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Meet the First Male CoverGirl, James Charles

You’ve probably seen James Charles on your Instagram Explore page with his colorful makeup looks, and you’re about to see a lot more of him. CoverGirl announced today that Charles is the newest face of the brand, making him the first male CoverGirl spokesperson. If you’ve never heard of the Instagram-famous makeup artist, here’s a quick rundown: At just 17 years old, Charles has amassed more than 427,000 followers on Instagram, in part thanks to his creative takes on bold lipstick, classic wings, and rainbow eye shadow.

And did we mention he only started the account one year ago? (I’ve been working on getting to 500 followers for the past five years.) One follower of his may just sound familiar to you. Charles caught the attention of actress and singer Zendaya when he posted photos of his senior portrait on Instagram and Twitter. He looked fierce AF, especially since he brought a ring light so his highlighter would pop—and pop it did. Zendaya retweeted his pictures and wrote: “You win.”

In his Instagram bio, the first male CoverGirl calls himself an “aspiring makeup artist” since he doesn’t have formal training. But he does have some serious skills. Charles, who is based in New York, posted his first YouTube makeup tutorial seven months ago and already has more than 70,700 subscribers. I can’t stop watching his Snapchat Galaxy Filter Makeup Tutorial, and I may just have to try it out for Halloween.

I talked to Charles to find out more about the big news.

How does it feel to be the first male CoverGirl spokesperson?

This is literally the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. I mean, I’m basically, like, 12 years old [laughs], so not many cool things have happened in the first place, but this definitely takes the cake. It’s such a huge honor to be working with one of the most iconic beauty brands in history, alongside huge icons such as Katy Perry. It’s groundbreaking, and I cannot wait to see what else comes from it. This year is going to be amazing.

What drew you to create an Instagram presence?

I started my page to post my work (that I did on my friends and gals from around my town) so I could build my clientele as a makeup artist. It wasn’t until I did a skull makeup look on myself for Halloween and received awesome feedback that I wanted to try to do more looks on myself.

How did you get so good at doing makeup?

Practice practice practice! I have been watching makeup tutorials for five or six years now on YouTube, so when I started doing makeup a year ago, I did have a little bit of knowledge on how to use products. I try new techniques and styles almost every day so I’m always challenging myself. Makeup is an art form for me. It’s a form of expression, and it’s such a cool way to get my creative juices flowing.

What are your current favorite looks?

I love doing supercrazy, avant-garde, but still stunning looks. Classic glam is beautiful and will never go out of style, but I like to try to push the envelope and create something new and inspiring.

What can we look forward to with this partnership?

My first CoverGirl campaign for the new So Lashy! by blastPRO Mascara is launching at the end of this month. It’s going to include an absolutely awesome commercial. Being on set was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had. As for the future, we’re working together to continue to create groundbreaking content. I can promise whatever it is, you will definitely be seeing amazing products with the classic James Charles twist and charm.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what else CoverGirl has in store for my new favorite teen.

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