This profile is part of the Glossy Pop guide to influencer-founded brands, covering the fashion, beauty and wellness companies started by people who built their careers on social media.
Who: Michelle Phan (Em Cosmetics)
What are you known for & how did you get your start?
I am a creator. In 2007, I posted my first YouTube makeup tutorial and because nobody else was doing this at the time. I went viral overnight and grew a following from there. I was the ‘first beauty YouTuber,’ and my tutorials included beginner-friendly makeup tips, DIY beauty hacks, dramatic transformations and more. As my platform grew, I looked for more ways to share beauty beyond the YouTube platform. I founded the beauty subscription program Ipsy in 2011 as a way to sample amazing products. Next, came my own cosmetics brand. When EM Cosmetics launched in 2013, I was the first influencer to launch a brand with L’Oréal, and this model created a blueprint for many other creators to follow. [Editor’s Note: Phan has since acquired EM Cosmetics, and the brand is no longer a part of L’Oréal].
What’s the brand: Makeup
Find it: EMCosmetics.com
Why did you decide to bring a brand into this crowded marketplace?
I wanted EM Cosmetics to be an extension of my personal philosophy on beauty. The brand relaunched at a time when matte complexions, bold brows, over-lined lips and liquid lipstick were taking over Instagram. With EM Cosmetics, I was able to share my point of view as a brand founder by focusing on innovative formulation and timeless techniques over trends.
Best seller: Lip Cushion Tinted Lip Luminizer in Magic Hour
To read the rest of The Glossy Pop guide to influencer-founded brands, click here.
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