Carolyn + Kyle: Makeup and Hair for a Chicago History Museum Wedding

I am so grateful for the referrals I get from past brides. I don’t pay to advertise, so my business comes from happy customers who tell their friends and family, and I truly believe that is THE main reason I have wonderful clients. Good people refer good people! Carolyn was no exception, having found me through a college friend, Cara, who was my bride in 2015 (who found me because she married my childhood best friend’s brother… but I digress… I should blog about Cara next!) Back to Carolyn!

All stunning images you are about to see by Dabble Me This


Carolyn had her hair and makeup trial on the day of the Chicago Air and Water Show, and as planes whizzed overhead, we got to do one of my favorite things–chat about the wedding! I love that part of the bridal preview is getting to know each other, so I can really get a feel for what my bride wants from her wedding look, AND so I can help her have the kind of wedding morning she wants! By the time wedding day arrives, we’re already friends! Carolyn wanted what I call a soft-glam bridal look. Soft-glam to me means a couple of notches above natural makeup BUT without changing the bride’s features. It is really important to me that a bride recognizes herself when she looks in the mirror, and that her fiance notices her beauty, not a face caked with makeup.



We decided on a warm eye look, accented by individual lash clusters. For her hair, we wanted it softly swept over her forehead, and all pulled into a beautiful low-updo on one side. She added a gorgeous hair piece which really finished the bridal look.


Carolyn had 4 friends standing by her side, plus 2 new sisters, plus the moms, so I was really glad to have my dear friend and colleague Lisa Pietrzak join me that day. We both did hair and makeup at the Gwen Hotel in downtown Chicago.


Look at these beautiful friends!


Lisa really brought out the mother-of-the-bride’s beauty. We both agree moms are really important on wedding day!

Before leaving The Gwen, Carolyn and Kyle had their first look. I have two words–his dimple! Seriously though, I love how happy they look in these photos!


After leaving The Gwen, they took photos along the Lake Michigan shore, gotta love those striking skyline views! Christine Brizendine of Dabble Me This really captured their joy.

Then it was on to the Chicago History Museum for portraits of the wedding party!




The flowers from Steve’s Flower Market looked beautiful with the deep purple Jenny Packham bridesmaid gowns!

(And I love this shot of Carolyn’s hair!)







Look at these beauties! I love Mother & Daughter photos!


After their ceremony, it was time to dance! Carolyn and Kyle, I wish you a lifetime of happiness, and security in each other’s arms! Congratulations!


Vendor Team:

A special thank you to Christine Brizendine (and second shooter Nikole) of Dabble Me This Photography for sharing these gorgeous images, and (see all the images here!)

Wedding Coordinator: Melissa at Clementine Custom Events | Getting Ready Hotel: The Gwen Hotel | Ceremony + Reception: Chicago History Museum  | Catering: Paramount Catering | Florist: Steve’s Flower Market | Cake: Molly’s Cupcakes | DJ: Rachel at Toast & Jam | Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist: Tricia Clarke Makeup | Wedding Dress Store + Designer: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Jenny Packham | Groom + Groomsmen Tux Store: The Black Tux | Transportation: Second City Trolley


Jessica + Brandon


I started something new this year. Instead of just responding to emailed bridal inquiries, I tried to schedule quick phone calls with all potential brides. I like the personal aspect of a phone call in a world in which we spend so. much. time behind screens. I had toyed with the idea of a quick get-to-know-you chat, and when I had lunch last January with one of my favorite fellow artists, Joanna Bastermajian, she mentioned that was one of the first things she does with potential brides. I have learned that Joanna is a thoughtful and all-around wise woman, and I respect her business acumen as well as her artistic talent, so I decided to go for it. When I think about that day back in January, there are a number of things that were discussed and mulled over that actually really set the tone for this year (but that’s a separate blog post).

This is all to say, that when I got an email from a potential bride named Jessica, I asked if we could have a quick chat. She agreed, and 2 minutes into our call I had decided she sounded kick-ass and I was hoping she’d decide to move forward with booking. AND it turns out that she had gotten my name from Joanna! (It’s a small world, friends. I love my band of makeup artists that work together and spread the love–more on them in another blog post, too!)

