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Meet Wendy Woodside of wendycityfaces in Western Suburbs, Aurora

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Woodside.

Wendy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up in the 60’s, in Park Ridge Illinois, I was privileged to have a mother who was very well versed in fashion due to her modeling and television career. This exposed me to the fashion and television industry at an early age. As a child I was better in art compared to math and science. I was lucky enough to attend the world renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts in their intensive summer fine arts program. I later attended the companion Interlochen Arts Academy, the highly professional fine arts college prep boarding school where I majored in art and theatre. Following graduation, I attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and focused on fashion design and painting. Since my Grandmother taught me how to sew, I started creating costumes for local theaters and landed an internship at the Minneapolis Children’s Theater Company which gave me a firsthand experience in theatre production. My goal then was to be a costume designer.

Returning to Chicago in the late 70s, I worked as a costume designer and assistant. I worked with stars ( before they were really famous ) John Malkovich, Gary Sinese and Jim Belushi. I designed and produced costumes and makeup looks for most major Chicago theatres plus industrial shows and commercials. It was exciting to meet key personalities in the industry, Debrorah Norville, lester Holt, Phyllis Diller to name a few

Marriage and motherhood in the 80s brought me to Michigan and I studied at the University of Michigan Department of Theatre & Drama and later Central Michigan University and earned a BFA in technical theatre. — costume design and stage makeup. At the same time I was introduced to the growing Mary Kay cosmetics line and became an award-winning consultant; developing business in three states. My personal and professional growth rapidly increased as I learned to teach skin care and produced makeup looks on a wide variety of faces. I had many opportunities at this time to design and create wedding day finery and makeup. I enjoyed the people just as much as the faces that went along with them!

I developed a strong business sense and a desire to be a true professional in the field of skincare and makeup when relocating back to the Chicago area. I was very blessed to be trained at CBS Chicago in television makeup techniques that led to work at CLTV News, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and the chefs at the Chicago Tribune. as well as numerous commercials, fashion, runway and film. My connections in the upscale Chicago bridal industry grew and my business focused on bridal makeup services, which have now become the mainstay of my business today. In 1994, I joined the team in the makeup department at the Mario Tricoci Salons, which continued for the next 10 years. I produced a wide variety of beautiful makeup looks for all types and colors plus a strong base knowledge of product lines and ingredients. I developed a love for educating clients on their skincare regime which brought me to the field of education in the salon industry. I became a licensed esthetician in 2004 and I am a member/ educator of Cosmetology Illinois organization and a member of Associated Skin Care Professionals. I am also a provider of Continuing Education Hours for Cosmetologists and estheticians for the State of Illinois.

In 2008, family circumstances enabled me to officially open wendycityfaces, combining esthetics and makeup services. This has allowed me to care for my adult son, who has special needs. I am active in Special Olympics Illinois, through Fox Valley Special Recreation Association and juggle his schedule around mine. I am proud and blessed to offer my clients on site or in studio makeup and skin treatments using amazing, therapeutic products and providing education with love and honesty. I look forward to giving you my best so you can be YOUR best.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road hasn’t been a straight path… my talents are diverse… art, sewing, theatre then retail and skin care training and sales plus learning television makeup and getting my esthetics certification after 20 years of working with skin and makeup and branching out into bridal. Being on my own in network marketing situation showed me my true calling and that was to be a pro artist. Working in a salon along with MaryKay led to my aesthetic goals.

The biggest struggle since 1998 and managing my son (now 27) who has bipolar/autism spectrum and a developmental delay. It’s a constant challenge to keep him happy and occupied and sometimes I wish I could run and hide but this is what I was given. It’s hard to take time for me. But, if I don’t I can’t be there for him and at 60 years. I need to pace but I’m the factory… if clients don’t come in or it’s a slow month for weddings then I lose income. I found the Glo Theraputics line of skin care and started in doing treatments, built the brand name and web and was ready to take on bridal clients. It’s truly amazing how it has evolved but it grew 25% every year for the first 6. I feel blessed that I can come full circle and transform a client to help them feel and look their best and my expertise is heeded.

wendycityfaces – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a licensed aesthetician and makeup artist, providing high quality corrective skin care services with a variety of modalities. I use light therapy, high frequency, glycolic peels and dermaplaning to correct a wide variety of skin conditions. I retail 3 lines of high quality skin care products (Image, Glo, Rejuvasea) This makes it possible to customize skincare for each client’s needs I also retail my own line of makeup to customize colors and tones for every skin type. My goal is customization and education. I specialize in transforming skin into healthy beautiful skin with the help of education, one on one training that continues after the client gets home. I remain accessible and personal to my clients. It is exciting to have a variety work, whether it be skin care one day in my treatment room, a wedding party at the Drake or out in the country or on a TV set for MSNBC. One thing that surprises me is how intertwined these separate types of work become with most of my clients. The things that set me apart from others is the longevity I continue to have with my clients. I work with women that were my brides 20 years ago and flower girl’s that are now my brides. Makeup is a very physiological aspect for women. I can give my clients what they want when sometimes they can’t verbalize it themselves. I want my clients to be a better version of who they are, without losing any of their identity. I am most proud of what I have created over the past 10 years, having the ability to run a successful business on my own, manage my unique household, and that the phone keeps ringing.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me, means being able to wake up every day do what I love and manage to pay the bills. Wendy City Faces just evolved and grew during a challenging point in my life. The Universe gave me what I needed to push on and become what I was meant to do. My business has grown 20% each year for the first 5 years. As long as I am happy, doing what I am doing and interacting with my clients, knowing I made a difference in someone’s life, I feel I am contributing to the good of the universe.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Cathy and David Photography, Jai Girard Photography, Chicago Style Weddings Magazine

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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