Michelle Phan: The Online Queen Bee-auty Guru

michelle phan
Oh boy! Now where do I start to do justice to this Phan-tastic Beauty Guru! She is a one-woman Phan-omenon. Her Phan-dom reaches the world over. Okay, okay I’m done with the “Phan” jokes (PJ much?!). But there is truth behind each of those sentences. She has 1.8 million subscribers; comfortably well on the way to crossing the 2 million mark soon! Her channel views are over half a BILLION. It’s difficult to turn a corner in the international online blogosphere without running into one of Ms. Phan’s videos! I have been subscribed to her for over 2 years now & can completely understand the reasons behind her insane popularity.

The About section of her blog reads:
“Michelle Phan made her YouTube debut in late 2006, and has since been dubbed the #1 YouTube “Makeup Guru” and created over 169 videos that have been viewed over 479,000,000 times, making her the #17 rated channel on YouTube. In November 2010, Michelle reached 1 million subscribers and became the #1 most subscribed female on YouTube. Michelle now has over 1,640,900 subscribers. She also became the online spokesperson for Lancôme.

Michelle is known for her sanguine disposition and ethereal video style that incorporates both on-camera and voice over instruction with music and inspirational text subtitles. She is committed to producing premium beauty and fashion tutorials.

Michelle’s philosophy is to not only teach everyday women how to apply makeup, but to show how makeup can help empower them. Michelle has graced the pages of Vogue, Nylon, Forbes, and Seventeen Magazine. She has worked backstage at New York Fashion week for Chris Benz and Michael Kors and is a part of the JedRoot, Inc. family of makeup artists and CAA.”

This seems like an older post so the following would be the updations as of 11th February, 2012:
• Number of Videos – 183
• Number of Videos Views – 534,084,429
• Number of Subcribers – 1,804,523
• #2 Most Subscribed Beauty Guru

That implies that on an average each video of hers has been viewed nearly 3 million times. Now that is some extremely loyal following & not without good reason.

Following are my personal reasons why I believe Michelle Phan is MICHELLE PHAN:

Her Growth:

She has always catered to her audience very smartly, with changing trends, changing attitudes, her videos always adapted well to the changes. One cannot be this successful without keeping in mind the audiences’ preferences.

This is one her earliest videos on YouTube:

This is one of her latest:

michelle phan videos
The growth, as you can see, is pretty staggering. She now has an active, dedicated cast & crew working on her videos, since she is a spokesperson for Lancome, she does have a lot of sponsorship to help with such videos but that doesn’t mean that’s all she does. Recently she has started making “short films” that feature a product, sponsored by that company. For example, “Underneath Your Love” is her very recent “movie” sponsored by Gelish Nails. She co-directs most of her videos. These are very high quality videos starring Hollywood actors (such as Miles Fisher in this case; of J. Edgar, Superhero Movie, Mad Men, Gossip Girl etc fame). I think these “movies” are cute & very well made. I also love how she features & promotes new musical talents in almost all her videos. It’s 22+ minutes but cute & worth a watch. (This is not a tutorial but a promotional video)

As mentioned earlier she is Lancome spokesperson & has also launched her own makeup set for Lancome through Sephora. On the Sephora products page, it reads:
michelle phan sephora
“Glamour Eyes by Michelle Phan ($96 Value)
What it is:
A kit created for Sephora by Michelle Phan, the most popular makeup artist on YouTube and the official video makeup artist for Lancôme.
What it does:
Glamour Eyes features the new color Design Palette, Chic by Chelle, created and named by Michelle Phan. The kit includes instructions on creating three looks Phan designed: a natural eye look, a diva eye look, and a smoldering eye look–her favorite. Also included in this set are Phan’s other beloved products: inky Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner and Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume mascara.
This set contains:
– 0.141 oz Color Design Eye-Brightening All-In-One 5 Shadow and Line Palette in Chic by Chelle
– 0.135 oz Hypnose Drama Mascara in Excessive Black
– 0.04 oz Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner in Noir”

$96 Value?!?! 😯 That is the value of Michelle Phan’s name associated with a product guys! So imagine her reach!

