Born in Miami but raised in Chicago by her artist father, Karen Brody brings the best of all worlds to her work: a deep connection to fashion and art tempered by a no-nonsense Midwest work ethic. Directors rely on her because of her professionalism—calm, organized and able to hit the ground running no matter the circumstances. Clients hire Karen over and over again because she is their de facto secret weapon—delivering that rare combination of being able to interpret their vision while bringing out the beauty of each and every face.


But here’s the thing about Karen: She didn’t, like so many of her peers, turn to makeup as an offshoot of another career. She knew from age 11 onward, that this was her calling. In those early years, she spent hours and hours—sometimes with just crayons and a fashion magazine—teaching herself the basics of color, shading, illusion and enhancing beauty. By age 15 Karen was working in Chicago’s top hair salons, including Mario Tricoci and Sine Qua Non, doing makeup on the side. Following this, Karen was a makeup artist with Chanel, Trish McEvoy and Aveda before being asked to do the makeup on an independent film. This job launched a career as a movie and print makeup artist, working on major Hollywood films like “Transformers” and “Contagion,” Chicago-based TV shows including  “Crisis” and “Chicago Fire,” music videos for MTV, and a long list of national print client such as McDonald’s, Target, Kleenex and Walgreen’s. Along the way, Karen has grown her practice to also include the special expertise of airbrush make-up.


Today, with more than 25 years experience, Karen is not only in high demand, but has also received local and national recognition for her work in publications like Time Out Chicago, Woman’s Day and Lucky magazine. She credits her success to that unwavering vision she has had ever since that early age of 11.