Friendor Feature: Carly Pribich, Makeup Artist

Before I even met Carly Pribich or saw her work, I was thoroughly impressed. She and I were both booked for an October 2015 wedding, and she reached out to me a few weeks before the big day to get connected. This is a big deal for any vendor to do, but especially a makeup artist. It showed considerable professionalism, foresight and an ambition for excellence that I respect.

Fast forward a few months: I ran into Carly again at a Rising Tide Society meetup for the Chicago western suburbs (hosted by Michelle of Homespun Grace Photography!). This group of creative entrepreneurs meets once a month to talk shop, encourage and seek inspiration. At this particular meeting, the we talked about defining our own style niche as artists. Carly and I discovered that not only do our services mesh well for our clients stylistically, but also do our personalities and professional goals.

I'm excited to introduce you to her work as a makeup artist in the Chicago area!

For this installment in the Friendor Feature series, I asked Carly to design and create a bridal look on me so that I could not only show you her setup and process, but also a true "before and after" look at the difference her craft makes for me as a photographer!

xx Grace

How did you get into makeup- and how did you come to be where you are today?

"I love this question because I feel like my answer is unique. A lot of my makeup artist (MUA) friends played in their moms' makeup when they were little and always knew they would be in the beauty world. My story is a little different!

When I was 16, I was job searching and applying everywhere- I mean everywhere- and the first place to call me back was Ulta. At that time, I had no idea what I was doing (I'm thinking back to my white eyeshadow days and pumpkin-orange sunless tanner), but they took a chance on me!

After 6 years at Ulta (it was the perfect job when I was in high school and college), I left with makeup skills, but more importantly: customer service skills. I learned how to interact with a customer and really learn to listen to what they're saying and what they aren't saying. Now, my whole business philosophy is rooted in this concept.

I decided to go to a makeup school and get certified while doing weddings on the side in addition to a full time job. I worked several 9-5 corporate positions (I have a B.A. in marketing), but I never really felt like it was what I wanted to do...

In 2014 I decided to jump and said I was going to make my makeup business work full time. Fast forward a couple of years- here I am! It's a learning opportunity every day and what I love most is that I'm the one who decides where I take my business and make adjustments as I see fit.

The artistry and business sides are very different and I feel like I have two jobs sometimes- but the crazy part is that this usually doesn't feel like work! I wouldn't have any of this (my life, journey, work...) any other way!"

How do you get pumped up for a wedding day?

"I'm such a routine person when it comes to a wedding that I have it down to a science. When my kit is organized, I feel my most prepared and calm. I always re-stock and clean my kit the night before and have everything ready to go in the morning. On the drive to the wedding, I play my favorite music. I'm such a morning person that getting up super early is easy and I really enjoy it. I'm easygoing and relaxed and good at maintaining that vibe and composure- especially with brides on their wedding days!"

You're recently married yourself- what advice do you have for brides looking for the right MUA?

"The most important thing is to find an artist who fits your style. Analyze your ideal bridal look: Is it soft and polished? Is it smoky and dramatic? You should be able to get a feel for an artist's work by their portfolio.

Limit the amount of people you reach out to- make contact with those you truly feel like you would connect with on both style and personality.

Start researching early, I've noticed wedding blogs and websites recommend booking makeup closer to the wedding date, but I'd suggest connecting sooner rather than later, especially if makeup is important to you or there's someone you really want to work with. I tend to book fairly far in advance since I'm an individual artist and receive multiple inquiries for the same date."





How do you suggest a client prepare for a bridal trial? 


  • Come clean-faced to your trial. No leftover eyeliner, no traces of makeup. Avoid heavy or emollient eye creams.

  • Know your skin. Stay hydrated and take care of yourself mentally.

  • Come with an idea of what you'd like to look like and also be able to describe how you normally do your makeup. Be open to share things you don't like or wouldn't wear- this is just as helpful as knowing what you do like!

  • Give feedback. Speak up if your MUA is putting on something you aren't sure you like. We can always re-route!


  • Get lost in the Pinterest world with makeup, because a look wears differently on different people. Rather- pull general inspiration (for example: eyeshadow color, the glow of the model's skin).

  • Let other people's opinions and suggestions take precedence over your own opinions for how you want to look on your wedding day. Go with what is comfortable for you- you want to feel like yourself!

What is your approach to designing a bridal look?

"I really like involving my clients when creating their unique bridal looks. I've never been the artist who just goes to work without asking questions about what a client likes or doesn't like. I work with many brides who only wear a little makeup or don't wear it often, and it's all about comfort level and checking in to make sure we are on the same page.

I used to teach bridal makeup classes and I would tell the other artists that you have to step back and take yourself out of the look."

What sets you apart as a makeup artist?

"I can adapt to any social situation because of my education and employment background. In the wedding industry, there are a lot of different environments and settings!  

The looks I create are catered to a soft and polished bridal appearance. I never look at a client and think what to change about them, rather what features I'd like to enhance and highlight.

I ask many questions and listen so I can gauge my clients' preferences and comfort levels with makeup. I approach bridal makeup as a total collaboration with a bride."

Where has your work been featured or published? 

Style Me Pretty, Junebug Weddings, Artfully Wed, Woman Getting Married, Bridal Guide, Smitten Magazine and Borrowed & Blue among others.

What words best describe the style of look you create?

"Polished. Soft. Timeless."

How can clients book you for an engagement session or wedding day? 

Carly's contact page is

Her Instagram handle is @carlydoesmakeup and Facebook page is: