Never Stay Inside the Lines — An Artist’s Story
The Artist

Motto: "If it Doesn't Look Perfect, It Will Eventually."

Motto: “If it doesn’t look perfect, it will eventually.”


At first glance, artist Gisset Renteria is a sight to behold. Her petite stature, green eyes, full head of curly hair and inviting smile would captivate any onlooker. Instead of basking in the attention of others however, Gisset prefers to focus her attention on enhancing the beauty and spirit of her clients as a professionally trained make up artist.

Wedding Make Up

Wedding Make Up

An inward glance of Gisset Renteria truly exposes her passions and vulnerabilities. She unabashedly admits that she shed tears after hearing a story about a co-worker’s dog that passed away. When talking about her mother and father, Gisset is deliberate and thoughtful. Both her mother and father were young sweethearts while growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico and after immigrating to the United States their relationship solidified. Gisset recalls fond memories of spending her summer breaks in the little town in Mexico where her parents grew up. At 5 AM the house would stir after the rooster crowed and sometimes Gisset and her siblings were sent to purchase fresh milk. She is deeply grateful for the simplicity and appreciation of her parents’ upbringing. Gisset’s source of strength is embedded in the older memories and the newer ones she will create with her fiancé. As her biggest cheerleader, he never forecloses on her dreams and loves to see the happiness that painting brings.

Gisset’s love for make up started as a teenager but materialized when she enrolled at the Makeup Designory (MUD) in 2002. Through networking opportunities and school job boards, Gisset landed a variety of gigs in different industries including work on movie sets. Working on the set was an invaluable experience that eventually sparked her interest in the many facets of make up artistry, specifically body painting. In fact, while in school she completed courses and attended trade show sessions specifically focused on body art techniques such as airbrushing. Venturing into body painting was no “walk in the park”. Her first job face painting for children at birthday parties was quite a challenge. But she was focused on developing her free hand drawing ability. She humbly admits that her first time was a disaster because she wasn’t prepared. Instead of throwing her brushes up in frustration, Gisset was determined to master face painting with thorough preparation. When she got a second chance, she printed out picture choices for the kids to pick specific ideas, she was deliberate in her skill to ensure her work met her expectations, and she added a touch of personality and found herself enjoying socializing with her young clients. It was not long before Gisset embraced her passion and expanded her canvas from faces to pregnant bellies and bodies.

Belly Art

Belly Art

Gisset is grateful to her sister who agreed to let her pregnant belly be painted the day before she delivered! Since then she has sharpened her free hand skills and has worked on many clients for different occasions. During a 4-7 hour session, Gisset mixes and layers colors using paints activated by water and mixes with brushes. The process is similar to using water colors, however the make up paint is a different consistency. Once all colors are mixed, Gisset free hands a masterpiece of art that is remarkably captivating.

Make up artistry and body painting may appear to be similar art forms. Both use a live canvas, brushes, and pallets. However, traditional make up uses the face as the canvas which is enhanced based on particular contours. By using the individual’s natural beauty, the artist seeks to create a flawless look using eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks, etc. Body painting, on the other hand, requires a sharp eye for detail and continuity. The body serves as a live canvas that is transformed into a piece of art. Although both processes provide the ultimate make up experience, Gisset appreciates the challenges involved with body painting.

Body Painting Process

Body Painting Process

Traditionally body painting is recognized as Mehndi or the henna tattoo. It is believed that modern body painting begun at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, but the art form was commonly found in nudist or naturist gatherings. Now, body painting is a form of expression that many people, including celebrities, partake. The fact that the make up lasts a few hours doesn’t deter individuals from sitting “under the brush.” In most cases, artists follow up the paint session with a photography session in order to memorialize the experience.

If you are in the Los Angeles area or plan to visit pretty soon, contact Gisset for your ultimate make up experience!

See the full gallery below:

Gisset’s tidbits 2Go:
Inspiration: Fiancé and parents
Peace: Reflection, dog and Tuesday nights with parents and four sisters
Health: Marathon running and weight training
Last read: The Hunger Games Trilogy
Hair product: Aveda and moroccan type oil
Make up: MAC Fashion Whimm lip gloss
Role model: Frida Kahlo, John Vargas
Music note: Without You – Usher and David Guetta; Don’t Stop Believing – Journey; and The Cup of Life – Ricky Martin (world cup theme song in spanish and english)


Photos: James Pratt of Actors Choice Photography



3 thoughts on “Never Stay Inside the Lines — An Artist’s Story

  1. This talented artist is my sister. My eyes are filled with tears because I’m so proud of her. She has a heart of gold. Love you Giss!

Leave a Reply