How a Homeless Teen in Texas Created a Thriving Beauty Brand

Corpus Cristi native Megan Martinez, creator of Chaos Makeup, went from homeless teen to entrepreneur. Here's how she did it.

Photo: Dustin Ashcraft

Megan Martinez, creator of Chaos Makeup, recently sat down with Allure to share how she made the spectacular leap from homeless teen to entrepreneur. She was raised by a single mother and her stepdad in Corpus Christi, Texas in a tumultuous home. In response to a rough home life, Martinez developed a strong rebellious streak — complete with sleeves of tattoos and wild hair — and behavioral problems that compelled her mother — then grandmother — to kick her out of their homes.

On her own at 14, the chica boss started working at a fast food joint and picking up odd jobs, like booking makeup gigs with her classmates, to make ends meet. She didn’t particularly enjoy the art of makeup, but viewed it as a means of survival. A year later, the self-starting teen considered herself a full-time freelance makeup artist and used her Myspace page, “ChaosMakeupArtist,” to raise her profile and brand her rebellious punk aesthetic.

The word chaos had particular resonances for Martinez relating to her messy appearance, wild aesthetic, and nomadic lifestyle as a homeless youth. Through trial and error, her first successful concoction captured the super dewy skin effect she’s drawn to. When she began selling the product on the side, indie beauty brands began contacting her directly for collaborations.

Martinez’s knack for all things science, particularly chemistry, helped her perfect the composition of her signature clear base colored highlighters. After a couple years of experience and gaining industry knowledge, Chaos Makeup officially launched as its own professionally handcrafted brand.

Martinez is particularly cognizant of the kinds of ingredients she uses in her lab: none of them are tested on animals and all are vegan-friendly and natural. The artist recently revealed that she expanded her line of highlighters to eyeshadows without resorting to toxic ingredients or fillers.

Despite her difficult journey, Martinez’s intelligence, resourcefulness and true grit catapulted her to success. See why everyone’s obsessed with her beauty sense at

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