A look into Michelle Phan’s ICON

Since her humble beginnings on YouTube back in 2007, beauty guru Michelle Phan has worked hard to make a name for herself in the makeup and business world – and now she has her own app.

Over the years, she gained over eight million YouTube subscribers, partnered with Lancôme cosmetics, launched a beauty subscription service called Ipsy (formerly, MyGlam), started a makeup line, “em Michelle Phan,” and published a book.

Back in March 2015, Phan teamed up with digital network, Endemol Beyond to launch her newest project: ICON, an international lifestyle network that hosts a variety of videos on topics such as beauty, health, DIY projects, travel, workouts and fashion.


ICON’s YouTube channel offers additional content from channels like SunkissAlba, KelseyFarese, Morgan Lynzi and more. Videos from ICON can also be found on DailyMotion, Roku, Pluto TV and Facebook.

As an admirer of Phan since my high school days, I was immediately interested when I caught word of the app. So, I gave it a try.

I applaud Michelle for not only presenting beauty and makeup tutorials on her network, but also videos that explore different cultures, offer some comedy relief and give valuable advice.

Screenshot by Emily Creighton
Screenshot by Emily Creighton

The app was pretty basic as far as its features; however, while I could share content on my social media pages directly from the app, I was unable to like or comment on any videos.

The app also tended to have an issue with closing on its own – at least for me – and network connection problems which was a bit annoying. Upon reopening, I had to search for the video I was previously watching. Not only that, if I received a text message in the middle of a video, opened it and returned to the app, the video would start over.

I noticed that many of the videos and channels are only offered on ICON’s YouTube channel and not on the app, but I am hopeful that more content will be added in the future. Hopefully, Michelle and her team will look into including the ability to like and comment via the app.

I would also like to see other well-known YouTubers in the beauty world be added to ICON’s list of “talent,” such as Andrea’s Choice and Michelle’s sister-in-law, Promise Phan (a few of her videos are available on YouTube and the app).

Since its launch in early 2015, ICON has over 400,000 subscribers and added seven new shows on its YouTube channel. Additionally, Phan plans on launching the network in Asia and western Europe.

By fixing a few bugs and providing more content, ICON has the potential to become a unique platform that presents a convenient way to access entertaining and helpful videos without having to necessarily search on YouTube.

But, overall, ICON definitely fulfills its purpose: providing viewers with content that incites creativity and inspires.