The most popular beauty YouTuber ever – income, subscribers and scandals

The most popular Beauty YouTuber of all time – From Jeffrey Star to Nikki Tutorials – who doesn’t know them? We have taken a closer look at the beauty community of the 21st century. Who actually tops the list as the most popular Beauty YouTuber? Why is there always so much drama in the glitter world and how did it come about?

YouTube: This is where makeup trends are born

Anyone who asked young girls ten years ago what they wanted to be when they grew up has usually heard the following: dancer, teacher and astronaut. Here and there the word “princess” was used frequently. The same applied to boys. The policeman and fireman were often mentioned. It is undisputed that the invention of the Internet has also made many new professions possible for us. But currently there is hardly a profession in the online world that no teenager has: YouTuber. Even more specifically: Beauty YouTuber. For those who are good with mascara and sponge, there seems to be no more exciting profession than dipping brushes in bright colors in front of a running camera and then skilfully applying them to cheeks and eyelids. But what exactly is YouTube?

YouTube is an American video portal that allows its users to upload, watch, rate and comment on videos. Furthermore, popular channels can also be subscribed to. The uploaded content is mostly clips from movies and TV, sound recordings, movie trailers, educational videos, vlogs and short, original clips.

Tip: Read on until the end, because then we’ll introduce you to the first Beauty YouTuberin ever!

History: How an Internet giant was born

Meanwhile there are millions of tutorials on the platform – from Smokey Eye to red lips you can find every make-up look. But this was not always the case. Like most stories, the one from YouTube starts out rather small. So it’s the year 2004.

Jawed Karim, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley work for the global player Pay Pal. Janet Jackson inadvertently exposes her nipples at the Super Bowl and a tsunami causes a riot. So the three employees get an idea: Why not develop a site where you can post videos?

So they launch YouTube. With an investment of around 11.5 million dollars they register the domain name in California. Nike is the first company to post a video in December of the following year. Less than a year later, Google buys the company for $1.65 billion. In 2007 the site goes live in more countries. The YouTube craze is spreading like wildfire – now there are HD videos available.

In 2011, YouTube sets a record for the first time: the Internet portal can record almost three billion hits a day. Thanks to rising advertising revenues, the job of a professional YouTuber is now the career aspiration of many adolescents. Another record is set: Korean singer Psy breaks all records with his hit “Gangnam Style”. With one billion views, the video becomes the most clicked YouTube video of all time.

In the meantime, the former small company from California has now become a multi-billion dollar company. About 5 billion videos are seen every day. More than 1.3 billion people use the website every day and every minute almost 300 hours of video material is uploaded.

Facts: A platform worth billions

  • Foundation: 14 February 2005
  • Founders: Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley
  • Headquarters: San Bruno, California, USA
  • Umbrella organization: Google LLC
  • CEO: Susan Wojcicki (2014)
  • Turnover: USD 15 billion (2019)

Besides music videos and daily vlogs, videos about make-up, hair and skin care are among the favourites of the YouTube generation. Since we also deal with these topics on a daily basis, we have summarized an overview for you here.

The most popular Beauty YouTuber of all times

The beauty community is growing every day. It is constantly changing, setting new trends and regularly providing food for new gossip. Of the 200 most viewed beauty videos on YouTube, around 86 percent were uploaded by professional YouTubers in 2019. Only 14 percent were uploaded by big make-up brands like Chanel, Lancome & Co.

To give you a short overview, we have created a short list of the most popular Beauty YouTubers of all times:

  1. James Charles
  2. Jeffree Star
  3. RCLBeauty1010
  4. NikkieTutorials
  5. Zoella
  6. SaraBeautyCorner
  7. Tati
  8. grav3yardgirl
  9. Safiya Nygaard
  10. Kylie Jenner

The most popular Beauty YouTuber ever – Video

You can also see the latest developments of the beauty community over the last 7 years:

James Charles: The first male ambassador for CoverGirl

Leader of our list and therefore the most popular Beauty YouTuber of all times is James Charles. At just 17 years old, he made history as the first male ambassador for CoverGirl. But first let’s rewind a few years. Let’s go back to the year 1999 – on May 23rd, James Charles Dickinson, born in Bethlehem, New York, saw the light of day.

At the tender age of only twelve years he came out as gay. To further support his love for make-up, his father built him a glam room in the basement of the house. The official launch of his YouTube channel followed in 2015. He received worldwide attention when he spread the word on Twitter that he had a ring light with him during his prom so that the highlight on his face would look good in the photos. This was followed by his collaboration with Covergirl and his famous appearance on the US-American Ellen Show.

We have summarized for you the three most blatant controversies about James Charles. Here you can find one of his most popular videos of the beauty icon:

Quick Facts: So many subscribers he has

  • Name: James Charles
  • Born: 23 May 1999
  • Active since: 02.12.2015
  • Subscribers: 18.8 million
  • Total hits: 2.16 billion
  • Net worth: $12 million dollars

Loss of 1. million subscribers

How did James Charles 1. lose millions of subscriptions on his channel? Crime scene: The infamous Coachella Festival in California. Involved perpetrator: YouTube star Tati Westbrook. Trigger: A pair of gummy bears.

Jeffree Star: Loved and hated at the same time

Among them is Jeffree Star. The icon of the beauty community saw the light of day in Los Angeles in 1985 as Jeffree Lynn Steininger Jr. After the suicide of his father, it was mainly his mother Marra Shubyann Lindstrom Steininger who raised him. Already at school Jeffree Star had a lot of fun with make-up and earned his money as a musician, model and also if necessary as an unknown make-up artist for the stars of Hollywood. He got to know them on weekends in the hippest clubs in the city, which he visited regularly despite his young age and thanks to a fake ID.

