Michelle Phan reveals why she stopped being a beauty guru and went MIA for the last year

When famed beauty vlogger Michelle Phan left YouTube — and the public eye — in 2016, we were all worried. She changed her profile pic on her social channels to a simple black box and didn’t say much about where she was headed or when she’d be back. Yesterday, though, she posted a video on YouTube for the first time in nearly a year and opened up about what’s been going on in her life.

“Once, I was a girl with dreams, who eventually became a product — smiling, selling, and selling,” she says in the video. “I became imprisoned by my own vanity, and never satisfied by the way I looked.”

Phan has been YouTubing for about a decade, and with nearly 9 million subscribers, she’s among the site’s biggest success stories. But after confronting lawsuits, unsuccessfully launching Em Cosmetics, her makeup line, in 2013, and feeling like she’d lost her identity in the search for fame and fortune, Phan felt depressed.

So she packed up a single suitcase and moved to Switzerland, where she could commune with nature, unplug from social media and the demands of her beauty empire, and get back to herself.


Back in March, Phan reintroduced Em Cosmetics to the world with a line of seven gorgeous liquid lipsticks and later two eyeliners that help create the perfect cat eye.

Now, she’s returned to the public eye more fully — but this time, she plans to remain in control of her destiny.

“Back then, I was just someone who was showing you how to look more beautiful,” she says in her video. “Now, I want to show you how to feel more beautiful.”

She also revealed that her year off allowed her to complete a project that’s been in the works since she was 11-years-old — a digital cartoon (with music) called Helios:Femina. You can check it out here; it’s pretty awesome.

We’re so happy you’re back, Michelle, and even happier that you’re feeling healthier.