Thanks to the sustained success of beauty vloggers like Michelle Phan, makeup tutorials are plentiful on YouTube these days.
Fifteen-year-old vlogger Brendan Jordan seems like a typical beauty blogger at first glance, but he’s actually more interested in poking fun at the idea of a YouTube beauty celeb while encouraging viewers to be themselves.
Update: wearing taller heels than my mum
— Brendan Jordan (@jordvnhaus) April 11, 2015
While his YouTube channel has more than 111,000 subscribers on its own merit, he first rose to viral fame when he appeared in the background of a newscast performing Lady Gaga’s “Applause” choreography.
He also might be partially responsible for the current #KylieJennerChallenge madness on Twitter and Instagram. He posted his own video showing how to get swollen lips using a shot glass on April 18. It has since been viewed more than 325,000 times.
Although Brendan’s videos seem to be concerned with the superficial based on their titles, many viewers find them inspiring because of his “be yourself” spirit. For instance, in “How to Be a Model,” he doesn’t give any concrete modelling tips. Instead, he goofs around with the Photo Booth settings on his Mac.
And in his eyeliner video, he starts out with solid advice for anyone trying to achieve the perfect cat-eye look: “To start a wing, you just follow the pathway of your bottom lid,” he says.
After connecting the liner on the top and bottom, though, he goes off the rails. He ends the video with makeup reaching his hairline next to his right eye (“this is a good look for church,” he jokes) and with a crude drawing of a butterfly wing on the left.
Brendan’s followers seem to love him not just for his ability to inject humour into his videos, but also for the way he embraces his own distinct style.
In “How to Deal With Haters,” Brendan says, “I make a joke out of most of my hate. If someone says my eyebrows look like caterpillars, I’ll laugh. Because maybe my eyes were looking like caterpillars that day. Who knows?”
In “My Coming Out Story,” which has 417,000 views, he says, “Just because you like the same gender doesn’t mean you’re an alien.” He adds later, “If you like it, you do it. As long as you’re not harming anyone or breaking any laws, just do it.”
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