I would be lying if I said I have not learned a thing or two from Youtube tutorials. With video lessons on how to create the perfect cat woman face and even the “school picture day” look, Youtube icon Michelle Phan has been the most reliable teacher of feminine beauty techniques since 2007. Eight years and seven million subscribers later, Michelle has recently won the 2015 People’s Voice Webby Award for Best How-to and DIY Channel. Her vlog has grown into an online empire and she has just launched a creative mecca she is calling ipsy Open Studios.
ipsy OS, as Michelle likes to call it (an intentional reference to “operating system,”) stands among other online behemoths in the neighborhood of Silicon Beach. With a total of three stages, equipped with all the supplies and technicians necessary to create online content, Open Studios is essentially a modern school for online beauty artists.
“I had to teach myself how to shoot, how to edit, how to produce, be my own star and also upload everything on the back end,” says Michelle. “I really want to help other beauty creators with their careers. When I first started, it was really hard and lonely, because there was no established community like there is today.”
Unlike Youtube Space, the soundstage in Marina del Rey, there are no prerequisites to use ipsy OS. To use Youtube Space, you must have at least 10,000 subscribers and attend a 4-hour workshop, but to join ipsy OS, all you have to do is submit an application. In the first few hours after Michelle introduced the site on her social media platforms, she had an incredible response, with 1k subscribers within hours after launching.
The idea of girls coming together, empowering and motivating each other is really beautiful,” says Youtube beauty star Charis Lincoln. It’s a perfect opportunity to start thinking, creating and inspiring others.
But ipsy OS is not available solely to content creators based in Los Angeles. For the truly dedicated who live in other parts of the world, Michelle will also hold Google Hangouts and offers a weekly e-newsletter.
A big step for Internet business, but a larger upgrade for a space for girls to create content.
It’s an impressive move for any Internet entrepreneur. But since the content creators and the viewers are mostly young women sharing advice, ‘liking’ each other’s ideas, and forming online friendships, this is more than just a business–ipsy is open to both men and women—where everyone actually likes each other. At ipsy Open Studios, classes are now in session.
Follow Michelle on Instagram for more.