Beauty vloggers and former friends James Charles and Tati Westbrook have had a massive falling out, and it has cost Charles millions of YouTube subscribers. Charles, who has a partnership with Morphe and was the first male face of CoverGirl, has seen his subscriber count drop from roughly 16 million to 14 million in just days. There’s even a channel dedicated to monitoring his subscriber count.
Fans felt Charles owed Westbrook an apology after a dustup over the brand of hair supplements being promoted by Charles caused Westbrook to post a scathing video bidding farewell to their friendship.
James Charles entered the YouTube makeup vlogging world three years ago, when he was just 16, with a video called “BLUE/BROWN SERPENT Makeup Tutorial.”
Soon after his debut, Westbrook, an early entrant in the YouTube beauty scene, reached out to Charles and became something of a mentor to the young beauty vlogger. Westbrook and Charles’ bond was so close that she had him do her wedding makeup when he was just 17.
However, that all changed recently.
Discord between the pair started this April, during Week One of Coachella, when James promoted Sleep Vitamins by SugarBearHair on his Instagram stories. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but Westbrook, the founder of Halo Beauty, saw it as a betrayal.
SugarBearHair is a competitor to Halo Beauty, and Westbrook dropped a 40-minute video entitled “BYE SISTER ...” (Charles often opens his videos, “Hi, sisters”) explaining why she was upset with him.
Westbrook said in her video that Charles claimed he never promoted her brand on any of his channels because he didn’t want to promote supplements to his young audience. She said she felt like Charles had used her and her husband, because they negotiated deals on his behalf and promoted his palette on her channel.
She also said she needed to cut ties due to his problematic behaviour, which included accusations of sexual misconduct. Refinery29 has reached out to both parties for further comment.
Following Westbrooks video dropping, Charles responded with his own video, called “tati,” with what seemed like a sincere apology.
In the eight-minute video, a makeup-free Charles apologizes to Tati for "everything that I put you through.
"A lot of the time when I've had to address things in the past, I've acted out of impulse and I've gone off and tried to pull receipts or facts or screenshots and play the victim,” he said. "I'm not doing that today, I'm not. That is all I have to say, I'm sorry."
The 19-year-old denied he had ever pressured someone into dating him but conceded he had perhaps mishandled situations in the past.
"I have learned the hard way about boys that I am interested in, and also ones that I should or shouldn't be talking to,” Charles said.
Westbrook has yet to respond.