Michelle Phan (Vietnamese name, Phan Tuyết Băng) was born in 1987 in Boston, Massachusetts. She is one of the most inspiring makeup artists on YouTube.
When Phan was a little girl, her family knew destitution and faced many economic difficulties. Initially, due to that, Michelle’s mother wanted her daughter to study medicine. But in the end, Phan was determined to follow her dream – and become a makeup artist. Phan attended, but did not graduate from, the Ringling College of Art and Design. However, in March of 2014, Ringling gave Phan an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree.
Angelina Jolie-inspired makeup – one of Phan’s favorite makeup tutorials.
Michelle Phan had a strong passion for makeup because she always felt like she was an artist who was painting a masterpiece whenever she used makeup. Therefore, she applied to work as a salesman at a Lancôme showroom but was rejected due to lack of experience. Neither feeling down nor giving up on her dream, she started a personal blog and updated makeup tutorials regularly. Many female readers sent requests for more tutorials with specific themes. Then Phan asked herself: “Instead of writing, why not film it?”
In 2007, Phan began shooting makeup tutorial videos and posted them on YouTube. Her very first one was an extremely simple video about applying perfect cat eyeliners and nude lipstick. After a week, this video had reached more than 40,000 views (and now it is more than 10 million). It was her passion and creativity that enabled her to become a YouTube partner, online makeup guru, and Lancôme spokesperson. Currently, Michelle Phan has established a cosmetics company named “Em”. She chose this name because in Vietnamese, “Em” is a word that men use to call younger women such as younger sisters, girlfriends, lovers, wives… More than that, “Em” is the reverse of the word “me” in English.
By pursuing her passion, daring to actualize a unique idea nobody had ever done before, guiding and inspiring millions of people on the internet, cleverly putting images of celebrities and favorite fictional characters into her makeup tutorials and working tirelessly, Michelle Phan – a Cinderella of the YouTube network, now has become a professional makeup artist, business woman and Lancôme spokesperson. With more than five million followers, she is the second best-known woman on YouTube. Michelle Phan undoubtedly deserves this!
Richie Le is a young Vietnamese–American underground rapper in Los Angeles, California. According to his site, while growing up he was always inspired by basketball, comedy, and a love for hip-hop. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be a lot of Vietnamese representation through any of these outlets. Having taken notice of this, he mixed the cultural aspects of his upbringing with the influences of popular media to offer young Vietnamese Americans an outlet they can relate to and understand while learning about their own identity and culture.
Taking a look at Le’s YouTube account, you might think it belonged to an American underground rapper. The style of music and his daily activities are imbued with the unique street style of urban America. If you’re a fan of street art or just love watching comedies, Richie Le must be your guy! Not just limited to carefully-produced music videos, Le’s channel is also about his daily routine and especially about Vietnam.
If you’re a fan of street art or just love watching comedies, Richie Le must be your guy!
The concerns of a Vietnamese youth who has never been back to his home country and his struggles with his Vietnamese parents, resulting from culture gaps and generation gaps, are among the main topics of his vlogs, which are filmed simply but are still convincing. What is more, Le is keen on producing videos providing useful tips in a funny way and videos about his talks with other YouTubers.
Being an underground artist, his products are completely “clean”. They don’t include bad words to demonstrate original street style like other American underground artists. Le doesn’t need to copy-cat to be well-known. Acquiring the basics and components and mixing them together with a little bit of modesty, his discreet Vietnamese style is his key to shouting out to the world. Standing out among his products is The Pho Song – a catchy song with the rap part by him and the vocal by his friend A.J. Rafael, which has reached around 530.000 views so far. By introducing phở – the most famous Vietnamese food, Le shows his love of Vietnam and affirms that the mission of the Vietnamese living abroad is to respect traditional values and the sacrifice of ancestors and parents.
Screenshot from The Pho Song
Via Richie Le, we can see that the underground world is not all about sex, drugs, and alcohol. There’s another, brighter world filled with true love for the so-called home country he’s never seen and true friendship, brotherhood, and love – like Le’s.
Linda Dong (LeendaDProductions)
Linda Dong, known better as Leendadproductions, is a crazy talented Vancouver filmmaker and YouTube star. She is of Chinese-Vietnamese heritage, and she frequently incorporates bits and pieces of her Asian culture into popular video skits like “Asian Mean Girls”.
Her channel totals more than 12 million views with more than 127,950 subscribers and counting. It’s unbelievable that a skinny girl with a lovable face can produce such charmingly funny videos by herself! With the help of her friends in Vancouver, LeendaDProductions has improved the quality of the videos and the quantity of the actors and actresses (who are, of course, super hot!). Linda’s videos are mostly about awkward and funny situations that happen in the daily lives of Asian girls in Vancouver. Linda doesn’t focus on the dirties to make people laugh. Instead, she’d rather use her charm and sense of humor.
We can temporarily group her videos into 5 main categories: Relationships (The 4 Guys You’ll Date in College – Vancouver, Expectation VS Reality: Boyfriend…), Vietnamese Life (You Know You’re Vietnamese When) and her travel diary with beautiful shots of her and her squad, short comedies (Flat Girl’s Problem, If Your Period Was A Person…) More interesting, she’s working with other well-known YouTubers to conduct talk shows about specific topics. Collaborating with Richie Le, Linda rocks YouTube with their hilarious and funny videos.
At present, Linda is just well-known within Vancouver, but with her hard work and unique mindset, she deserves to be honored and well-known like Michelle Phan.
Besides filmography, traveling is another way she enjoys life.
These 3 Viet YouTubers obviously have different orientations: Michelle Phan is a makeup guru, Richie Le has become known as a potential rapper, and Linda Dong has gone viral with her short videos and blogs. However, besides being Vietnamese, they also have another thing in common: always heading to Vietnam and being proud of being Vietnamese.