How much money does a lash artist make?


Have you considered becoming a lash artist and want to know how much money a lash artist actually earns?


The pay for a lash artist actually varies quite a bit. Here are the main factors that determine a lash artist’s pay:

  • Do you work for a corporate-run chain lash studio or a small private studio?

  • Do you booth rent?

  • Are you a W2 employee or a 1099 contractor?

  • How experienced are you?

  • Do you work from home?

  • Is this your primary job or side hustle?

  • Where do you live/work? Is there a demand there? What is the average income there?

  • How well do you sell products?


Do you work for a corporate or small private studio?

Generally, corporate studios/chains are franchises. It costs the franchise owner a lot of money to buy in and large monthly fees. These studios are typically the lowest paying because their overhead is insanely high. They also tend only to hire W2 employees, which also leads to lower pay. Why are W2 employees paid less than 1099 contractors? W2 employees are more expensive and risky to a business. To offset these, they are typically paid lower. This could be a great place to start if you are a newer lash artist.


Small private studios may hire you as a W2 employee or a 1099 contractor. And, depending on your personality type, desired freedom, responsibility, and understanding of taxes, one may be the best suit you over the other.


1099 contractors are usually paid a bit more than W2 employees and require quite a bit more responsibility. Let's be honest, everyone wants more money, but not everyone is suited for the duties and responsibilities required to make that extra moolah. If you want the easier ride, look for a W2 position. If you are more of a go-getter and consider yourself very self-responsible, check out a 1099 contractor position.

If you want the easier ride, look for a W2 position. If you are more of a go-getter and consider yourself very self-responsible, check out a 1099 contractor position.


Are you a 1099 contractor or W2 employee?

W2 employees:

  • They are typically paid lower than a 1099 contractor due to higher overhead and risk for the owner.

  • May qualify for unemployment benefits if they are laid-off (not fired).

  • The business withholds and sends in the employee’s taxes on their behalf.

  • They are paid for their training time.

  • All supplies are provided.

  • The business determines the schedule.

1099 contractors:

  • They are paid higher than W2 employees due to a lesser risk and cost to the business.

  • Do NOT qualify for unemployment benefits.

  • Pays their own taxes to the state and federal governments quarterly or annually.

  • Tracks their own business expenses.

  • Pay for their own training and are not paid for training time at the business.

  • Provide their own service supplies.

  • Create their own schedule.

Which type of position (W2 or 1099) you choose really depends on what works for your lifestyle and work style. For me, I have no desire to be a W2 employee because I love my freedom, and I am super organized and responsible. Being a contractor works for me! But, for many others, the organization and responsibility of ordering your own supplies, managing expenses, and paying your own taxes are just too much. In that case, a W2 position is probably better suited.

Do you booth rent?

So there is this completely inaccurate idea that if your booth renting, you keep all the money. Well, of course, you want that! Or do you? Many people don’t factor in renting is hard, expensive, and requires a lot more than just being a good lash artist.


Many people don’t factor in renting is hard, expensive, and requires a lot more than just being a good lash artist.

As a booth renter, you will need to find your own clients, which means you need to be a great marketer and allot at least 10-20 extra hours a week to this. You will need to carry all your own government registrations and insurance. You also are usually locked into a lease which means less flexibility for you. This may be a good option for some experienced lash artists.

Do you work from home?

The overhead is much lower working from home, but there are a lot of things to consider. Many clients may not feel comfortable coming into your home. Also, you can’t advertise as widely because your business address is also where you and your family sleeps. Most people won’t pay as much if they are coming into a home versus going to a business location. This one is probably best if you are mostly seeing friends/family or people within your network.


Many clients may not feel comfortable coming into your home.

Is this your primary job or side hustle?

If being a lash artist is your primary job, it is a lot easier to grow your lash application skills quickly. It is easier to maintain your muscle memory, and you have more time options available for clients. If this is your side hustle, it may be more challenging to gain speed and skill as your muscle memory won’t be as strong. Full-time lash artists tend to be higher earners per appointment simply because they work faster and perform higher quality work.


Where do you live? How is the economy? What is the demand?

This one is a biggy. If you live in an economically growing large city, your income will be higher than in a small dying town.


How well do you sell products?

Many lash artists forget that a big income source can be a simple as selling a product! This is probably the easiest way to increase your income with minimal effort or talent. If you work at a lash studio, you will probably receive a 5-10% commission on products you sell. If you own your own studio and buy lash products by big brands such as Barboleta, Sugar Lash, Xtreme, so on, you will probably take home 30% of the sale price. Not too bad...but, if you own your own studio and buy your own branded or unlabeled products, you will make upwards of an 80% profit.


Many lash artists forget that a big income source can be a simple as selling a product!

Here are some typical pay scales:

Corporate Lash Artist (W2 Employee):

  • Minimum wage plus 5-10% commission per appointment

  • 5-10% commission on product sales

  • 0-20% tip (some corporate studios with memberships decrease the likelihood of tipping)

Local Lash Studio (W2 Employee):

  • Minimum wage

  • plus 10-15% commission per appointment

  • 5-10% commission on product sales

  • 10-20% tip

Local Lash Studio (1099 Contractor):

  • 30-50% commission per appointment

  • 5-10% commission on product sales

  • 10-20% tip

Booth Rent (Self-employed):

  • 100% minus business costs (costs run about 30-70% per appointment)

  • You could take home 30-70% per appointment

  • You could make 30-80% per product sold

  • 0-20% (some clients don't tip owners of businesses)

Work from home (Self-employed):

  • 100% minus business costs (costs run 10-30%)

  • You could make 70-90% per appointment

  • You could make 30-80% per product sold

  • 0-20% (some clients don't tip owners of businesses)


I hope this was helpful! Leave comments below, and I would love to hear if this is accurate to your situation! -xo-Erika


BrandedLASH offers eyelash extension training and retail products at wholesale prices, bulk ordering, private (also known as custom) labeling so you can start your own lash brand!

#lashartistpay #lashartistsalary #lashartistwage #eyelashartistpay