But back to Jessica. As we talked, she shared with me more about the day she and her fiance had been dreaming up. A small, intimate party on the rooftop of one of their favorite restaurant’s in Chicago’s West Loop, Little Goat. Their closest friends, lots of beer and great music. And the bride would be prepping that morning in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel because–get this—she was on the architectural team that oversaw it’s re-design. And all of this awesomeness photographed by Jennifer Shaffer.

Did I say K-I-C-K-A-S-S?!?

You can imagine my delight when Jessica decided to book me for hair and makeup for her wedding day!


I met Jessica, along with her mom and sister, on the day of her trial. At that point, she was planning to wear a short, deep-blush-colored dress that she had found and loved, and that was NOT a wedding dress. It fit perfectly with her non-traditional approach. We did her hair and makeup preview, and left undecided in terms of a lip shade, because she really wanted to pinpoint one that would look perfect with the color of her dress. BUT THEN….

She just happened to pop into BHLDN…and well, you can guess what happened! She found an amazing dress with a CAPELET and so on wedding day, we just had to go with a gorgeous warm red lip to play up her beautiful coloring. I mean, seriously!


Jessica’s directions to me were to make her look “like myself, elevated”. Perfect! With skin like that, and such a lovely contrast with dark brows and hair, my task was easy. I love to give my brides glowing skin (meaning strategic coverage that isn’t caky–with just the right amount of highlight!) and a balanced eye and lip look.

Jessica had also emailed me just before her trial that she’d chopped off her hair, and asked me if that was a problem. I assured her, as I do all my brides, that the most important thing is that YOU like the way YOU LOOK. I will work with you to make you look your best, but you are the judge of what makes you feel beautiful and look amazing! We went with sleek bouncy curls that played up her hair’s natural shine and her jeweled pins added the perfect touch and contrast in her dark hair.

I also got to do hair and makeup for her mom, sister, and soon-to-be Mother-in-law. What a fun, relaxing morning we had! When Jessica sent me her pictures from that day, I had to ask for some of the detail shots, because she and Brandon really incorporated their personalities into every aspect.

Donuts on the Paperless Post invite! (Jessica’s dad handed out pink donuts instead of cigars when his daughters were born—are you kidding me?!) Heart eyes…


Custom (and I mean Jessica designed this bag!) welcome packages for all the guests…they love Bloody Mary’s and Brandon works for Miller–is this so Chicago or WHAT?


Then, her friend gave her this and we all died. DIED.


She made it with the help of Unearthed Paper Co. via Etsy. I want one!

Have I digressed from talking about hair and makeup? Can you blame me? Back on topic…

Because of Jessica’s role in the re-design of the hotel, she and Brandon were able to take some photos inside some of the sexy spaces of the Chicago Athletic Association, a privilege usually reserved for those tying the knot on-location. These lucky two got to have their fun photo shoot and then go party at Little Goat!

I’m gonna say it again, K-I-C-K-A-S-S!



What a great group. Look at those proud parents!


I absolutely love that Jessica invited Brandon’s mom to hang out that morning and have her hair and makeup done. As the mom of two boys she had never done anything like it, and told me when she sat in my chair, she’d never had her makeup done! New favorite!



And her sister wound up wearing the dress Jessica had planned to wear. PERFECT with a rose lip and romantic hair ( I wish you could see the back of this updo! You can on my Instagram 😉



I seriously have the best chats with the mothers on wedding day. Job perk, for sure! Mom’s just needed a bit of volume and softness for an elegant finish. I LOVE doing makeup on moms because it lets me focus on brows, which many moms share with me have faded. Mothers of the brides—I got you!

I loved working with Jessica and her family to come up with hair and makeup looks that highlighted their best features. And of course, one of my favorite things about this job is getting photos back to see how everything came together!

Jessica sent me this shot because the art matched her lipstick, and it is AMAZING.


And it even looks awesome in black and white. I love when I get photos like this so I can demonstrate what to me is a crucial aspect of good wedding makeup. Wedding makeup MUST look good in color AND in black and white! No debate!

Jessica, you were a glowing bride on your wedding day, and a joy to work with in the months leading up to your wedding. Thank you for choosing me to be a part of such a special day. #leofiorellafest was truly a celebration of the love you and Brandon share! I wish you all the best for the future, and many more joyous times full of good friends, great music, delicious food and beer! Cheers!


Photography: Jennifer Shaffer

Getting Ready Venue: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Ceremony and Reception: Little Goat

Invitations: Paperless Post


Hair and Makeup: Tricia Clarke Makeup

Let’s Get Connected!

