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Kait James

Beauty Industry Pricing Explained

Beauty industry pricing: Everything you need to know about what you’re paying for with your beauty service & common beauty industry etiquette!

Social media influence on the beauty industry:

We live in a social media influenced world that normalizes high maintenance beauty. It is common expectation that women stay with acrylic nails, voluptuous lashes, Botox, filled lips, perfect skin, glamourous makeup, done hair, bronzed skin, and perfectly tattooed eyebrows. It is normalized that not only do we stay up to date with all of these beauty services, but our social media presence displays all of this. In our beauty influencer driven world, we are encouraged to post our beauty products, tag our beauty providers, and demonstrate our high maintenance beauty lifestyle. 

Beauty maintenance is expensive!

Hair, nails, lashes, skin, tattoos, massages, spray tans, etc. While our generation has set the standard of a very high maintenance beauty routine, it is so important to keep in mind that beauty is a luxury, not a necessity. 

Beauty is not water, food, a shelter over our heads; but many of us feel that beauty is as essential as the air that we breathe. 

Trending Beauty Services in 2022: 

Let’s break down the basic beauty menu of services that are currently trending:

SERVICEMENU PRICE OccurrenceYearly Cost 
Acrylic Nails$80 2/ month $1,920 
Pedicure$50 monthly$600 
Lashes $75 2/ month $1,800 
Anti-Aging Facial$200 monthly $2,400 
Spray Tan $115 monthly membership$1,380 
Hair $200 monthly $2,400 
Microblading $600 Yearly $600 
Botox $400 every 4 months$1,200 
Lip Injections$600 every 6 months$1,200 

Average yearly cost of beauty service upkeep:

$13,500. This is for base level, trending service. This does not include your at home beauty products and services. This doesn’t include advanced aesthetic procedures such as Plasma Fibroblast Skin Tightening, Cool Sculpting, Kybella, PDO threads, PRP, microneedling, body augmentation, etc. The above shows the base level beauty procedures that most females feel are ESSENTIAL. 

So from a client perspective, WHY ARE BEAUTY SERVICES SO EXPENSIVE?!? 

Yes, beauty is expensive. Again, beauty is a LUXURY, even though we have normalized these services as a necessity. With that being said, if you feel the need to be nasty about your provider’s pricing, try to negotiate lower prices, or skimp on tips, you probably cannot actually afford the beauty lifestyle you are trying to maintain. 

Why are facials so expensive?

Let’s talk about it a little more! 

A common comment concept I hear is:

“I know the products you’re using do not cost more than $30, why is this service $200?!”

While that may hold some validity, you are not taking into account the investment your beauty professional has made in their selves and their business that create the foundation to offer you that service. 

Investments your beauty providers have made:

Investments your beauty experts have made start with education. Beauty education starts with a minimal cost of $10,000, often times upwards $30-$40,000 for advanced beauty trainings. To run their beauty business, your beauty provider also has to pay for office rent, insurance, marketing, booking platforms, website hosting, and supply overhead. And don’t forget, your beauty expert is in beauty to make a career, they need to pay themselves. 

Beauty professionals are often times small businesses that are funding their business, as well as their life. While the products used in service may seem minimal to you, the investment that your provider has made in herself is huge. 

With that being said, not only does the beauty service have a back-end cost, but you are also paying for your provider’s expertise.

Why is microblading so expensive?

Let’s consider this from a microblader’s point of view. Your brow artist went to school to learn the art of microblading, spent countless hours practicing brow mapping and pattern design, and spent several years continuously bettering their art to offer you the BEST OF THE BEST. 

I personally can start and finish a new brow client in an hour and a half; this includes paperwork, brow mapping, numbing, blading, taking photos and videos for content, and setting the client up with aftercare. My brows are minimum $600 (for initial and touchup both). Overhead on brows can be minimal and I am spending a small portion of time on each client. Some may say $600 is too much. However, when you think about it… the initial investment in my brow training was $5,000 and I have spent the past 5 years practicing brow designs and pattern designs: hundreds of hours. In the beginning, I was charging my client just what my overhead was in order to practice and get better. I was investing in myself and my art. I gradually increased price over the years as my art improved. 

Paying for expertise in the beauty industry:

With a seasoned beauty expert, you know you will be receiving the BEST service; you’re also paying for peace of mind. You artist has an extensive look-book and you probably know a few people with great brows that have gone to your artist. You’re not chancing that you may potentially end up with horrid brows; you can have confidence going into your appointment knowing that you will leave with exactly what you want. This goes for all things beauty; the best nail artists, the best massage therapists, the best facialists. You know that going into this new relationship with your beauty provider, you will be well taken care of. 

Beauty industry supply and demand:

Building off of that, as in any business or industry we have to consider supply and demand! As your beauty expert grows their expertise and clientele, there is a higher demand for their services. 

