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Michelle Phan Tells Beauty Brands to Chill for 'Authentic' Videos

Still from Michelle Phan's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEebc1PAT8c&amp;list=UUuYx81nzzz4OFQrhbKDzTng">"Matte About You"</a> video
Still from Michelle Phan's "Matte About You" video

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The online community is well-aware that an elite class of beauty vloggers are making millions from their highly viewed videos. They've captured a market that some of the largest beauty companies—from Sephora to L'Oreal to M.A.C.—can't seem to harness. Sephora even has a name for them, as the brand's vice president of interactive Bridget Dolan told WWD. The vloggers are deemed "women in bedrooms."

As the number one "woman in a bedroom" (as determined by subscriptions and video views), Michelle Phan is different than most. She established credibility early on before moving on to higher production value (figuratively and literally "out of the bedroom") in her tutorials and reviews. Phan's able to maintain that credibility in the eyes of her followers despite a Lancôme contract starting in 2010, which led to her own product line launched this January, by continuing to use a variety of products from other brands alongside her own.

"The whole world is right in front of them [online], whether it's their phone or laptop. It's much more personal than the store," she told WWD. "They connect and bond with the creators and a real authentic voice. Authenticity is key and it's hard for a brand who didn't start with that authentic voice to hop over and create a YouTube channel."

Sephora is learning from Phan and the rest of these women and adjusting its video strategy to reflect a more home-grown approach, according to Dolan. Instead of coming from a place of knowledge, it's listening to what customers are searching for. More brands will likely follow in that vein, but they're going to have to get cracking. According to a study by Pixability, non-brand-oriented beauty vloggers, "produce 270% more content and publish content seven times more frequently than brands."
· Vloggers Winning Online Battle Over Brands [WWD]
· Beauty Vloggers Are Turning Into Millionaires [Racked]