Celebrity relationships and friendships are a rare breed. These famous faces have their lives played out in front of the masses, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the straight-up shady. In Elite Daily’s new series, It’s Complicated, we’re highlighting the biggest celebrity “feuds” that took over Hollywood and dominated our Sunday brunches for weeks on end. We’ll take a deep dive into the lives and social media feeds of our favorite stars and dissect what happened in front of the camera, what went down behind the scenes, and everything you might have missed in between.
The James Charles and Tati Westbrook drama is finally over, but fans of the YouTube beauty influencers aren't going to get over it for a long time. The two makeup artists' subscriber counts were heavily impacted by the feud, with Charles losing (and then regaining) a bunch of followers, and Westbrook gaining a lot more than she had previously. The most awkward thing about it all was the fact that Charles and Westbrook were, by all appearances, the closest of friends before Westbrook ignited their feud. They even ran in the same social circles, as made clear by all of the mutual friends James Charles and Tati Westbrook have in common.
In case you haven't heard of all of this beauty influencer drama, James Charles and Tati Westbrook are both beauty vloggers on YouTube with millions of subscribers. Westbrook, 37, has been posting videos to her channel since 2011, and Charles, 20, is much newer to the beauty vlogging game. When Charles moved out to Los Angeles, Westbrook took him under her wing and they became close friends.
Charles' channel skyrocketed in popularity, resulting in him being the first YouTube beauty vlogger to be invited to the Met Gala. Just days after his first appearance at fashion prom, Westbrook posted a nearly 45-minute video titled "Bye Sister" in which she accused Charles of predatory behavior, accused him of betraying her by supporting a rival hair care brand during Coachella, and even made room for a message to his mother charging her to take better care of her sons. The shade. Elite Daily reached out to Charles and Westbrook's teams for comment at the time, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
After Jeffree Star (another YouTube beauty vlogger) disparaged Charles online and Charles posted two of his own response videos that seemingly contradicted Westbrook's claims, the dust has settled and Charles, Westbrook, and Star have all made statements saying they're dropping the issue. Cut, print, moving on, I guess.
This drama, if you can imagine, shook the YouTuber world, so let's break down the people these two vloggers have in common.
1. Each other...
As previously stated, Charles and Westbrook were close friends before their rift. The two were so close, in fact, Charles did Westbrook's makeup for her wedding, and they made a video about it.
"You're just one of the nicest people, too. I just adore you, so thank you for doing this," Westbrook says in the video.
"Well, it's an honor to be able to paint my best friend today. And be here for her wedding day," Charles replies.
Yup! These two were definitely close!
2. Jeffree Star
Westbrook, Charles, and Jeffree Star frequently made collab videos together as well. If not as a trio, then in various pairings. They all referred to each other as "sisters" (Charles' pet name for both his fandom and people he loves) and loved to get glam together. Their most recent video together was posted in January 2019.
Star, Charles, and Westbrook were all close enough for Star to feel the need to insert himself into the drama, so safe to say they were all tight-knit group.
3. Nikita Dragun
Dragun was actually part of the drama with Westbrook. When Charles explained his side of things in his video response unpacking Westbrook's accusations, he showed screenshots of the text conversation he had with the beauty influencer at Coachella.
The screenshots showed that Charles felt uncomfortable in the V.I.P. section of Coachella (which any fan can buy access to) and asked Dragun to help him score an artist pass for him and his friends (which fans cannot buy). Dragun, who received an artist pass herself from Sugarbear Hair Vitamins company, helped him out. Sugarbear Hair is a rival haircare brand to Westbrook's HALO Beauty, so Charles posting on Instagram about the company made her feel betrayed and it's what spurred all of this drama.
For just a little more added context, Charles and Dragun have collaborated on videos together before as well.
4. Shane Dawson
Dawson has been an internet staple for years. One of the original famous YouTubers, he's a big part of the YouTube community and knows a lot of people in it as a result. He frequently appears in Jeffree Star's videos, like the one where he and Star test out and review the Kylie Skin products.
It's not just Star's videos Dawson has appeared in, though. He appeared in a video on Charles' channel in March 2018.
And in April 2019, Westbrook hinted that a video collaboration with Shane Dawson was on the way, as she posted a video with Dawson to her Snapchat story talking about upcoming work.
He also posted about the collab on his Twitter, saying Westbrook had been a healing presence in his life.
Dawson's response to the Westbrook and Charles drama was emotional, given his close relationships with everyone involved.
"Feeling sad. Everything feels so dark right now," Dawson said in a tweet in May referencing the feud. His statement continued,
Even though I believe some people need to be humbled I also could never enjoy watching someone go through something like this. Today I wanna focus on the good stuff. I feel like I have tea poisoning from seeing all this drama. Send a nice text to a friend today. Give someone a hug. Tweet a link to ur favorite music video. I dunno... Something nice. I feel like we all need that right now.
Clearly, this feud hit a lot of hearts in the YouTube community.
5. Patrick Starrr
These beauty influencers have never done a collaboration together, but being in the same industry, the influencers frequently review each other's products, attend the same parties, etc. Starrr and Charles were both at Kylie Jenner's Kylie Skin launch party, for example.
That party, of course, was after the Westbrook drama had ended. (Charles got a little heat from fans for going to the party and posting about it despite saying he was taking a social media break. He responded saying it was a break, not a hiatus.) At RuPaul's DragCon LA 2019, Starrr gave his take on the Charles and Westbrook drama in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
"I'm glad it's over! We can get back to what we are meant to be doing," Starrr told the outlet. "And the only drama that Patrick Starrr has is on the eyes. Glitter, lashes, that is what I am here for!"
Referencing the Kylie Skin launch party, Starrr said, "I spoke to James [at the party]. He is alive, he is well, he is healthy and that's what I think is most important — that he is here on this Earth to live his truth and share his inspiration with his millions of fans."
Starrr continued, "And, as you know, for all of them, we are here and we have a responsibility and we've been blessed with our platforms to do what we were meant to do, which is makeup."
It's safe to say Westbrook and Charles' lives were very interconnected before their "sister" bond was broken.
Only time will tell if these two beauty vloggers put their drama aside and rebuild this burned bridge.