A Creator Chat With YouTube Powerhouse, Michelle Phan | Clozette

"Beauty is a very interesting gift, you know. You’re given it at a very young age but then you have to give it back when you’re older. I know that at a certain point, my beauty is going to fade, but at least I have something that is going to last." - Michelle Phan


Michelle Phan is probably one of the biggest Beauty Creators on YouTube. Considered a pioneer in the beauty community, she has had an active beauty channel since 2006 and has been consistently uploading new beauty videos since then. With over 8 million subscribers on YouTube and 2 million followers on Instagram, she is also the founder of ipsy, a multi-million dollar beauty empire which launched back in 2011 and boasts a million subscribers for her monthly Glam Bag.




So for the budding Beauty Creators out there who've always wanted to know the secrets behind Michelle Phan's beauty success, we took the opportunity to catch-up with Michelle during the Beauty Bound Asia Finals in Tokyo and got her talking about what she loved about Beauty Bound Asia, her top-tips on what it takes to create great content, and of course share her insights on the evolution of the beauty community.


Scroll down to read more and even get a peek into the channels she loves to watch on YouTube!

What has been your favourite moment in this Beauty Bound Asia experience?


My favourite moment in general is just seeing the level of excitement that each contestant has shown. If you look at them, it’s such an incredible experience to even be part of something like this. I wish I had something like this when I started out on YouTube, but now there’s such an amazing, supportive community and they’re part of this.


It’s so endearing to see how excited they are. I was watching a lot of the vlogs where they talked about how this experience changed their lives and I cried at some of it because it really is touching because every person has a different story. Every single person is going through (his/her) own personal battles. Each battle represents something in my life too that I went through, and when I see that I empathise with them and I cried with them. So that was really my favourite part of this whole experience: being a part of it with them and connecting with them on a more human level.




JaneMakeup from Bangkok won Beauty Bound Asia. What are your hopes for her as one of Asia's top creators?


My biggest hope is for her to be a leader in the [Asia’s] growing market of beauty influencers. Being that role model, being appreciative, and most importantly just continuing to experiment and to raise the bar for these beauty videos. If she is not pushing herself to experiment and to push the boundaries, she's not going to be able to inspire this generation to do the same. So I think it definitely puts a lot of weight on her shoulders, but it’s a good weight.


Now let's talk content! With so many beauty YouTubers out there, what is the key to ensuring your content stands out?

The first important foundation when you’re starting your channel is to not do what everyone else is doing, but to focus on your own journey, your own path. Because if you look at what everyone else is doing, how can you really distinguish yourself? How can you have your own style and develop it if you’re doing what everyone else is doing? And so that’s why I always tell people to focus on your lane, and focus on what you’re good at.


You don’t need to be the most subscribed beauty guru to have influence in the beauty market. A great example with Beauty Bound is that there is this one contestant who always has her hijab on and she shows people how to style their hijab and how to wear makeup for the hijab. That’s an incredible market that is very niche. When you think about the Muslim audience – that is almost over a billion people. So even if it’s a niche market, it’s a very big niche market. So really focusing on a niche market that you can really cater to that you’re very good at. That’s how you can stand out without feeling like you need to stand out.


Have online beauty tutorials evolved a lot since you started making them back in 2006? What are the type of videos and content creators that you see right now on YouTube?

Oh my gosh, it has evolved so much. Even from the first time I uploaded my first video, I could say so confidently that there was probably less than 10 beauty influencers on YouTube when I started. Today, you have thousands all over the world who are representing their own beauty style. So truly, beauty has become such a democratic form, and in a sense, the idea of a one-size-fit-for-all beauty look no longer applies to this whole paradigm of the beauty world. Anyone can essentially become (his/her) own beauty authority and influencer, and if that’s the case, then there’s no such thing as this one particular look that is beautiful. It can stem across all ages and all types of faces, shapes and sizes.




We’re going to be seeing more and more different types of styles across all types of beauty. On top of that, we’re also seeing a growing trend of male influencers who are doing beauty looks too. They call it a gender fluid, where you’ll have a guy who will do makeup and turn himself into a girl – not drag makeup, because drag makeup is very, very theatrical – but beautiful-looking. It inspires me when I see it. I want to try a beauty look that this guy did and he looks like Scarlett Johansson – it’s incredible. And that’s a growing trend too. You’re going to see more and more men accepting makeup and wearing it. Not concealer, I’m talking about smokey eyes, eyeliner, lipstick too.



Every creator out there has experienced down-days, those moments when they're uninspired to move forward with the project. So what keeps you motivated to keep moving forward?

