How Ipsy, Michelle Phan’s million-member sampling service, is giving Birchbox a run for its money


This post is in partnership with Entrepreneur. The article below was originally published at

By Geoff Weiss

On her wildly successful YouTube channel, Michelle Phan has harnessed the power of makeup to transform herself into Snow White, Princess Jasmine, Mulan and more. But these conversions pale in comparison to the 27-year-old’s real-life Cinderella story.

Once upon a time, during her freshman year of design college, Phan applied for a gig at a local Lancôme counter. A gifted illustrator, Phan passed the makeup demo test with flying colors, but was ultimately deemed unfit for the position due to a lack of previous experience.

“I believe that rejection is a blessing because it’s the universe’s way of telling you that there’s something better out there,” she says. “And that something better was my laptop and my camera.”

Two years later, as Phan’s videos began to spread across…

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