Late last week, TikTok was bombarded with scandal after the now infamous ‘MascaraGate’ in which beauty influencer Mikayla Nogueira posted a paid partnership TikTok video for a L’Oreal Paris mascara. The video is a standard before and after try on format but users have accused Nogueira of wearing fake eyelashes while singing the praises of a lash-enhancing product.
Nogueira boasts over 14.4 million followers and her video is paired with the caption, “THESE ARE THE LASHES OF MY DREAMS!!” In the 44-second clip, which received over 23 million views, Nogueira claims “this literally just changed my life, I am speechless, and I’m not sure anyone’s gonna ever be able to compete with this mascara.”
The video received over 47,800 comments, many of which doubted the end result of the product and accused Nogueira of wearing synthetic lashes.
The same day Nogueira posted the video, mega celebrity beauty influencer Jefree Star shared a video to his TikTok account, where he has 3.6 million followers, in which he spoke to the camera and said, “you’ve woken up the motherfucking beast” and said he planned to start reviewing makeup again, including “mascara and certain things I hear may be fraudulent.” The video received over 10.6 million views and 58,700 comments. “Jeffree coming for Mikayla. I am ALIVE,” one comment read, which received over 23,500 likes.
Star’s video, which now boasts over 9 million views, states his belief that other influencers lied about products after being paid by the brands. He concluded the video by saying the mascara was “cute and very affordable” but it wasn’t the greatest thing on the planet and said, “I’m not getting paid to say that.”
Star is a notorious figure on the beauty guru scene. He was accused of violent and abusive behaviour during the late 2000s. He also isn’t the only controversial beauty guru weighing on ‘Mascaragate’ with James Charles also coming to the forefront. Charles’ reputation never fully recovered post several sexual abuse allegations and he has been accused of behaving inappropriately various times since. In March 2021 he addressed allegations that he had sent sexually explicit text messages to minors, saying he was “reckless” and “desperate.”
Yet, on Friday, Charles posted a TikTok video with the caption, “An UNsponsored L’oreal Telescopic Mascara review.” In the video, which received over 3.7 million views, Charles said he would try the mascara that “has been causing quite a little bit of drama on social media.” In the video, Charles said he was not paid to talk about the product, “unlike a lot of the other videos going up right now.”
Perhaps the most intelligent response and exclamation has been made by beauty YouTuber Raw Beauty Kristi who spoke out on TikTok saying that “I think it’s our responsibility and duty as influencers to keep our authenticity. It’s what we have.”
So far, both Nogueira and L’Oréal have declined publication invitations to comment.