CoverGirl just announced its first-ever male brand ambassador, beauty vlogger and #influencer James Charles (not to be confused with designer Charles James, the subject of the Met's 2014 exhibit). In addition to having racked up 426,000 followers on Instagram and more than 70,000 on YouTube, the 17-year-old (!) self-described "aspiring makeup artist from New York," (according to his Instagram bio) can now add CoverGirl contract to his list of accomplishments.
"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. James Charles is no exception. One year ago, he boldly chose to launch his Instagram to the world, using transformative, dynamic makeup looks to showcase the many facets of his personality, serving as an inspiration to anyone who might have been afraid to do the same," the brand said in a statement.
This move follows a growing trend of makeup brands relying on men to promote color cosmetics. Male beauty bloggers and influencers have gained traction via social media and parlayed that success into brand ambassadorships: Patrick Starr has worked with Formula X and Nyx; Manny Gutierrez (a.k.a. Manny Mua) has collaborated with Makeup Geek and Ofra Cosmetics; and Frank B. partnered with Milk Makeup.
Last May, at the age of 16, Charles opened up about the role makeup has played in his life in an interview with Marie Claire: "My parents started questioning me about whether or not I was transgender — whether or not I was trying to be a woman. It was a big argument," he said. "It took a lot of thorough conversations to explain that it's an art form for me. I'm still confident as a boy and I will always be a boy. I can be confident with bare skin and with a full face."