Meet Michelle Phan: One of the Beauty Industry’s First Multi-Hyphenates

Welcome toSecond Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode gives you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts to stay tuned.

Michelle Phan is an absolute beauty powerhouse. While today we scroll through TikTok or Instagram and instantly have access to thousands of beauty how-tos, tips, and tricks, there was a time when online beauty tutorials didn’t exist. Enter Phan, a digital pioneer you likely recognize as the original beauty blogger and, dare we say, the creator of one of the first YouTube makeup tutorials of all time. Over the last decade, she has garnered a global community of over 10 million followers, over one billion views, and more than 350 videos. She was at the helm of digital influencing and helped pave the way for an entire generation of beauty creators to come. 

In 2011, Phan co-founded Ipsy, a monthly subscription service that became the world’s largest beauty community where insider beauty content and samples were shared. Then, in 2016, she took a much-needed and well-deserved digital detox, going dark on all of her platforms—and when she came back a year later, it was with a driven purpose. Phan spent the year redesigning and relaunching her beauty line, EM Cosmetics, which she originally launched alongside L’Oréal in 2013. The relaunch symbolized her freedom as the owner with complete creative control to bring the brand into a modern beauty world and inspire consumers to create and rethink beauty.

Recently, Phan began educating her loyal community of followers on a different yet extremely current industry altogether: cryptocurrency. Through her learnings of the burgeoning crypto industry, she drew the parallels between the decentralization of power and the decentralization of content that launched her YouTube career. In fact, Phan invested in Lolli, an e-commerce app that gives shoppers Bitcoin rewards for online purchases. She is currently focused on leveraging blockchain technologies to create newer and more efficient infrastructures. Listen to the latest episode of Second Life to hear how Phan continues to evolve her career to empower the next generation of online users and creators, and keep scrolling to shop some of EM Cosmetics’ best sellers.

Up next: How Co-Founder and CEO of Modern Fertility Afton Vechery Is Empowering Women

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