17-Year-Old Guy Just Became CoverGirl’s First CoverBoy, And His Makeup Skills Are Too Good

“Anyone and everyone can wear makeup”: Meet Covergirl’s first Coverboy


Written by

Jenni Avins

October 12, 2016

Yesterday (October 11), a 17-year-old makeup artist named James Charles joined the ranks of models and spokespeople including Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Drew Barrymore to represent Covergirl cosmetics.

Charles is distinct from his predecessors in many ways: He is a teenager. His fame was born of the internet. He is a makeup artist. And, of course, he is a he.

Covergirl is by no means the first cosmetics company to put men in its campaigns. MAC, which regularly staffs its counters with men in dramatic makeup, shot a campaign with ice skater Johnny Weir, and last year created a collection in collaboration with the brothers Peter and Harry Brant. But while MAC’s brand is built on edgy, editorial looks, Covergirl’s has been about more mainstream beauty, represented by the familiar faces of celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres, Queen Latifah, and Sofia Vergara. The inclusion of Charles in that mix acknowledges the widening definition of beauty—and its icons—in the US.

And why should the company limit its market potential to just one gender? According to research firm NPD, men’s grooming products are expected to bring in $21 billion in 2016. If the Asian market is any indication, those products will increasingly include pricey skin creams and blemish-blurring makeup.

Among male product enthusiasts, Charles represents a young, digitally-native breed that some call “beauty boys.” His tutorials on YouTube (where the cosmetics company has an aggressive digital search strategy, according to WWD) have hundreds of thousands of views. On Instagram, where Charles first announced his Coverboy status, he has more than 500,000 followers.

“I truly hope that this shows that anyone and everyone can wear makeup and can do anything if you work hard,” wrote Charles in his caption.

And so does Covergirl.

Like many of us, 17-year-old New York-based makeup artist James Charles decided to open an Instagram account. But unlike many of us, he now has over 500k followers and another 75k subscribers on YouTube. And as if that’s not impressive enough, it’s also just been announced that James is going to be CoverGirl’s first ever CoverBoy!

“I am so beyond excited and overwhelmed and happy and astonished and of course, SHOOK, to announce that I am the newest face of @covergirl,” wrote James on Instagram. “First ever male ambassador for the brand and I am so honored and excited to be working with such an iconic brand.”

He’ll start out as the face of “So Lashy!”, the brand’s latest mascara launch, and he’ll also be used in ads and commercials. Oh, and he also gets to hang out with Katy Perry. And he’s still only 17. Impressed yet? We certainly are.