After a six year battle against cancer, Talia Joy Castellano, a 13-year-old YouTube beauty blogger and honorary CoverGirl model, passed away on Tuesday, July 16. Her family announced her passing on the Facebook page Angels for Talia.
The upbeat beauty built a fanbase with her YouTube tutorials, demonstrating looks such as a smokey eye or blue eyeshadow in videos that have been viewed a collective 15 million times. She also filmed video diaries, updating her followers on her progress. She never wore a wig, claiming in a YouTube video it made her feel “fake.” Instead, she explained, makeup was “her wig.”
Castellano was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer which develops from nerve tissue, in 2007. In the ensuing six years, there would be times when she was entirely cancer free, only to receive the heartbreaking news that her illness had returned. In the end, she decided not to have a bone marrow transplant so that she could appreciate her final days.
Last year, the Goldenrod, Florida resident appeared on Ellen Degeneres’s talk show, leading to her being named an honorary CoverGirl. She also teamed with L.A. designer Urbana Chappa on a teen clothing line. On Tuesday, Degeneres tweeted her regrets. “I met a very special girl, and today we lost her. Sending my heart to Talia’s family. I’m so sad.”
Watching Castellano’s videos, her unique positive energy shines through. To see the inspiring way in which she lived a life filled with uncommon hardship was the real beauty tutorial. Please visit Angels for Talia to share your condolences with the family.