What keeps me motivated is my curiosity. I always want to know what else can I learn and what else can I see and experience. Who am I going to meet next? What video is going to inspire me next? These are the fundamental things that have kept me going for so long. I tell a lot of people this: when you become an influencer online, you’re open to a lot of negative comments [and] a lot of negativity in general. You have to have a really “thick skin” to continue this journey because it is hard in general to produce the video, edit it, star in it, upload it, and do it on a regular basis. On top of that, you have to deal with a lot of negative comments and so, a lot of times I tell people, “you have to just focus on what you really love, and have a sense of purpose”.


That’s what keeps me going – it’s having that sense of purpose. If you don’t have purpose or passion, you’ll burn out very, very quickly online because everyone has such a short attention span online. If you take a hiatus, even for a month or two, people forget about you and they move on. That’s why it’s important to have determination and that motivation to continue. You’re not going to have a boss looking over your shoulder telling you to upload a video or to make content. You are your own boss. If you’re not determined enough to do so, it’s going to be a very, very hard career to focus on.


Confidence is important when filming a video. So what are your tips on honing that confidence in front of a camera. And with that, what do you think is the secret to creating a good YouTube video?

A lot of it has to do with practice. Even with my first video, I was awkward. Even today, I’m still awkward, especially when you have to record a greeting. When you say, “hi everyone!” – I have to do 50 of those before I find one that sounds like I’m actually talking to someone and not myself.




When you try too hard, people see that. They can spot it a mile away when you’re trying to act or when you’re trying to put up a front. So I truly believe that if you want to have a great personality, just be yourself. Even if you are awkward, there are billions of awkward people in this world that will totally relate to you. If that’s who you are, they’ll love that because authenticity is what sells. When you are who you are, people will want to be your friend. They’re going to want to know you, they’re going to want to follow you [and] they’re going to want to trust you. If you try to act, then for them it’s no different than an actor.


When you don’t try so hard, it actually works out better – that’s what I noticed.



Millions of people watch your videos. And now we want to know what you watch on YouTube! What are some of your favourite YouTube channels?


There are actually a lot that I love. I can’t list all of them out but some that I think will inspire you is iamkareno. She’s a beauty and fashion influencer that has incredible fashion sense. She does very beautiful makeup looks that are simple – that anyone can apply. Her editing is amazing, even for me. I love how she edits and I have a pretty high standard with editing.  




Another beauty YouTuber that I love is Glam&Gore. She makes the coolest makeup looks. She does special effects makeup (and) she teaches people how to do it at home. 




Also – I know this is random and it has nothing to do with beauty – but I love watching Russian dash cams. They’re basically Russian people who have dash cams on their cars because they need it for insurance. It’s crazy when you see how they drive. I feel like I learn a lot about driving just [by] watching those videos.



What do you think is the power of beauty bloggers/vloggers in the beauty industry? Has it changed from the time you started until today?

I think the power boils down to authenticity. That’s something that, to be quite honest, the idea of authority telling someone that this is the beauty trend no longer to this new paradigm of how beauty is becoming very, very democratic and subjective. It’s more personalised, so that’s why beauty influencers are incredibly important in growing any brand because you have people who are relatable, who are authentic that the best filters and the best editing program can never replicate.



That’s crucial when you want to grow any business because [in] this day and age, people are smarter when they shop. They want to read reviews. They want to watch these videos of swatches to see the quality of the makeup because, [in] the economic point of view, it’s not doing very well. A lot of people are having a hard time finding a job [and] paying the bills, and so (when) they want to buy something, they want to make sure that it’s worth it.


That’s why they watch these videos and these reviews. So when you have an influencer that is trusted and well respected, and has a lot of followers, it’s so much better to work with them than to do a really big ad campaign and put it on billboards. That doesn’t work anymore. In fact, there was a study this year [that] showed that 87% of women today trust in beauty influencers on YouTube and online over celebrity-paid endorsements. This is happening in the Western world. You can only imagine what’s going to happen in the Eastern world and how it’s going to change within the next year. That’s why I would put all my money and my resources into helping these creators and investing in them because they are the future.


And finally...what inspires you the most?


I think what inspires me the most is my own curiosity. I’ve always loved learning new things and when I started YouTube, I wasn’t a makeup expert. I was someone who loved makeup, and I was a beauty junkie – that’s the best word for me to say so. So I wasn’t coming from a point of “I know everything and I’m going to teach you”. My perspective was, “I want to know what you think and I’m learning it along the way.” So that being said, I really truly see that this will apply to so many different markets and different genres besides beauty. Everyone’s going to share what works best for [him/her] – and vice versa.


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Inspired by Michelle Phan's tips? Share your own beauty creator journey with us in the comments below and we may just feature your channel soon!

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(cover photo from rinicesillia)


Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, you would know that Korean beauty, specifically skincare, has expanded all over the world. Every brand is coming out with their own foundation cushions (thanks, Laneige!), sleeping masks, essences, and the universally loved sheet masks.


