CoverGirl Makes History with their First Ever Male Brand Ambassador


CoverGirl made history last week after they announced their first-ever male brand ambassador. Seventeen year-old New Yorker James Charles is a self-described makeup artist, singer and now the face of the iconic beauty brand alongside pop star Katy Perry.

While CoverGirl has broken beauty boundaries in the past (with notable stars such as Ellen DeGeneres and Queen Latifah), James Charles stands in a league of his own. “All of our CoverGirls are role models and boundary-breakers, fearlessly expressing themselves, standing up for what they believe, and redefining what it means to be beautiful,” read a statement from CoverGirl. “James Charles is no exception.”

The teen beauty guru started publicly sharing his love for the art of makeup just a year ago. Since then, he’s amassed over 439,000 Instagram followers (that number has since climbed to north of 700k) and 71,000 Youtube subscribers (now over 100k). With astonishingly creative beauty looks running the gamut from simply stunning, and wonderfully eclectic to downright transformative, it’s easy to see why.

A bid for an all new demographic?

Fortune calls this a “genius Generation Z marketing,” and we’re inclined to agree. If there’s one thing research has shown regarding the post-millennial demographic, it’s that they are a fearless group. They’re open-minded, fiercely anti-cruelty or discrimination and completely open to today’s more fluid depictions of sexuality and self-expression. They’re also go-getters in the media space – creating just as much as they consume.

CoverGirl, a beauty brand that’s over half a century old, is clearly trying to tap into this newer, younger demographic. “Our population is becoming increasingly diverse,” says Laura Brinker, Vice President of Influencer Marketing at Coty. “These trends are certainly something millennials have appreciated as they’ve grown up, but they’ll be even more important for Gen Z.”

Of course, it may very well be that CoverGirl has had its sights on today’s teens for quite some time. James Charles is not the very first Youtuber to represent CoverGirl. In July 2014, Ingrid Nilsen was signed on as an online influencer for the brand. She currently has 4 million subscribers. As Forbes reports, 63% of today’s teens favor Snapchat and Youtube stars as Influencers. Additional studies show that the vast majority of Gen Z-ers (almost 80%) found Youtube or social media posts sponsored or created by their favorite brands to be appealing.

Genius marketing or not, it’s great to see major brands like CoverGirl shaking up the industry and presenting us with something new. While the number of popular male-identified makeup artists has seen tremendous growth on social media over the past few years, we’re just now getting to see them become mainstream. Here’s to hoping James, CoverGirl and the cosmetic industry at large continue on this path of unapologetic exploration into the truly multi-faceted world of beauty.

All images via Instagram