Michelle Phan Make Up Your Life: Your Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success Online and Off

If you're a big fan of Youtube, or you know someone who is, I think I may have a last minute Christmas present idea for you! Michelle Phan's first book 'Make Up Your Life' is that perfect gift. Here's why....

There's something ever so slightly endearing about lots of Youtube channels taking their very loved personalities and content away from the world where everything and everything is online to an activity so associated with escapism and just indulging in everything offline. That is to me, at least, is what is so special about reading whether it's a paper, magazine or book; fiction or non fiction.

And so enter Michelle Phan one of Youtube's leading ladies, with more than a billion views on YouTube (mind.blown!!) and an army of 7 million followers who is now taking everything she does and combining it into a book covering make up, fashion, style, and of course her successful story of brand Michelle Phan. I have literally followed Michelle's channel since the beginning. In fact, her Natural Make Up tutorial was one of the first videos I watched on Youtube!

Let's just take a moment to gasp at what Michelle has achieved: Her own cosmetics line 'Em', a lifestyle media network and a monthly subscription beauty service called 'Ipsy'. Her whole businesses, I believe, are worth around $84 million annual sales (!!!!). At just 27 years old her story has a 'how did she do this?' book written all over it so I was really excited to get a backstage pass.

And indeed Michelle's book 'Make Up Your Life' is as expected, the perfect sister to her Youtube channel which provides plenty of makeup, beauty and style advice along with Michelle's personal story. The book starts with a chapter about Michelle's rise to Youtube stardom and many poignant accounts of a rather modest start with her family, as a child of Vietnamese immigrants, which I was completely unaware of. She accounts everything from saving for a very long time for their first computer, living on food stamps at one point and later accounts publishing her first video and seeing her cosmetics line being manufactured for the first time.

What's so special about Michelle's story is that it really is a rags to riches tale. And so because of Michelle's difficult childhood caused her to take refuge on the Internet under the name 'Rice Bunny' on sites such as Xanga, and lately Youtube, where she honed the beauty tutorial skills that would ultimately contribute to her mind-blowing success.

The beauty and make up chapters may not be radically new in terms of content but they're unique because they are Michelle-ifed if that makes sense, and you'll definitely come away with many a trick or two. I loved the DIY beauty approach because I fondly remembered being at Uni escaping for half an hour or so immersed in her DIY beauty series. You'll learn how the basics of skincare, how to treat yourself to a mani and pedi and so much more. I was really surprised how comprehensive the style section was because I associate Michelle so much with the beauty side of things. But in her fashion chapters you will see how to dress for a variety occasions as well as develop a capsule wardrobe. If you're looking to overall your whole beauty routine, get sussed up on skincare and know the basics of styling 'Make Up Your Life' really has got you covered. 

The final chapters are very different from the first and actually my favourite because they are not typically things featured in a book with perhaps 'Make Up' as the title. And for me, what fascinates me so much about Michelle is her work ethic, her strong business sense and basically how she did it, I mean, don't you?! So there's a chapter called 'Find (and keep) a job you love' where Michelle dishes out very solid advice on internships, writing cover letters, and going on interviews. This is going to help so, so many young and older girls alike.

Then there's a chapter named 'Turn Your Passion Into a Profession' and this is a very meaty chapter, with a large amount of information especially for the entrepreneurially minded. Saying this, the advice yes of course focuses on how to turn your brand into a business, but such advice like this is incredibly relatable to everyday life.  Finally, there's chapters dedicated to how to do PR and how to remain savvy online with a chapter on of course: social media! In this digital and social media-focused landscape that Michelle is so apart of, she really is perfect for this. So Michelle doles out advice on texting etiquette, online arguments and building a compelling online presence. I really liked that. I hope lots of girls will relate to this as the pace the online moves at is overwhelming and I think for many, unfortunately, the whole etiquette thing gets a little lost along the way.

But 'Make Up Your Life' does dig into real-life too with on how to write a thank-you note (LOVED the little touches like this!), it's also your BFF guide to being your best, healthiest and most successful self.  In the book you hear Michelle say, “it was quite the 21st century career and not the job I ever imagined having". Later going on to say, "when you’re a little girl and people ask you what you want to be when you grow up, no one says beauty guru. Or vlogger. Or YouTube phenomenon." This is so apparent in so many of the biggest Youtube success stories and makes their story even more fascinating.

If you're a fan of Michelle, you must, must own this book, if you're interested in beauty basics you will love this, and if you want to know how to turn your passion into a lucrative career you must too own this book. Michelle mixes her personal story with advice and positive affirmations to construct a book that is just as layered as aspects of our own lives. In fact, I'd declare it a must-read even if you have no idea who Michelle is. 'Make Up Your Life' is definitely a book for those looking for a little helpful guidance in life.

If you're inspired by Michelle's story and want to know more about Michelle and this book click here. Have any of you picked up Michelle's book yourself? Also, do you follow her Youtube channel? I'd love to know which Youtube star inspires you?



  1. Wow, sounds pretty impressive!

    1. It's a wonderful book Barbara I think you'd love it :) xoxo


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