Less than a year ago, American YouTube personality Michelle Phan aka RiceBunny left the video-sharing platform abruptly, leaving no trace or explanation. Michelle was at the height of her YouTube career at that time, with over 8.8 million subscribers and a monthly beauty products subscription service, ipsy, under her belt.

She was celebrated by her fans and the epitome of success. But as it turns out, she was not happy.

Source: Michelle Phan

A few hours ago, Michelle released a illustration-style video titled, “Why I Left”, detailing her journey to becoming one of the top beauty gurus on YouTube.


In her caption, she wrote, “Don’t just look beautiful. Feel beautiful. I know not everyone has the money to buy time, but I did, and I can share what I learned. I hope you enjoy this storybook. I’d like to make more, but I wanted your thoughts on what you would like to see from me. Please comment below your ideas. It’ll give me better direction on where to take things. Sending you all positive thoughts.”

The 11-minute long clip features Michelle narrating the story as it traced all the way back to her childhood, her parents (mostly her mom), her education, her passion, her YouTube channel, her success, and her lawsuits.

Source: Michelle Phan

And then came the emotional struggles, as Michelle explained how she began to feel less like her real self and more like a product. “Who I was on camera and who I was in real life began to feel like strangers,” she can be heard saying.

“At this moment, I was feeling so broken. But my inner child wasn’t ready to give up on me. She reminded me how it’s never to late to start over. Although money can’t buy happiness, if there is one thing people wish they had more of, it’s time. So that’s what I did. With my money, I bought myself more time, Time to find myself, before I lost myself,” Michelle explained, adding that she packed up whatever she could fit in a suitcase and left.

Leaving behind her dreams, her success, and didn’t look back. By disconnecting from the world and surrounding herself with nature, she nurtured her broken spirit back to health.

Source: Michelle Phan

The video then ends with Michelle saying, “So, what now? The truth is, I don’t know yet. I just want to create, and that’s what makes me happy. Back then, I was just someone who was showing you how to look more beautiful. Now, I want to show you how to feel more beautiful.”

It’s good to have you back, Michelle 🙂

Source: Michelle Phan.

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Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.