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CoverGirl Just Announced Its Newest Face, and He’s a Cover Boy!

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A photo posted by JAMES CHARLES (@jamescharles) on

After watching probably 14 years worth of America’s Next Top Model contestants stumble through the line, “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful: CoverGirl!” it’s a relief to see the cosmetics company’s newest face is adorable and talented makeup artist James Charles, who was just announced as the brand’s first-ever “Cover Boy.”

Charles is one of the “Beauty Boys of Instagram,” profiled in a recent Marie Claire article by former Mommyish editor Koa Beck. At 17 he’s already mastered liquid liner, highlighter, and a bold, matte lip. (I’ve been working on those things since before he was born, and I still can’t get my eyebrows to look the same.) He’s adept at natural and special effects looks, and his talents have earned him more than 677,000 followers on Instagram in just about a year.

Charles went viral a few months ago when people heard that he’d had his high school yearbook photo retaken because he didn’t like the way his highlighter popped in the first round. So he showed up again with fresh highlighter and a ring light and asked the photographer if he could set up his own lighting. The photographer said yes, and Charles wound up with some great yearbook photos. Seriously, his cheekbones look like they could cut diamonds. In addition to being talented and good-looking, Charles is very funny, and people respond really well to that. 

As part of his duties as the first male face of CoverGirl, Charles will be in a TV commercial, too. That’s pretty great. A big Instagram account is fabulous, but on TV he’s going to be seen by a whole lot more people than watch Instagram. That’s wonderful. People should see that makeup isn’t just for girls. It’s a bunch of weird pigments that we like to rub on our faces. True, it is loaded with sociocultural baggage, but really there’s no reason guys can’t wear makeup just like there shouldn’t be any reason women have to wear it.

“Hopefully other people will see this, and when they think, ‘Oh, this random 17-year-old kid just started doing makeup recently and is now the face of CoverGirl,’ I hope that inspires them to really be themselves and feel comfortable and wear makeup and express themselves in a manner they haven’t been comfortable doing before,” Charles said to the New York Times.