Introducing Manny MUA - YouTube icon. If you haven't binge watched this beauty guru's videos yet, what are you waiting for? We chatted Manny to talk about his start in the industry, his makeup brand, and who his favorite YouTubers to watch are. To learn Manny's secret to success, keep on reading.
PRUNE: How did you first get your start in makeup?
MANNY: I started my makeup journey in drag, actually. I had done drag a few times for Halloween and friends parties, and I fell in love with the makeup process of it all. I hated walking in heels, I didn’t want to wear a wig or nails, but I loved the makeup aspect and it quickly resonated with me so I stuck with that. I told myself, I don’t need to do female impersonations to still love makeup, I can do makeup and be myself. Shortly after that, I applied at Sephora and started working. That is where it really started for me.
PRUNE: What inspired you to create a YouTube channel?
MANNY: For me it was my followers. I had an Instagram first, and I’d built a smaller following on there. People were requesting me to record the looks I was posting on Instagram for YouTube and show them how it was done. I was nervous, but people kept asking so I figured I’d give it a shot and that is where it all started.
PANTS AND SHIRT: TOPMAN
SHOES: DOC MARTEN
PRUNE: What was the jumpstart to your success on YouTube?
MANNY: My channel has always grown at a steady rate, for me there was no big boom. When I got the Maybelline campaign deal, that was a big press moment for me, but I had already had millions of followers prior to that. My goal was always to grow organically and be a best friend to my viewers.
PRUNE: The beauty community has changed drastically throughout the years. What sets people apart today in the industry?
MANNY: Nowadays it is so competitive and so hard to start a channel from scratch. People don’t blow up like they used to because the market is a lot more saturated, so it is a lot harder to succeed and break out. A big part of it is just originality. Putting out new content that you love, but that is also different and unique. That is what sets you apart nowadays.
SUIT AND SHIRT- TOPMAN
PRUNE: What are your favorite makeup trends at the moment?
MANNY: Colorful liner and faux freckles. Those are cute and I think people are really into them right now. You’re going to see a lot of it this summer.
PRUNE: Talk to us about the background of your brand, Lunar Beauty.
MANNY: The name Lunar Beauty was inspired by the moon. I love the idea of out-of-this-world beauty and finding things you wouldn’t see aesthetically with other brands. Unique packaging and quality. My first product was the Life’s A Drag palette, which is a half neutral half color eyeshadow palette. At the time, I’d never seen anything else like it on the market. Now we see more of it, but at the time there was literally nobody that had a palette incorporating both. Life’s A Drag started a trend in itself, and to be able to pay homage to my drag roots felt very full circle for me.
SHIRT JACKET AND HAREM PANTS- CROSS FOR GOD SHOES: ME.LAND
PRUNE: Lunar Beauty is now in Sephora! What does this mean to you?
MANNY: This is something we worked on for over a year. I feel so lucky and blessed to have Sephora interested in my brand. Again, this is another full circle moment for me because I started the beauty industry working at Sephora. I never thought I’d hit this moment in my career, and to have it happen is so jaw dropping. I feel honored to be a part of it.
PRUNE: We are seeing more celebrities release their own beauty brands. Is there anyone in particular you’d like to see release a brand soon?
MANNY: I want to see a Lady Gaga brand. I think it would be amazing to see her in beauty, and we know that it is coming, so I am ready.
PRUNE: If you could only watch three other beauty YouTubers for the rest of your life, who would you choose?
MANNY: Jackie Aina, Safina Nygaard, and RawBeautyKristi. Those are my three favorites, but that is a hard question.
PRUNE: Men in beauty have grown to be a standard. How have you seen the representation of men in beauty change over time?
MANNY: It is so crazy to see how many more boys in beauty there have been as time has gone on. I love it. There are boys in makeup that look feminine, boys in makeup that have beards, there are so many different types - I think it is really cool and amazing. I don’t think people realized it would get to this point, but it has been great to see the growth.
PRUNE: If you could do any celebrities makeup, dead or alive, who would you choose?
MANNY: Lady Gaga. I think that I could slay her face and I love her. She seems like a down ass person to be around. And as for any male celebrity, I would choose Shawn Mendes.
PRUNE: If you were not in beauty, what career path would you pursue?
MANNY: I think I would be in the medical field. Before I got into beauty, I was passionate about medical and science related research. I was fascinated by it, and I’m not sure what I would specifically doing, but I love helping people and definitely think it would be medical-related.
PRUNE: Would you ever consider doing a tour or master class?
MANNY: So funny you ask - my manager has been asking me this as well. I’ve never considered it in the past, but maybe I would. I don’t know. It would have to be something that was fun and engaging. Fans would have be on stage with me getting their makeup done and I would need to have the most sickening goodie bag.
LOCATION: Concrete Loft @concreteloft
PHOTOGRAPHER: Christopher Patey @christopherpatey
WARDROBE: Michael St. Michael @michaelstmichael
INTERVIEW: Dylan Rubinstein @thedylanjader
HAIR: Andrea Allison @_andrea_allison
MAKEUP: Manny MUA @mannymua733