In a time where unicorn and mermaid colors are trending, makeup with a lot of pigment is getting attention. Whether its clear-to-rainbow highlighter or color-changing mood cream that catches your eye, this Texas-based beauty brand is rising to the top because of their viral products.
Chaos Makeup has gone from under-the-radar to the one to watch in just the past couple of months.
Megan Martinez, the 28-year-old founder of Chaos Makeup makes everything by hand in a small lab in south Texas with the help of only 2 other people.
While she keeps the secrets to her formulas under wraps, she shared her experience with Allure on how this colorful makeup company came to be.
Homeless at 14
The name Chaos Makeup was once part Megan's makeup artist profile when she was a teen doing freelance makeup to make ends meet. At 14 she was homeless and worked at Whataburger while doing classmates' makeup for school dances.
"Makeup was not something I did because I love it," Megan says. "It was something that I was just good at. At the time, it was a means of survival."
By 15, Megan considered herself a full-time makeup artist and that's when ChaosMakeupArtist was created on her Myspace profile. She became well-known for her 'chaotic' style, in both her appearance and work.
She was known for using a lot of shine and overall highlighting, and ended up creating her own colored highlighters for her clients.
"That was my thing," she says. "I was rebelling. If it was not cool, I wanted to do it. If it was not normal, I wanted to do it. If it was neutral, I wanted to make it colorful. I had to be the opposite of everything."
Find out on the next page how she went from a homeless teen to having a successful beauty company.
Creating Her First Product
“I couldn’t find anything that would make the skin look wet," she says. "That was my goal at the time. I wanted something with a super dewy, wet finish, but at the time, there was nothing like that.”
That's when she decided to get creative and come up with her own. She used highlighting powder from M.A.C., shimmery eye shadow and alcohol.
🌸 Our new & improved (pressed), colored highlighters. 🌸 💜💙💚💛 Only at www.ChaosMakeup.com 💛💚💙💜 . . . #chaosmakeupartist #chaosmakeup #highlighter #highlights #highlighters #illuminator #colorful #shine #shiny #iridescent #bright #cosmetic #cosmetics #huda #hudabeauty #colorfulhighlight #lisafrank #makeupporn #highlighterintensifier #highlightprimer #highlighterprimer #chaoscosmetics
"I was like a little chemist," she says. "I would weigh it out and trial-and-error it. Once I made what I wanted, I would stir it all up and press it."
Once she came up with the perfect formula she would sell them on the side. Eventually beauty brands began to seek her out in order to collaborate.
The Start of Chaos Makeup
A few years later, Chaos Makeup was born. She perfected her colored highlighters with a clear base, which was the hardest part of the formula.
"The idea was to make colors that you can wear out," she says. "You shouldn’t be embarrassed by them. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve got a bruise on your face. You shouldn’t feel like you’re wearing eye shadow on your cheeks. You should feel beautiful, confident, and could go anywhere. The only time that this highlighter would show its color is when it hits the light. Even then, it should be beautiful, not like Halloween."
Megan started by selling 6 individual highlighters.
Last year when rainbow highlights became a popular trend on the Internet, the Texas beauty brand took off. With permission of one of the popular brands Megan created a rainbow highligher.
“I don’t typically do that, but I just wanted to do that out of respect," she says. "I got a blessing from them, and we went ahead and made our prototype.
🌈🦄 Looking for a rainbow highlighter that shows its color's ONLY when the light hits it? Then I think you'll love Kaleidoscope❣Its vibrant but doesnt leave the skin looking bruised when worn. 💜 Also, incase you missed it, we have officially brought back our Chaos samples... but this time, you choose❣Anytime you make a purchase, go to the Chaos sample page, choose 2 shades to sample, then add them to your cart. ♡ www.ChaosMakeup.com ♡ . . . . . #chaosmakeupartist #chaosmakeup #highlighter #highlights #highlighters #illuminator #colorful #shine #shiny #iridescent #bright #cosmetic #cosmetics #huda #hudabeauty #colorfulhighligh#britneyspears #lisafrank #makeupporn #cream #cosmeticream #intensifier #highlighterintensifier #primer #hydrating #lipstick
This isn't the only trend that Chaos Makeup is picking up on. They now also have a range of color-changing products that will give you nostalgia from growing up in the 90s.
Testing out shades 💓 Mood cream coming soon❣️ www.ChaosMakeup.comPosted by ChaosMakeupArtist on Thursday, June 1, 2017
She was honored for her success for her makeup artistry by her hometown of Corpus Christi.
"Most people end up moving out, but I'm pretty rebellious, to be quite honest," Martinez said. "I tend to go against the stream, so if society says to go to L.A. or New York, or you've got to move to make your dreams happen, or you've got to have this or that -- I basically had nothing. I had not even a dollar to my name, so I was going to really push toward something that wasn't done yet."
Megan spends her time travelling between LA and New York for work on high-profile magazine and well-known celebrities, but she refuses to move to a bigger city and away from her hometown.
At 28-years-old Megan is completely self-taught. She reads chemistry textbooks to learn how to create the next Chaos Makeup products, but one day aspires to become a chemist.
"I don’t make them because I want to, " she explains. "I make them because there is nothing over here. We had no choice. If we were in a bigger city or near any labs, I wouldn’t have handmade everything. I just don’t have a choice. Our biggest goal is to have someone else do pretty much the majority of the production."
She is currently working on a holographic highlighter, but with demand increasing for her makeup, she is hoping to mass-produce her products to make things easier.
“We are looking into mass production, but we don’t want to lose the quality of the products. We are being very picky about it," she said.
When she was a teen, makeup was a means to an end for Megan, the same is true today with the makeup company.
"My dream is to be a humanitarian and an animal activist," she says. "I needed something to fund my humanitarian efforts. All of this is really to fund my dream, and my dream to be a scientist/humanitarian/animal activist. I want to fight for the planet."