What Does “MUA” Mean? Here’s a Brief History of the Makeup TermDecember 06, 2021
The Origin of MUA
MUA is a nickname for the term “makeup artist.” While not new, it gained momentum on the Internet thanks to beauty influencer Manny Gutierrez, who goes by Manny MUA on Youtube, Instagram and Twitter. In 2017, Gutierrez became the first male face of a Maybelline New York campaign, and shortly thereafter, fans and makeup amateurs alike suddenly realized that MUA was not Gutierrez’s last name (nor does it mean that someone is blowing a kiss!). MUA quickly transformed from industry slang to a more common term that consumers now recognize.
The term MUA also has ties to MakeupAlley, a makeup product and review forum that was founded in 1999. The popular blog is renowned for its swatches and limited-edition makeup reviews and has won over the trust of makeup lovers everywhere since its creation. Today, MakeupAlley is trademarked “MUA Inc.” for short.
With social media colliding with the beauty world, the term MUA has endured. All it takes is a quick search for “#mua” on Instagram for a whopping 78.1 million makeup posts — from cut crease tutorials to lip art — to become available at your fingertips.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn, Courtesy of L'Oréal