“I can’t believe they chose me.”
That’s what YouTube star and makeup artists Manny Gutierrez, known as Manny MUA (which stands for “makeup artist”) told reporters at PEOPLE’s annual Ones to Watch party on Thursday where he was the honoree in the magazine chosen by event sponsor Maybelline.
“When my publicist told me I was going to in People’s Ones to Watch as Maybelline’s honoree, at first I was in shock,” he said. “Then I thought, ‘Wow. This is really happening.’ I just feel so happy and honored that they would choose a boy in beauty.”
Though he’s now one of the most popular makeup artists online with a highly successful YouTube Channel and over 2 million Instagram followers, before he found internet fame MUA was focusing on a career in medicine.
“I was so interested in makeup, but I was pressured to follow what my family and friends wanted me to do,” he told PEOPLE in June. But at the Oct. 13 event in Los Angeles, he noted that after deciding to follow his passion, he never looked back – and his advice for anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps is to do the same.
“Don’t be scared of what people will say. I’ve gone through all of it,” he said. “I’ve heard every single name in the book. But the hardest part is just to start. Create an account and start a YouTube channel and be confident in yourself.”
As for what he hopes to do next, MUA says he wants to continue his makeup tutorials, but wouldn’t mind dipping into acting as well. “That would be so much fun,” he said.
As for his own personal One to Watch, the one who inspires him the most? Mom.
“She’s always my One to Watch,” he said. “She’s my beauty inspiration and the one who raised me to be who I am, and I owe everything to her. She’s my one. She’s my person!”