Beauty 

Makeup Artist Marcelo Gutierrez Wants To Break From the "Safe" Beauty World

The creative is helping build a bolder and more fearless beauty industry.

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Christopher John Rogers, Louis Vuitton, Dion Lee, Calvin Klein and Halsey‘s color cosmetics brand about-face are just a few highlights in makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez‘s portfolio. From daring styles to au naturel looks, the Colombian-born creative — who is also a filmmaker — is a name to pay attention to.

Now based in New York City, the multihyphenate isn’t afraid of taking risks in developing his artistry. “We live in a very ‘safe’ space in beauty and Iโ€™d like to be part of normalizing bolder creative directions that arenโ€™t so concerned with being palpable to everyone,” Gutierrez shares with HYPEBAE. This very philosophy is found in his works, whether it be the colorful eye makeup for Troye Sivan, blue tongue coloring or fake tear droplets on Lily-Rose Depp.

Here, we speak with the MUA about his inspirations and thoughts on the beauty industry. Continue reading to learn about Gutierrez’s work, his thoughts on Latinx representation in the beauty industry and beyond.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you kick off your career as a makeup artist?

I was born in Colombia to two very creative parents that always supported my aspirations as an artist. My career really started in high school when I was working and selling my work as a painter along with creating performance art pieces for exhibitions in San Francisco. Then, after dropping out of college when I was 20, I moved to New York City with literally no belongings or money to pursue my dreams of realizing myself as an artist.

Aside from your makeup career, youโ€™re also a filmmaker. What is it like working with different art mediums and how do you use both to express yourself?

My career as a makeup artist is what keeps me busy every day and is the most collaborative part of my practice. It challenges me to always develop and get better. I get to meet so many talented artists and muses constantly. Working in fashion and on set allows me to become acquainted with so many new people and it expands my understanding of what’s possible.

As a filmmaker, itโ€™s a much more lengthy and personal process that I donโ€™t rush. I rather come out with a film once in a while and have it be excellent, instead of constantly coming out with something that means nothing. Film expresses my vulnerabilities and depths.

Could you share some of your latest inspirations? What influences your work?

As of late, Iโ€™ve been really inspired by animals and things in nature. Iโ€™m really inspired by the idea of the future and how technology, sex and nature will come together. Iโ€™m influenced by a feeling, a concept. I work mostly as a conceptual artist.

If you had the opportunity, what other forms of art would you like to try working with aside from film and makeup?

If given the opportunity, it would be amazing to study to become an actor and give it a shot. I love storytelling.

What are some of the most memorable projects youโ€™ve worked on thus far?

This year, you will see some of my most exciting projects come out, but my favorite as of late is my cover of Paper Magazineย featuring Jari Jones shot by Renell Medrano.

How do you think Latinx representation has grown in the beauty industry over the past decade? How do you think it can improve?

I think within hair and makeup, Latinos have always been very involved because our community and a lot of the traditions incorporate glamorous rituals and moments of appreciation for beauty. However, in fashion, there are very few Latino gatekeepers and also very few Latino voices shaping beauty in luxury fashion. We will hopefully start to see that change, but it also takes the existing white establishment to be okay feeling uncomfortable with new kids on the block.

What kind of influence do you hope to have on the beauty industry in the next five to 10 years?

I hope in the next five to 10 years I inspire people to be bolder, more creative, thoughtful and fearless. I think we live in a very “safe” space in beauty and Iโ€™d like to be part of normalizing bolder creative directions that arenโ€™t so concerned with being palpable to everyone. I would rather provoke than be remembered as beauty for the sake of just being beautiful.

What is your definition of beauty?

Beauty is the glamor, power, resilience, music, love and sensation Black trans women carry with them everyday.

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