Meet Three Up-and-Coming Chicago MUAs

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 02:36 Written by  Dana Weems

Sonya Simone is 25 and proud to be a State Certified Makeup Artist. She’s also a freelance MUA at Sephora. Sonya attended makeup school on a scholarship and has loved it ever since.

She’s done makeup for Chicago radio personality and pop recording artist, Demi Lobo, Ford Chicago model Jordan Ball, and up-and-coming models such as Willow Star and Jazzma Crofton to name a few.

Sonya pays attention to celebrities like Kelly Rowland, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna for beauty trends and the new-new on all things makeup. When it comes to photo shoots, she looks to none other than the colorful Nicki Minaj.

The budding MUA to the stars plans to break into doing makeup for TV shows including reality TV. She’s currently working on her own makeup line.

A sample of Sonya's Work:



Kiara Welch is a 24-year-old corporate administrative assistant at a private healthcare company. On weekends she trades her dress slacks, knee-length pencil skirts and button-down shirts for makeup brushes. As a freelance makeup artist on the side, she’s also mastering her craft as a full-time student at Makeup First School of Makeup Artistry.

“While I was away at school I learned to do eyelashes as a side hustle and then I started experimenting with eye shadows on my friends and it just went from there,” Kiara recalls. “I've always had an eye for pretty things.”

The art of beautifying not only allows Kiara to express her creativity, it calms her too. And what does she love most about prettifying people?

“I love seeing something look pretty and knowing I did it,” she says.

In the next five years Kiara hopes to work at MAC Cosmetics while teaching classes on different technique, and building her brand and clientele. Her career aspirations are to do editorial makeup.

A Sample of Kiara’s Work:



Jacarra Hudson is a newly 25-year-old who is freelance makeup artist at MAC. Self-taught, she started at Sephora then made her way to MAC. Jacarra admits that at first, she didn’t do makeup for the artistry, but she soon realized her gift of the art.

She, like Kiara, enjoys making women look pretty but perfecting the art of makeup is what Jacarra cares about most.

“I’m becoming better and better. I learn something new everyday.”

She keeps up to date on trends by looking at magazines and celebrities as well as the conferences and classes offered to MAC employees.

She’s going back to school for another degree (nursing) in preparation to be a women’s health care practitioner. Jacarra’s not putting her beauty belt down though. She hopes to soon launch a cosmetic line of lipstick and lipgloss and a skincare line of natural products.

A Sample of Jacarra’s Work:

What the MUAs think you should have in your beauty bin:

Sonya: Every woman should have a good brush and a bold lip color of their choice (red, pink, orange, or purple). Especially a red lipstick. Blush, mascara and eyeliner too.

Kiara: Every woman should have a great morning and night facial cleansing product, and a go-to lipstick that compliments her skin tone.

Jacarra: Invest in skin care. Every woman should have primer, moisturizer, and should exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Also, a nice brown, pink and red lipstick.

Keep up with these fab MUAs:

Dana Weems

Dana Weems

Dana Weems is a contributing writer and a fashion/beauty columnist for GMO. A Chicago native, Dana earned a MA in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in broadcasting with an emphasis in broadcast news from Grand Valley State University. She’s interned and worked at WLS-TV; ABC 7 Chicago’s entertainment show Windy City LIVE. Still freelancing, Dana has written for news sites, public affairs-based publications, fashion websites and other organizations.

She can be contacted at and