• Instagram star James Charles is CoverGirl's first male ambassador. (Instagram/@jcharlesbeauty)
"I was shook and didn’t believe it at first, [but] when I found out it was a real opportunity, I literally screamed and then cried, I was so excited," the 17-year-old said.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

13 Oct 2016 - 1:38 PM  UPDATED 13 Oct 2016 - 1:38 PM

James Charles is a teenage social media sensation with a love of make up and the talent to create incredible beauty looks. Oh, and he's just become the first male ambassador for CoverGirl.

The 17-year-old from Glenmont, New York learnt about make-up from YouTube beauty tutorials, and since starting on Instagram a year ago, has racked up more than 545,000 followers.

Charles will join brand ambassador Katy Perry in launching CoverGirl's latest selection of products, and will feature in print and on TV, sharing beauty tips, tricks and tutorials.

He said when CoverGirl first approached him he didn't think it was real.

"I was shook and didn’t believe it at first, [but] when I found out it was a real opportunity, I literally screamed and then cried, I was so excited," he told Cosmopolitan

The budding makeup artist, who says he is "proud to be gay", is happy to be breaking down boundaries when it comes to men and makeup.

Last May, when he was 16, Charles talked to Marie Claire about the role makeup plays in his life: "My parents started questioning me about whether or not I was transgender — whether or not I was trying to be a woman. It was a big argument," he said.

"It took a lot of thorough conversations to explain that it's an art form for me. I'm still confident as a boy and I will always be a boy. I can be confident with bare skin and with a full face."

Along with Katy Perry, Charles joins the ranks of Ellen DeGeneres, Taylor Swift, Zendaya and Queen Latifah to represent the cosmetics brand.

"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. 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," the brand said in a statement.

Charles is hoping his partnership with CoverGirl will encourage men to feel more comfortable wearing makeup. 

"Our industry has been tailored towards woman for so long, so I think the only way that men will start to become more comfortable will be if the stereotypes are removed," he told Cosmopolitan.

"Every guy who is comfortable doing so, however, is setting an amazing example and hopefully inspiring those around him."