It’s hard to not be captivated by the enthusiasm of Lisa Smith; especially when she starts talking about her work as British Columbia’s Sales and Education Executive for the beloved skincare line Drunk Elephant.
“I live, breathe and sleep this brand!” she beams. “I was working in operations at Sephora when Drunk Elephant launched. I was one of the lucky team members who got to open the boxes and was able to see everything first hand. The DNA and philosophy of the brand was so different. They were one of the first clean brands to enter Sephora, which helped paved the way for what would come.
“I get so proud when I’m talking about the brand. The transformation of people’s skin that I witness is unreal!”
For Lisa, healthy skin is a fundamental part of feeling and looking good. It’s the canvas for any and every makeup look, which is exactly how this Makeup Artist found her way into the heart of the skincare industry.
“I always liked makeup, even though I didn’t wear a lot of it,” continues Lisa. “Honestly, it was RuPaul and Drag Race that made we want to learn more about Makeup and brought me to Blanche Macdonald. My three kids were grown-ish, to the point that I could go back to work, so I took a tour of Blanche Macdonald, and right away I wanted to sign up.
“One of the reasons Blanche Macdonald is so good is that they give students the ability to try different things. When I went to Blanche every single course was fun. A student could think they’ll be a bridal Makeup Artist and end up working in the movies. Or they could plan on a career in Makeup but fall in love with hair or skincare. It’s important to be open to every part of the course. We had awesome teachers like Jayna Marie and Farah Hassan. I was able to work with Farah on some shoots for bridal magazines.”
Lisa brought the vibrant enthusiasm she demonstrated throughout her time at Makeup School straight into her new career as a beauty professional.
“I started at Sephora in Metropolis at Metrotown straight after graduation. I was still doing weddings and graduations as a freelance Makeup Artist, but the more I learned at Sephora the more I started getting interested in other aspects of the business. Sephora is such an awesome place to work at. You’re exposed to every brand of makeup you can imagine. It’s a great place to start if you don’t know exactly where you want your career to go. You get to play with makeup every day and try things on every type of face.”
After time, Lisa realized that she was spending less time on customers’ faces and more time running the operational side of the business. It turns out, that was exactly what she loved.
“We would do the shipments, cycle counting and those type of operational tasks. I really enjoyed it. It felt good to transition to a different role and see what that side of the industry looks like. A special perk was getting to see and play with all of the new products before they hit the floor.”
Lisa started working on a freelance basis for brands like First Aid Beauty, Moroccan Oil, Anthony and Volition. The more she learned, the more she understood that her career ahead would be in the area she’d fallen in love with: skincare.
“I worked my way up, gaining more experience. Everything was leading me to Drunk Elephant. I was the last applicant to send in my résumé but I figured, everyone’s throwing their résumés in there, so what do I have to lose?
“When I had my first interview we didn’t talk business at all. We talked about hiking and food. I think it was the food that won my boss’ heart! When we were finished I thought, well that didn’t go well. But I received an email the next day and was asked about a second interview. I think my outlook on life got me the position. I’m huge into positivity, healthy living, and am about 98% vegan. I’m conscious about climate change and animal rights. That aligned well with their philosophies and their approach, even though I can have a loud mouth on certain issues sometimes!”
She’s been a proud member of the Drunk Elephant team ever since, travelling across BC sharing her wisdom and enthusiasm with the staff in the Province’s 13 Sephora stores.
“I’m training and educating the teams. I’m talking about the products but I’ll also show videos, play games and give out prizes. I try to make my sessions a lot of fun so I don’t focus too heavily on the ingredients. I prefer to focus on the philosophy of the brand.
“I love seeing them laughing, asking questions and learning new things. I try to keep them excited about the brand because it’s so exciting to me!”
“At the end of the day, I love helping people achieve healthy skin goals. As my career started with Blanche Macdonald, it would be awesome to return one day and teach the greatest fundamental to achieving the most beautiful makeup looks… which is SKINCARE!”