Marcelo Gutierrez makes make-up come to life

A makeup artist can simply be an artist. Marcelo Gutierrez is one of those artists that has just chosen makeup as his medium. The faces he paints all tell a story, hold an emotion, remember a memory, evoke something real. Submission Beauty had the opportunity to ask a few questions and tag along for the ride that is makeup in Marcelo’s hands; take a look. 

TEXT KASHA LASSIEN @kashalassien

In my research, I found that you are from Bogota, Colombia, and you have lived in a few different places. Do you feel like living in these different places has helped shape your eye and creative expression in your work? 

I lived in Colombia for the first few years of my life, but that move and the ones that followed were very formative in the concept of ‘home.’  Living in so many states and neighborhoods exposed me to such a range of styles and taste levels. It’s helped broaden my idea of “taste.”

Can you tell us a little about your experience, from leaving your birth home in Colombia to moving to the US?  How did that change affect you and the way you see beauty?

 I have very vivid memories of Colombia, but they are very few because of how young I was when I moved. The experience of moving to a new country and not understanding the language or social norms was a big transition for me. I was the first to pick up English fluently in my family, so a lot of responsibility fell into my lap, speeding up my growth. I became an observer of everything as a form of survival very early on and an observer of self-expression. I’ve always been an outsider and have loved observing the trends and patterns in groups –  visual signifiers of cultural relevance. 

How did you get your start as a makeup artist? 

I truly just fell into it and had no intention of pursuing it, but life works out like that sometimes. My background is in fine art – video, and painting. I started as a student of art and creator of conceptual work, but when I moved to NYC, the nightclub scene drew me to play with makeup. Not long after, the Dame and legend herself Pat McGrath discovered me online and pushed me to take it seriously, and so I did in the hopes of using it as a vehicle and platform to push forward my personal creative projects. 

How would you describe your style as an artist? 

As an artist, I would describe my style as detailed, clean, romantic, angsty, visceral, raw, and emotional 

Who would you say have been the biggest influences in your artistry? 

Alexander McQueen, Pat McGrath, Caravaggio, Andy Warhol, John Galliano. 

I love how you have allowed yourself to explore with your creativity from painting and drawing to film making and writing and now makeup; how important would you say freedom and authentic expression has been to your growth as an artist? And, have you always moved this way? 

I really just am an artist, nothing less or more. I don’t have any other skills or hobbies outside of constantly thinking about the world, the human experience, and how to create beautiful, emotional moments out of it. It’s all I know, and I would be in a crisis if I didn’t have this talent. I’m fluid in my creative expression, but storytelling is my main focus. 

How do you define beauty?


Do you have one favorite beauty product that you use in every application? 

Skin prep is huge for me, so I take my time making sure the skin is plump and juicy. I love the Chanel moisturizers.  

With all of the calls for diversity and inclusion and now seeing more representation in front of the lens, what do you think about the state of the beauty/fashion world now? 

I think the creative teams predominantly made up of POC are finally getting more opportunities to work on bigger budget jobs with corporations. Most of the talent I work on are women of color, and then sometimes I’ll get beautiful white girls in my chair, so my experience is specific. The older generation of fashion editors, casting directors, and creative directors still need to make room and create a warm welcome for younger artists like myself. There’s a huge issue with these people wanting to separate solid teams to get their personal favorites in the shot. If it’s a team, don’t fuck with it. No one told Meisel he couldn’t work with Pat. 

What’s next for Marcelo Gutierrez? 

Quality work. Intentional work and hopefully a lot more outside of Makeup. Hopefully, we’ll have some more short films and books coming your way.