Looking closely at his career, you wouldn’t expect that the shrill Jeffree Star would one day become a make-up mogul. In the beginning, working with brush and powder was simply a secondary income. His real dream? To become a musician. So in 2009 Star released his first and so far only studio album. Although he was signed by the label Konvict Muzik shortly afterwards, he left the label a few years later.

In November 2014 the former musician and now famous YouTuber officially became a businessman: The company Jeffree Star Cosmetics was born. He is currently considered one of the best-paid YouTubers of all time and, according to Forbes, he recently earned a whopping 18 million dollars – and that through YouTube alone.

You can see how the beauty icon lives today here in the video:

Quick Facts: Crass Net Assets

  • Name: Jeffree Star
  • Born: 15 November 1985
  • Active since: 15.02.2006
  • Subscribers: 18.1 million
  • Total hits: 2.16 billion
  • Net worth: $75 million dollars

Greatest controversies

Jeffree Star has been involved in the most blatant scandals in the YouTube world from the very beginning. From racism to drug abuse to online bullying, he has left nothing out.

Rclbeauty101 – Beauty meets Comedy

In third place of the undisputedly most popular Beauty YouTuber of all time is Rachel Claire Levin, better known by her YouTube name RCLBeauty101. She was born on February 24, 1995 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As the daughter of a doctor and a lawyer, she began posting videos of her daily makeup routines on YouTube when she was 15 years old. One million subscribers and 5 years later, her channel officially became the fastest growing YouTube channel in the world. Her 2016 video ‘Disney Princess Pool Party’ received over 337 million hits.

At the age of only 16, she was quoted in the Wall Street Journal for her YouTube success and her open approach to body image was praised in countless magazines worldwide. Her public debates on the topics of bullying and suicide were also regularly praised, making her one of the most versatile and authentic YouTubers in the beauty community to this day.

Levin is also currently on the road as a musician. For example, she released her first single “Myself” on Sun & Sky Records on February 14, 2020. The song is about acceptance and love. It met with an excellent response from fans and critics.

Although Levin’s great love for make-up still dominates her channel, we don’t want to withhold her incredibly funny skits, which are currently even more popular on YouTube than the actual beauty videos:

Quick Facts – Over three billion hits

  • Name: RCLBeauty101
  • Born: 24 February 1995
  • Active since: 14.12.2010
  • Subscribers: 14.5 million
  • Total hits: 3.6 billion
  • Net worth: $5 million dollars

Compared to YouTube stars like James Charles and Jeffree Star, there is no controversy in Rachael’s career. And also a close look at the history of the beauty community makes it clear: scandals do not always belong in the CV of a beauty YouTuber – even if it may look like that today. After all, today’s glittering world of brand deals and ring lights was once a small retreat for the creative, the inspired and the misunderstood.

The evolution of the beauty community

Beauty pioneer Michelle Phan

The American Michelle Phan is still considered the first Beauty YouTuberin ever. Inspired by her art studies, she started her own channel in 2007, where she gave everyday make-up tips. Her first video received around 70,000 hits in the first two weeks. One million more views later and she was considered the first full-time beauty guru of all time. YouTube included her in its affiliate program and the French make-up empire Lancome became aware of her. The first YouTube cooperation was born.

Watch one of her first videos here:

Make Up as hobby – YouTube as career

After the purchase by Google and the implementation of AdSense, many hobby YouTubers became professional content creators. Through commercials on YouTube the creators could now generate official advertising revenue. Later, affiliate links and patron were added as lucrative sources of income.

Brands quickly realized how important the influence of YouTubers is to the make-up industry. All it took was a video of a YouTuber and a product would either be a success or a flop. Instead of financing in magazine and television advertising, companies now set aside extra budgets for YouTuber. Free PR packages turned into entire yacht cruises, a review video quickly cost the brands several thousand euros and with the growing influence of YouTubers, the number of copies was also increasing. Since 2017, for example, all video makers have had to mention in their postings whether or not they were paid by a brand.

Comet-like rise of the influencers

While the red carpet used to be reserved for faces from film and television, beauty gurus from the world of smokey-eyes and false eyelashes are now also cavorting here. A breakthrough here was above all an invitation from Anna Wintour to the American 19-year-old YoTuber James Charles, who had shortly before caused a stir on the net with his final photo. A Beauty YouTuber in a picture with the who’s who of Hollywood? That had never existed before.

In the meantime, the créme de la créme of social media is being signed by the first talent agencies. They are moving into studios, achieving increasingly lucrative brand deals and sometimes publishing their own brands. The number of gossip channels, which now turn their attention to the drama from the beauty community every day, is also growing. The result is ‘Cancel Culture’ – a phenomenon that is mainly due to the speed of the Internet.

With brush and powder to a millionaire – and the dark side

As fame rises, so do the scandals – perfect cannon fodder for the countless gossip channels. Advertising revenues and sponsorship money lead to ever-increasing competition among creators. There are public accusations, hurricanes and online bullying – reasons why established YouTube pioneers like Michelle Phan are now turning their attention to other business projects.

Audiences and their entertainers are getting younger and younger, and emerging platforms like TikTok are increasingly competing with YouTube. Society’s growing environmental awareness is leading to criticism of the brands’ glittering PR packaging. The authenticity of many YouTubers is also becoming a point of criticism.

It comes to an era in which it becomes clear not everything that glitters is gold.

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