Hi friends,

I posted yesterday on Facebook and Instagram that I’ve made a new commitment to blogging, and asked for your help in choosing some topics! Thank you for your responses! I have LOADS of things I am going to be working on!

Because of the very visual nature of the topics you requested, I think there will have to be a lot of YouTube tutorials and Facebook live events to help me reach all of you! To make sure that you don’t miss out, make sure you are FOLLOWING all my social media outlets so I can stay in touch with you!

Facebook–please like my Tricia Clarke Makeup Page and “follow” too, so you will know when I go live with fun how-to videos and chats!

YouTube–While I am hard at work developing new content, I did get a lot of requests for basic makeup, and I did cover my go-to process wayyyy back in 2013. While I am planning on filming an update version, there’s a lot of good nuggets in my “5-Minute Face” video. After you watch it, won’t you subscribe to my channel so we can hang out together?

Tricia Clarke Makeup 5-Minute Face

Instagram–I post frequently, and this is the best place to get a glimpse of my bridal work, and also see Outfits of the Day and other fun tidbits via Instagram stories. Look for me at @triciaclarkemakeup

Thanks for taking the time to stay in touch! Here are some upcoming topics, by request:

  • How to curl your hair
  • Picking the perfect lip color
  • Eyeliner tricks/usage
  • Makeup for new moms
  • Summer-proof makeup
  • Easy hair styling/Up do’s for busy women
  • How to love your skin

What would YOU like to see me talk about? (Because you know I like to talk!) Leave me a comment below!

Thank you for being YOU and for following this journey with me!



2016 Reflections

I don’t know about you, but for me, 2016 was a year of exhilarating highs and very discouraging lows. I often say I make a lot of mistakes, but never the same mistake twice. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way this year and I won’t be repeating those mistakes. But this post is not about re-hashing my struggles and challenges. I had a lot of great experiences this year and I’d like to end 2016 on a high note, celebrating the happy achievements and sweet successes that will stay with me longer than the sting of disappointments. So join me for a little New Year’s Eve reminiscing, won’t you?

1. A Feature on Style Me Pretty

It’s still a thrill to see my bride Ally and her beautiful Room 1520 wedding featured on Style Me Pretty, thanks to the gorgeous photography of Betsi Ewing. I loved absolutely everything about this wedding, you really have to read the feature for all the gorgeous details!  Trying to pick favorite images is almost impossible, but here are my top three:


2. A fantastic Milwaukee wedding 

Another thing I say a lot is that I have the best brides, because I DO. I am grateful for each and every one. But some are especially dear to my heart, and Jenna is one of them. She was the manager at the Starbucks I frequented every day when I was still in the corporate world, and she cheered me on during my career highs and lows, pregnancy and maternity leave and subsequent dive into the world of freelance bridal makeup. She booked me for her wedding 2 years in advance, and over the course of her hair and makeup trials I got to meet all the women in her family and fall under their spell. What an amazing and fun group of people! Her beautiful wedding in Milwaukee was a definite highlight of my 2016 season. Bellow Blue Photography captured so many breathtaking moments! Jenna, thank you for letting me be a part of this magical day. You are the best.



3. First a sweet bridesmaid, then a radiant bride

There is no higher compliment than when a bridesmaid contacts me and says it’s her turn to walk down the aisle, and asks me to work with her on her wedding day. Julia got married on a beautiful day in early summer in the heart of Chicago. We started the day prepping her wonderful family and friends (who had met the year before at her friend Claire’s wedding, and I dare you to find a lovelier group of girls) and then they took photos in Millennium Park before an enchanted reception at the University Club of Chicago. I also got to meet Julia’s mom and sister at her hair trial (makeup for this wedding by Ryan Jaeger), so I felt like we were old chums by wedding day, and I just love that. 2016 was a year of great families! Lucky for me, the whole day was documented by Avery House!


