The Biggest Scandals to Ever Hit the YouTube Beauty Community

The Biggest Scandals to Ever Hit the YouTube Beauty Community

The YouTube beauty community has changed dramatically
over the years. There used to be only a handful of “beautubers,” but now there are dozens
of professional beauty influencers with their own makeup lines. And the more influencers
there are, it seems, the more drama there is. In May 2019, Jaclyn Hill announced the long-awaited
launch of her cosmetics line, Jaclyn Cosmetics. In her video, Hill promoted her collection
of nude lipsticks as “creamy” and “moisturizing,” with a, quote, “custom blend of fragrance
that kind of smells like vanilla butter cake.” When they were actually released to the public,
however, they didn’t exactly live up to the hype. In the video “The Truth About Jaclyn Hill
Cosmetics,” fellow beautuber Raw Beauty Kristi broke down the problems consumers were having
with Hill’s lipsticks, as many had allegedly found the products to be covered in a strange
film and filled with holes. “Do I feel comfortable recommending these
to you off of my first impression? Absolutely not.” Most shockingly, some fans claimed the lipsticks
were covered in fuzz. “The product itself is unstable and not quality-tested
in any way.” Following the backlash, Hill released both
a video and an official statement on her website saying she would be issuing a full refund
to anyone who made a purchase, but she reassured customers that the issue was in the manufacturing
and had nothing to do with product quality. Tati Westbrook and James Charles are both
huge names in the YouTube beauty community, Westbrook’s channel has nearly 10 million
followers as of August 2019, while Charles’ boasts 15 million. For a time, the two were
best friends, with Westbrook acting as a sort of mentor to Charles. In April 2019, Charles posted an Instagram
story promoting Sugar Bear Hair vitamins, which happens to be in direct competition
with Westbrook’s company, Halo Beauty. As reported by People, Westbrook posted a since-deleted
43-minute video titled “Bye Sister,” in which she slammed Charles for both his alleged betrayal
and change in attitude since finding fame. That May, People reported that Charles posted
his own since-deleted apology video in response to Westbrook. Soon after, he released a bombshell
41-minute video titled “No More Lies” in which the star claimed he wasn’t erasing the sentiment
of his first apology, however, his answer to “BYE SISTER” was essentially a point-by-point
rebuttal of Westbrook’s video. In November 2018, James Charles released his
first eyeshadow palette for Morphe comprising of 39 rainbow colored shades and including
eyeshadows and pressed pigments. In his original swatch video, Charles explained that at first
he didn’t know the difference between eyeshadows and pressed pigments. “As an artist, I will say straight up to you
guys, some of these pressed pigments are a little bit harder to work with just because
you have to use slightly different techniques.” Charles went on to give advice on how best
to apply the different formulas in the palette, but his video came under some scrutiny when
it appeared as though he had faked or re-layered his swatches. On Twitter, users called him
out, but Charles was quick to reply. Responding to a tweet asking if the shadows had been,
quote, “pre-swatched” in the video, he said, “Yes, a few shades I layered twice because
the first swatch wasn’t good or because I had to [re- say] my sentence and wasn’t going
to continue washing my arm, or that would REALLY mess them up. Not hiding anything.” Aside from his public friend-split with Tati
Westbrook and his questionable swatching behavior, James Charles has repeatedly found himself
in the spotlight on account of his social media practices. In 2017, Charles stirred
up the wrath of the internet when, according to Allure, he tweeted, “I can’t believe we’re going to Africa today
omg what if we get Ebola.” The vlogger soon apologized, but that was
only the beginning of his trouble. In 2019, Charles did a collaboration video
during which he implied that he wasn’t, quote, “full gay” because he had been attracted to
trans men in the past. Understandably, that didn’t go over well at all, and he took to
Twitter to apologize. But he’d soon make headlines again, this time because he allegedly tried
to hit on a taken straight man. When Cosmopolitan reported on the YouTube
beauty drama with Westbrook in May 2019, it referenced a since-deleted tweet from popstar
Zara Larsson that accused Charles of trying to flirt with her boyfriend online. When Charles
explained that he hadn’t known the man was taken, and pointed out that Larsson herself
had also hit on her model boyfriend online before they were dating, Larsson deleted her
