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L'Oreal Debuts New Makeup Line By YouTube Guru Michelle Phan

  |  August 19, 2013   |  Comments

The line, em michelle phan, comes from L’Oreal and is a good example of a brand using YouTube to drive makeup sales, Google says.

After six years of tutorials and millions of views, YouTube beauty guru Michelle Phan has launched her own 250-product line of makeup.

em michelle phan, a startup-style brand from the L'Oreal Luxe group, is the first makeup line co-created by Phan and a community of beauty lovers, L'Oreal says. It launched August 15 and includes a "social e-commerce experience."

According to the brand, em is a Vietnamese word meaning "you," that is used affectionately to address loved ones, as well as a literal and figurative reflection of "me."

Phan is a self-taught makeup artist who was one of the first beauty vloggers to produce story-driven tutorials, Google says. She is the #1 beauty guru on YouTube, where she began uploading videos in 2007. As of August 18, she has 769 million views and has 4.6 million subscribers. Her tutorials include: actress Angelina Jolie, Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen and singer Taylor Swift.

"Beauty lovers are increasingly consuming and sharing information digitally, through online communities. We saw the power of these communities and wanted to meet them where they live - online," says Carol Hamilton, president of L'Oreal Luxe, in a prepared statement. "Michelle Phan's expertise in makeup, plus her passion for teaching and empowering women has made her a digital phenomenon. She represents exactly what this line is all about - community, empowerment, artistry."

The website takes a personal approach, asking users to fill out profiles with their makeup habits, skin tone and hair and eye colors.

In addition to sales, the em michelle phan site offers: Tutorials for products and makeup looks; People Like Me, a feature that allows visitors to identify other users who have similar skin, hair and eye color and shop for the same products; a video player that showcases the products used to create each of the em michelle phan looks and enables users to shop directly; and the ability to upload looks and tutorials to social profiles and view other users' uploaded looks.

"em michelle phan was designed for and with my community to meet their authentic beauty needs, based on years of input I received while being a beauty mentor," said Phan in a prepared statement.

According to Google, the launch shows how L'Oreal is "tapping into YouTube as a force for driving makeup sales."

Per Google research, 50 percent of beauty shoppers watch a beauty video on YouTube while they are shopping for products.

What's more, Google says beauty continues to be a growing area of content on YouTube. More than 120 million how-to and beauty videos are watched every day and makeup videos are now the most searched for how-to content on YouTube, Google says.

"YouTube content creators like Michelle Phan have completely transformed the way people learn about and shop for makeup today. A few years ago, people primarily shopped by going to the beauty counter at a mall. Now, they go first to YouTube and search for tutorials and reviews," says Jim Lecinski, vice president of sales at Google, in a prepared statement. "By developing a line of products with one of our most prolific creators, L'Oreal is tapping into the core of what YouTube is for consumers today -- the place where people learn, share and engage with the products and brands they love."

L'Oreal announced the launch with a YouTube video, along with Google search and YouTube ads.

As of August 18, the video had 766,000 views.

In addition, YouTube published a blog post, which it shared through social channels, a Google rep says.

According to the website, em michelle phan is sold exclusively online, but a New York store is coming soon.


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Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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