One of beauty vlogger James Charles’ closest allies has turned against him. Fellow cosmetics guru Jeffree Star is the latest celebrity to take sides in the YouTube war between James Charles and his former mentor Tati Westbrook.
Westbrook, who owns Halo Beauty, a brand of beauty supplements, claimed Charles had betrayed her after he promoted one of her competitor’s products, Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins. She also made salacious accusations regarding Charles use of his fame to sexually manipulate straight men in a 45-minute video titled “Bye Sister” that she posted on YouTube.
The takedown has resulted in Charles losing nearly three million subscribers on his YouTube channel, while Westbrook has gained nearly five millions new followers. After Westbrook had reached six million subscribers on YouTube last weekend, Star congratulated her on the feat, tweeting, “HUGE congratulations to the makeup queen @GlamLifeGuru on hitting 6 MILLION subscribers on YouTube today!!! You are one of a kind.”
As her subscriber count continued to increase, Star followed up with another tweet, “OOPS, I must have been high yesterday. Sorry, @GlamLifeGuru! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on hitting 8 MILLION subscribers!!!!" He also responded to Charles’ younger brother, Ian Jeffrey, who had tweeted in defense of his brother. The post, which has since been deleted, said, “Why is your brother a predator?? Why’d you really move back to NYC? Exactly. Shut the f*** up.”
Star also stated in another tweet that has also been removed, "There is a reason that [my partner] Nathan [Schwandt] banned James Charles from ever coming over to our home again. There's a reason why I haven't seen him since [Tati]'s birthday in February. He is a danger to society. Everything Tati said is 100% true."
Star has followed in the footsteps of other celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Shawn Mendes and Katy Perry, who have unfollowed Charles on Twitter and Instagram. Last Halloween, Jenner took part in a video on Charles’ channel in which he created a “sister skeleton” look for her. Although Charles posted an apology to Westbrook on Saturday, the damage has been done.
James Charles has been problematic for years. Why did it take a video from a former friend to take him down? https://t.co/JEppMir0Kb— Mashable (@mashable) May 13, 2019
It’s still unclear how this controversy will affect Charles’ collaboration with Morphe, the beauty brand behind his James Charles Palette. As of today, the product is still available online at Morphe and Ulta Beauty. Since last weekend, former fans have been posting videos in which they are seen destroying or defacing the palette, while others have gone directly to Ulta Beauty shops to attempt to return the product.
Charles, 19, launched his YouTube channel on December 1, 2015, while he was still in high school. A self-taught make-up artist, he eventually gained a loyal following and was recruited as the first male brand ambassador for CoverGirl in October of 2016. Since then, he has accumulated an estimated net worth of $12 million and his Morphe Cosmetics palette has sold out multiple times. It remains to be seen if this latest controversy, which is still brewing, will affect his career long term.