original tweet and issued an apology. Ever since Jeffree Star launched his YouTube
channel in 2006, the YouTube beauty guru has been something of a magnet for drama. But
nothing would quite compare to the backlash he faced in 2017, when decade-old videos surfaced
of the beautuber making racist comments. In June, Star posted the video “RACISM” to
his channel, in which he addressed his old comments and explained that he didn’t know
any better at the time. “It really makes me sick to my stomach to
watch those old videos because what I was saying is not what I represent.” Star spoke with Allure at the time and told
the magazine that he was sad to see his work discredited because of the things he’d said
in the past, which he said were done just to get a reaction. He told the publication, “You see one moment and it’s literally when
I’m 19-years-old. I’m 31 now and I look back at this and I think it’s so sad that I spoke
like that. I’m just tired of being accused of something I’m not.” “I owe you the truth, and I owe you an apology.
I am so sorry for my words. I am so sorry for everything that I’ve said in my past.” Jeffree Star and Kat Von D’s friendship spanned
an entire decade before Von D seemed to end things out of nowhere in July 2016, when she
posted a now-deleted Instagram photo of Star with his face crossed out. According to Refinery29,
she captioned it, “After years of making excuses for, and rationalizing
Jeffree’s inappropriate behavior (including promoting drug use, racism, and bullying)
I can no longer hold my tongue after recent events.” Von D then posted the video “Jeffree Star:
It’s so much easier to do the right thing,” which criticized the vlogger. She took issue
with the circumstances under which Star launched his own cosmetics line, which she claimed
were due in large part to her connections. One connection allegedly included designer
BJ Betts, whom Von D said was never paid for the work he did for Star. Star responded with his own video called “DEAR
KAT VON D: IT’S EASIER TO TELL THE TRUTH,” saying that things had progressed, quote,
“past the point of just internet drama” and claiming his family was being threatened.
Star said that things first broke down with Von D when she pulled out of investing in
his brand, but he was adamant that Betts had been compensated. In 2007, Kat Von D left TLC’s Miami Ink and
went on to star in her own California-based series, LA Ink. According to TMZ, an autographed
photo of Von D was delivered to her former boss that was signed with an anti-Semetic
image. Von D released a statement at the time denying the photo’s legitimacy, and said, “This was already proven many months ago to
be 100 percent untrue. I always have been, and will continue to be an advocate for tolerance
of all races, religions and ways of life.” “Just to set the record straight from the
beginning, I wanna say that I am not anti-Semetic.” Von D’s issues seemed to end there, until
2018, when according to Revelist, her beauty brand posted a now-deleted Instagram image
that many found to have racial undertones. In 2019, Von D took to her YouTube to denounce
the claims dating back to 2008, which she said were the result of fear that LA Ink would
replace Miami Ink. In June 2018, Kat Von D found herself on one
side of a heated debate regarding child vaccinations when she posted a since-deleted photo on Instagram
detailing her “pregnancy journey.” BuzzFeed originally reported the post, which was captioned, “Try being an openly pregnant vegan on Instagram,
having a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula, who has the
intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations.” Finally, in March 2019, Von D posted a response
video to her YouTube in which she flat-out denied being an “anti-vaxxer.” “I am not an anti-vaxxer. What I am is a first
time mother.” She went on to say that she experienced, quote,
“some hesitancy” after her initial research on vaccine ingredients. Von D finished by
explaining that she and her husband would be taking the advice of their pediatrician
and that she had learned her lesson. “I am choosing not to make our decision, or
any of our baby’s health records public, and I just wanna thank you guys for respecting
that.” In August 2018, YouTuber and Makeup Geek founder
Marlena Stell dropped a beauty bombshell on her channel, calling out the entire online
beauty community for alleged shady behind-the-scenes behavior. “I feel like I have a unique advantage, I’m
not only a brand owner now, but I’ve been an influencer for the last ten years.” In the video, titled “My truth regarding the
beauty community,” Stell explained that Makeup Geek hasn’t been featured in the beautuber
