The Cost of Competing

First-time competitors are always curious to know how much it REALLY costs to step on stage, so I want to break it down and show you exactly what the finances look like! This is a complete break down of minimal costs, potentially added costs, as well as some tips and tricks to make competing A LOT cheaper.

First, you have to purchase a membership to the organization that you’re competing in. Sometimes you don’t, but most likely there will be a $100-150 fee to have a membership for that year. Basically an unavoidable cost.

Next, you have to pay for show entry. There is a one time fee for each category you compete in, with each category costing anywhere from $100-150 dollars (I just paid $340.49 for a show entry in the US, ouch). So keep in mind that if you decided to get some more stage time in another category, that you will be paying more for your entry fee. Also an unavoidable cost.

Now that you’re signed up, you have to book a tan. A VERY necessary cost. If you hire the tanning company that the show provides, it will cost $150-170 with a 50% down payment when booking the service.  If you want a refresher tan for your night show (optional) it’s another $45. It is cheaper to do your own tan, but risky in my opinion… especially for first-timers. You can order Jan Tana skin prep and hi-def colour and a glove for $92, and save around $60.

SHOW ENTRY AND TAN: $300 (minimally)


This is the turning point for men & women… read accordingly!


You need a suit with that tan! For physique, you can get a pair of board shorts at the mall for around $40, but if you want custom designed one it will cost you between $100-140. For bodybuilders, you can get customized trunks for about $50 online.

Men can also get their makeup done for around $75.

TOTAL SUIT COST + ENTRY FEE & TAN = $340 (minimally)



A brand new bikini will cost you around $300-800, a new figure suit around $400-900. More bling, more cha-ching.

The cheaper option is to rent your suit, which costs around $250 with a down payment of $50 to hold it for the show. There are also a ton of Facebook groups to trade and buy suits, so take look in your area! This is a great way to save some money gals!

With that suit, you have to have your jewels! Another necessary cost is jewelry ($20-100). If you go to Claire’s and load up on shiny and sparkly shit you can probably get away with $20-30!

Heels… another must, and they will cost you between $75-100.

Don’t forget that if you want enhancers for your suit top ($30), a case for your suit ($35), along with a robe to wear over your bikini ($20-50), it will cost more (all optional).


SUIT/SHOES/JEWELRY + ENTRY FEE & TAN = $695 (minimally)

Girls… we still have to chat about your hair, makeup, and nails (all VERY necessary in my opinion). Makeup and hair usually come in a package, around $300, from the company the show provides. If you want hair or makeup individually, it’s around $175 each.

Gel or acrylic nails and toes it will be anywhere from $100-150.

If you want to do your own makeup and think it’s gonna be cheaper, think again. You have to buy NEW makeup that now matches your Oompa Loompa skin colour, and probably some new products that you wouldn’t normally wear every day.

If you are ballin’ on a budget, nails are easy to do on your own! Stick on’s and polish from Walmart will do for $10 (and you save almost $90!)



Tickets… take into consideration that morning show tickets can cost $30-50, and night show tickets $50-75.

  • Food (about $200 a week… protein ain’t cheap)
  • Supplements
  • Gym membership
  • Food scale (paid $20 the other day for a scale battery, FML could’ve bought a new scale)
  • Weight scale
  • Travel (gas, plane tickets, etc.)
  • Hotel room
  • Waxes
  • Laser hair removal
  • Exfoliant scrubs
  • Hair dye & cut
  • Extensions
  • Tanning + lotions
  • Photoshoots (last one I had was $400)

There are SO MANY expenses that are included when preparing for a show, so if you’re considering it… have money saved!

I hope this gives all those new competitors out there a general idea of what your prep will look like financially!

With that being said, I have been a nursing student for my entire competition life and WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY. I literally bedazzled my own bikini, dyed my own hair, painted my own nails, made exfoliant out of coffee grounds and sugar… it’s possible if you want it to be.