What would a beauty launch be without a little drama served up on the side? After beauty YouTuber James Charles announced on Friday that he was releasing his first eyeshadow palette in collaboration with Morphe, he shared a video in which he gave a sneak peek of the 39 shades included in his multi-colored palette, saying they blend both eyeshadows, and pressed pigments.
For those unfamiliar with the terminology, Charles explained that while eyeshadows include other ingredients, pressed pigments are simply pure color pigments with no added ingredients that are pressed into an eyeshadow pan.
"Pressed pigments allow you to create the most vibrant product ever and I'm so incredibly proud of these. As an artist, I will say straight up to you guys, some of these pigments are a little bit harder to work with, just because you have to use slightly different techniques. But once you figure them out, they are so incredibly beautiful," he said.
The makeup artist proceeded to demonstrate how to apply the pigments and what primer/concealer to use as a base. Some viewers, however, had a problem with his swatches, accusing him of faking them to enhance the final result.
@burningASHES, wrote, “Lowkey I was really liking James Charles new palette. That black shade was super pigmented... until I noticed that the swatch he does of the shade was on top of another swatch?” Meanwhile, @johnjvogt1, added, “Wow can you dig into those shadows anymore? What fake swatches. I’d love to see a quick one-two swatch with minimal pressure. Then we’ll see how “pigmented” this sh-t is. Lol.”
Charles wasted no time in responding, tweeting, “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. ☺️”
Last year, Charles was embroiled in another online spat when he reviewed Rihanna's Fenty Beauty line. Some claimed he didn’t know what he was doing after he used what some said was the wrong shade of foundation during his review, as well as the wrong sponge to apply makeup.
Charles fed up with the negativity shot back, writing, "Ya'll (sic) are so f--king annoying. If we like a product then we're 'being paid' and if we don't then we're 'hating'." He then threatened to quit social media, saying, "my job isn't fun anymore, the internet is the meanest and saddest people in the world grouped together to hate on one another it's so tiring."
It should be noted that Charles is only 19 years old. Much of the criticism is no doubt due to his relative inexperience. Also, he is self-taught, having said he learned everything he knows from YouTube tutorials and experimenting mostly on himself.
In addition, his decision to be his own spokesmodel has probably ruffled a few feathers since society is still not accustomed to a man embracing makeup so openly in a non-drag setting. As his presence in the beauty field expands, he will surely have to ignore a lot of the internet chatter associated with being a social media personality.
Although YouTube makeup gurus have been the subject of criticism before, Charles’ decision to shut down the drama quickly this time around seems to speak to his commitment to continue to engage his fans and detractors as he moves up the beauty ladder. His 39 Shade Artistry Palette will debut on November 13.