YouTuber Manny MUA shares how he built his beauty empire

For the first episode of In The Know: Profiles, we went to BeautyCon — a festival in L.A. that hosts panels and meet-and-greets with the beauty industry’s biggest stars and influencers — to meet with Manny MUA, a make-up artist and beauty blogger on YouTube who’s amassed more than 4.8 million subscribers since he started his channel in 2014.

“For me, my goals were like, ‘I want to be a beauty influencer, I want to have a brand,'” Manny said to In The Know. “Those were the goals I kinda, like, set for myself. I didn’t plan for any of it to happen.”

In the years since he started his channel, Forbes has listed Manny as one of the top influencers in its 30 Under 30 list, and he was picked to be the first man to star in a Maybelline campaign.

Manny never set out to achieve any of this. He started making YouTube tutorials because people were asking him about his foundation routine on Instagram. What he says set him apart from other YouTubers who were starting out within the beauty community at the time is how he incorporates his personality into his videos.

“When I started YouTube those years ago, I felt like people weren’t being their authentic self — in the beauty space, specifically,” he said. “I feel like when I started, I wanted to able to treat YouTube as almost like my diary or my journal, and I would just kind of just be who I am.”

It’s a tactic that’s clearly worked. People at BeautyCon who met Manny were visibly overwhelmed with both gratitude and awe.

“Something about him just makes me feel so happy,” one girl told In The Know.

Men, in particular, thanked Manny for helping carve a space in the beauty industry for them too.

“He’s basically helped us all — the boys in beauty — helped us come out with our make-up on,” one BeautyCon guest said. “I mean, if you see, there’s a lot of boys in make-up. So, he basically helped me basically come out.”

Being authentic in his videos and on social media has been a cornerstone of Manny’s success and the emotional ties to his millions of fans.

“You don’t think of yourself as someone, like, who’s, like, going to be this inspiring person who helps people,” Manny said. “I literally did YouTube because it was a passion of mine. Like, I wanted to do it and I wanted to teach how to do make-up. And by doing so in an authentic way, it resonates with other people and it really does make a difference in other people’s lives. It makes me feel really proud.”

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like reading about Tay Keith, a Grammy-nominated producer at only 23 years old.

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