Michelle Phan: On Feeling and Looking ‘Phantastic’

August 17 - On The Dot
It’s a great day to be a woman! Melinda Garvey here as your voice, with the mission to give women everywhere a place to be heard and tell their stories. We’d love to hear from you!

FIRST THOUGHT: Looking and Feeling Fabulous in Your Own Skin

When I was in middle school and encountered my first pimple, I spiraled. In high school, as I was perfecting my benzoyl peroxide/hiding-in-the-house routine, I thought, “At least when I’m an adult, I won’t have to deal with breakouts.” Wow, was I wrong.

I have come to accept that when it comes to beauty, the only thing we can rely on is that we have no idea what our skin, hair or body will do as we age. What we can control is our attitude. So, today, lay off the self-judgment and embrace your individual beauty!


When you walk down the drugstore aisle, you’re bound to see hygiene and beauty products with a gender identity. Soap for men. Uh, so, I guess I have woman skin? Women do love pretty things, but consider this: As you reach for that glittery pink razor with a flower-shaped handle, chances are you’re spending more than a man would for a razor, albeit without the pretty packaging.

In fact, according to media brand Fusion, on average, products for girls and women cost 7 percent more than similar products made for guys. Talk about a rip off!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Michelle Phan, YouTube Beauty Star

We live in the age of YouTube. Think about it: If you don’t know how to do something—anything—all you have to do is check YouTube for a list of how-to videos. That’s where I finally learned how to French braid, thanks to tutorials posted by some savvy ladies. One of those women is Michelle Phan.

Michelle produces and edits her own beauty videos, and has an astounding 7.5 million viewers on her YouTube channel. She has released more than 300 videos since 2007, and they have been viewed more than a billion times. Not too shabby! As you can probably guess, she is one of the most-watched YouTube stars of all time.

She keeps her content fresh and consistent, and is always happy to interact with her fans. Some of her most popular videos involve whimsical tutorials, like how to make yourself up like zombie Barbie or Lady Gaga, while others are a bit more practical, like step-by-step guides on how to apply liquid eyeliner or how to execute the perfect top knot.

While her beauty tutorials are definitely a hit, Michelle didn’t cap her empire at YouTube. You’ve probably heard of her company Ipsy, which sends subscribers five deluxe beauty products in a cute little package—aka a “Glam Bag”—every month for a cool 10 bucks. That’s what I call a beauty bargain! And I’m not the only one. Last year, Ipsy was valued at more than $500 million and now has more than a million subscribers.

This beauty mogul wants to spread the love, so she recently launched a space called Ipsy Open Studios, which offers resources like studio space and video production equipment, as well as tools and education on how fellow beauty creators can build a loyal online following. It’s everything Michelle wishes she had when she started her own digital career.

But that’s not all! A few years ago, Michelle also launched her own makeup line through cosmetics giant L’Oreal called Em, and has even written a book about style, beauty and success. It’s all part of Michelle’s mission to help women look and feel fabulous in their own skin!


We all feel beautiful at different times and in different ways, whether it’s rolling out of bed in a silky kimono or getting dolled up for a night on the town. Love-her-or-hate-her actress and budding lifestyle icon Gwyneth Paltrow said:

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That or a kick-ass red lipstick.”

That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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