Update: Way back in September, in the year of our Lord 2016, a then-unknown high school senior by the name of James Charles shared his yearbook photo to Twitter. But this was no average senior portrait — no, the up-and-coming makeup artist’s claim to fame was that he brought his own photography props to ensure that his highlight would pop off the page. The tweet went viral, and Charles signed with CoverGirl as its very first CoverBoy before he even turned 18.
Because yearbooks, as you’ll recall, are distributed at the very end of the school year, it wasn’t until today that Charles finally received a copy of the finished product. He posted it to Instagram to ensure that fans got a look, too — because what good is a completely extra yearbook photo if the only place it goes is on the fridge at your parents’ house? The only thing more extra than the final shot is the quote that goes along with it: "Use code 'JAMES' for 10% off your purchase at checkout." Here it is, in all its glory:
This story was originally published on September 7, 2016.
Five years ago, I marched into a sterile-looking photo studio to take my senior portrait. I spent an extra half hour on my makeup that morning, dutifully applying layers of foundation, concealer, and powder and messing with my feather hair clip. (I was so cool.) After taking the photos, I took a peek at the previews, hated them, but didn't do anything about it.
Beauty blogger James Charles, now a high school senior in Bethlehem, New York, didn't make the same mistake. In fact, after being disappointed by his first round of senior portraits, Charles took matters into his own hands and asked for a redo. "[The] lighting was not ideal for my makeup, so all my hard work at 7 a.m. didn't pay off," he told BuzzFeed News.
So when the time came to reshoot his photos, Charles brought his own ring light to make sure his highlight would pop. Long story short: It did.
Charles tweeted the second round of photos to his 44.2K followers and was overwhelmed by the response. His tweet now has over 86K likes and 33K shares — even Zendaya tweeted her stamp of approval.
When asked to explain why he went to such lengths for a school picture, Charles told BuzzFeed News: "It was my senior picture and I knew it would be in the yearbook forever. I do love being extra. I’m actually a pretty reserved person... When I say I’m extra, it usually just comes to my makeup looks being extravagant, and I’m also never afraid to drag a local boy when he’s being rude on Twitter.” Most likely to succeed right there, folks.