The Story of Michelle Phan

A digital millennial, beauty guru and entrepreneur, Michelle Phan is one of the pioneers who started posting make up videos on Youtube, and her channel has since garnered around 8.5 million subscribers. Now more than just a Youtube personality, Michelle Phan has a growing community of over 7.5 million, and has gone on to launching her own beauty community, makeup line, lifestyle network and music label.
michellephan1Photo: Source
She came from humble beginnings.
Born in Boston to her Vietnamese parents, Michelle Phan has an older brother and a younger half sister. Due to her father’s gambling addiction, Michelle and her family moved frequently and had to stay in a rented bedroom at one point. While she attended college, Phan was waitressing and living on food stamps.
Her first video was filmed with a laptop borrowed from her college.
“I just wanted to show every girl out there how beautiful she was, and how makeup can be their own superhero costume.” says Michelle Phan, who received her first laptop from her college and made her first makeup tutorial with it. She began uploading makeup tutorials on her then Xanga page via her screen name ‘RiceBunny’, and eventually switched to Youtube where she gained worldwide fame.
michellephan2Photo: Source
She is a successful business mogul.
In addition to her successful Youtube channel, a few other businesses are also the brainchild of Michelle Phan. Some of these include Ipsy, an online beauty community and subscription service for Glam Bag where subscribers will receive a selection of full-sized products and deluxe samples monthly. Ipsy boasts over 1 million subscribers in the United States and is expanding rapidly.
In 2013, Michelle teamed up with French cosmetics company L’Oreal to launch her own makeup line – em by Michelle Phan. Other enterprises include ICON, a premium lifestyle network where beauty gurus discuss makeup, style, fashion and DIY; as well as Shift Music Group, a music label dedicated to discovering and spreading awareness for new and existing artists. Michelle also launched a book in October 2014, called “Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success – Online and Off.”
michellephan3Photo: Source
Forbe’s 2015 30 Under 30 list
At age 29, Michelle has received numerous awards including the Streamy Inspiration Icon Award, Shorty Award for Best Youtube Guru, 2015 People’s Voice Webby Award for the Best How-To and DIY Channel. Other than the awards, Michelle has also been listed as one of Inc. Magazine’s 30 top entrepreuneurs under 30, as well as Forbe’s 2015 30 Under 30 list.
She is Lancôme’s first Vietnamese spokesperson.
After featuring some of Lancôme’s products in her videos, Michelle became their official video make-up artist and eventually their first Vietnamese spokesperson who represented Lancôme in United States and around the world.
She voices Jessica Jones on Marvel’s mobile game Avengers Academy.
Being the production style for most of her videos, voiceovers and narration is nothing new for Michelle Phan. In February 2016, Michelle announced on her social media platforms that she did her first ever professional voiceover for the game Avengers Academy by Marvel, where she took on the character of Jessica Jones.
michellephan4Photo: Source
She is a trained artist and has recently released a digital comic series.
Not many may know, but Michelle Phan is also a trained artist who graduated with a degree from Ringling College of Art and Design. Since she was a kid, Michelle enjoyed drawing and has recently gone on to release her own digital comic series titled Helios: Femina in collaboration with LINE Webtoon. Conceptualised when she was younger, Helios: Femina tells the story of a young heroine, Rhea, with powers of healing whose mission is to save humanity in a dystopian world.
Michelle Phan

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