The Real Story Behind That #MakeupBae Drama

Photographed by Tracy Wang.
Within the last few months, we've been sucked in to day-long Twitter debates, thanks to #HurtBae, #UberBae, #BootBae, and #StrandedBae.
But the latest drama is one that's especially near to our lipstick-loving hearts: the saga of #MakeupBae. While most people were gearing up for the Fourth of July, Florida-based makeup artist Tallia Lee was spilling one gripping narrative. You can read the whole story on her page, but the SparkNotes version is as follows: Lee got a text from a client who wanted her face done for Valentine's Day. While Lee performed her magic, the client asked about Lee's boyfriend. Said boyfriend came home during the session with flowers and romantic gifts. The conniving client eventually slides into Lee's boyfriend's inbox and makes an attempt to steal her man:
Better than the soaps, right? Sadly, the makeup artist burst everyone's bubble today and revealed that the whole story was fake. "It started off as a joke," she tells Refinery29. "My intentions weren't to make up such a dramatic story but as more and more people became interested, so did I! Just as others wanted to know what would happen next, I did as well. I used to write a lot as an adolescent. I would fill up notebooks with super dramatic short stories, so this was nothing new. It didn't take very long to come up with the plot. My imagination just flowed."
Eventually, she ran out of creative juice due to her nonstop notifications... and a few overeager followers who were sliding into her boyfriend's DMs IRL — just like the story. "I had to reveal that it was fake because people began bugging him about it," she says. "I didn't want it to cost me my relationship. I also had to remember that this whole thing turned from a joke to a lie, very quickly. And I don't want to detract from the legitimacy of my craft. It's something that I take very seriously. While it's fun being #MakeupBae, I want to be booked for my talent, rather than my social status."
That same social status that she speaks of is accelerating as we speak: Lee says that she's gained over 8,000 Twitter followers and 4,000 views on her YouTube page. "I find it heartwarming that people are actually interested in my makeup skills," she says. "And people are inquiring about booking. I do believe that I will gain exposure, but I hope that it's due to my talent and not the story."
If that original story were true, though, she already had a revenge glam look in mind: "a super-sexy smoky eye, similar to the look that my fake client would've received," she says. "With a bold red lip. No glitter or anything. Something that gives the impression that I am to be taken seriously."
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