Interview with Shaista Usta (@shaista.usta)


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

I got a quick career start in the entertainment industry at an early age as a lead international actress in the title role and was starred and cast by Bollywood’s megastar late Dev Anand to play in his “Main Solah Baras Ki.” (I’m sweet sixteen) I had to practice and learn Hindi (Indian native language) since I was not of Indian heritage nor origin. The late megastar also went on to feature an entire chapter written about me in his autobiography “Romancing with life”(Penguin/Viking,2007) before passing. The film was also the first Bollywood film to be sponsored by Prince Charles. (The Princes’ Trust-London) and extensively shot in various parts of the world which allowed me to see the world through a humble lens; I adapted a “Universal Citizen” approach to life and to value each individual as one and equal to one another regardless of color, race, religion, nationality, preference, fame, fortune and wealth at an early age in her life. After living abroad, being facilitated, and attending several international premieres, I decided to come back home in the U.S and extend my studies. Later, a passion for makeup developed and I was highly intrigued by the power of beauty, and how features could easily be added or deleted through the illusion of makeup, and how self-confidence could be created through the art of makeup. This fascination and hard work eventually landed me a longterm solid career as a professional makeup artist and cosmeceuticals skin-care specialist in the fast-paced and extremely competitive industry. 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

I have led and instructed several masterclasses including Paul Mitchell, American InterContinental University and has worked with A-list and couture brands in the industry such as Chanel, Dior, Bobbi Brown, Lancôme, Aveda, MAC, Shiseido, Sisley-Paris and Rodial Beauty to name a few for over 18 years with extended skills and knowledge on-set, runway, and print.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Do what you love, and you will never burn out; passion is the spark that keeps the flames eternal. Always be passionate about what you do in life and you will always be successful. 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

I am thankful for all the trials, tribulations, and the mistakes I’ve made. The lessons I’ve learned up until now have motivated me to continue working hard and keep going; only the strongest survive.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

It’s not just about makeup or skincare, for me, it’s more than that. I not only make women feel beautiful on the outside but also by motivational empowerment through words of encouragement. I am also involved with Amnesty International, it’s truly an honor to have them as one of my following on Instagram.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

“Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being.” I love this quote by Rumi. 

This quote by Rumi resonates with me because I always followed the path I was passionate about and have always done what I love. I have never half-assed anything in life; go hard or go home. 

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

They can follow me through my Facebook page Shaista Üsta, my IG: Shaista.Usta, and I also have a fairly new YouTube I just began under Shaista Üsta, I will start posting more regularly and possibly do TikTok.

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