Manny MUA Creates Awareness Around Genderless Beauty While Embracing His Latinidad
Manny MUA was one of first “boy beauty vloggers” to hit social media. His passion for makeup and genderless beauty is opening doors for him, including becoming the first ever male ambassador for Maybelline and becoming the founder and CEO for his cosmetic brand Lunar Beauty.
The year is 2016 and Manny Gutierrez, professionally known as Manny MUA, sits in front of the camera. “I want to have my own brand, guys,” he says, explaining one of the “20 Random Facts You Want to Know” about him he wants his YouTube audience to know.
“I want to have my own entity and be able to share my expression in creativity in a product with you guys, and I hope that it happens…I'm not gonna stop till it happens.”
Manny was not playing, he hasn't stopped even after launching his cosmetics Lunar Beauty, selling lipstick, lip gloss, and makeup palettes that caters to “men, women and everyone in between,” as his site describes.
Manny started his channel in 2014 — one of the first men to invade the highly gendered space. With his beauty tips, reviews and makeup tutorials, he's gained a community of 10 million faithful supporters and half a billion views on his YouTube channel.
Despite the following, the aesthetician of Mexican and Spanish descent faced an uphill climb to the next level of the beauty world. As a man, he didn't get opportunities that female YouTubers would get with one-fifth of his following size. “Yo. It's hard” he says, “Especially 5 years ago, the brands did not take me seriously, whatsoever,” he shared with CHICA.
Growing up in San Diego, he was constantly in search of a way to express himself creatively. “I always felt out of place or a little weird,” said the influencer. Originally, he wanted to pursue a career in the medical field as a plastic surgeon. Though he earned a BS in health science, he ditched the idea of medical school when he realized his passion was makeup, a creative outlet he learned to explore when he dressed in drag for the first time at 21 years old.
The YouTube beauty community made Manny feel comfortable, playing a huge roll in his confidence: “It wasn't until I got into the beauty space in YouTube that I really started to find my voice and feel like I was part of something.”
Creating content in a female-dominated industry, he realized he had a powerful voice as one of the few male beauty gurus in the makeup space. But: “It wasn't until people said that they looked up to me, that I wanted to be somebody they looked up to.” The beauty expert made history when he became the first male face of a Maybelline campaign in 2017.
Though he admits that his Latinidad is something he still exploring, he hopes to continue to dig into that culture through his makeup videos, whether it's speaking Spanish or particular looks. “We all have that aunt, that tia chismosa [gossiper] that has like that blue eyeshadow on with pop of pink freaking blush,” he jokes. “Sometimes I'll be that tia chismosa too, I'll literally be wearing blue eyeshadow and pink blush.”
Manny's proudest of being founder and CEO of his beauty brand, which has a super-tight team. “It's really exciting, it's literally me, my mom, and my dad and our design people,” he explains.