Hawaii-based Filipino YouTube sensation Bretman Rock, who returned home to the Philippines on Sunday night to host the Miss Universe red carpet, is a male makeup star in the tradition of James Charles and Manny Mua.
Rock has 7 million followers on Instagram — compare that to Reese Witherspoon’s 8 million — who all cheered him on during his first hosting stint. And after a dive into his social media presence, it’s easy to see why.
Rock, who described working with the pageant as “surreal,” first went viral on Instagram after he published a “How to Contour” tutorial. The video is 1. Hilarious. (“This is full coverage, you have to cover your age. I’m 16, I gotta look 2.”) and 2. Actually explains how to contour.
In an interview with a local Hawaii news station, Rock broke down how he feels about his Insta-fame. “I want to live like a normal life. I don’t want to not be normal. I mean, I’m a boy that wears makeup, but I want to be as normal as I can,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean he’s interested in a “normal” online persona. “To be honest, I don’t know… something about the camera like turns me into such a diva,” he explained. “Like when it’s on and I see my face in the camera, I’m just like, oh girl you look so good!”
Yet, like more than his peers, he’s leveraged his vlogger status and made it into a full-fledged and multi-faceted career. For instance, he designed a product with maybe the best name we’ve ever heard, Hot Tea Eyelashes. The exclusive synthetic silk lashes are part of a collab with Eyeris Beauty. (And yes, false lashes are the most diva beauty product out there.)
Rock also isn’t afraid to get deeper than makeup. He’s spoken about being bullied at school and used his platform to raise awareness with anti-bullying campaigns like #KissAndMakeup with Tarte Cosmetics and Bystander Revolution. He’s also a green card holder in the United States and, during his busy weekend prepping for the red carpet, still made time to vocalize his support of the #MuslimBan protests. “Being only a green card holder myself, I have to say I’m really scared and bothered by everything going on back home,” he wrote on Twitter.
As a Miss Universe 2016 host, Rock held his own with Steve Harvey and managed to have his own shining moment when Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach loaned him the crown.
— Iris Mittenaere (@MissUniverse) January 29, 2017
But Rock still has to help out around the house … you know, when he’s not on TV.
I call this look "Chores Glam" …. because I ain't even going anywhere, I'm literally staying home ???????? pic.twitter.com/igcuqvIma9
— Bretman Rock (@bretmanrock) January 22, 2017