How much can I realistically make as a lash artist?
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Have you considered becoming a lash artist and want to know realistically, what does a lash artist actually make?
Well, 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 lash studio?
Do you work for a small private studio?
Do you rent a booth?
Are you a W2 employee or a 1099 contractor?
How experienced are you?
Do you work from home?
Is this your primary job or a side job?
Where do you live/work? Is there a demand there? What is the average income there?
Let’s break these down:
Do you for a corporate studio or a small private studio?
Well, 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 crazy high. They also tend to only hire W2 employees which also leads to lower pay. Why? W2 employees are more expensive and risky to a business. To offset these, they are usually paid lower. This could be a great place to start if you are a beginning lash artist. Small private studios may hire you on as a W2 employee or a 1099 contractor. Depending on your personality type, desired freedom and responsibility, and understanding of taxes, you may be best suited for one over the other.
Are you a 1099 contractor or W2 employee?
As mentioned above, W2 employees are typically paid lower due to higher overhead and risk for the owner. The plus side of this is that W2 employees usually qualify for unemployment benefits and the business withholds and sends in the employee’s taxes on their behalf.
1099 contractors are paid higher. The risk and cost of a 1099 contractor is less. 1099 contracting is desirable for a lot of lash artists as it is a nice hybrid between working for a studio but not being held to a particular schedule and way of doing things like a W2 employee is expected to.
Do you booth rent?
So there is this inaccurate ideal that if you booth rent, you keep all the money. Well, of course you want that! Or do you? What many people don’t factor in is that booth renting is hard, expensive, and requires allot 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 a lot 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 also locked into a lease which means less flexibility for you. This may be a good option for some lash artists but probably not most.
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 sleep and your kids sleep. 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.
Is this your primary job or a side hustle?
If being a lash artist is your primary job, it is a lot easier to get good quicker. 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.
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 pay will be different than a small dying town.
That being said, here are some typical pay scales:
Corporate Lash Artist (W2 Employee): Minimum wage plus 5-10% commission per appointment.
Local Lash Studio (W2 Employee): Minimum wage plus 10-15% commission per appointment.
Local Lash Studio (Contractor): 30-50% commission per appointment.
Booth Rent (Self-employed): 100% but business costs run about 30-70% per appointment. You could make 30-70% per appointment.
Work from home (Self-employed): 100% but business costs run 10-30%. You could make 70-90% per appointment.
And add on top of all these a 10-20% tip.
I hope this was helpful! Leave comments below and I would love to hear if this is accurate to your situation!