Let’s consider this. A beginning facialist may charge $80 for a 90-minute facial. They have a decent clientele and are treating 2 clients per day. As popularity grows, clients give positive reviews, word of mouth increases, and your esthetician begins getting 3 clients per day. She uses that extra income to further invest in the company and adds for example, a high frequency machine and overhead LED light to use during treatment. This takes the basic facial to an upgraded facial; making the service even better. Now, your esthetician is getting 4 clients per day. With intake paperwork, cleanup between clients, and the 90-minute treatment, your esthetician is working 8-hour days, 40-hour weeks and grossing $1600 a week. This is great! However, her wait list continues to grow on clients dying to get a facial. This is the point where she realizes she needs to restructure the menu of pricing. By increasing prices, she is able to be a little more selective on the clients she prioritizes; and your esthetician is going to prioritize the clients that respect her prices and value her service. 

This is the natural progression of supply and demand. 

Being in the beauty industry is beyond rewarding. 

Being in the beauty industry is a very niche career path because we are truly rewarded by being in a career we LOVE, while still being profitable enough to live a nice life. 

Your beauty provider is human; we want to feel loved, appreciated, and valued. We want our talents to been seen and shared. We want each client to leave feeling full of self-love and self-confidence. But we also want our client interactions to leave us full of self-love and self-confidence as well. 

So, when it comes to pricing, your beauty provider has a rhyme and reason for what goes into generating that specific price.

We expect our client’s to value our service, and respect our pricing. 

So, you may wonder, are prices negotiable?

The straightforward answer is no. 

Beauty prices are not negotiable. 

Menus are not created for negotiation. 

Let me paint a picture for you. You walk into a new, vibey boutique restaurant. Social media has raved about the chef; he was an apprentice in Europe and has now brought his talents to your hometown. The bar menu has been designed by an expert mixologist. After browsing, you choose a lavender lemonade cocktail and a charred salmon salad. The cocktail is $13 and the salad is $27. Your waiter walks up and asks if you are ready to order. Before ordering, do you say to your waiter that you’re incredibly interested in the meal, however you feel the price is a bit much and would like to know if there is any wiggle room? No, you don’t. The waiter would look at you like you have lost your mind. You go into the restaurant knowing that the prices on the menu are set and that’s the price you will pay for not only the food and beverage, but the experience. You need to enter into every beauty experience with this same mindset. The prices on the menu are set, not open to negotiation, and rest assured that your beauty provider has a very thorough thought process on their menu of pricing. 

Buying packages of beauty services is the best investment. 

Many professionals within the beauty industry are HAPPY to give loyal clients discounts in the form of packages. I personally offer buy 2 get 1 free on a multitude of services. This allows me to keep the prices down for clients that I know are loyal to my business and value my services. This allows your beauty professional to set the foundation to build long standing connections with their clients. We truly enjoy servicing you. We enjoy getting to know our clients on a personal level and seeing you regularly is the best way to do that! 

Beauty industry pricing etiquette:

So, what happens when you found a beauty professional you LOVE and it’s time to discuss pricing?! You’ve been keeping up on their social media presence for months now. Their look-book is incredible. You decide to finally reach out to gain a bit more information about their service. The beauty expert greets you happily, has you send them a couple photos for consult, then explains the treatment and the associated pricing. WOAH. That price is not what you expected. Perhaps you haven’t done much market research and don’t know the average pricing. Or maybe you have consulted with a few providers and this particular beauty expert’s price is higher. Now what?

“I truly love your work. That price point is currently out of my budget. I’ll get back to you when I have saved up a bit more. Thanks for your time!”

Recognize the value your beauty expert provides. Be respectful. Be kind. 

At this point you can either save up for the service or find a provider that you feel is more in your price range. Beauty services are on a fluctuating price scale. Cheaper doesn’t mean better, nor does more expensive mean better. 

Why do beauty service prices vary by provider?

All beauty experts have to start somewhere. It is incredibly common for newer providers to have lower prices than more seasoned beauty experts. This goes back to supply and demand. With new providers, you do run the risk of the service not being 100% perfect; but with new providers, you are getting someone eager to learn and eager to please each client. I promise you they are trying their absolute hardest.

When considering the price of beauty services, you need to keep in mind your budget and align your budget with the providers that you feel can best service your needs while staying within your budget. Take into consideration everything discussed in this article. Be mindful that your beauty professional’s pricing is very methodical; respect the value of the services they provide. 

We are living in a social media influenced society that normalizes high maintenance beauty. 

Beauty is a luxury, not a necessity. 

When approaching your providers, always keep in mind that beauty is a luxury, not a necessity. Be grateful to your provider’s and show them as much respect and kindness that they pride themselves on showing to their clients. 

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