James Charles, a 17-year-old makeup artist who has become an Instagram star with a large following, has been named as the first ever male CoverGirl.
The announcement was made on Tuesday morning, with the help of Katy Perry, the current face of CoverGirl. Perry posted an Instagram of the two of them with the caption, “Just wrapped another great CoverGirl shoot. Honored to have the pleasure to announce the very first COVERBOY, James Charles!”
Charles, who is 17, started beauty blogging just one year ago, but has amassed a massive following, regularly sharing makeup tutorials and expertly lit selfies with his fans.
“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,” a press release from CoverGirl read. “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.”
And though the partnership was officially announced today, CoverGirl confirmed that Charles will be helping the brand debut a new mascara, and be the star of a campaign that will include TV, print and digital advertisements. He will also be part of a number of beauty tutorials for CoverGirl as well.
Before Charles made his CoverGirl debut, the topic of men and makeup has been an ongoing discussion within the beauty industry. Though there are several popular male beauty vloggers out there, very few have landed campaigns or starred in ads backed by reputable beauty brands. The most recent exception is Anastasia Beverly Hills, which rolled out a campaign starring men in July.
“Brands that don’t feature males are excluding [them] from feeling part of the fun of makeup,” male beauty blogger Jake-Jamie Ward said in a previous interview with Mic. “It instantly makes them feel excluded and wrong for wanting to purchase the brands’ products.”
With this campaign, Charles is paving the way for people like him: those who love makeup and just happen to be men.