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Life and Work with Carly Day

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carly Day.

Carly, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started out as a makeup artist/sales person at a local denver retailer at the Clinique counter. I was promoted to a position as a manager, and moved to a line I continued to work with for eight years called Laura Mercier. Working at a makeup counter was the perfect natural networking situation to meet women who were getting married. I began to develop a side business for wedding makeup. By the time my second baby was born, I had a fairly seamless transition into my own business! The leap was scary at first because I didn’t know how much business or dollars I could count on to contribute to our household income (and we did rely on my supplemental income). But the business kept coming, and I was able to have more control over my schedule which was a priority for us with small children!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been fairly smooth overall. I think because makeup is a passion of mine, combined with learned skills – I’ve been able to enjoy my journey much more than if I chose a career path that didn’t excite me. One of my big struggles, though, as a now self-employed person is to promote my business. It has taken a lot of humility for me to tell the world about what I have to offer. I’ve actually never been a salesperson by nature, so selling myself feels challenging at times. The retail setting used to be the place where I would be already “out there” – but I had to start thinking outside of my actual box (my house) to make sure people in the outside world knew that I had a wedding makeup business and I was hirable! Another struggle is boundary setting. Since I alone represent my business’s reputation, it’s easy to get caught trying to accommodate everyone and every situation. I’m still learning how to prioritize and how to say no when a business opportunity may not be the best fit. My advice to any young woman starting their journey would be to choose a path that she truly feels passionate about. When you LOVE what you’re doing, the sacrifices feel worthwhile and the hard work just pays off because you’re having fun. Believe in the value of your own unique gifts and talents. Comparison, as they say, is the big fat thief of our joy!

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a makeup artist and my specialty is “enhancing natural beauty”. This makes me a great fit for bridal makeup, and so that is the bulk of my business I’d say. Most of my clients choose me because the makeup look I like to do doesn’t look too heavy. I like to look like myself in makeup, and so do most of my clients. My job can also be to help people who really never wear makeup to understand the difference that it truly can make! I am currently practicing Eyelash Extensions and will be adding that to my permanent menu of services by summer. I think the thing that I feel most proud of in my line of work goes beyond the makeup itself. Yes, I want my client to feel their best when they get up out of my chair… but I want them to feel cared about too. I am proud of the relationships I’ve built with women as a result of our time spent together. I hope my client trusts me and has fun with me on her wedding day or for her special event. I am proud of the quality of products I use and I rely on them for their wearability and longevity. I think what sets me apart is probably my ability to engage women on a deeper level than just painting their faces. I also want people to be comfortable in what makeup they are wearing, so I am an open book. I like to include women in the process of applying it so they know they are free to communicate their preferences with me and I’m not going to send them away with a look they feel dissatisfied with. I am detail oriented and enjoy providing a luxury service, no corners cut! My clients can count on me to treat each makeup service like an art project. I’m careful and my touch is gentle, too!

What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
I may have touched on this earlier but it’s worth talking about more. It’s so important to believe in yourself. I think insecurity can really derail us in our pursuits. I think practically speaking, it is important to gain as much knowledge and experience as you can, develop your skills, and keep practicing your art. When I stepped out on my own officially for my wedding business, it was very important for me to get a license for Esthetics so that I was legitimate legally. It’s never a bad idea to shadow other artists who are more seasoned and take classes. Anyway, whatever your skill or trade – I know education and practice can be a big part of what makes us relevant and stand out amongst the competition. Allow yourself a lot of room and grace to grow… I am not the makeup artist (or human being) that I was 12 years ago when I started on this journey – and that’s exactly how it’s meant to be. We begin somewhere and we keep growing artistically, professionally, emotionally, spiritually, etc!


  • Bridal Makeup Starting at $100
  • Special Event Makeup Starting at $85
  • A La Carte Options starting at $40

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Dani Cowan, Mackenzie Neville, Bri Bond, Daylene Wilson

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