Michelle Phan

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Michelle Phan
Michelle Phan Glamour Eyes kit signing at Sephora .jpg
Michelle Phan signing the Glamour Eyes Kit at Sephora
Born (1987-04-11) April 11, 1987 (age 27)
Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation Entrepreneur, video make-up artist
Years active 2006–present
Known for YouTube celebrity
Partner(s) Dominique Capraro (2010–present)

Michelle Phan (born April 11, 1987)[1] is an American make-up demonstrator and entrepreneur who became notable as a YouTube celebrity.[2] Phan's YouTube channel has over 5 million subscribers and she has uploaded over 280 videos.

Phan's most well known videos are Lady Gaga look makeup tutorials.[3]

Early life

Michelle Phan (Vietnamese name, Tuyết Băng, meaning "avalanche") [4] was born in Boston, Massachusetts into a Vietnamese family. She has an older brother called Steve Phan. A few years after birth, Her family moved to San Francisco, California. Within the San Francisco area, Michelle and her family moved several different times. They moved at least six times in a year. Unfortunately this was due to Michelle's father's gambling addiction, which caused him to often gamble away the family's rent money. Eventually, Michelle and her family moved to Tampa, Florida where she attended Tampa Bay Technical High School. Not long after, Michelle's father walked out of her family and never came back for unknown reasons.[4] For a few years, Michelle's mother worked as a single mother until she remarried. A year into the new marriage, Michelle became an older sister to Christine, her half-sister.

Throughout her childhood, Michelle enjoyed drawing, playing video games and practicing the trumpet. As a teenager, Michelle had a growing interest in makeup, but to her dismay, her mother did not allow her to wear makeup. In senior year of high school, Michelle's mother finally allowed her to use makeup which allowed Michelle to have an even larger interest in makeup. Michelle explained that she fell in love with makeup because she felt like she was drawing on her face. In her senior year, she experienced a lot of emotional pain from her stepfather. Michelle's mother decided to leave the stepfather and start a new life for the family. Michelle ended up taking jobs with her brother, Steve, to help their mother make ends meet. However, Michelle received the opportunity to attend college in Florida. She attended Ringling School of Art and Design. It was in college that Michelle received her first laptop (provided through the university) which she used to upload her very first makeup tutorial on YouTube.


In 2005, Phan had a personal blog in which she discussed different makeup tutorials and received requests for further instruction.[5] She began posting tutorial vlogs on Xanga under the username Ricebunny and then began publishing on YouTube in May, 2007.[6][7] Phan's videos implemented some special effects and a voice-over narration which were uncommon for the time but proved popular.[2][8] She patterned her production style on Bob Ross; "There is something magical about narration and voiceovers. Recording a voiceover is an art form in itself."[2] Buzzfeed featured several Phan's videos in 2009 and 2010, which helped them go viral.[9] In particular, her make-up instructionals "Lady Gaga 'Poker Face' Tutorial" and "Lady Gaga 'Bad Romance' Look" brought her over a million subscribers.[10] Phan became a YouTube advertising partner and launched FAWN, a YouTube MCN (multi-channel network) in 2012.[2][11] The format expanded Phan's offerings with additional hosts and guests, including Dita Von Teese, Coco Rocha, Nelly Furtado and the Victoria’s Secret Angels.

Phan has included her reviews of beauty products in her videos. The following year, Lancôme made Phan their official video make-up artist after she featured some of their products in her videos.[12] In 2011, Phan co-founded MyGlam, a monthly beauty subscription service filled with various beauty products that are associated to tutorials on the website.[13][14] In mid-2012, MyGlam underwent a web design change to be more member inclusive, this also resulted in a name change from 'MyGlam' to 'Ipsy'. In May 2013, Ipsy hosted Generation Beauty, a conference in Los Angeles for beauty bloggers and online beauty content creators.[15]

On August 15, 2013, Phan in conjunction with the L'Oreal Group has launched a new cosmetic line called EM by Michelle Phan.[16] The cosmetic site follows the Ipsy style of not only being a commerce site but also a social media site which requires people to become members in order to purchase merchandise. EM Michelle Phan also contains areas such as 'Our Sisterhood' which encourages members to see what's trending among fellow members, tutorials and an invite system which encourages members to get members to join and make purchases in return for free gifts with purchase.

Phan's makeup line is controlled under the L'Oreal Luxe division which also holds interest in other high-end companies such as Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren. It was Carol Hamilton, president of the L'Oreal Luxe division who helped Phan start her makeup line. Phan ended up travelling across the world for two years to develop her makeup line. She paid special attention to quality, texture and color. To find inspiration, within the two years she visited France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and Australia. When she returned home she hosted a competition between three colleges in three different states; California, Florida and Massachusetts. Students were challenged to create the packaging for her new line, the winning college was awarded a scholarship. Phan's makeup line was released August 15, 2013. Phan has credited every single person who commented, supported or advised her videos on YouTube, for helping her create her makeup line. Phan has stated that the line's name, EM means that the line is a "reflection of ME."[17]

On March 14, 2014, Phan's video called Matte About You, which was posted on March 7, 2014, "already has 1.2 million views."[18]


  1. ^ "Twenty-Five!". FAWN. 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  2. ^ a b c d Humphrey, Michael (2011-09-21). "Michelle Phan: On Beauty, Bob Ross And Future Success". Forbes. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.youtube.com/user/MichellePhan/videos?flow=grid&view=0&sort=p
  4. ^ a b http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05KqZEqQJ40
  5. ^ Wick, Krista (May 26, 2012). "Meet Michelle Phan, The Accidental Millionaire". The Insider. ET Online. Retrieved 24 July 2013. "Phan is the second-most popular female personality on YouTube and has became a spokeswoman for Lancome thanks to the success of her online videos. She also recently partnered with Glamhouse for her Jewelry line Ever Eden." 
  6. ^ Hayes, Stephanie (August 22, 2009). "Michelle Phan, a YouTube sensation for her makeup tutorials, has transformed her life". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "ricebunny.xanga.com". ricebunny.xanga.com. 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  8. ^ Tamar Anitai (2010-01-27). "Makeup Tutorial: Learn How To Get Lady Gaga's Scary 'Bad Romance' Eyes". MTV. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  9. ^ Peggy Wang (2010-07-09). "How to Get Lady Gaga Googly Eyes [VIDEO]". Buzzfeed.com. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  10. ^ Maria Ricapito (2010-05-28). "Viral Videos: Michelle Phan's Rise to YouTube Stardom". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  11. ^ "Beauty Gurus How-To: Becoming a YouTube Star". Yahoo! Shine. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  12. ^ "Home Discover Lancôme Experts Michelle Phan". Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "21 Success Mavericks". Success Magazine. 2013-06-01. 
  14. ^ "How Bloggers Are Scoring Million-Dollar Funding Rounds". AdAge. 2013-05-29. 
  15. ^ "Generation Beauty Draws a Plugged-in Crowd to First Conference". WWD. 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  16. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/youtubes-beauty-guru-michelle-phan-lands-loreal-makeup-19979777
  17. ^ Phan, Michelle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhvqGcwpRvc. Retrieved 5 December 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ Strugatz, Rachel (13 March 2014). "Vloggers Winning Online Battle Over Brands". WWD. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 

External links