Sheet masks are basically a godsend in the beauty industry because all the minerals and good-for-your skin ingredients are packed in a single piece of cloth, and all you have to do to take it all in is to put it on your face and leave it there for a few minutes! But, just like there are different types of clay masks and exfoliators for different skin types, the same goes for these masks.

So, find out which sheet mask you should be investing in (and which you should ignore) by checking out the different sheet masks you should use based on your skin type!

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Dry Skin: Hyaluronic Acid or Water Infused Sheet Masks



Dehydrated skin will do well with sheet masks because they contain concentrated ingredients to help penetrate deeper into the skin. For dry skin, sheet masks with hyaluronic acid and water as their main ingredients should be used because they suck and trap in moisture in the skin, leaving it plumper and more radiant.

Normal Skin: Hydrating Sheet Masks



People with normal skin usually have it best when it comes to skin and skincare, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore hydrating it too - in the world of skincare, you can never be too hydrated! Sheet masks infused with water or rejuvenating ingredients are good for this skin type because it whisks away dullness, evens out the skin’s texture, and quenches the skin’s thirst to reveal a newer you.


Combination Skin: Honey Sheet Masks



You’ve all most likely heard about the wonderful properties of honey, so it’s no surprise that it’s a perfect fit for those with combination skin! Honey sheet masks are like a 2-in-1 product because it hydrates the skin while cleansing it of impurities and excess oil. So, honey sheet masks will allow you to hit two birds with one stone!


Oily Skin: Clarifying or Pore Tightening Sheet Masks



Enlarged pores often come with oily skin - it’s kind of part of their territory. And if you have large pores, there’s a bigger chance that dirt, oil, and bacteria can get stuck in them. Which is why clarifying or pore tightening types of sheet masks are perfect for oily skin because they suck out all the grime in your pores, and tighten them to prevent more from coming in! These types of sheet masks often help exfoliate skin, too, to thoroughly slough away the skin’s dead cells and prevent buildup.


Sensitive: Green Tea Sheet Masks



Those with sensitive skin will have to be extra careful with sheet masks because these contain concentrated ingredients. So, if you’re allergic to one and it penetrates into your skin, uh oh! But, you can find a safe haven in green tea sheet masks because they calm redness and irritation, and they help eliminate acne! They have anti-bacterial properties in them that will help zap those pesky zits away, without irritating a single cell on your face!

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What type of sheet mask do you use? Let us know in the comments below

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When it comes to freshening up our look, one of the most tried-and-tested method is to take a quick trip to the salon for a new hair colour that'll suit our mood and personality, while also serving as that marker of change--whether it's a change in our personal style, or a happy moment in our lives (a new job, perhaps?). That trip to the salon can at times almost seem transformative, as we step-out rejuvenated, energetic, and more confident in ourselves while rocking a new hair colour to boot!


So as a treat, we sent our Clozette Ambassadors Genzel, Lexie, and Kim for an afternoon salon party where they got to pick their dream hair colour and style at the Color Me Matrix event courtesy of MATRIX.




As a brand rooted in the value of empowering hairdressers in changing people's lives through hair, MATRIX has quickly become the #1 American Salon Brand in Asia, catering to fun, trendy fashionistas and beauty enthusiasts who are all about vibrant colours and styles that play off their youthful energy--a perfect brand to pair with our Clozette Ambassadors.




Curious to see their final looks? Scroll down to see the final hair looks created by MATRIX and read our exclusive interview with our Clozette Ambassadors as they share their hair stories and inspiration behind the looks from their Color Me Matrix Experience!

Genzel Habab

(clozette.co/Genzel)


Share your hair-history with us! How has your hair evolved through the years? What has been your favourite hairstyle so far?


My hair was almost perfect (I can say, for me at least!) when I was a kid until I had dengue (last stage I believe) and my hair lost its quality and shine. So when I reached college, I started to have hair straightening treatments to improve the style and look of my hair. It's just this year when I finally gave in and bleached my hair to achieve the colour that I want. My favourite hairstyle is definitely beach waves or the "I woke up like this" hair.




What's the story behind your chosen hair colour and style for Color Me Matrix? Were you looking for a total change, go back to your roots, or were just looking for a subtle hint of colour?


Prior to my Color Me Matrix experience, my hair was ombre with metallic red and I never thought that colouring your hair red is the same as shading it with black, it's really hard to change or remove. But then I no longer liked my red ombre hair and wanted a more tamed hue that I can easily pair with my favourite colourful tops.

Is your personal style reflected in the way you style/colour your hair? If so, how?

Yes, I actually match my clothes with my hair colour and my personal style. Like for my red ombre hair, I only wore neutral colour for tops or else I see myself like a walking rainbow-lady in the streets!


