Some women spend thousands on surgery to look more like Angelina Jolie. Promise Phan does it in minutes with some lip liner and an eye pencil. She can also transform into Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift or even Michael Jackson on a whim.
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Call her 'the human chameleon,' or as many have dubbed her in recent weeks, 'the Internet's newest beauty guru.' The young video blogger's talent for transforming into celebrities with little more than a blush brush and some eye shadow is changing the way people think about makeup.
Posting under the innocuous username dope2111, Phan has churned out viral YouTube hits using her face as a blank canvas and celebrities as her muses.
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"I have drawn portraits ever since I was a little girl," Phan tells Shine. "Now I use makeup instead of a pencil to draw with, and my face instead of paper to draw on."
Last week, she transformed into Mona Lisa using some unconventional makeup approaches. She began with an Elmer's glue stick on her brow, and used scar wax to reshape her nose. In less than five minutes, she was worthy of the Louvre.
Phan, a petite 22-year-old Nepalese American, doesn't stop at female celebrities. In January, she made a jaw-dropping transformation into pop star Drake. Using eye shadow, a stippling blush brush and a healthy glob of hair gel, she obtained not only the stubble and bone structure of the teen heartthrob, but also the swagger.
That 3-minute video was viewed almost 2 million times. Impressive, but hardly Phan's record. That title goes to her Angelina Jolie tutorial: 13 million people viewed her five-minute transformation into Brad's bride-to-be. For the record, all it took was some lip-liner, fake lashes, and an artist's touch with a shadow brush.
With 9y million hits since launching her YouTube channel in 2009, Phan is close to trumping the YouTube's biggest beauty tutorial guru, Michelle Phan. The fact that the two women share the same last name is not a coincidence. Promise is married to Michelle's brother Steve.
"I used to watch Michelle's YouTube videos and was a huge fan of hers," says the Florida-based Promise. "We later became friends through Facebook, and then I got to meet her her mother, sister and brother."
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The rest is viral video history. Now Michelle and Promise are joining forces for a series on FAWN, a new YouTube women's network. She's also keeping up with her celebrity series. Up next? "I am thinking about transforming into J.Lo," she tells Shine.
For the record, Steve doesn't share the same talents as his wife and sister. In one video posted by Promise, he attempts to turn his wife into Snooki under her makeup tutelage. The end result is proof of what we already suspected: Celebrity makeup transformations only really work when Promise is holding the brush.