4. Master Class with Anthony Gordon

In October I was thrilled to attend an intensive hands-on class with The Makeup Man himself, Anthony Gordon. Anthony has been a professional makeup artist in Hollywood for decades, and brought his amazing range of skills to us Midwestern artists and it was a day I will never forget. We were challenged to create 3 iconic looks from 3 different eras, 1940’s Glamour, 1960’s Mod, and Chinese Opera (!)and I was stretched wayyyy beyond my comfort zone. I learned so much and was reminded of how important it is to continue to seek out quality education and always be pushing myself creatively. Thanks to Your Name Pro Cosmetics for bringing Anthony to Chicago, Sonia Roselli for hosting the class  (I got to meet so many other working pros, like Cass Barron pictured with her model) and to the fantastic Ben Fink for capturing so many cool images from the day. Thanks also to my dear friend Shannon for being my model for the day!




5.Trials as Try-Outs

To be honest, one of the challenges of 2016 has been facing up to how the makeup industry is changing. There is more competition than ever before, and I am choosing to embrace that fact as motivation to work harder than ever. In years past, clients would book me for their wedding and then we would schedule their trial so we could collaborate on a wedding look. Now, with so many options to choose from, brides are very particular (as they should be!) and want to make sure they find the right artist by doing their trial BEFORE booking. So a trial is truly a try-out to see if I can achieve the look they want, and if I am the right artist for them. Although I am not a competitive person by nature, I do get a rush when I meet these potential brides and have to demonstrate my skills and make a genuine connection with them. Happily, I have “Passed” every try-out and been booked!

6. High Standards, Happy Customers

Another highlight of this season was Claudia’s wedding. She was my first “trial as try-out” and she warned me she had high standards, and I enjoyed meeting them. That her bridal bouquet was almost exactly like mine only cemented my idea of her having impeccable taste. I did makeup for her mom, aunt, sister and friend, while Magnificent Brides provided beautiful hair styling. Aside from the laughs we shared, one of my favorite moments was when her sister-in-law who had opted to do her own makeup (beautifully!) pulled me aside and said she was impressed with my work and wished she had gotten in on the fun! Thanks to Natalie Probst for the beautiful images from this day!


7. Being Featured on Glossible

As I said previously, 2016 has brought the realization that the beauty industry is changing. One pro leading the charge to maintain industry standards of artistic quality, professional conduct and overall integrity is Sonia Roselli. Not only is she one of THE top artists in Chicago (I do not exaggerate when I say I looked up to 2 people as I was getting started, Sonia and Bobbi Brown) debuted a game-changing skin care line created in Japan and the most sinfully soft brushes I’ve ever worked with (hello, Nudes!) but she has created a forum where makeup artists can gather to learn from each other, and this resource has helped me immensely this year. To be featured for my work with bride Ally on Glossible in the artist showcase was a true high point for me this year. Sonia, you have given me the fuel to keep going, stronger than ever in 2017!


Well friends, those are my lucky 7. I wanted to end this year focusing on what has been great, and resolving to learn from ALL my experiences. Thanks for sharing in this journey with me, and CHEERS to 2017!




It stands to reason, seeing as how I get to work with awesome brides, that I would also get to meet amazing bridesmaids. Lucky me who gets to spend her Saturdays playing with makeup with fun girls, am I right? I don’t drink the champagne, but in every other way, I get to have a blast and call it work!

getting ready girls-45

I love the transition time when everyone’s hair and makeup is done but they are still in their comfy clothes!

I posted about beautiful bride Katie a few weeks ago. You can read all about her lovely personal wedding style and how we came up with her bridal look here. I told Katie I would do a couple blog posts about her wedding though, because she had gorgeous friends and a great photographer. It is truly one of the highlights of my job when I get to see the images photographers capture, and Nicole Christine Photography really did beautiful work on Katie’s big day, despite the fact that the skies were overcast and it POURED rain!

I loved this soft smoky look on the bride’s sister-in-law. I don’t even think I can take credit for her glow, she was the prettiest pregnant girl I have ever met! She’s now the proud mama of twins! And she wore sexy high heels–way to go, Nicole!Copyright Nicole Christine Photography-10Katie did something I thought was really fun and thoughtful when it came to bridesmaids dresses. She chose the color and length, then let the girls choose which top they liked. By taking each person’s individuality into account, you can make everyone feel comfortable and confident, while still creating a gorgeous coordinated look for your wedding. This applies to makeup looks as well. Most of Katie’s bridesmaids requested a soft, smoky eye. I tailored each look slightly, based on individual eye color and skin tones, but viewed as a group, there is a cohesive look that photographs beautifully.

Copyright Nicole Christine Photography-24

Still looking good after cocktail hour! Hayley has the best dimples!