community in large part because it’s refused to pay the $60,000 price tag required to get
a shoutout. “I feel like I can take kind of a neutral
side and say I think both parties are part of the problem that has happened in the beauty
community right now, and I think it’s really sad.” Makeup artist Kevin Bennett immediately came
to Stell’s defense and backed up her claims with an Instagram post that outlined the price
list that one, quote, “top-level beauty influencer” gave him. It included a $75,000 to $85,000
dedicated negative review of a competitor’s product, of which Bennett said, “Yes, option #3 is legit, payment to damage
the competition’s business.” Marlena Stell wasn’t done with the YouTube
beauty community when she posted her “My truth” video in 2018. In June 2019, Stell released
“Dear Influencers,” an hour and a half-long video that outlined her decade-long drama
within the YouTube beauty community. “I’m sorry to be so blunt. I feel like my
honesty and integrity that I valued so much and tried so hard for 11 years to keep with
you guys has been dragged to filth, honestly.” Stell went on to address the Jaclyn Hill lipstick
scandal, surmising that Hill had gone to a lab that Stell’s company had previously passed
over on account of its lack of sanitary practices. Newsweek reported in late June that Hill had
deleted the entirety of her social media accounts due to the backlash she received following
Stell’s video. Hill’s final tweet reportedly said, “I deleted [my account] because I immediately
got hateful comments and although everything I stated is 1,000 percent true, I need to
protect my mental state [first] and foremost.” When the Dramageddon of beauty YouTubers hit
in 2018, one of its biggest casualties was Laura Lee, who had a racist tweet from 2012
resurface with disastrous results. According to Buzzfeed News, Lee issued a now-deleted
apology video on her YouTube page, but it didn’t seem to go over quite the way she had
expected. Responses were numerous and immediate, with people calling Lee out for allegedly
being disingenuous and trying to distance herself from her own actions. YouTuber Ready
to Glare posted a response to the original video and said: “Whether the tweets were retweeted or tweeted
originally by you, it doesn’t really matter, okay? Like, the intention of the tweet is
the same.” Across the internet, Lee’s apology became
known as little more than a joke. Huda Kattan is a beauty vlogger with a YouTube
following of over 3 million people as of August 2019. She focuses mostly on D.I.Y. tutorials
and beauty hacks, and, in 2013, she and her sisters launched Huda Beauty with a collection
of false eyelashes. The company has gone on to create even more makeup products, including
its Easy Bake Setting Powder, which caused a stir in June 2018. “Today I wanna talk to you guys about baking!” Fans pointed out that it closely resembled
a product line from a smaller company. When Huda Beauty announced its Easy Bake line
on Instagram, the reception was less than warm, with commenters accusing the beautuber
of stealing the idea from Beauty Bakerie Makeup, a cruelty-free brand whose tagline is, quote,
“better, not bitter.” Comments ranged from calling the line “familiar” to outright accusing
Huda Beauty of theft. In July 2018, Huda Beauty released an Instagram
video that didn’t quite address the accusations but instead gave an inside look into the alleged
“development process” for the campaign. For its part, Beauty Bakerie posted its own response
on Instagram, saying, “Hey Sweets, Everyone’s invited to the baking
party, even Huda.” Check out one of our newest videos right here!
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Author: Kennedi Daugherty

12 thoughts on “The Biggest Scandals to Ever Hit the YouTube Beauty Community

  1. How can you call this the beauty community? There isn’t enough makeup in the world to make this attractive. I don’t care about your gender or who you identify with but this is just butt ugly. On everyone. I’m glad my 17 year old niece learned this already when she followed and got laughed out of school.

  2. Jesus Christ, what is wrong with the youth of today? I'm so glad I'm old now. Christy Brinkley getting divorced was the biggest scandal we ever saw! And our models were true females and true males. The kids of today are so confused, they think make up makes the person! I feel bad for all the people who follow this stupid drama that has absolutely nothing to do with real life and real joy! Good luck in life, wackos!!

  3. … these disgusting, satanic creatures are destroying human society! All of Hollywood are just satan servants! Woman plays man and man plays woman …. Why do we accept that? It affects all of us …

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