Michelle Phan

Michelle Phan (/ˌfɑːn/, born April 11, 1987) is an American makeup artist, entrepreneur, and voice actress who became notable as a YouTube personality.[2] A pioneering Beauty YouTuber,[3] Phan's YouTube channel has over 8.9 million subscribers, 1.1 billion lifetime views,[4] and 385 uploaded videos.[5]

Michelle Phan
Michelle Phan by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Michelle Phan in 2014
Born (1987-04-11) April 11, 1987 (age 32)
OccupationEntrepreneur, Influencer, YouTube video blogger, Beauty YouTuber
Years active2007–2017; 2019–present
YouTube information
Years active2006–present
Subscribers8.9 million
Total views1.1 billion
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg1,000,000 subscribers
Updated 5 December 2018

Early lifeEdit

Michelle Phan was born on April 11, 1987, in Boston, Massachusetts.[6][1] Both her parents were of Vietnamese origin and Phan has an older brother and younger half sister. According to Phan, her biological father left the family when she was young and her mother remarried but left Phan's step-father after years of abuse[7]. Phan, her brother, and half sister followed their mother. During this time, Phan and her family moved to Tampa, Florida where she attended Tampa Bay Technical High School.[8]

Phan attended Ringling College of Art and Design but dropped out due to financial issues.[8][9] In March 2014, Phan received her Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree from Ringling.[10][11]


Michelle Phan in 2012 at a Sephora in Glendale, California

In 2005, Phan had a personal blog in which she discussed different makeup tutorials and received requests for further instruction.[12] She began posting tutorial vlogs on Xanga under the username Ricebunny, and then began publishing on YouTube in May 2007.[13][14]

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.[15][16][17] In 2010, Lancôme made Phan their official video make-up artist after she featured some of their products in her videos, making her the company's first Vietnamese spokesperson.[18]

In 2011, Phan co-founded MyGlam, a monthly beauty products subscription service, which has since been renamed Ipsy,[19] launched in September 2012; Ipsy is a sponsor of the Generation Beauty conference.[20] Phan became a YouTube advertising partner and launched FAWN, a YouTube MCN (multi-channel network), in 2012.[2][21]

On August 15, 2013, L'Oreal launched a new cosmetic line called EM Cosmetics by Michelle Phan,[22] dedicating the brand to her mother; the brand was met with criticism regarding its price and design. In April 2015, Phan bought L'Oreal's share of EMC Cosmetics through Ipsy and confirmed on her Instagram in December 2016[23]; she later acquired the company from IPSY and relaunched in April 2017.[24][25] During this time, Phan also resigned from Ipsy in order to focus on EM Cosmetics.

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.[26] The ICON network, dedicated to "beauty, lifestyle and entertainment", launched in March 2015 online and on television via Roku.[27][28]In September 2014, Phan partnered with Cutting Edge Group to launch Shift Music Group.[29] Phan published a book with Random House in October 2014, titled Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success -- Online and Off.[30]

In 2015, Phan was named to the Inc. 30 under 30 and Forbes 30 under 30 lists.[31][32] The same year, she raised $100 million to value the company Ipsy at over $500 million.[33]

In 2018, Phan found the start-up Thematic, a company specializing in licensing music.[34]

Personal LifeEdit

Phan's sister-in-law is beauty YouTuber Promise Phan. The two have collaborated on each other's channels throughout the years.

Phan abruptly went on hiatus from YouTube in 2016. On June 1st, 2017, Phan posted her first video since the hiatus explaining why she took her break. Phan cited legal troubles, the failure of EM Cosmetics initial launch, and her issues with self-image leading her to decide to take a break. She continued her hiatus until officially returning to YouTube on September 2019.

Phan has described herself as an advocate for Bitcoin[35], which brought the attention of supporters and critics alike. In January 2020, Phan revealed in her Instagram story that she suffered from Trigeminal neuralgia, citing it as one of the reasons why she no longer wears foundation.

