Michelle Phan is an inspirational icon in the digital age. Since launching her YouTube channel in 2007, she has amassed over 8 million subscribers and pioneered the format of makeup tutorials and reviews online. Through her magnetic personality and skillful techniques, Michelle has become a trusted guide for millions looking to experiment with cosmetics and develop their own style.
Age: 36 (Born April 11, 1987)
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Net Worth: Estimated $50 million
Early Life: Discovering Her Passion
Michelle was born in Boston, Massachusetts on April 11, 1987. From a young age, she was fascinated by art, fashion and cosmetics. According to Michelle, playing with makeup was a creative outlet and form of self-expression growing up.
As a teenager, Michelle taught herself special effects makeup techniques by practicing on herself, using household items like food coloring and glue. Her dedication to honing her craft was evident even in these early experimental days.
In 2005, she enrolled in the Ringling College of Art and Design to pursue her passion formally. However, Michelle could only attend for one semester due to financial constraints. During this difficult period, she found inspiration in sharing her makeup skills online.
Road to YouTube Stardom
In 2007, Michelle began uploading makeup tutorials to her new YouTube channel, MichellePhan. Her first video "Natural Look Tutorial" showcased her fresh-faced, relatable style and skill in transforming her look with simple techniques. It immediately drew an enthusiastic response and Michelle was inspired to keep filming tutorials.
Within a year, interest in her channel was growing rapidly as subscribers connected with her soothing voice, thriftiness and creativity. As a longtime fan, I was amazed at how quickly she perfected the YouTube vlogging format – editing, angles, lighting – with zero budget.
Brands like Lancôme also started taking notice and hired Michelle to create video content as their official video makeup artist by 2009. Her popularity continued to skyrocket and by 2013, Michelle had become the first YouTube star to appear on the cover of L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth – a testament to her meteoric rise to fame!
Building a Beauty Empire
Capitalizing on her digital success, Michelle co-founded subscription makeup company Ipsy in 2011. Ipsy taps into her community by sending subscribers customized glam bags with beauty product samples every month. This brilliant business venture gave fans an affordable way to experiment with new products just like Michelle did growing up.
In 2016, Michelle raised the bar again by launching her own makeup brand, EM Cosmetics, allowing her to share her vision directly with fans through vegan, quality products. She continues to be deeply involved in the brand as its chief creative officer.
Some of my favorite products include:
- Radiant Glow Primer
- Lip Cushion in Magic Hour
- Brow Cream in Espresso
Michelle‘s hands-on, creative approach at every venture is so inspiring. She turns her passion into products that make beauty fun and empowering.
Now in her 30s, Michelle‘s dedication to creativity and self-expression burns brighter than ever. She continues to grow her brand and evolve as an artist in amazing ways:
- YouTube: She has expanded her channel topics to share intimate thoughts, food diaries, travels and more with over 8 million loyal subscribers
- Podcast: In 2021, Michelle launched her podcast The Michelle Phan Show – a series of unfiltered, heart-to-heart conversations
- Art: She founded Mia Publishing as a platform to share her whimsical illustrations and writings
Michelle also invests in several health and wellness startups, showing her desire to spread positivity beyond the beauty world.
There‘s no question Michelle Phan has cemented her status as a visionary figure in the digital space. She has paved the way for social media influencers by building an authentic connection with fans from day one. I will always admire Michelle for bravely sharing her story and never losing sight of who she is.
Michelle Phan embodies the power of being creative, thoughtful, and true to yourself. Her magnetic personality and storytelling skill have built relationships with millions. As she continues to break ground across industries, I‘m excited to remain a loyal fan and subscriber!