything you’ve done to help me look good, and the experience that you’ve provided along the way.”

What is the typical rate for a gratuity? 15-20% is ideal. What do you typically tip when you go to your hair salon and get your hair cut and colored? Whatever that gratuity percentage for you there is acceptable as an artist for wedding and events.  I would say if you don’t feel that your artist completed the application to your standards (wasn’t sanitary/didn’t listen to your wants etc.) then it would be fair to either tip less or not at all depending on the situation.

Why should you receive a tip if you’re not renting a spot in a salon for the services? (I laugh when people ask this question) I get this question a lot or I hear, “You’re the owner!” To reiterate, it’s not just hair and makeup services. We do a lot behind the scenes that we do not get paid for. We have picked out the best products for every single person who sits in our chair, whether they have sensitive skin or other special needs. We bring chairs and lighting to make sure the application is comfortable and flawless. You’re paying and tipping the artist based off the work they did and their knowledge of the service. As a business owner I work very hard to coordinate all the artists schedules on my team. I pay for insurance and marketing costs. I put out a lot more than the artists on my team. So, I would still consider tipping your business owner.

If there are already travel and admin fees, is a tip still recommended? As a full-time artist, I would say yes! You’re still saying ‘thank you’ for your expertise and an awesome application.  You’re tipping for a great experience.

Should someone tip you for doing their trial?  Yes, it’s a service provided just like any other.  It can tend to be even more difficult than the wedding day makeup itself, because it’s the first time we are working together, so showing appreciation is that much more valuable.

Anything else you would like to add?  If bridesmaids are paying for their own services, they don’t usually tip, but the bride should account for that on her own balance. If she can include a little extra for all the services, that is appreciated.


Lindsay Shields is the owner, hair stylist and makeup artist at #NoFilter Glam.  She also has a team of highly trained/certified professionals who help her serve clients all over the Maryland/DC/Virginia area. She is the director at the Academy of Makeup, where she offers makeup instruction to candidates who are pursing a career in Makeup Artistry or for the novice who wants to learn how to apply makeup.

Photo Credit for featured image: Tpoz Photography