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Meet the Limerick woman who went global by turning herself into celebrities

Maria Malone-Guerbaa’s transformations are eye-popping in their brilliance, so we spoke to her about her rise to internet fame.

TRANSFORMING YOURSELF INTO a celebrity is usually the preserve of costume parties and those masks that people sometimes wear around Halloween.

But this Limerick artist has gone global with her own unique brand of makeup work and face painting that means she can transform herself into anyone and anything.

Maria Malone-Guerbaa has been everywhere in the last two years from US chat shows to the West End to the chat show circuit because of her ability to turn herself into recognisable people – and the internet absolutely loves it.

Here is her version of Robin Williams:

maria6 Source: mariamaloneguerbaa.com

Speaking to DailyEdge.ie, Maria explains the reason why she continues to go viral with her creations:

“People have never seen famous faces done like this before. If I painted any old Joe Soap they wouldn’t have got the idea, and that’s why it’s so popular.”

Her success has not been confined to transforming herself into celebrities though, as Maria also does animals and anything else that takes her fancy.

Her transformation into a deer got nearly 5000 likes from her 132,000 Instagram followers last month:

maria8 Source: Facebook

Maria uses no prosthetic materials to create her faces – just makeup and face paint – which sets her apart from others in this line of work.

I came up with it myself – and I didn’t even know. The World Face and Body Painting Association got in contact with me and told me that they had never seen it before. It was very flattering.

Her work has already taken her around the globe and won her acclaim with noted makeup brands:

I have gone to other countries to do specialist shows. Makeup companies like Mac have got me to paint for them, working on campaigns and events so it’s all going so well.

#tbt #anthonyhopkins attempt :D x #makeup #facepainting Source: mariamalone1122

Maria has received a considerable amount of attention on social media, with a growing following of fans eager to see what she will come up with next:

I have had over 50 million views on my work so far, it’s really been incredible. I paint a couple of times a week and the response online has been great.

Growing up in Limerick, Maria was offered a spot in Limerick Art College, but turned it down realising that London was the place to be for this kind of work. So she moved there and ended up staying, as many do, and started a family – which put a temporary stall on her makeup work:

I was born and bred in Limerick, and I moved over to London when I was 19. I had a 17-year gap where I didn’t even pick up a pencil all that time – between starting an unrelated business and a family, I just didn’t have the time.

#joker inspired of course by the awesome #jacknicholson #mua #makeup Source: mariamalone1122

But when she returned to the her art a couple of years ago, a buzz quickly started around her work – leading her to an appearance on ITV’s This Morning, The BBC One Show and as lead makeup artist in film and on the West End.

maria5 Source: mariamaloneguerbaa.com

Maria returns to Ireland as a judge in an upcoming makeup artistry competition, and travels the world to conventions and competitions as a guest, showing off her unique brand of work:

I have two kids aged 14 and 11, so I try and balance my international trips so I can be home with them as much as possible. It’s great to be returning to Ireland and I would love to see this type of makeup work get bigger here.

Now, all that is left to do for us is to scroll through her many, many ridiculous transformations and maybe re-assess the standard of our Halloween costumes for later this year.


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About the author:

David Elkin

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