The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

Touched by Medusa

The past, present and future of nail technician and makeup artist Grisell Gemaya Martinez-Guzman
Martinez-Guzman posing with beauty influencer Jeffree Star for the launching of Stars Scorpio collection.
Martinez-Guzman posing with beauty influencer Jeffree Star for the launching of Star’s “Scorpio” collection.


With the beginning of Women’s History Month, I wanted to start off by highlighting an inspiring woman who is just beginning her story. I chose to cover Grisell Gemaya Martinez-Guzman due to her involvement in making me feel confident through the nails she has done for me, for making my quinceanera makeup the most beautiful and her hard work that motivates me to always follow my passions and to work hard. 


Grisell Gemaya Martinez-Guzman, better known as “touchedby.medusa” on her business account on Instagram, is a full-time makeup and nail artist who is home-based in Des Moines, IA. 

Her beauty account name came from the Greek myth of Medusa, as both before and after she was turned into a monster she was beautiful, and she would transform others with her beauty and stone-turning abilities. Martinez-Guzman explained that her mom viewed her work as transforming someone through makeup and/or nails.

“I love seeing the reaction my clients have because getting your nails done makes you feel pretty I think,” expressed Martinez-Guzman.

She explained that as a child she loved art and expressed it through paintings and drawings which reflected her favorite part of being a nail technician to this day, this being creating nail designs in forms of nail art and/or rhinestones. 

She then went on to state that she was encouraged by her parents as a child not only verbally, but also through providing supplies for her to continue with her creativity. She described this as “adding fuel to the fire.”

Martinez-Guzman furthermore credited her parents for said encouragement, work ethic and overall support that they provided, furthermore stating that they were her motivation to work hard not only in school but in life.

“I have to keep going because if I don’t do anything, all the sacrifices my parents made were going to be for nothing, I couldn’t do it to them,” she expressed. She explained how they continued and continue to support her and even how they built her studio, took her on trips and concluded by stating “They’re always there.”

She explained that entrepreneurship was always an option with her parents owning their own business, stating that they told her “You don’t always have to work for somebody, you can find ways to be your own boss.”

Her parents are not the only family members that Martinez-Guzman credits to her success, though, as she explained that her older brother and younger sister also helped her along the way. Her older brother, who is also an entrepreneur is someone that she expressed was one of her first supporters and the first person she looks up to as an entrepreneur. Furthermore, she explained that her sister was one of her first clients and helped her grow as a nail technician and continue her passion for nails. 

Though she credits her first passion to be makeup, Martinez-Guzman explained that her original plan after graduating was to be an engineer and was planning to go to college for it, but after some consideration, she chose to pursue her passion for makeup and newly found love for nails. After making said decision she attended beauty school and became a licensed nail technician and makeup artist. 

With encouragement from family and a passion for beauty, Martinez-Guzman decided to challenge her shyness and create an Instagram account devoted to her business which she explained to be “the scariest thing, followed by posting.”

With Martinez-Guzman being one of many makeup artists and nail technicians in the area, she explained that she prioritizes supporting others as “it’s better to support everyone else because everyone has their own style and I think it’s important to open up the space to other people.” She then concluded with “there’s enough room for everybody to have work and be good.”

Martinez-Guzman alongside lifestyle, fashion, beauty and comedy influencer Alondra Vogl.

At the young age of 21, Martinez-Guzman has made a name for herself in the beauty scene not only in Des Moines, but in the ranks of beauty influencers such as Jeffree Star which she explained as one of her top moments throughout her career. Another experience she recalled was doing the nails of Alondra Vogl, an internet personality with over 600 thousand followers.

She explained that a goal she has is opening a suite and teaching classes to beginner nail technicians as “[she] didn’t have anyone to teach [me] and [she] want[s] to be what [she] never had.” Furthermore and end goal she has is to become a celebrity nail technician and makeup artist and an overall goal is to always have a comfortable space for her clients. 

Ruby Chrisco, a client of Martinez-Guzman expressed that this goal is always reached as “she [Martinez-Guzman] is very calming, chill and sweet and makes you feel so comfortable.”

Morgan Kilpatrik, another client, explained that Martinez-Guzman is different from other nail technicians with her patience, attention to her clients and “[making] the nails look as good as if they were going to be her own set.”

Martinez-Guzman’s Families Business’s 

Solobymario on Instagram and Facebook

Garabatosbyme on Instagram and Facebook


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About the Contributor
Zoe Marquez
Zoe Marquez, Newspaper Editor
Junior, Zoe Marquez is the newspaper editor for “The Orbit.” She explained, “I decided to join the newspaper because it seemed really interesting as well as it builds connections.” She plans to gain writing and editing experience by being an editor throughout the rest of her high school career.  Marquez is busy at school with both DMACC and AP classes. Outside of school she has many hobbies to fill her time. “Growing up not knowing English, reading and writing give you a sense of achievement.” Marquez also enjoys watching Netflix and making time for friends and family.  While Marquez has no definitive plans for the future she knows that this class will give her many necessary skills for any career. “It’s going to help me professionally, as well as help me grow better communication skills,” explained Marquez. 

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