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Newcomer of the Year

As the queen of YouTube, this makeup artist is beauty's most plugged-in person.

Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 12/10/2010

As the queen of YouTube, this makeup artist is beauty's most plugged-in person.

Michelle Phan

If the Internet is the world’s most open consumer democracy, it has clearly elected a leader of makeup tutorials in Michelle Phan, aka RiceBunny. The 23-year-old Vietnamese American is the first female to reach one million subscribers on a YouTube channel, and her video illustrating how to emulate Lady Gaga in the “Bad Romance” video has garnered nearly 15 million views. Mainstream beauty brands couldn’t ignore the numbers. This year, Lancôme won the Michelle Phan sweepstakes, signing her as its video makeup artist to instruct women on how to use Lancôme’s products with a monthly tutorial dedicated to the brand. Phan continues to create videos outside of her Lancôme role, too, including recent ones covering forest fairy, glamorous fall and school-picture-day looks. Phan considers herself a storyteller whose chosen medium is online videos. “It’s not just about the finished look,” she says, “it’s about the music and the flow that keeps the viewers watching to see what happens next.” The beauty industry has definitely logged on.