Michelle Phan's Five-Minute Beauty Routine

The YouTube beauty guru fills us in on her favorite makeup and the one tip that made her such a social media success.

(Source: YouTube, Getty Images)

Search any beauty-related question on YouTube and Michelle Phan's videos will undoubtedly surface among the top results. Millions of people have launched beauty channels on YouTube, but Phan was one of the first big successes.

Since starting in 2006, she has gained over seven million subscribers, launched her own makeup line Em Cosmetics and written a best-selling book, Make Up. It's no wonderTeen Vogue's Fashion University picked her to be a dean of the Editorial/PR/Social concentration. Despite her hard-earned prominence, Phan couldn't be more humble about the opportunity. "It's a little surreal! When I was in high school I was reading Teen Vogue, it was my one stop shop for style advice, beauty advice and inspiration. I mean, this was before the internet became popular!" she told us.

We chatted about social media tips, her favorite five-minute look and, of course, makeup.

Some of these students are teens—what would you have told yourself at that age?
"Be fearless and don't care what others think of you because life is too short. You're born, people talk good, people talk bad and then you die. Just pay more attention to the positive and bring this positive influence around your life."

Do any fellow Fashion U speakers make you starstruck?
"Actually a lot of them! Jessica Simpson, Zac Posen, Rebecca Minkoff—these are very influential people in this space and the fact that they really embrace social media has impressed me. When I was starting out, a lot of people looked down on social media as something that was too new. But, when I look at their Instagram they really embrace it. They're doing it so well. They are interacting with their followers and creating engaging content."

I didn't start doing this because I wanted to be famous or be a role model, it was pure passion.

–Michelle Phan

If you could be any makeup product, what would you be?
"I would probably be eyeliner. Liquid liner to be exact. I love how an eyeliner can truly transform the eye and you can really create any look with an eyeliner. Liquid liner I love because of the brush strokes and how you can almost have a 'signature eyelid'. It's like you're signing your eye. There's something almost empowering about making that little flick—the artist in me is showing—like a little Picasso action in your eye."

Michelle Phan's five-minute beauty look worn at Teen Vogue Fashion Universtiy.
Michelle Phan's five-minute beauty look worn at Teen Vogue Fashion Universtiy.
(Source: Teen Vogue)

What's your favorite five-minute makeup routine? 
"What I'm wearing right now. I had five minutes to get ready this morning so my five-minute makeup is just concealer around my eyes, around my nose and under my mouth, filled in brows, a little bit of liquid glitter so when people take pictures my eyes look bigger and it pops and opens up and of course small liquid liner, mascara, lipgloss. Done!"

Do you ever feel pressured by having so many followers?
"It feels really honorable, but I didn't start doing this because I wanted to be famous or be a role model, it was pure passion. I just love sharing. I love sharing beauty tips to anyone who wants to listen. It makes me scared because sometimes I feel like, 'Am I doing a good job?' I'm always comparing, I'm always giving myself a hard time and then I realize fans are just happy if I just say anything to them, if I just send them an emoji with a smiley face that's all they need. A lot of my followers just want a friend, someone to speak to them to elevate their mood and spirit. That's why I'm here!"

What is your number one tip for finding success on social media?
"Don't do it for the money. If you do it for the money, what ends up happening is that you burn yourself out. Do it for the passion first. When you're starting your own business, whether it's becoming a fashion designer or your own blog, it's a very lonely road. You're doing a lot of things yourself. You're becoming your own editor, producer, distributor, PR,—you are a one woman or man shop. If you do it for passion, it won't feel like work, it feels like play. Eventually, if money becomes a by-product, even better. Don't do it for the money, do it for the love."

Former Associate Editor at StyleBistro. Willing to try any workout trend. Green beauty junkie. Fan of overdressing. Proud member of the cult of Beyoncé. Twitter/Insta: @kristinarodulfo Follow me: Google