YouTuber Manny MUA shares how he built his beauty empire

For the first episode of In The Know: Profiles, we went to BeautyCon — a festival in L.A. that hosts panels and meet-and-greets with the beauty industry's biggest stars and influencers — to meet with Manny MUA, a make-up artist and beauty blogger on YouTube who's amassed more than 4.8 million subscribers since he started his channel in 2014.

"For me, my goals were like, 'I want to be a beauty influencer, I want to have a brand,'" Manny said to In The Know. "Those were the goals I kinda, like, set for myself. I didn't plan for any of it to happen."

In the years since he started his channel, Forbes has listed Manny as one of the top influencers in its 30 Under 30 list, and he was picked to be the first man to star in a Maybelline campaign.

Manny never set out to achieve any of this. He started making YouTube tutorials because people were asking him about his foundation routine on Instagram. What he says set him apart from other YouTubers who were starting out within the beauty community at the time is how he incorporates his personality into his videos.

"When I started YouTube those years ago, I felt like people weren't being their authentic self — in the beauty space, specifically," he said. "I feel like when I started, I wanted to able to treat YouTube as almost like my diary or my journal, and I would just kind of just be who I am."

It's a tactic that's clearly worked. People at BeautyCon who met Manny were visibly overwhelmed with both gratitude and awe.

"Something about him just makes me feel so happy," one girl told In The Know.

Men, in particular, thanked Manny for helping carve a space in the beauty industry for them too.

"He's basically helped us all — the boys in beauty — helped us come out with our make-up on," one BeautyCon guest said. "I mean, if you see, there's a lot of boys in make-up. So, he basically helped me basically come out."

Being authentic in his videos and on social media has been a cornerstone of Manny's success and the emotional ties to his millions of fans.

“You don't think of yourself as someone, like, who's, like, going to be this inspiring person who helps people," Manny said. "I literally did YouTube because it was a passion of mine. Like, I wanted to do it and I wanted to teach how to do make-up. And by doing so in an authentic way, it resonates with other people and it really does make a difference in other people's lives. It makes me feel really proud."

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like reading about Tay Keith, a Grammy-nominated producer at only 23 years old.

More from In The Know:

Amanda Steele wants you to feel confident in being different

These trendy candles will liven up your home with bold scents and colors

Shoppers say this is the 'one serum to rule them all' — and it's only $25

Get an Amazon Echo Dot for under $30 right now

More From

  • These bottle-opening and can-holding PopSockets are grilling season-ready

    PopSockets are widely considered the accessory of choice for phones, serving as one of the key methods to prevent phone dropping. The PopThirst Slim and Tall can and cup holders and the PopGrip Opener serve as the perfect accessories for grilling season and come in a wide assortment of patterns and colors. The PopThirst Slim and Tall line of can and cup holders were designed to hold the likes of skinny cans, tallboy beer cans and even coffee cups.

  • Estheticians claim this $12 product transforms your skin ‘literally overnight’

    The growing online community featuring these licensed professionals has been vastly expanding, with several transforming their followers’ and clients’ skin with their expert advice. One product several of these estheticians swear by is the CeraVe Healing Ointment — an item tons have dubbed a tried-and-true pick to remedy everything from irritation to dryness. Not to be confused with Vaseline, this easily accessible and affordable find has the consistency of petroleum jelly.

  • Yeti rebuilt its best-selling cooler to fit wine bottles

    Yeti coolers are known for keeping ice frozen for days, and its newest product, the Yeti Roadie 24, is its best version yet — here's why.

  • This tiny device keeps mosquitoes away all summer, and it’s only $22

    While you can use citronella candles as a deterrent, those often produce a chemical-like smell that isn’t necessarily pleasant after hours of use. As you’re beginning to prep your outdoor spaces, there’s one tiny gadget I keep seeing all over Instagram that might help repel mosquitoes for good (or at least while you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors throughout the summer). Thermacell’s Patio Mosquito Repeller is Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller when it comes to mosquito-repelling devices thanks to its small size but powerful technology.