It’s been more than a year since beauty guru Michelle Phan last posted to YouTube, the platform which gave birth to her multi-million dollar empire. On Thursday, Phan finally made her long-anticipated return, explaining in an 11-minute animated video why she took a break in the first place.

The video, aptly titled “Why I Left,” chronicles Phan’s career — her very first YouTube video (which she says “changed the course” of her life forever), when she was finally able to turn her blogging into a “thriving career,” her first major business deals (such as the launch of beauty-subscription service Ipsy, and her poorly-received collection with L’Oréal, “Em.”

Mostly, though, the video focuses on the reasons behind Phan’s decision to take a break from it all. As the blogger-turned-mogul explains in a voiceover:

“Who I was on camera and who I was in real life began to feel like strangers. Money can bring out the worst in people, and I was no exception. My insecurities got the worst of me. I became imprisoned by my own vanity, and I was never satisfied with the way I looked. The life I led online was picture-perfect, but in reality, I was carefully curating the image of a life I wanted, not had.”

It wasn’t until she was hit with a few high-profile lawsuits that Phan ultimately made the decision to take a time-out and travel to reconnect with herself, nature, and the world outside of social media. Fortunately, Phan’s extended sabbatical paid off: Last month, the blogger re-launched Em, this time with higher-quality formulas, on-trend packaging, and new-and-improved products (the Lip Clouds, in particular, are a fan fave). And she’s even planning on putting more energy into her comic series, Helios: Femina.

More from our favorite beauty bloggers:

Most importantly, though, the nine months of traveling helped Phan rediscover herself and learn what she wants to do going forward. “Back then,” she says, “I was just someone who was showing you how to look more beautiful. Now, I want to show you how to feel more beautiful.”

Sounds like a solid plan to us. Watch Phan’s full ‘comeback’ video below.

Also Watch: This Three-Step Hair Routine Is All You Need for Perfect Curls This Summer