Phan has been in a long-term relationship with dancer and model Dominique Capraro since 2010. The two started out in a long distance relationship and Capraro has been featured in a few of Phan's videos. Phan revealed in an interview that she no longer post videos or picture of Capraro and wanted her relationship with him to be kept private.[36]

Copyright infringement lawsuitEdit

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.[37] 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.[38][39] Phan's representatives stated that she had received permission from Ultra to use the music,[40] and Phan filed a countersuit against Ultra Records on September 18, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.[41] In August 2015, both suit and countersuit were dropped when both parties agreed to settle out of court. The terms of the agreement were not made public.[42]

Awards and nominationsEdit

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. ^ Wischhover, Cheryl (April 10, 2017). "The Rebirth of YouTube Beauty Pioneer Michelle Phan". Racked. Vox Media.
  4. ^ Brouwer, Bree (September 5, 2014). "Michelle Phan Reaches A Milestone With Over 1 Billion Channel Views". Tubefilter.com.
  5. ^ "Michelle Phan". YouTube.com. July 18, 2006. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "Glamorous Birthday Look". YouTube. April 9, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  7. ^ "Michelle Phan - NYLON February Cover Star". NYLON. January 6, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Michelle Phan, a YouTube sensation for her makeup tutorials, has transformed her life". Tampabay.com. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  9. ^ Ricapito, Maria (May 28, 2010). "Viral Videos: Michelle Phan's Rise to YouTube Stardom". Vanityfair.com. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "Ringling College: Internet Phenom Michelle Phan Receives Honorary Doctorate from Ringling College:". Ringling.edu. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  11. ^ Forbes, Jihan. "Michelle Phan Talks Success, Her New Book and Miley Cyrus at the Unleash YouTube Event". The Fashion Spot. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "ricebunny.xanga.com". ricebunny.xanga.com. June 20, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Peggy Wang (July 9, 2010). "How to Get Lady Gaga Googly Eyes [VIDEO]". BuzzFeed. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  17. ^ Maria Ricapito (May 28, 2010). "Viral Videos: Michelle Phan's Rise to YouTube Stardom". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  18. ^ "Lancôme Signs Michelle Phan, YouTube Makeup Star". Main.stylelist.com. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  19. ^ "21 Success Mavericks". Success Magazine. June 1, 2013.
  20. ^ "Michelle Phan's Ipsy Hits $150 Million In Revenue, Launches Open Studios". Tubefilter. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  21. ^ "Beauty Gurus How-To: Becoming a YouTube Star". Yahoo! Shine. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  22. ^ "YouTube's Beauty Guru Michelle Phan Lands Own L'Oreal Makeup Line Video". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  23. ^ US, FashionNetwork com. "Michelle Phan acquires EM Cosmetics from Ipsy". FashionNetwork.com. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  24. ^ "ℳ on Instagram: "This isn't a rebranding. It's a rebirth. New @emcosmetics coming soon. ˗ˏˋ Φ ˎˊ˗"". Instagram. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  25. ^ Latimer, Audrey. "Michelle Phan is Leaving ipsy to Lead EM Cosmetics Full-Time". Global Cosmetic Industry. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ Bacher, Danielle (February 2016). "Michelle Phan: Life is Beautiful". Nylon: 60–69.
  28. ^ "Michelle Phan goes beyond YouTube with Icon multi-channel network". Theguardian.com. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  29. ^ Spangler, Todd (September 26, 2014). "YouTube's Michelle Phan Launches Music Label". Variety.
  30. ^ "Make Up by Michelle Phan". Randomhouse.com. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  31. ^ Fenn, Donna (April 24, 2015). "30 UNDER 30 Remember These Names: The 2015 30 Under 30 List Is Here". Inc.com.
  32. ^ Adams, Susan (April 24, 2015). "Forbes' 30 Under 30". Forbes.com.
  33. ^ How Michelle Phan Built A $500 Million Company, Forbes, October 5, 2015
  34. ^ "Social star Michelle Phan launches music-licensing startup". Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  35. ^ 𝓜𝓪𝓰𝓲𝓬 (June 22, 2019). "Bitcoin was created with the intent to create a better money with the tools we have today. The monetary theory behind BTC is what makes it valuable. Learn about what money is, and you'll understand why BTC is important. Good luck hodlers.pic.twitter.com/SzJFd4wWvL". @MichellePhan. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  36. ^ "Michelle Phan - NYLON February Cover Star". NYLON. January 6, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  37. ^ "Ultra International Music Publishing, LLC et al v. Michelle Phan". Docket Alarm. July 16, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  38. ^ "YouTube star Michelle Phan sued over copyright". BBC News. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  39. ^ "Ultra Records Responds to Michelle Phan & Kaskade Copyright Controversy". Radio.com. July 28, 2014.
  40. ^ "YouTube Star Michelle Phan Fights Back Against Multi-million Dollar Lawsuit". Mashable.com. July 24, 2012.
  41. ^ "Phan". Scribd.com. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  42. ^ "YouTube Star Michelle Phan Settles Dispute With Dance Label Ultra Records". hollywoodreporter.com. August 13, 2015.

External linksEdit