The first thing I noticed about Jose Alan Macias Perez was his beauty. It was hard not to, and I'm sure you'd agree if you met him in person — he has large eyes (with enviably long lashes), perfect skin, and an infectious, brilliantly white smile. After he greeted me with a hug, I was astounded to learn that the 18-year-old makeup artist — known as Alannized to his 375,000 Instagram followers — had just taken off "his face," meaning that incredible canvas underneath was all his.
Macias is so much more than a pretty face, though: he is smart, savvy, and sincere. And let's not forget talented. Though he's only been experimenting with makeup for two years, he's garnered an incredible fan base, a spotlight on Instagram's account, and most recently, a partnership with Laura Geller and QVC's new channel, Beauty IQ.
"Never in a million years would I have thought any cosmetic brand would want to work with me on this level," admitted Macias, who will be Beauty IQ's first influencer — and QVC's first male blogger — in an on-air segment for Laura Geller.
On Getting That Flawless Glow
He has long been a proponent of the company's products, particularly the superluminous Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey (£21). "It's been almost in every single picture I almost have on my Instagram," he confessed. "I go through them so much, I think I have four of them just for backup."
A quick visit to his feed reveals his penchant for luminous cheekbones, which he explained he uses a fan brush and the baked illuminator to achieve. "I literally just pack it on," he said. "When I want to go really intense — like I want someone seeing me from a distance — I layer a loose diamond powder on top." Don't forget to blend it out with a clean powder brush: this will make you look effortlessly lit from within (well, as effortless as intense illuminator can look!).
Anyone who has tried to re-create an influencer's highlighter selfie knows that it can be a challenge to make the glow show up just right. Lighting is absolutely essential to appearing luminous. Macias admits that one could look washed out without the right lighting. He actually uses his phone to take all of his Instagram selfies, but has a setup of two softboxes and a ring light to keep all of his images well lit. "You just have to twist, get in that angle," he explained. He also suggested turning on flash, which "always helps the highlight come out in pictures."
But to Macias, brows are even more important than illuminator. "Brows kind of determine your life," he said. "They are essential, they put together your face." He added, "If you have no brows, then . . . you have to get some! That's the first thing I notice in a person." Right now, he swears by Benefit Cosmetics Ka-brow!, which he says blends in without looking overdone.
On Ignoring His Haters
As I browsed through Macias's feed to inspire my own look, I noticed something incredible: the comments on each post are remarkably supportive. (He cites his followers as a huge proponent of his success.) This wasn't always the case. He has only been sharing his looks to Instagram for a year and has become increasingly confident since.
"I'm not gonna lie, when I started I was very insecure about myself, so whenever I would see a hate comment, it would make me even more insecure," he confessed. "I just ignore it and keep pursuing my dreams."
The most frustrating conception is that his passion for makeup is a bigger statement about his gender identity. "The first hate comment wasn't even a hate comment, it was, 'Are you trying to be a girl?'" he said with outrage. "I'm not trying to be a girl, I'm just a guy wearing makeup . . . I like being a boy." He added, "Most of the time, you'll see me without makeup [in real life]. For me, it's a hobby."
On Boys and Beauty
Macias is just one of the rising band of boys who love beauty and flaunt their passion for makeup artistry. (He pointed out first-ever CoverBoy James Charles as one example.) He thinks that this trend will continue in 2017, with an increase in acceptance of males wearing makeup. "[Cosmetics brands] are going to notice that makeup is not just for one gender — it could be unisex."
As more men become beauty influencers, Macias hopes that they jump into it with a true passion for the art of makeup. He also asks that they be brave. "Especially being a male in the industry, you have to be able to know that going in, it's going to be hard because you'll be getting a lot of negativity," he said. "Open up your mind and don't let that stop you."
That goes for anyone aspiring to pursue a career via social media. Regardless of what category you're interested in — fashion, beauty, or otherwise — Macias advises you chase success because you truly love what you do, not because you think you'll "get something out of it."
On What's Next
Macias, who truly embodies his own advice, still has a backup plan despite all of his achievements: college. "School is for sure one of my main priorities," he shared. "I'm trying to get a degree in business." When I mentioned that he could start his own beauty brand, his eyes lit up. "I'd love that," he gushed. "That would be really fun and really exciting."
Considering all the success he's experienced in just one short year on Instagram, I wouldn't be surprised if he did start his own company (and made Forbes's "30 Under 30"!) in the next few years. Tune into QVC's Beauty IQ on Friday, Dec. 16 to see his beauty — and his magnetic personality — for yourself.