May 28, 2014 09:50 PM

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Michelle Phan truly epitomizes what it means to be a “famous face.” YouTube’s top beauty guru (with more than 6 million subscribers) uses the magic of makeup — and her self-taught talent — to transform into pop culture icons (see Lady Gaga and Barbie) and to teach tricky (and essential) makeup trends. She’s become so huge in the industry that she now has her own line of makeup, Em.

Filmed at her L.A. home studio, Phan’s online tutorials also feel like a Hollywood production. “To film a video takes at least six hours,” Phan explains in this week’s PEOPLE. “I want my videos to be like mini movies.” And like any great artist, inspiration is key to her craft. “I keep my eyes and ears open,” says Phan, 27. “And a lot of my inspiration comes from my followers. They’ll send me pictures and music videos they love.”

So what does Phan love? We asked the makeup mogul to take us through five of her favorite looks. (And if you’re wondering if it’s as easy as she makes it look? “When I do make mistakes it does suck and I have to redo it. Or sometimes I scrap the entire video and don’t even upload it. That’s how hard and picky I am with these videos. I’ve done
that quite a few times!”)

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“Urban Reign was really just celebrating Lorde’s song “Royals.” I wanted to inspire all of my followers to find her inner royal-ness, her inner queen. This was a very urban approach to the royal look.”

“The Beautiful Death was a Halloween video I did celebrating The Day Of The Dead. I’m very conscious of festive holidays that are celebrated in different parts of the world.” So what was her favorite part of the look? “Painting my entire face white! It looked really creepy, but I liked it. It was so fun.”

“My followers really wanted a Miranda Kerr look and I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll do it. She’s gorgeous! Why not?’ I created a look around the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and I was really happy with it. As for those Kerr’s trademark dimples: “They only work if you smile, otherwise it just looks like you have a mark on your face!”

“I’m a fan of Game Of Thrones, and I love Daenerys Targaryen. She’s one of my favorite characters on the show so I had to create a look around her. She’s gorgeous and beautiful and known for having the most beautiful brows.”

“This is my 2014 updated spring look; every year I’ll do an updated spring look. Teal is a very, very big color this year. Powder blue and teal and peach: I took all of the trending colors this season and put it all in one look.”

–Michelle Ward

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