What’s Up South Texas!: Pre-teen makeup artist uses passion for makeup to give back to community

Adrialynn Alvarado started live makeup tutorials as a joke, but found that she really loved educating adults and children how to do makeup

SAN ANTONIO – A 12-year-old makeup artist is using her passion for makeup to give back to the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

Adrialynn Alvarado started doing makeup a year and a half ago.

“It started off as a joke, and it just took off,” said Monique Gonzalez, her mother. “When she first started, she wasn’t that good, but now she has grown a lot and does makeup live.”

“We were with my grandma and we were pretending that we had a YouTube channel and we were doing makeup and my grandma started filming us,” Alvarado said. “Mom was out of town. We did about three of the makeup lives without my mom knowing.”

At first, Gonzalez said she was hesitant.

“She was doing them and the videos were posted on her grandma’s page, so it was just family,” Gonzalez said. “I wasn’t upset about the makeup part because she had been doing that since she was a very little girl. When it came down to her being in front of people and opening up to the world essentially, we had to find a way to make it safe.”

Gonzalez said she is very strict with making sure her daughter is protected online.

“She doesn’t say like her actual name, she doesn’t say where she is from, she doesn’t say what school she is from or personal information,” Gonzalez said. “We also have a group of admins that surrounds her when she goes live and I am always right next to her so the minute I see something or someone being inappropriate, we block immediately, no questions asked.”

Alvarado came up with the name Cupcake Unicorn Sparkles when she was playing around, but the name has stuck for her.

Alvarado has been doing live makeup tutorials online since. She was discovered by an independent makeup company called XNO Cosmetics.

“When we first started we were just doing it for fun and we didn’t do it to make a big deal out of it and then, when they reached out to us, I was really excited because I didn’t think that was going to happen,” Alvarado said.

While dealing with online and real-life trolls, Alvarado has had moments of not wanting to do live tutorials.

“She went into a darker place and didn’t want to do makeup for a good while and the same people who follow her were like, ‘Where are you? What is going on? They started helping to uplift her and got her out of that funk,” Gonzalez said. “Now, I don’t even have to worry about her because she will clap back at people real fast when they have something ugly to say.”

Alvarado’s perseverance paid off. She has learned many things with the makeup industry, how to manage money, how to communicate with people, and how to ignore hate.

She was given the opportunity to create her own makeup pallet to be sold. She created her pallet called, ‘Guide to 2020’ which features makeup shades inspired by the events of 2020.

“My dad designed the cover which also says, ‘This is not a test,’” Alvarado said. “The names are Masking which is the color of the doctor’s masks, Distance, Wi-Fi, Epidemic, Shutdown, 6 Feet, Outbreak, Pandemic, Epidemic, Fake News, Stimulus for green, Social Media, Conspiracy. My favorite is Toilet Paper which is a white and has a purple undertone. I used a yellow and named it Disinfect for the labels on different sanitizers.”

The pallet was so successful, it sold out.

Alvarado got the chance to donate a part of the proceeds made from her pallet to a children’s hospital of her choice.

She said choosing the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio was a no-brainer especially if it meant helping those on the frontlines of the pandemic.

“I was very happy,” Alvarado said. “On my live, it sold out and I can see a very good shot of my mom just crying,” she laughed. “I couldn’t cry because I had my makeup on. We hit the record for the fastest selling pallet on the website.”

That hospital has really helped me. Especially when I broke my ankle and had to get stitches on my thumb.”

She even went the extra step and donated actual pallets to nurses and doctors.

She said she hopes her journey inspires others to give back to the community.

“With all of this we have been doing, we have still found a way to give back to the community,” Alvarado said. “I think that is really important to do is to put others before yourself.”

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.