ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Copyright © 2012 Albuquerque Journal
Julie Gutierrez is a self-proclaimed girly girl.
The 24-year-old is a self-taught makeup and nail design artist who started filming tutorials and uploading them to YouTube in 2008.
In four years, Gutierrez – or Julie G, as she’s known online – has amassed an astonishing 387,500 subscribers with more than 450 videos online.
Her YouTube channel has more than 108 million video views worldwide.
She’s been flown to New York Fashion Week by LancÃ´me and most recently traveled to Tokyo to participate in panels on makeup and fashion.
Oh, and she was featured in February’s Latina Magazine and has her own line of nail polish, which is available online at Rite Aid websites.
And it’s all in a day’s work, right?
“I never thought I would be doing this for a living,” Gutierrez says. “My whole career has taken off and it’s all because of the Internet. At first, I would post a video and then I had people start writing in asking me to do a specific video. From there it has just snowballed.”
Gutierrez says she’s always been interested in makeup, but didn’t have many girlfriends to share her passion with.
“On top of that, my mom is color blind, so she never wore makeup,” she quips. “So I started just playing with makeup and seeing what I could do.”
At the age of 16, Gutierrez was then working at JC Penney in the Cottonwood Mall. She says this was during the time when the store was putting in a makeup counter and her dream job got better.
“I started to experiment with makeup at work and it took off from there,” she says.
After graduating from Cibola High School, Gutierrez went to the University of New Mexico and earned a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial studies.
Gutierrez shoots her video blogs in her home and does all the lighting and editing herself.
“It’s always been a do-it-yourself project for me,” she says. “I challenge myself by getting the best lighting for what I’m doing. It’s always a learning experience.”
Aside from all of her followers online, her YouTube videos were responsible for her getting a call from Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics.
She says the company asked about her favorite color and offered to name a nail polish color after her.
“My favorite color is coral,” she explains. “I think when coral is worn, it makes the person look healthy. And it’s just a beautiful color.”
The nail polish bearing her name – it’s called JulieG – quickly became a best-seller for the company.
With that success, she now has a collection with the company. The colors include Pink Tiara, My Private Palace, Sunset Kiss, Elegant Edge, Cherry on Top, Peep Toe Pumps, Dance in the Dark, Shimmer Island and Mermaid’s Tale.
“I flew out to New York and was involved in mixing the colors,” she says. “It was an amazing experience for me and it’s weird now to see nail polishes in a stand with my face on them.”
Jesse Lawrence, president of Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics, says about two years ago, his wife was on the Internet and Googled “Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics.”
He says in the search, a few people posting vlogs online caught his eye – Gutierrez being one of them.
“I started sending her products and she put up the reviews,” he says. “There was something about her that drew me to her. I think it’s the way she conveys being relatable in the videos.”
Lawrence then invited Gutierrez to an International Make-Up Artist Trade Show to help demonstrate the cosmetics line and he promoted her appearance.
“People came up to meet her and we had about 2,000 people show up just to meet her,” he says. “One thing that amazed me is that she spoke to every single person and she was interested in what people would have to say. It was never about her being a public personality.”
Before she launched her line in January, Gutierrez was flown out to New York to tape a segment on the “The Wendy Williams Show.” Williams is a New York Times best-selling author and has her own syndicated talk show. Williams is known for her on-air spats with celebrities.
“When I got there, we rehearsed what we were going to do,” Gutierrez says. “Wendy is known for her in-your-face attitude, but I saw none of that. She was the nicest and all of her crew were so nice and took me in.”
With a newfound fame, Gutierrez is quickly becoming an expert when it comes to makeup. She says various makeup companies send her items to try out and she often uses them in her videos.
“I’m just a girl from Albuquerque who loves makeup,” she says. “It all began as a hobby for me and now I’m able to call this my job.”
Gutierrez says she doesn’t want to sell herself short when it comes to the future.
She would love to stay in New Mexico, but realizes that she may have to move or travel to take her career to the next level.
“This will always be home,” she says. “I have so many opportunities right now, I need to explore them all. I’m open to anything creative in beauty and nails.”
Julie Gutierrez’s YouTube Channel can be found by visiting youtube.com and searching for julieg713.