Look around your local coffee shop, grocery store, even gas station and you will undoubtedly find one: an exhausted mama who sacrifices her appearance in order to build the highest lego towers, read that special book one more time, or cut that PB&J into perfect, crustless triangles. My guess is that many of us moms, even dads too, have looked into the mirror after a particularly sleepless night and thought about how to snag the movie grade under eye concealer that they use to make even supermom Angelina look rested on an enormous HD screen.
But lucky for us moms (sorry guys) there is another supermom who can help us look well rested even when we’ve been up all night with a sick kiddo. Who is this miraculous lady? Maricris Calica, mom of two adorable little girls and owner of Makeup by Maricris, who specializes in traditional and airbrush makeup, especially eyelash extensions.
Before taking the leap into the small business world, Maricris was exposed to playing around with makeup by her mom. She worked at Ulta Beauty and that is where her hobby blossomed into a desire to be in the beauty business industry. With the encouragement of friends and family, she started doing makeup for friends and referrals built her reputation as a great resource for wedding makeup (Maricris did the bridal party makeup for my sister’s wedding last summer and I can tell you first hand that it was STUNNING). Maricris has been specializing in makeup application for almost four years and has an interest in cultural makeup and natural beauty, and she made this exhausted and stressed Matron of Honor feel GORGEOUS on one of the most humid days Chicago saw all summer.
But it is clear where Maricris’ passion lies: lash extensions. The first time she ever got the procedure completed on herself was not a pleasant one; however, the beautiful lashes started “an itch” within Maricris to learn how to make lash extensions a positive, comfortable, and empowering experience. After a chance encounter with a lash artist, she found a great beauty school to attend and rapidly progressed from a junior to senior lash artist in mere months and is well on her way to become “Master Certified.” She has been certified in eyelash extensions for almost a year and works twice a week downtown at Salon Lashe, where she has learned countless things to help build her beauty business.
One of the most amazing things is that Maricris’ dedication to building beautiful clients and changing how they feel about themselves started out in freelancing, and she was able to expand to an established business with her own space all while raising two beautiful daughters. Leyla was just two years old when Maricris started as a freelancer, and now she and little sister Emma have a great role model who shows them that they can accomplish any goal and that being a mom doesn’t mean that you have to lose yourself in your children.
Now that Makeup by Maricris has its own permament space within the Phenix Salon Suites within Randhurst Mall, the business is thriving. How does Maricris juggle it all? With an amazing support system from her family. Her husband Alan has a more traditional 9 to 5 job, and wonderful family, including her parents and in-laws, have also helped out with babysitting so that Maricris can continue to build her business by attending educational classes and scheduling appointments during the day and evenings. Although she tends to worry about her girls when she is away (don’t we all, even when we know they are in good hands?), Maricris is thrilled that she can set a great example of what hard work looks like and be so passionate about a job that she loves. While it can be difficult balancing her workload, Leyla and Emma always come first…and she has also instilled a love of beauty in them, no surprise there!
If there is any piece of advice Maricris can give a mom who wants to be a small business owner, it is this: Take a breath. No matter what obstacles come your way (mommy guilt, workload, scheduling issues, etc.) it ALWAYS gets better. In her own words, “It is ok to dream. You are a still a good mom if you make a sacrifice. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” Another suggestion is to continue to grow by always learning something that will help you and your business, such as her exploration into Rodan and Fields. In 2015, Maricris hopes to educate her clients even further during their initial consultation, ensuring that each service is right for them and spreading knowledge so that all moms learn how to pamper themselves in order to be the best mom they can be. She is even expanding into giving lessons in her suite so that others can learn about makeup artistry.
Maricris was kind enough to squeeze me in for a lash extension appointment, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I was a little trepedatious at first since I wear contacts and have sensitive eyes, but the procedure was painless and a great way to relax (and a break from my boys, too!). Laying on a comfy bed with a soft blanket with soothing music playing in the background was a FANTASTIC way to unwind after a stressful week and the results were gorgeous! With lash extensions, you truly feel pretty the second you wake up, and since it only takes about 10 minutes of daily prep, it is an easy way to avoid the “I’m a mom” under eye bags and look instantly awake.
Currently Makeup by Maricris is offering 20% off an initial full set of lashes (she offers three different varieties) and her website includes any holiday specials. Availability is limited, so be sure to contact Maricris soon!