Why James Charles is THE male beauty icon of today

Since launching his YouTube channel of beauty tutorials with a foundation of entertainment in 2015, James Charles has mobilised a pack of ‘sisters’ and in the process amassed 700 million YouTube views and 13.5 million Instagram followers… and counting!

After becoming the first ever male ambassador for CoverGirl at just 19 years old, James has continued to shatter gender norms and soon after collaborated with Morphe Cosmetics on the eyeshadow palette of dreams there is no slowing this beauty icon down.

Take last month, for instance, where James was on his first trip to the UK and *literally shut down* Birmingham city centre when 10,000 fans descended on Birmingham Bullring in a bid to get a glimpse of James’ Morphe store appearance.

Beyond the extreme fandom, James is an incredible role model who shows that being unapologetically ‘you’ is always the best option, and perhaps the best foundation for any look. Here the international super star joins GLAMOUR’s Josh Smith for a special edition of Ready, Steady, Beauty (our video franchise where celebrity guest give Josh a make-over) and reveals the trials of tribulations of dating and shares his refreshing coming out story…

If you were going to pitch your James Charles x Morphe range in a tele-shopping fashion, how would you sell it?

The James Charles x Morphe artistry palette and it’s also the James Charles x Morphe brush set is currently sold out worldwide so even if you want to get it, you couldn’t because it’s just that popular! This palette has everything from classic lid tones, more everyday wear to all the rainbow colours if you want to unleash your inner artist – no matter what your level of artistry. It’s the perfect duo for an artist of any level.

How do you cope with dating in the public eye?

I don’t. It doesn’t really work well for me – I’m sister single.

I am guessing you can’t exactly go on a dating app when you have 13.8 million followers?

Every time I do my accounts get deleted because I get reported for being a catfish even though it’s actually me! The only way it’s not going to get reported is if I connect my Instagram directly and I don’t wanna because then they all know exactly who it is. It’s hard.

What tips do you have for nailing perfect Tinder pic?

Oh god I have no idea – clearly, it’s not working for me! I would just say make sure the picture represents you in all your best forms so like for me obviously I do my makeup, but I’d make sure to do a picture with and without my makeup.

Is it important to you to show all your different sides when you date a boy?

I feel like a lot of people in the gay community tend to really only show one side of them and then all of a sudden, when we meet people and then it’s like, ‘woah it’s a different person!’ So, for me, I am obviously a boy, I identify as a boy and, I’m comfortable saying that but I also wear full glam as my job every single day so I’m not something I’m ashamed of or would ever wanna hide. If I ever was to find a boyfriend, they would have to be ok with it. It’s something I’m really proud of.

Which product would you save in a fire?

My palette, duh! I want to say something else because I could definitely get something else from the Morphe team but no, the palette! I feel like my go-to product is a brow pencil. I’m either wearing nothing or a full face but my in between look is freckles and brows which you can easily do with a brow pencil I will always have moisturiser on whether I am wearing makeup or not.

How much makeup do you actually travel with?

My travel kit is not as big as you might think! I try to travel very light especially because I’ve had some instances of things being broken through travel which is the worst, so I usually just travel with my absolute bare necessities and then I’ll bring a palette and maybe a few different glitters depending on my mood! I am actually quite low maintenance!

In your house, is there a whole makeup room?

So, I have a beauty studio where I film all my videos so it’s basically like a production space that I work in every single day with my team and then in there we have a closet where all the makeup is kept. We also have an alternative room downstairs where we keep all the incoming PR’s shipments that we’ll organize and sort depending on whether I’m keeping a product or donating it to friends or charity as well.

What are the top 5 steps to cheating my way to this fabulousness makeup wise?

A good moisturiser – I’m very big on skin problems and ensuring my skin looks very clear and smooth – I feel like that is really vital. Next would be a really good medium coverage foundation because I am not into full coverage, I much prefer some skin, some freckles showing through. I just think it looks really beautiful and it still gives you that really intense makeup look without making you look really cakey.

Then it would be a super great brow pencil. I love the Anastasia Beverley Hills one, you can sculpt your eyebrows and layer it up. Of course, the James Charles x Morphe palette because you can do a stunning eyeshadow look and we also have shades in here for contouring and highlighting as well so you can get a beautiful glow as well – kill two birds with one stone! Finally you need a good setting spray to really lock it all in or alternative number five would be a portable light!

How often do you not have full face on? What’s going on the face when you’re going to Tesco?

Nothing, just a lot of moisturiser to keep your skin healthy! I have 3 faces, maybe 4. It’s the no makeup and just moisturiser which is my everyday moment. I’ll have a phase where I’ll do just do fake freckles and brows when I’m going out to a dinner with friends or maybe when I wanna feel cute when I go to the mall! Then it’s this face minus eyeshadow which is my typical red carpet go to glam or there’s a full glam look with a full look and eyeshadow which is what we have on now and that’s just because I woke up at 3am this morning because I have jetlag so I was like I have a few hours to kill so I may as well.

What positive mental mantra would you want to impart on your sisters?

I think the one thing I picked up on is obviously be yourself but it’s very important to me that I tell people you don’t need makeup to be beautiful! I wear makeup as an art form and to express myself, but you will never see me walk out the house in the morning with a full face of makeup because it doesn’t change my confidence – I’m very adamant that you are beautiful with or without. It’s important to love yourself no matter what and be proud of who you are. At the end of the day you have to just love yourself without a full face on.

You are the queen of brows. How can we cheat our way to nailing your brows?

I feel like a good product is always a way to go. I personally love the Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Pen – you can sculpt and build up the product so you can start lighter and build up on the tail end and middle for a more defined shape. Doing an amazing brow takes a lot of practice. When I first started doing makeup three years ago, my brows were disgusting and they were like 8 inches thick and it took a whole lot of hate comments and a lot of tweezers later to realise, ‘oh I should probably fix these!’

Now I love them, but it took me a while to get here but I feel like everybody’s brow journey is different, everybody’s makeup journey is different, it just takes a lot of practise, selfies, a lot of time literally looking at yourself and seeing what works well and what doesn’t work well and evolving overtime.

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