The beauty sphere buzzing last week when CoverGirl announced James Charles as their first male CoverGirl, but there's another beauty influencer making major waves — Gabriel Zamora, the first ever male artist to sign to Michelle Phan's leading beauty community ipsy. is the latest makeup genius to break barriers with serious makeup skills. Though Zamora's role as an in-house stylist for ipsy is just beginning, his side-swept royal blue hair, bold brows, and glowing visage have already made him a household name in the social media beauty sphere.
With a combined following of over 145,000 on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, Zamora teaches the masses how to slay a glossy pout and cheekbones with shimmer to die for. The social media star went from experimenting with makeup as a teenager to shredding gender norms and becoming his own brand. He is one of the few beauty influencers producing bilingual content, showing off his grunge-glam makeup looks with videos in both Spanish and English.
The Houston, Texas native tells Bustle via email that his success didn't happen overnight, but moving to Los Angeles on a whim has paid off. "I started off slow," he says, "But I’ve been gaining speed, and now I’m unstoppable."
In a digital age where social media has its way of teaching makeup artistry to anyone who has the talent and drive, Zamora got his first introduction to eyeshadows and lippies by watching YouTube videos. He first turned to influencer Dulce Candy for makeup inspiration and tutorials.
"I wanted to make my eyes look bigger and thought makeup would help, so I Googled 'how to make your eyes look bigger' and there were some YouTube video suggestions that I watched. I was hooked immediately," says Zamora.
His parents came to the states from Mexico, envisioning a life for their son as a business man. Zamora's decision to study business in college was primarily out of respect for them — but when friend and beauty mogul Lilly Ghalichi encouraged him to move to Los Angeles, Zamora took a leap of faith and accepted the role of social media coordinator at Lilly Lashes, Ghalichi's booming faux eyelash business.
"My job was to study the social media world, which helped me immensely when I decided to pursue my own social media platform," says Zamora. "At the time I accepted the job, I don’t think even I realized that soon enough, I would be building my own brand, rather than the brand of someone else."
And it wasn't long before Zamora was making his own impression on social media. His makeup skills have garnered a loyal following, and Zamora constantly interacts with them to find out what kinds of products and tutorials fans want to see. Some of his current favorites for whipping up looks that would make any beauty lover drool are Benefit's KaBrow, Lilly Lashes' Luxury Collection, and L'Oreal's Pro Matte Foundation.
"My overall goal as a 'boy in makeup' is to normalize the idea of men wearing makeup," Zamora explains. "Makeup has no limits, and if I can break our gender norms and bring a little more life to this industry, then I will feel like I am doing something right."
Now that he has joined the ipsy team of 10 selected influencers to represent the digital community, Zamora will be creating for his social media outlets full time. With a staff to help produce and film content, and access to over 200 beauty brands partnered with the company, he will be creating looks with the products in subscribers' monthly ipsy glam bags. Zamora is honored to have been chosen for a job that will help him influence the next generation of beauty industry mega stars.
With newfound access to a range of brands and production resources, Zamora doesn't see a lack of inspiration in his future. And his passion has only grown even more, fueling the social media star's desires to make a lasting career out of makeup artistry.
"I love how it brings me more confidence, how it lets me assume a new persona, and how the power of makeup can be so transformative. I'd love to be the face of a brand and maybe one day create my own products," adds Zamora.
"I see this platform as an opportunity for me to live my dreams and to be an example," Zamora says. "To represent the top brand in the digital beauty world as their first male artist feels amazing. This will show other brands that there is a lot of support online for male beauty influencers, and that the need and desire for men in this industry is real."