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Conversations with the Inspiring Karisa Disano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karisa Disano.

Karisa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was just 2 years old, my mom told me I always wanted to wear her lipstick…. fast forward 15 years and I got my dream job at 17 years old working at MAC counter. I just always loved makeup and love making people feel and look beautiful. Makeup isn’t just about what you look like. When a woman has makeup on she definitely feels more confident and beautiful. I was so excited that I was able to do what I loved to do for my job. Over the years I have had many different experiences. I feel because I am so passionate about what I do, I have been given many awesome opportunities. I was getting many bridal requests and working the retails hours, I just wasn’t able to take the weekends off so it forced me to leave MAC and see what I could do on my own. I was having so much fun working on photo shoots and commercials and one job would lead me to another. I was also getting busier with the bridal business too and that led me to getting some other makeup artists to help out and share my business with. I also have had great opportunities to work in the makeup department at CBS Chicago Ch 2 news and work on some really amazing commercials. Because of my history, I was able to get into the Studio Mechanics Local 476 union and have worked on many amazing TV shows and movies. My first movie was Public Enemies back in 2009 and I remember sitting there and just feeling like the luckiest girl ever. Still doing what I love to do! I was also doing about 50 weddings a year and truly this is probably my favorite because who doesn’t want to be a part of someone’s most special day!! The feeling I get after seeing a bride look into the mirror, after I finish doing their makeup is literally priceless. It is so rewarding.

In 2007 I also was given the opportunity to be the makeup artist at Comcast Sportnet Chicago. This also has been so fun and such a great experience. I feel so lucky to still be there doing what I love to do.

Karismatic lipgloss was created in 2013. I decided to create my own lipgloss line because I felt like I was constantly mixing other colors to make the perfect color. I love hearing when someone uses my glosses that they love the colors and the formula. I spent 2 years with a lab trying to make everything perfect. As a makeup artist I know what a lot of my clients are looking for, so that definitely helped with choosing my ingredients and designing the colors.

I feel like over the years I have had so many mentors that I have looked up to and they have made me who I am today. I have been given many great opportunities and am so grateful for all of that. I love every part of this business and am so lucky to be doing what I love to do after 22 years. My husband Tony has been so supportive over the years and has encouraged me to always strive to be better. And I am so lucky that I am still able to do all of this and am able to enjoy being with my son Anthony and my daughter Siena and to raise them and watch them grow.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I feel like nothing in life is easy so I would say that you have to put in the work and work really hard. Trying to do too many things has always been a struggle for me. Especially now with having a family. Before I had my kids I worked 7 days a week. So when I was pregnant with my son, I said oh yea, I’ll continue and just get a nanny. Well after having him I was like oh no!! I can’t leave him! So that has been really challenging for me and having a great team of makeup artists has really allowed me to continue to keep all of my longtime contacts and send them on jobs so that I can be home and raise my 2 kids now. I still try and do as much as I can myself but it has been difficult. If only I can have a clone of myself.

My advice to anyone wanting to get into the industry is just to work really hard and know that you will have to put in time. It takes time to build your business and make contacts. It won’t happen overnight. And respect people. I feel like that is what has gotten me this far. Always be real and realize that being a great makeup artist means that you have to be a good listener too. I have always really listened to what my clients wanted to look like after.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Karismatic story. Tell us more about the business.
I feel like I’m mostly known for my bridal makeup. I feel like most of my business comes from referrals, which is great to know that someone loves my work so much that they will tell someone else about me. It’s also a great feeling when someone buys a lipgloss too. Knowing I put so much work into making them as perfect as they can be.

I am so proud that I still love doing what I do!! And when my bride, bridesmaid, mom or any other client look into the mirror and smile and say they can’t believe they can look like this. That is something really special knowing that I made them feel that way. It’s the best feeling!

I feel like there are so many makeup artists today and what sets me apart is just being me. I feel like personality and confidence are the reasons why I have been so busy all of these years.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Be respectful!! And know that it will take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I feel like over the last 22 years I have been really lucky to have the clients and business that I have, but it takes patience and really hard work. And in this industry you can never know everything there is about makeup. Trends will change. Techniques will change. Tools will change. So just realize that you can learn something new every day.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 630.926.2118
  • Email:
  • Instagram: Karismaticmakeup
  • Facebook: Karismatic Makeup

Image Credit:

Emily Gualdoni
Eva Flis

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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