justina + michelle | interview

When you think YouTube, what person comes to mind? If you're one of her 7 bajillion followers, and even if you're not, it's probably Michelle Phan. I'm couldn't name every shade on a Naked palette, but I'm not immune to the powers of the beauty vlogger, and she's the queen.

At the very end of last year, I had the chance to ask her a few questions, and they turned into the first interview of 2015. Read on for a solid what-to-pack list, a moment on video games of the youth, and a serious eyeliner question.

Justina: You wake up in the morning and have fifteen minutes to get ready - what’s the routine look like?

Michelle: If I only have fifteen minutes to get ready, I’ll find ways to take care of multiple things at once. I do this by reading emails and getting a little morning fitness in, like pushups. When it comes to skincare, I like to think ahead. I always keep a cool eye mask in my fridge or have depuffing pads like Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels close by so I can multitask– I get rid of under eye bags while I’m brushing my teeth or doing my hair. Also, I’ll use an all-purpose cleanser like Philosophy Purity for these specific mornings when I can’t spend much time on my full skin care regimen but still want to cleanse, tone and hydrate.

When it comes to my make up, I’ll apply only the basics. Foundation or bb cream, mascara, and lip-gloss will allow for enough coverage to get me out the door without looking like a complete zombie. These three items also even out my skin tone, widen my eyes, and give my lips a blast of moisture and sheen. If I need a bit more color to further brighten and polish my look, I’ll apply when I’m in the car (passenger seat only) or once I get to my destination. I always keep a beauty essential bag in my purse with my favorite shades or eyeliner, lipstick, blush, concealer, and shadow.

Lastly, I embrace a messy mane. I usually prep my hair the night before by braiding it or throwing it into a loose bun. This way when I wake up in the am, I run my fingers through it, toss in some product or dry shampoo and go!

Beauty trends come and go, but is there one you’ve stuck with in your everyday routine? 

 Flawless skin. For me skincare is so important! I use at least six products on my face every night.

You travel a lot for work, which can be harsh on ~mind and body~ - what do you always have on you in carry on? Do you have a “airplane routine”?

Since I do travel frequently, it’s important that I have my pre-flight routine down.
I pack my carry-on bag with goodies that will help the hours pass and prevent me from hauling more bags than necessary onto my next flight. Depending on the duration I might throw a neck pillow and scarf into my bag, but no matter what, I always take the below travel essentials with me.

  • Passport Cover – I use a bright colored cover to protect my identification, and so it’s easily accessible when I’m walking through TSA.
  • Wallet – I pack a large wallet to carry my money, credit cards, and any paperwork or IDs needed. I also use my wallet to hold my phone, preventing it from rolling around loose in my bag.
  • Cosmetic Bag - If I’m meeting that special someone at the airport or I’ve taken an overnight flight, I’ll want to freshen up before getting off the plane. I bring a cute cosmetic bag to carry my beauty essentials. If you need tips on how to get a refreshed glow post-flight, watch my video Travel Friendly In-Flight Beauty Tips!
  • Socks - If I’m wearing sandals or heels, I might struggle with cold feet on the plane, so I pack a pair of socks to warm them up and allow me to better relax sans shoes.
  • Toothbrush – Similar to freshening up your face, I have a toothbrush and toothpaste handy for after I’ve been snacking and/or sleeping on my flight.
  • Eye Mask - Some people will stay awake and let their overhead lights beam throughout the plane on overnight flights. I bring an eye mask to create total darkness and get the rest I deserve!
  • Headphones – So I don’t have to pay for bulky in-flight headphones, I bring my own to listen to music or watch videos.
  • Reading Materials – A good book, a couple of your favorite magazines or an iPad are wonderful to have while flying.
  • Travel Tote – The best travel bag around is a sturdy tote in a neutral color. The neutral tone will go with anything I wear, and the large size will not only carry my must-haves, but also transport my work laptop once my trip is over.
  • Reusable Bags – I use reusable bags for any liquids, snacks, keys, or jewelry I have on my flight. They help keep me organized.
  • Snacks – To avoid overpriced plane food and a grumbly belly, I bring my own favorites to grub on throughout the flight. 

You were one of the OG’s of YouTube - how do you feel like it’s changed since you started?

YouTube has helped developed me as a business person. Now more and more people are turning to YouTube regularly for content and its online niche is well-defined.

Well let’s talk about your work with Nintendo, because that's a new project for you.

I recently teamed up with Nintendo to record videos for a new Nintendo 3DS ad campaign! The portable system allows gamers to play incredible games on the go, with a top screen featuring 3D capabilities and a bottom touch-screen working together for a unique gameplay experience.

Do you have a ~nostalgic Nintendo memory~?

I’ve been a massive Nintendo fan since I was a little girl. It defined my childhood. When I was going through hard times, I turned on my Nintendo console and was transported into another world.

Speaking of another world - lighting round questions:

Important: Cats eye or wingtip eyeliner? Is there even a difference?
I love a cat eye!

I loved your "Daenerys look" video - who is your favorite Game of Thrones character?

Daenerys is actually my favorite character! I love her transformation into a strong leader.

What’s the best career advice you can give in five words?

Have unwavering passion for what you do.

This is usually the part where I'd expound upon how fantastic Michelle is and where to follow her, but you already know and already are, so I'm just going to go practice eyeliner flicks and DS tricks. (couldn't resist)

x J

 follow A Bent Piece Of Wire on twitter|facebook|bloglovin


  1. Ahh! Congratulations Justina, I really enjoyed this interview :)
    - F - www.elevatorbrain.blogspot.co.uk

  2. SO cool <3 Justina how do you get to meet such cool people? Love these posts x


  3. I love your interviews :) You ask the best questions!
    <3 Katie

  4. She is a great youtuber for sure!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves


Tell me what I want to hear. Or what you want to say.

Just remember:

If you're mean, I'll track you down and replace all your shoes with those hideous white tennis things that are so popular among the very sad.