Make Up Artist of the Month for June 2023
A hand-chosen favorite of beauty icon Pat McGrath, rising makeup artist Marcelo Guiterrez is paving the way for himself and other Latinos in an industry that still lacks authentic representation.
Guiterrez and his family moved to the US as refugees when the young artist-to-be was just five. At the age of 20, he embarked on the journey from California to New York to chase his dream of being a painter but instead found himself as a stylist’s assistant steaming clothes. In an interview with The Cut, Guiterrez recounts that he ditched his earlier aspirations after encountering a makeup artist on set.
“I saw the makeup artist on set and I was like, Wait a minute. I know how to do makeup, and I’m a painter, and they’re probably making a lot more money than me,” he said. “I was like, I think this would be a really amazing route to take as an artist and as a being living in capitalism— a way to satisfy staying alive but also feeding my creativity.”
And feed his creativity he did. By clubbing and meeting with the right people in New York City, Guiterrez could delve deep into the makeup scene and score plenty of practice subjects. He started posting his work online, making a name for himself with his eclectic face art and rejecting homogenous European beauty standards.
In 2016, Guiterrez got the DM of the century when Pat McGrath, the iconic owner of Pat McGrath Labs, dropped him a message introducing herself and asking for his help on one of her projects–all expenses paid. That’s when his scheme became a career. “If I have Pat McGrath telling me I have the chops for this,” he said, “then I should really take this seriously and give it all the respect it deserves.”
Guiterrez’s career has since skyrocketed, having painted the faces of Dua Lipa, Troye Sivan, Halima Aden, Jari Jones, and more. He’s even added the credential of a filmmaker to his resume. Influenced by several styles, Gutierrez’s work has established itself as a fun, eclectic mix of bold colors and sparkling rhinestones, which can bounce around from soft glam to gritty grunge.
But makeup artistry aside, Guiterrez hopes that his path will open doors for other Latinos wishing to enter the beauty industry, something that he has been very vocal about on social media: “The lack of Latino or Latinx representation in the creative industry is so evident and important to me. I see more often than not that there are very few if any of us on set. In an age where inclusion is at the forefront of the conversation, allowing Latinos to tell stories, be the star and also work behind the scenes will only broaden the understanding and perception of this extremely large and diverse community.”