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Undocumented Oak Cliff Beauty Guru Details Crossing The Border in A YouTube Video

Daisy Marquez has more than 1 million YouTube subscribers.
Daisy Marquez has more than 1 million YouTube subscribers. courtesy Daisy Marquez

Daisy Marquez begins her day in front of a camera, bare-faced as she gets her workstation ready to pre-record. She starts with her opening statement, “Welcome back to my channel,” and waves to her camera greeting her fans. She’s recording a review for cosmetic products sent to her through mail.

Marquez, a 20-year-old self-taught makeup artist from Oak Cliff, has accumulated more than 1 million followers on both Instagram and YouTube. After two years of making makeup tutorials, Marquez is now one of the most recognizable Latina artists in the beauty community.

Marquez has been touring big cities coast to coast meeting fans since Aug. 8, when she kicked off her tour in Orlando. On her tour, she includes a 30-40-minute workshop in which she shows fans how they can make money on social media, tips on how to have a successful YouTube channel and how to make their Instagram brand friendly.

Marquez will be in Dallas on Sept. 8.

She racks up on average 300,000 views per video with an overall 57 million views in total, according to her YouTube channel. Marquez’s first tutorial was uploaded May 2016. Since then, she has branched out to create other videos besides makeup tutorials like fashion hauls, Q-and-As, videos with guest stars such as makeup artists and friends Shelby Triglia and Tina Halada, and lifestyle videos of her life behind the camera.

“Best experience so far throughout this journey is getting to meet so many people,” she says in an email. “I’ve made so many friends along the way, even ones that I would watch before I came into the industry.”

Having been in the game for only a short period of time, Marquez has collaborated with makeup brands such as Maybelline, Becca Cosmetics, Jouer, NARS and Sephora.

Marquez said she receives an average of 15 PR boxes per week, containing products for review videos where she discusses her opinions on the look, price and feel of the makeup once applied on the skin. However, Marquez’s passion for makeup started through a lucky encounter after she joined Molina High School's drill team.

“[My drill team coach] told me we had to wear makeup on the field and I was terrified," she said in a video called “Q&A: Get To Know Me.” "I had never even applied eyeshadow or eyeliner. After games and performances, that’s when my journey began."

Once she got into the routine of crafting her work through trial and error on her drill team, Marquez took her talents and created 10-second makeup tutorials on Snapchat for fun, many of which were “How-To's” on eye shadow looks. To her surprise, she began to see her fan base grow on Snapchat. Per her fans' request, she took her talents to other social media platforms.

“I realized I was getting ‘famous’ when people in public would recognize me from my tutorials and asked for pictures,” Marquez says.

Steadily growing, Marquez started sharing previews of upcoming videos and makeup looks on Twitter and Instagram, where her audience began to expand the more she shared her work publicly.

Being in high school and rising to stardom was not always a piece of cake. She did not think anyone from Oak Cliff would take her talents seriously.

“My main struggle during my startup phase was handling the hate," Marquez says. "I would let the negative comments get to me … but over time I learned that it’s best to just ignore them and only pay attention to the positivity."

Her most personal and emotional video came after the announcement that President Donald Trump would slash the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that provides temporary protection to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

Marquez’s YouTube video, “Story Time: I’m Undocumented,” received more than 1.1 million views, making it the most popular video on her channel. In the video she talks about her immigration status, her struggles of being undocumented and shared a story about the time she had to cross the U.S.-Mexico border when she was 10.

Marquez said she had begged her mom to visit Mexico one summer at age 10, because she was jealous of her cousins who would travel there. Hesitant, her mother finally agreed, but warned Marquez that she would have to come back illegally with “coyotes,” people who are paid to help undocumented people travel across the U.S.-Mexico border, because she was an illegal immigrant in the U.S.

After about a month in Jalisco, Mexico, with her grandparents, her mother had explained through a phone call that she would travel with a lady she had hired to watch over her during the expedition. Marquez says she began to feel frightened by the whole thing.

Marquez was awakened by her grandmother at 3 a.m. to start the journey. Marquez begged her to let her stay in Mexico, regretting ever going down south, but alas, Marquez was taken to the lady, who was not identified in the video, and was driven by van toward their destination.