Copyright Nicole Christine Photography-20

Thanks, ladies for letting me be a part of a special day! You are all gorgeous!

Copyright Nicole Christine Photography-18

Love and lipgloss,


Moira–Engagement Session

I’ve been planning for awhile to start blogging about my freelance work. I love trying new things and posting product reviews, so that will definitely continue. However, I adore the chance to work with women in a variety of settings and help them feel their best for the major events of their lives. Often, these events are photographed by pros, and it is a treat to have such gorgeous photos–how could I not feature them here?

So without further ado, here is the lovely Moira, photographed with her fiance. They’re getting married this summer, and I love these shots featuring the two of them!






























I truly love having the opportunity to work with women during some of the most special (and photographed) celebrations of their lives. It was a privilege spending time with Moira getting her ready for her engagement photos this past fall. In the spring, I will be doing her makeup for her shower. We’re going to treat that as a trial for her big day. With all my brides, I recommend a trial run so they can feel what it’s like to wear their makeup, experience wearing false lashes, see how well their makeup lasts and guarantee they absolutely love the way they look. It is one less thing to stress about on their wedding day, when they’ve already pinpointed the look they want to achieve.

If you haven’t already, check out some of my bridal work on my facebook page!

Stay pretty, ladies!

First Impressions-Lumene Skin Care

When it comes to skincare, I’m in a bit of a transitional phase. Firstly, I live in Chicago, and the seasons are changing, from moist, humid Summer to dry, cool Fall. This makes almost everyone’s skin behave differently as it adjusts to the change in environment. Secondly, I am a nursing mother. Every woman’s skin is affected by hormones, and I believe that the ongoing hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, birth and nursing are the reason my skin is acting differently than it ever has before. Finally, I am getting older, and the truth is, skin is different as we age! I chat with my own mom frequently about the changes her skin is undergoing, now that she is in menopause. Together we’re both figuring out what good skincare means for each of us, with our different needs, right now. I feel like I could call this post “The Skin I’m In” and make it a whole philosophical take on skincare, aging, femininity, etc..but I digress.

As many of you know, I discovered Lumene’s CC Cream almost by accident. Never expecting to find something so great at a drugstore, I was lured in by the fact that it was paraben-free AND contained Arctic Lingonberries. If you don’t know what lingonberries are, I may need to do an entirely separate and food related post. But, before I digress AGAIN, let me say that I thought their Lumene’s CC Cream was so great (read all about it here), and worked for so many of my friends and family, despite various skin types and ages, I posted a comment on Lumene’s Facebook page expressing my love for the product. They chose my contribution as their “Radiant Review” which you can read here. Then, they sent a collection of their skincare!

Lumene Skincare


I received items from their Vitamin C+ Line; the Anti-Puffiness Roll-On Eye Serum, Dry Skin Comfort Radiance Cocktail and The Pure Radiance Night Cream.

I can’t call this a product review yet, hence the title of this post, First Impressions. I have just started using the Night Cream. But, let me say, I woke up this morning to skin looking better than it has in a LONG TIME. It is a very rich cream, which in the past would have scared me, but it absorbed fully in less than 10 minutes. It smells wonderful, although a bit strong, and so if you are sensitive to fragrance, this might not be the night cream for you. I was pleased to read however, that the subtle orange tint is derived from one of the active ingredients-Arctic Cloudberries-there is no artificial color.

The Night Cream contains Sodium Hyaluronate, which is great for helping skin retain moisture.  It also incorporates Shea Butter, Olive Oil and Glycerin, all great moisturisers, and perfect for this time of year! The box informs me that Vitamin C and cloudberry brighten the skin, and maybe that’s why I looked so radiant this morning.

I gave my mom the Radiance Cocktail to try, as her skin is drier than mine. I will share her feedback soon, along with my full review of this product and the Eye Serum. The roller ball aspect of the eye serum sure feels great, but I (thankfully) haven’t had a really puffy morning, despite the fact that my 7 month old is keeping me guessing when it comes to what will help him sleep all night. But I don’t want to digress for a third time, so let me say…

First impressions of Lumene’s Vitamin C+ skincare are positive! I will have a full review in about 2 weeks, which is how long I recommend you give any new skincare product before you decide whether you love or dislike it. If you’d like to give these products a try, they’re available online and at ULTA.

Have you tried any of Lumene’s skincare? What did you think?