Practice. Practice. Practice. Celebrity Makeup Artist Shalisa Elizabeth on profiting from passion

Updated: May 29, 2020

How do you know when it’s time to quit your main job for your side gig? When your side gig is bringing you more money!

Meet Shalisa Smith, go-getter and celebrity make-up artist. In today’s podcast, hosted by The Femtouragte's creator, Carlyn, Shalisa lets us know how she was able to profit off her passion and turn it into her profession.

Shalisa Smith grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a place she admits may be hard to succeed in the beauty industry. Being a makeup artist wasn’t always the obvious career-path when Shalisa was growing up. She tells about sneaking into her mom’s room to play with her makeup, but never saw makeup as something she could make money doing. However, beauty remained an interest for Shalisa, and when she was finally old enough to wear makeup, her junior year in high school, Shalisa went to MAC. That’s when she really started to understand how to use it.

Shalisa was doing makeup extremely well by the time she went to college at Hampton University -- a place she says she found her sense of self. When Shalisa graduated with a degree in Public Relations, she knew two things: she wanted to do something creative and a 9 to 5 was not an option for her. However, Shalisa was faced with a situation many of us probably been through -- not finding a job after college. After many failed internships, besides one working at a radio station, Shalisa took a job as a receptionist at a hair salon.

The salon is where things slowly began to turn around for Shalisa; she occasionally got to do makeup for some clients and later landed a job at MAC. So how did her cliente include the likes of celebrities? You won’t believe it.

Shalisa knew that she was walking in her purpose when she saw lines of people waiting for her to get their makeup done. She tells about one of her biggest moments, when she got to do the makeup of Issa Rae. But it almost didn’t happen! You have to hear how even surgery the same day couldn't stop Shalisa from beating Issa’s face.

Shalisa tells what made her finally decide to quit MAC, how some self-discovery helped her realize why being a makeup artist makes the world more beautiful, and why she doesn’t care to do the popular, over-the-top makeup beats. She also lets us know who’s her famous Mentor, (hint: she’s done makeup for Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliot), why she’s not pressured to get married or have kids, and what she would do if Beyonce were a client.

One can only credit the determination and networking skills of Shalisa as to why she has been able to see this much success, despite being from a small town not recognized for makeup artists. From doing makeup for brides, Dej Loaf, and during the NBA All-Star game, Shalisa is determined to reach new heights. She leaves inspiring makeup artist with this advice

“Practice. Practice. Practice. “

Tune in right now, here!


Keep up with Shalisa as she continues to make the world and its people beautiful by following her on her professional website, Instagram, and Facebook.


Shanice G. Richardson is a published, freelance digital content writer with over four years of marketing experience. She’s skilled in creating impactful, engaging stories that connect readers to popular brands and the people who run them.


Follow my blog on Bloglovin