"Everyone thought Michelle Phan had died. After ten years, 385 videos, and over a billion views, YouTube’s biggest beauty star disappeared abruptly in 2015, leaving her Twitter, Instagram, and video channels silent. Phan arguably invented the entire genre of YouTube beauty. If you’ve ever fallen asleep to the calming tones of a beauty tutorial or learned how to contour from a video, it’s because of her. And now she was gone.
The 9 million people who made up her subscriber base mourned the loss in the digital equivalent of a candlelight vigil. “I’ve been watching you since I was 14,” lamented one commenter, “and I really miss you! Feels like you were my best friend and now I have no idea what you’re up to.” More worryingly, Phan also disappeared in real life. Initially, not even colleagues at her two beauty companies, Ipsy and Em Cosmetics, knew where she’d gone."