...continued


Look back on your first hair colouring experience: Have you always been a fan of colouring your hair or was it a big leap for you to make that change.


I just did DIY for my hair colour for years and it's just recently when I decided to be somehow adventurous with it and try the unusual colours.




How was your Color Me Matrix experience like? What did you like about it? Are you happy with the outcome and what's the next colour you're thinking of doing next?


My Color Me Matrix experience was great! I love how my hair turned out. I always get compliments from my family, friends, and readers.

If you could do anything crazy with your hair for the holiday season, what hair colour would you pick and why?

For the holidays, if I'll be brave enough to try something new, I want a full purple or silver hair. It's perfect for the season and looks great for the Filipina skin tone.


Kim Santiago

(clozette.co/imkimsantiago)


Share your hair-history with us! How has your hair evolved through the years? What has been your favourite hairstyle so far?


When I was a kid, my mom wouldn't let me have long hair. I remember getting my first phone when I was in 2nd grade because my mom bribed me into cutting my hair into a pixie cut. That's how much my mom hated long hair. But when I got to middle school onwards I've always had long hair (I guess I cant be bribed anymore!).




What's the story behind your chosen hair colour and style for Color Me Matrix? Were you looking for a total change, go back to your roots, or were just looking for a subtle hint of colour?


I've always dyed my hair in all shades of safe browns, the usual since I can't really go crazy with my colour because I was still studying back then. So this time I wanted something i've never done before for my hair. Something ombre colour and crazy. But my hairstylist told me that my hair's already damaged at the tips and it couldn't take any more bleaching. So instead, I chose a shade of brown that i've never tried before which is an ash brown blonde colour.

Is your personal style reflected in the way you style/colour your hair? If so, how?

Yes. Because my personal style is mostly something that's simple and classy. My new hair really complements my outfits.


...continued


Look back on your first hair colouring experience: Have you always been a fan of colouring your hair or was it a big leap for you to make that change.


Believe it or not, I was so "nene" before. I was a bit boyish also. I'm not a fan of girly stuff so yes I think it was a big leap for me to have my hair coloured the first time. I only agreed to get my hair coloured back then because my sister forced me to "beautify" myself after breaking up with my ex for 4 years! Since than, that started my regular hair colouring appointments at salons.




How was your Color Me Matrix experience like? What did you like about it? Are you happy with the outcome and what's the next colour you're thinking of doing next?


I had so much fun. Everybody's so friendly. My hairstylist was very accommodating to my inquiries especially on the hair colour style. I also met my fellow Clozette Ambassadors who share the same passions as me. Next time i'd really like to colour my hair something that's not brown or black.

If you could do anything crazy with your hair for the holiday season, what hair colour would you pick and why?

I'd probably do grey hair just to experience ageing gracefully at a young age.


Lexie Puzon

(clozette.co/Lexiepuzon)


Share your hair-history with us! How has your hair evolved through the years? What has been your favourite hairstyle so far?


I have two favourite hair styles; one is when I had my long wavy ombre hair and the second is my chic short hair with bangs which I have I now. Though my bangs has grown out since it's a bit hard to maintain. But by far those are my favourites!




What's the story behind your chosen hair colour and style for Color Me Matrix? Were you looking for a total change, go back to your roots, or were just looking for a subtle hint of colour?


Well since I had my hair colour changed to black 2 months ago for a magazine shoot, it was quite challenging for my stylist to make massive changes, which I understand. So what she suggested was to add Gold highlights which I liked, to put a bit of spunk in my current hair style.

Is your personal style reflected in the way you style/colour your hair? If so, how?

In some way yes, my black hair use to be simple and bland. But now, with the added highlights, it gives more fun and spontaneity to my hair style. 


...continued


Look back on your first hair colouring experience: Have you always been a fan of colouring your hair or was it a big leap for you to make that change.


Growing up, I’ve always had that itch to change my hair style. Mainly because I believe change is good. And having new hairstyles time to time is healthy. It’s like you’re allowing growth to shape the person you’re supposed to be. Having great hair also adds confidence--and we all know we need that.




How was your Color Me Matrix experience like? What did you like about it? Are you happy with the outcome and what's the next colour you're thinking of doing next?


It was great! I can honestly say it was definitely a pampered Monday. I’m so glad with all the incredible people I met (that’s the best part). As for my hair, since not much changes we’re made due to my current hair colour and time, I really would like to have a bigger change in my next hair colour. Probably from black to somewhat light ash blonde.

If you could do anything crazy with your hair for the holiday season, what hair colour would you pick and why?

Probably Ash Blonde with Ice-white ombre hair colour. But I would want to grow out my hair first.

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Want to get in on the #MATRIX trend? Drop by your nearest David's Salon in The Philippines and request for a MATRIX hair colour experience!

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