business SPOTlight brought to you in partnership with
BIRMIN GH A M
A ‘Star’ is Born Makeup artist returns from devastating head injury to build a business that empowers and inspires other women. SUSAN PECK CONTRIBUTING WRITER ABOVE: Lisa Beth North does makeup on Pleasant Ridge resident Sarah Szirtez.
rofessional makeup artist Lisa North teases she had her first client when she was just 8 years old. As a little girl, she used to stand on the bathtub and do her grandmother’s makeup — an activity they both loved. “It’s amazing she let me do that at my age, but that’s the kind of support I have from my family,” said North, 35. “I’ve always been determined to excel at the things I’m passionate about, and that’s helped me get through the challenges I’ve had in life — including a tragic accident that almost got the best of me.” The Oak Park resident and owner of NorthStar Makeup said her grandparents June and Lowell Ressler of West Bloomfield and parents Judy and Sheldon Pearlman of Bloomfield Hills were the positive influences she turned to early on, when she struggled in school. “My family never gave up on me even when the teachers did, and they encouraged me to follow my creativity,” North said. At 19, she set out to chase her dream of becoming a fashion designer at Parsons School of Design in New York. But those dreams were derailed with a devastating accident. “I was riding with a friend in a golf cart when it made a sharp turn, and I flew off and hit my head, resulting in a severe closed head injury,” she said. “I had to start over, learning all of the basic things we take for granted, and I was housebound with depression for several years,” North said. “I relied on medication for the pain after the accident and that became another problem.” Left with cognitive impair-
ment, including memory problems and no sense of taste or smell, North said the birth of her nephew was the turning point for her to rise from her challenges. “I wanted to be the best aunt in the world, so with family support and my boyfriend, Patrick, who is now my husband, I went to rehab, got off of all medications and started a new life,” she said. Coming full circle, North channeled her artistic creativity into makeup application and skincare. She became a licensed esthetician in 2014 and started her own company, NorthStar Makeup. “I think my life was meant to impact the world, not just by making people look more beautiful, but by making them feel beautiful on the inside as well,” North said. SURVIVING THE PANDEMIC Her home-based makeup artistry and skincare company has built clientele mostly by wordof-mouth and “through the best marketing team ever, Instagram and Facebook.” Her talent is sought after; she books makeup and skin treatments for weddings, bat mitzvahs and charity events as well as teaching classes in Metro Detroit. But the coronavirus pandemic and resulting quarantine “has greatly affected my business,” she says. “Because of social distancing I am not able to do anyone’s makeup or waxing.” Most of her weddings for the summer and all of her spring mitzvah clients have canceled. “I absolutely will weather the storm!” she says. North has added a blog and Vlog to her website NorthStarMakeup.com, where continued on page 34
APRIL 9 • 2020