by Rebecca Macatee | Wed., Jul. 17, 2013 2:33 PM
From Taylor Swift to Rihanna to Pink, there's no shortage of gorgeous women who've represented CoverGirl. But if you ask Sofia Vergara who's the prettiest one of all, she'll tell you it's Talia Joy Castellano.
Tragically, though, Talia, a 13-year-old makeup guru and YouTube star, lost her six year battle with cancer on Tuesday. Sofia, a CoverGirl herself, took to Twitter to express her sadness over the passing of the honorary CoverGirl.
"My heart and thoughts are with Talia, the most beautiful & inspiring @Covergirl ever and with her loving family and friends #RIPTalia," Sofia wrote.
Talia's mom, Desiree Castellano, appeared on Today Wednesday, saying she'd always remember her daughter as "funny, caring, inspirational, talented—very talented."
Her YouTube channel, which featured makeup tutorials and chronicled her battle with neuroblastoma (an aggressive form of cancer) has more than 750,000 subscribers, and her videos have amassed more than 8 million views.
Talia's sister, Mattia Castellano, said the teen "loved every single one of her fans, and she always wanted to give back."
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros
Even more people were able to learn about Talia thanks to an online campaign that connected her to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In September 2012, the duo finally met and immediately hit it off.
"I am inspired by people like yourself," Ellen told her. "I think there are a lot of people who go through a lot of struggling situations, and despite what the doctors have said and the cancer you're going through, how do you stay so positive?"
"When people ask me that, what do you want me to do, be depressed?" Talia answered, then referenced Ellen's Finding Nemo character Dory, saying, "I mean a little fishy told me, 'Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!'"
Ellen, a CoverGirl herself, and the makeup brand saw just how much Talia loved all things beauty, and they gave her quite a surprise when they made her an honorary CoverGirl. She also presented Talia with a $20,000 check from the makeup moguls.
"Oh my God," Talia called out, bursting into happy tears as a s CoverGirl-style portrait of her was unveiled with "CoverGirl" written on the top.
CoverGirl's Vice President and General Manager, Esi Eggleston Bracey, said in a statement the company was "grateful for all the ways she showed us what true beauty means."
"She inspired millions with her strength, personality and talent," she continued. "Talia has touched our CoverGirl family forever, and we're thankful to have been a part of her life.
Talia's fellow CoverGirl wanted to give the heroic teen another fun surprise, so in September 2012, Ellen Sent her to Las Vegas to cover iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. There, Talia interviewed celebs like Gwen Stefani, Ryan Seacrest, Miley Cyrus, Brad Paisley and the Jonas Brothers.
When Ellen got word earlier this month that her friend's health had taken a turn for the worse, she tweeted the she was "Sending love to one of the most incredible people I've ever met," urging others to "#prayfortalia"
When, sadly, Talia succumbed to the disease on July 16, 2013, Ellen tweeted about the profound loss. "This year I met a very special girl, and today we lost her. Sending my heart to Talia's family," she wrote. "I'm so sad."
She also posted a smiling picture of the twosome on Instagram, writing, "I'm grateful for the time I got to spend with this beautiful young girl."
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