LANCÔME’S VIDEO MAKEUP ARTIST MICHELLE PHAN
Michelle Phan was signed by Lancôme to be its
official video Makeup Artist. The 22-year-old art
student, the most popular Makeup Artist on YouTube, has created special videos for the French beauty brand. At launch, Lancôme’s first how-to video with YouTube, which is on romantic makeup, has generated 1.5 million viewers. “Michelle is a true makeup prodigy,” declared Serge Jureidini, President of Lancôme USA. “She represents the next generation of both makeup users and Makeup Artists.”
Lancôme is the first beauty brand and the first
luxury brand to add a social media superstar to its roster. Ms. Phan joins a distinguished sorority of Lancôme Spokespeople and Artists, from award-winning Actresses Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet and Anne Hathaway to Supermodel Daria Werbowy and Makeup Artist Sandy Linter. “This is a dream come true,” enthused Ms. Phan. “My goal always has been to teach and inspire. To have a brand I love and admire support this goal is amazing.”
Ms. Phan’s YouTube channel has more than 500,000 subscribers, and her videos have been viewed more than 117 million times. She began posting videos to YouTube in May 2007 and quickly became known for a signature style comprised of her melodic voice, easy-to-follow steps, black-and-white title pages and lullaby-like music. Her videos run the gamut from transformations into Snow White and Lady Gaga to eye makeup tutorials to club makeup how-to’s.
A self-taught Makeup Artist who transformed her favorite hobby into something that has inspired people around the world, Ms. Phan made her first video, “Natural Looking Makeup Tutorial” in Spring 2007. She uploaded it to YouTube that May and since then, has created and posted more than 80 videos. Each video was filmed and edited by Ms. Phan alone using her JVC camcorder and the iMovie software on her MacBook Pro.
The popularity of her videos took Ms. Phan by surprise, but she understands that makeup enthusiasts are eager to learn in an accessible, unintimidating way. “It’s comforting to play a video at home and apply makeup along the way,” she explained. “You can pause, rewind, fast-forward, hit mute and end it at any time. You can’t do that with a Makeup Artist in person. They’d go crazy if they had to repeat, pause and redo everything a million times.”
Ms. Phan’s interest in makeup began as a young girl playing with her mother’s products. Art was another passion. “My family couldn’t afford a TV, so my main form of entertainment was a sketchbook I made by stapling blank pages together,” she continued. “I’ve been drawing ever since.” Ms. Phan’s mother wanted her to study medicine in college, but she had other ideas. She went on to study illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.
Joining the Lancôme team in February, Ms. Phan first came to its attention because she had used several of the brand’s products in her videos, and the brand was captivated by her unique approach to the medium. “Lancôme is legendary, so I was shocked when they reached out to me,” she added. “I’m very excited about the things we’ll be doing together.”
Last year, Ms. Phan and a partner created a niche skincare brand called IQQU that is sold online in the US and throughout Asia. She has worked backstage as a Makeup Artist Assistant at the Chris Benz and Michael Kors Spring 2010 fashion shows. She reported that it was an interesting experience to make up others instead of herself. “It was nice to have a different canvas. I learned so much working on Models and with other Makeup Artists.” She was also backstage once again working as a Makeup Artist for some of the Fall 2010 collections.