Instant Influencer With James Charles

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Instant Influencer With James Charles TV Poster Image
Upbeat internet influencer challenge full of product promos.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It's a competition, but it offers practical tips about make up and marketing, but does so while simultaneously promoting self-confidence, celebrating creativity, and being positive about life. Some contestants briefly mention hardships in their lives. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

James Charles is extremely positive, constructive, and celebratory, but is also very clear about the job of the influencer. 


Looking "sexy" is sometimes referenced.


Words like "hell" and "bitch" are audible, but stronger curses are bleeped with mouths blurred. 


Ulta is a major sponsor of the show. Brands like Elf, Redken, Morphe, Ofra, and the host’s own cosmetic palette, are prominently featured. Canon cameras are visible, and online distribution channels like Instagram are referenced. James Charles promotes the eliminated contestant at the end of each episode. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Instant Influencer With James Charles is a YouTube competition series featuring makeup artists vying for a cash prize plus the chance to work with the show’s host, makeup artist and YouTube personality James Charles. The overall series is positive and upbeat; occasionally contestants share about growing up in difficult or challenging circumstances. There is also lots of product promotion throughout the series, and cosmetic lines like Elf, Redken, Ofra, and Morphe are prominently featured. Ulta is a major sponsor of the show. Mild references to looking sexy, and some occasional strong language ("bitch"), but curses are bleeped with mouths blurred. 

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old June 28, 2020


I think it is an overall an amazing show and I've actually been trying to join it. The thing is it can get a little inappropriate. It hosts people which cu... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written May 15, 2020

Drama Filled

Like many other competitive shows, this has some drama. I will say, James is an extremely good host, and a positive role model.

What's the story?

INSTANT INFLUENCER WITH JAMES CHARLES is a YouTube competition series designed to choose the next great Internet influencer. Hosted by makeup artist and internet personality James Charles, it features six talented contestants competing in various make up challenges that test their technical abilities and creativity. Guest judges like Paris Hilton, Claudia Soare, aka Norvina, the president of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics company, and RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Trixie Mattel help decide on the winner of each challenge. The final contestant remaining wins a full home videography equipment package worth $10K, a collaboration with Charles on his YouTube channel, and $50K in cash. 

Is it any good?

This positive and upbeat series features very talented young adults exhibiting their makeup and marketing skills in order to take their online presence to the next level. James Charles, who is the first male ambassador for CoverGirl cosmetics, never stops underscoring the fact that to be a successful influencer, one must be able to convince people to purchase the products they are endorsing online. As a result, he and the judges require contestants to consistently create good looks, produce excellent video tutorials that simultaneously market the product, and exude confidence every step of the way. But the host is also kind and supportive as he offers contestants thoughtful constructive criticism, celebrates their creativity, and promotes them and their work to his viewing audience. Overall, Instant Influencer With James Charles is a fun, colorful, and well-intentioned series that shows what it takes to be succeed in the online influencer game. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Instant Influencer with James Charles defines the role of a social media influencer. What is an influencer’s primary job? How do they make money or become famous doing it? 

  • Successful influencers understand how to use social media to market products to users of all ages. Can kids understand when an internet celebrity is marketing to them? How can we help them understand that it’s happening? Are YouTube celebrities and social media influencers good role models for kids?   


TV details

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