Her Content:

Glitzy, sponsored, “product placement” videos are not all she does. I mainly subscribed to her channel because of her D-I-Ys & tip-n-tricks videos such as the following must-sees & many more like these!
Paper Bag Curls Tutorial: No Heat

Aspirin Mask

Natural Eye Makeup Remover

Make Your Pore Strip

DIY Ice Cucumber Pads

DIY Cotton Mask

Other than such DIYs, like any other online beauty guru, she also does makeup tutorials, these range from crazy & whacky Halloween looks to celebrity inspired looks to everyday makeup looks. With nearly 200 videos to choose from, you will usually find something that you would be interested in.

This Lady Gaga Bad Romance Look by her has been viewed nearly 28 million times.

Her Angelina Jolie “The Tourist” Look tutorial was pretty spot on.

Among her regular makeup look, the most popular ones (according to number of views, Google & Wikipedia) are:
Romantic Valentine Look

Brighter Larger Looking Eyes

Makeup for Glasses

Another reason behind her popularity & success has to be that she is one of the original beauty gurus. Her success story has inspired majority of the existing gurus. She has been active since 2006; whereas the other popular ones have been active since 2008-09.

Her Halloween Videos are perhaps her most popular ones but honestly that is not why I watch her. Like I said, I’ve mainly been subscribed to her because of her DIYs. With due respect to her, she is a makeup enthusiast, not a professional makeup artist who went to a beauty school or other form of training. Like in her own words, “A good Guru is not just a teacher, but also a student…I don’t know everything, but I am willing to learn.” So her makeup is not flawless but she has a vast amount of knowledge regarding techniques, products or anything beauty related & she shares it all with her viewers as much as she can; and that is why I still watch & enjoy her videos. Over the years it has been a delight to watch her transformation from the humble home-videos to the present elaborate & professional short films.

I highly recommend her DIY videos & hope you ladies enjoy them.

Happy Learning! 😉

CuteGirlsHairStyles – YouTube Hair Stylist
Julieg713 – YouTube Makeup “Girl Next Door” Guru
Klaire De Lys – Uniquely Multifaceted Artist on YouTube
The Magic of The Pixiwoo Sisters
Makeup Geek TV Marlena Stell- Beyond Just a Regular Makeup Guru
Wayne Goss (gossmakeupartist): Renowned International Makeup Artist


58 thoughts on “Michelle Phan: The Online Queen Bee-auty Guru

  1. Nafisa, after reading your previous article, every weekend i never forget to watch the nail art tutorials in You tube :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: though i never try anything, i simply watch it!!!
    Thanks for introducing these lovely tutorials/videos :))

  2. Apart from her my list includes:

    Carahamelie, essiebutton, bubzbeauty, dulcecandy, jlovesmac1, macbarbie07, allthatglitters21, juicystar07, missglamorazzi, nikkiphillipi, fleurdeforce…

    Yes I am a little obsessed!!!!

    But good post Nafisa!

  3. Oh! Wow !! Congratulations to her for having achieved so much in life!!! I :heart: Michelle Phan! He r videos are awesome and I used to watch them all the time !!! 🙂 She is so talented and artistic!!!! She is beautiful!!!
    :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose:

  4. Hey you guys should checkout pixiwoo channel !! This channel includes two sisters-Nic and Sam <3
    They are Amaaaazinngggg !!!! :balle: :balle: :balle:

  5. I don’t even know how much I’ve learnt from her!!!! She’s AWESOME!!!! Though I feel all she does these days is promote Lancome. I wish she’d be like how she was before. 🙂

    1. yeah, that is there for sure, thats is why i concentrate more on her techniques & pointers, coz nowadays its a lot about product promotion with her, & many others actually on YT!

    1. :high5: thankuuuus Nupur!!! she faces a lot of flak online but i like her too!! shs not like pixiwoo or wayne goss or lisa eldridge ofcos! but still shes fun to watch & her videos r cute i feel :teddy:

  6. Never heard @ her before…!! Wuld check her videos..espl DIY ones..As I love homemade stuff.. :haanji:

    Thanx for introducing us with each other.. :toothygrin:

  7. I love michelle but I’m dying to know what camera she uses for her youtube videos. does anyone know ? thanks x

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