After a few hours on the road, Marquez said she remembers seeing the highway slowly turn into a forest where she and the older woman were dropped off in a wooden shed in the middle of a deciduous forest. There she waited for the men, whom she does not identify in the video, to call to her to start the dangerous migration.

“It was a tiny wooden shed with only one little hole,” she said. “There were other people sitting down waiting to cross the river.”

Marquez, the youngest on this dangerous expedition, was accompanied by her guardian, a pregnant woman and two men, who were the leaders of the journey. She said all they carried was a gallon of water on the five-hour trip on foot.

One of the most vivid incidents she remembers was when a helicopter flew above them, and the group dispersed in every direction. Terrified, Marquez was told by the younger man to hide behind a bush. Marquez said she peeked through the bushes and saw the same guy get caught by Border Patrol.

“I was so sad. They caught him. That could have been me,” she said in the video.

“I was so sad. They caught him. That could have been me." – Daisy Marquez

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Not knowing where everyone else was, she weeped for 30 minutes inside the bush until the other man was finally able to find her. The group had one more hour left of their journey and continued.

With no water left in 100-degree weather, Marquez said she could no longer walk. She offered the man $100 to carry her on his back, which he did, but refused to take her last bit of cash.

Coming to a stop, she said she saw a barn with sheep. Right before crossing toward the barn, the man who guided them through the long journey said that would be the end of his job. The woman taking care of Marquez said they would have to crawl through the herd of sheep to hide from Border Patrol officers where they would meet an older man who would hide them in his barn.

“He offered us something to drink, and that’s when I said, ‘Yes, I just want a fresh cold Coke,’” she said. “It was the best thing ever because I didn’t think I was going to make it.”

She said the moment she took off her shoes, she saw how bloody her socks were. She had blisters all over her feet.

Marquez was then transported to Corpus Christi, where her mother picked her up.

“I was so happy. I didn’t know if I was ever going to see her again,” she said.

When Marquez safely returned home to Oak Cliff, eight years had passed, and while pursuing her love for makeup and balancing school work, her new test of strength came after graduation: her immigration status held her back from doing the things she wanted to do — like attending college.

“I worked my ass off, I took college classes, graduated with distinct honors … all that went to waste all because I’m from Mexico,” she said in her video.

Marquez discussed in her video that despite being accepted to every college she had applied to, the cost of going would be at a much higher rate because of her status as an international student, a burden she did not want to put on her parents’ back.

Stuck between school and chasing her passion for makeup and fashion, she took the plunge and dedicated her life to creating more videos for her followers.

Marquez says she felt like she had let her family down for not attending college, but through it all, her mother was always her biggest support system.

“I wasn’t used to the transition, but she motivated me to keep pursuing my career,” she says.

Marquez continued to grow rapidly and soon faced her toughest decision, which was to leave Oak Cliff for bigger and better opportunities on the West Coast.

“I wasn’t able to attend because of my location. So, I knew I had to move to network with brands and further my career,” Marquez says. “[My parents] said it was too expensive and that I wouldn’t make it on my own, but in the end, they saw how my work paid off and I was able to make the big transition.”

Now, Marquez has moved her talents to Los Angeles, where she says many of the makeup events she was invited to were located.

Since living in L.A., Marquez said there are noticeable differences between her hometown and her new home, the biggest being the sense of style.

“In L.A. you see so much diversity with fashion that it’s normal to see someone with a T-shirt dress and thigh-high boots during the day, whereas in Dallas I feel like everyone is more conservative,” she says.

Once settling into her new place, Marquez warns that the beauty community is not as glamorous as fans might think.

“A lot of people will pretend to be your friend to use you or they either see you as competition.”

Marquez said there are certain things she would like to see change within the tight-knit community.

“I wish brands would work with influencers that have good engagement on social media," she says. "I see small influencers all the time working so hard and don’t get recognized by these brands because they don’t have a big following. If the talent and hard work is there, brands should definitely give them a chance."

Marquez said she has a project dropping the same day she turns 21, on Sept. 24.

“I know [my fans] are going to be so proud of me because this is one of my dreams come true,” she said in her most recent video on YouTube.

Tickets start at $29.99 for her Dallas tour stop.
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