Michelle Phan

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Michelle Phan
Michelle Phan.jpg
Michelle Phan in 2014
Born (1987-04-11) April 11, 1987 (age 31)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.[1]
OccupationEntrepreneur, YouTube video blogger
Years active2007–2017

Michelle Phan (born April 11, 1987) is an American make-up artist, entrepreneur, and voice actress who became notable as a YouTube personality.[2] Phan's YouTube channel has over 8.9 million subscribers, 1.1 billion lifetime views,[3] and 385 uploaded videos.[4]

Early life[edit]

Michelle Phan was born on April 11, 1987, in Boston, Massachusetts.[5][1] She has an older brother and a younger half sister. Phan and her family moved to Tampa, Florida where she attended Tampa Bay Technical High School.[6] Phan attended Ringling College of Art and Design.[6][7] In March 2014, Ringling gave Phan an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree.[8][9]


Michelle Phan in 2012 at Sephora, Glendale, California

In 2005, Phan had a personal blog in which she discussed different makeup tutorials and received requests for further instruction.[10] She began posting tutorial vlogs on Xanga under the username Ricebunny and then began publishing on YouTube in May 2007.[11][12]

BuzzFeed featured two of Phan's "How To Get Lady Gaga's Eyes" makeup tutorials in 2009 and 2010, which helped them go viral and brought her over a million subscribers.[13][14][15] Phan became a YouTube advertising partner and launched FAWN, a YouTube MCN (multi-channel network), in 2012.[2][16]

In 2010, Lancôme made Phan their official video make-up artist after she featured some of their products in her videos.[17] She became their first Vietnamese spokesperson, acting as Lancôme's representative not only in the United States but also around the world. In 2011, Phan co-founded 'MyGlam', a monthly beauty products subscription service, which has since been renamed "ipsy",[18] launched in September 2012. ipsy is a sponsor of "Generation Beauty", a beauty conference that Phan helped organize.[19] On August 15, 2013, L'Oreal launched a new cosmetic line called em by Michelle Phan,[20] dedicating the brand to her mother.

In May 2014, Phan announced her partnership with Endemol Beyond USA to build a talent network to feature people from YouTube and create content for millennials.[21] The ICON network, dedicated to "beauty, lifestyle and entertainment", launched in March 2015 online and on television via Roku.[22][23]

In September 2014, Phan partnered with Cutting Edge Group (CEG) to launch Shift Music Group.[24] Phan also launched a book with Random House in October 2014, called Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success -- Online and Off.[25]

In 2014, Phan's YouTube Channel was listed on New Media Rockstars' Top 100 Channels, ranked at #48.[26]

In 2015, Phan was named to the Inc. 30 under 30 and Forbes 30 under 30 lists.[27][28] The same year, she raised $100 million to value the company Ipsy at over $500 million.[29]

After a yearlong YouTube hiatus (on Jun 1, 2017) Phan posted a video explaining why she took her break, citing legal troubles and issues with her self image. In the video's description she stated "I'll return when I'm inspired to share new ideas."[30] As of October 2018, she has not released another video on her channel.

Copyright infringement lawsuit[edit]

In July 2014, Ultra Records sued Phan in the United States District Court for Los Angeles for copyright infringement relating to the music used in her YouTube videos.[31] Ultra sought up to $150,000 in damages per infringement for up to 50 instances of alleged infringement, for a total of up to $7.5 million.[32][33] Phan's representatives stated that she had received permission from Ultra to use the music,[34] and Phan filed a countersuit against Ultra Records on September 18, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.[35]

In August 2015, both suit and countersuit were dropped, with both parties agreeing to settle out of court. The terms of the agreement were not made public.[36]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated Award Result
2014 Michelle Phan Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Fashion/Beauty Nominated
Michelle Phan Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Female Nominated
Michelle Phan Streamy Award for Inspiration Icon Award Won
Michelle Phan Shorty Award for Best YouTube Guru Won
2015 Michelle Phan Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Fashion/Beauty Nominated
Michelle Phan Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Female Nominated
2016 Michelle Phan Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Fashion/Beauty Nominated


  • Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success -- Online and Off. Penguin–Random House. 2014. ISBN 9780804137348.


