How to Charge for Halloween Makeup without Spooking Clients

October is in full swing and so are all of the haunt attractions and Halloween festivities! If you are a working makeup artist, now is your time to cash in on some Halloween makeup.

According to

“The most expensive part of Halloween is costumes. Men plan to spend $96 each, compared to $77 each for women. As a result, almost half of Americans buy them.”

With Halloween costumes comes Halloween makeup!

Just look at this stat chart on Halloween spending.  It’s incredible!


If you want more information on Halloween statistics, click here.

All of the Halloween makeup options…

To begin, let’s list all of the different types of applications you can offer:

  • Cream base
  • Water base (face paint)
  • Airbrush- water, silicone or alcohol
  • Silicone base
  • Waterproof (alcohol activated)
  • Prosthetic
    • Rubber Latex
    • Foam Latex
    • Prosaid Transfers
    • Silicone
  • Gelatin build ups
  • 2 part silicone build ups
  • Latex build up

Next, let’s define some makeup characters and looks that you will offer. It is best to see what is trending for customers this year. Here are some examples:

Character makeup ideas

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Cos Play (anime or video game character)
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Cleopatra
  • Katniss Everdeen
  • Harry Potter, etc.

Harry Potter Face Paint, credit to YouTuber SammyLovesFossas

Still from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette

Creature makeup

  • The Walking Dead zombies
  • Freddy Krueger
  • Demon
  • Vampires, Trolls, Orcs, Ogres, etc.

Orc makeup, credit to Epoch Creations.

Still from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger.

Trauma ideas

  • Burn victim, Mobster, Hit and run, etc.

Burn makeup, credit to MMA Instructor Nicole Diehl

Skinned arm, credit to MMA student Kyla Devries.

Haunted ideas

  • – Ghoul, Zombie, Cracked Doll, etc.

Zombie face paint makeup, credit to MMA student Christine Lafond.

Cracked makeup, credit to MMA graduate Sam Chapel.

Breaking down the price…

Quite often your clientele will approach you for a  Halloween look is really involved and they may scoff at the cost. It’s up to you to educate your clientele on these different types of makeup and explain why the cost varies. Once they are better informed, most clientele are willing to pay for amazing makeup after they realize all the effort that goes into the final look.

Here is an example of what base expenses would be based upon certain looks:

Why does the pricing vary? Because the process to get to the final product is different for each look and involves different materials! 

A cream paint version of a Harry Potter makeup IS NOT equal to a foam latex Freddy Krueger makeup! 

If you are creating the foam latex from scratch and it’s a custom piece, You have to do the following:

  • Lifecast the client
  • Sculpt the Prosthetic
  • Mold the prosthetic
  • Run the foam
  • Bake the foam
  • Pre-Paint the foam

As you can see, it can get messy…

That is a 6 part process, that is TIME consuming (at least 10 hours if you work quickly). You could easily choose to charge for that time at an hourly rate but most artists don’t in order to stay competitive in their pricing for Halloween makeups.

Now let’s create a table to see how much each makeup application will cost you so you can charge accordingly and finalize your pricing:


  1. It is best to have a location where clients can easily come to you so you are able to book these appointments back to back and maximize time and profitability.
  2. You can also offer group discounts to clients that have 3 or more clients in one location.
  3. You could offer group pricing for customers who are looking to create a group theme.

The truth regarding Halloween makeup…

However, you want to create your business operations is up to you.  Just make sure you are open for business because clients are going to pay someone to do their makeup, it might as well be you. Remember, we have become a service-oriented industry. The times where clients did their own Halloween makeup are just about gone. Make sure that you gather your client information so you are reaching out to them every year just before Halloween.

As mentioned above, Halloween costume sales are going to continue to grow so take advantage!

Until next time!!!

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