  1. ^ a b "Draw My Life - Michelle Phan". YouTube. May 19, 2013. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Humphrey, Michael (September 21, 2011). "Michelle Phan: On Beauty, Bob Ross And Future Success". Forbes. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Brouwer, Bree (September 5, 2014). "Michelle Phan Reaches A Milestone With Over 1 Billion Channel Views". Tubefilter.com.
  4. ^ "Michelle Phan". YouTube.com. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  5. ^ "Glamorous Birthday Look". YouTube. April 9, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Michelle Phan, a YouTube sensation for her makeup tutorials, has transformed her life". Tampabay.com. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  7. ^ Ricapito, Maria (2010-05-28). "Viral Videos: Michelle Phan's Rise to YouTube Stardom". Vanityfair.com. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  8. ^ "Ringling College: Internet Phenom Michelle Phan Receives Honorary Doctorate from Ringling College:". Ringling.edu. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  9. ^ Forbes, Jihan. "Michelle Phan Talks Success, Her New Book and Miley Cyrus at the Unleash YouTube Event". The Fashion Spot. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  10. ^ Wick, Krista (May 26, 2012). "Meet Michelle Phan, Accidental Millionaire". The Insider. ET Online. Retrieved July 24, 2013. Phan is the second-most popular female personality on YouTube and has become spokeswoman for Lancome thanks to the success of her online videos. She also recently partnered with Glamhouse for her Jewelry line Ever Eden.
  11. ^ Hayes, Stephanie (August 22, 2009). "Michelle Phan, a YouTube sensation for her makeup tutorials, has transformed her life". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  12. ^ "ricebunny.xanga.com". ricebunny.xanga.com. June 20, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  13. ^ Tamar Anitai (January 27, 2010). "Makeup Tutorial: Learn How To Get Lady Gaga's Scary 'Bad Romance' Eyes". MTV. Archived from the original on April 3, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  14. ^ Peggy Wang (July 9, 2010). "How to Get Lady Gaga Googly Eyes [VIDEO]". BuzzFeed. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  15. ^ Maria Ricapito (May 28, 2010). "Viral Videos: Michelle Phan's Rise to YouTube Stardom". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  16. ^ "Beauty Gurus How-To: Becoming a YouTube Star". Yahoo! Shine. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  17. ^ "Lancôme Signs Michelle Phan, YouTube Makeup Star". Main.stylelist.com. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  18. ^ "21 Success Mavericks". Success Magazine. June 1, 2013.
  19. ^ "Michelle Phan's Ipsy Hits $150 Million In Revenue, Launches Open Studios". Tubefilter. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  20. ^ "YouTube's Beauty Guru Michelle Phan Lands Own L'Oreal Makeup Line Video". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  21. ^ "Endemol Beyond USA Aligns Forces in Exclusive Deal with Acclaimed Digital Pioneer Michelle Phan and Her Multi-Channel Network, FAWN, to Build a Premium Lifestyle Network for Women". Endemolusa.tv. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  22. ^ Bacher, Danielle (February 2016). "Michelle Phan: Life is Beautiful". Nylon: 60–69.
  23. ^ "Michelle Phan goes beyond YouTube with Icon multi-channel network". Theguardian.com. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  24. ^ Spangler, Todd (September 26, 2014). "YouTube's Michelle Phan Launches Music Label". Variety.com.
  25. ^ "Make Up by Michelle Phan". Randomhouse.com. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  26. ^ "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 50-26!". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  27. ^ Fenn, Donna (April 24, 2015). "30 UNDER 30 Remember These Names: The 2015 30 Under 30 List Is Here". Inc.com.
  28. ^ Adams, Susan (April 24, 2015). "Forbes' 30 Under 30". Forbes.com.
  29. ^ How Michelle Phan Built A $500 Million Company, Forbes, October 5, 2015
  30. ^ "Michelle Phan Returns to YouTube after a Yearlong Hiatus to Explain Why She Left". Allure. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  31. ^ "Ultra International Music Publishing, LLC et al v. Michelle Phan". Docket Alarm. July 16, 2014. Retrieved Dec 22, 2014.
  32. ^ "YouTube star Michelle Phan sued over copyright". BBC News. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  33. ^ "Ultra Records Responds to Michelle Phan & Kaskade Copyright Controversy". Radio.com. July 28, 2014.
  34. ^ "YouTube Star Michelle Phan Fights Back Against Multi-million Dollar Lawsuit". Mashable.com. July 24, 2012.
  35. ^ "Phan". Scribd.com. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  36. ^ "YouTube Star Michelle Phan Settles Dispute With Dance Label Ultra Records". hollywoodreporter.com. August 13, 2015.

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