- Tati Westbrook is a beauty influencer with more than 8 million subscribers on YouTube.
- She’s also the owner of supplement brand Halo Beauty.
- Westbrook announced in November 2021 that she’s shut down her namesake makeup brand.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It was dance, however, that she was especially passionate about. While appearing on a YouTube show called Dance Showdown in 2013, she said she “danced through” her teenage years and “loved it.”
Westbrook succeeded at both dance and acting, as she said in a 2016 YouTube video, because she “had this very professional mindset” as a child.
“I knew what I wanted out of life,” she said. “I thought I was gonna be super famous from the time I was 3. I thought that I was destined for success in the acting world. I was a dancer. I was like a little bitty thing, and I’d be like, ‘I’m a ballerina.’ I wouldn’t say, ‘I’m going to be a ballerina when I grow up.’ I owned it.”
From there, she taught herself the skills she needed to pursue a career in makeup. She didn’t go to college or attend cosmetology school, as she said in a 2016 YouTube video, even though she wanted to at the time. “I did not have the funds,” she said.
Still, she was able to make her dreams a reality by climbing up the beauty-industry ladder. She first worked as a “perfume sample lady,” then moved on to work at beauty counters in stores like Nordstrom in between a plethora of other jobs. Westbrook eventually began freelancing as a makeup artist.
While viewers knew her as both Tati and “GlamLifeGuru” — the former name of her YouTube channel — Westbrook would not share her last name, Krievins, at the time.
In a 2012 video titled “Get To Know Me,” Westbrook discussed keeping her last name a secret, saying: “My name is Tatiana. My middle name is Aleksandra. And my last name I’m keeping a big ole secret until I change it, which will be soon because I’m marrying the love of my life.”
Her husband James Westbrook later said they thought it would be easier on fans if she didn’t change her name at the start of her career.
“When Tati was gonna be in Allure magazine, they insisted on publishing her last name, and we’re like, ‘Well we’re getting ready to get married, why not just take my last name and start using it? So that’s what she did.”
He proposed to her through a video he filmed secretly with the help of fellow YouTubers, and the couple went on to document their five-year engagement on her channel. They later shared a video of their Hawaii wedding on January 20, 2017.
“So blessed to have this amazing soul in my life ❤️ @jamescharles,” she wrote. “Thank you for helping me feel so beautiful on such an important day — your talent is out of this world, but you as a person are even more impressive & special. I’m keeping you close as a friend forever. Love you so much Sister ???????????? “
In recent years, videos showing Westbrook’s massive unboxings of press packages and reviews of unconventional cosmetics products became staples of her channel. She also won one of Nylon’s first Beauty Innovator Awards in August 2018.
That’s why many of the influencer’s fans were surprised when she publicly confirmed her friendship with Jeffree Star, a controversial makeup mogul known for his feuds and scandals. And because both Westbrook and Star were friends with Charles at the time, they occasionally shared glimpses into their friendship online.
The supplements are said to deliver smoother skin, stronger nails, and hair growth within three weeks. They’re also free of soy, gluten, and sugar, and are vegan and cruelty-free.
Still, some people aren’t convinced. Not only are supplements not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but research also shows that vitamins like those from Halo Beauty can be “ineffective and in some cases harmful,” as Insider’s Julia Naftulin previously reported.
“Outside of simply being ineffective, supplements can cause adverse side effects,” Naftulin wrote. “Every year, around 23,000 Americans go to the emergency room due to a supplement-related incident.”
Westbrook criticized the YouTuber for being influenced by “fame, power, and a fat bank account,” and called him a “bad role model” for creating “over-sexualized” content. She also made serious claims about Charles, alleging that he leveraged his fame to sexually manipulate boys. Charles denied the unsubstantiated claims and Westbrook went on to delete the video, though it’s since been reposted by fans.
Star never produced substantive evidence to back up his claims, and later said during an appearance on the “Mom’s Basement” podcast that he didn’t know if a recording he claimed to have from an alleged victim of Charles’ was real.
Westbrook responded to the backlash once more on May 16 in a now-deleted video called “Why I Did It …” — in which she said: “I do really want the hate to stop. I want the picking sides and the abusive memes and the language and all of that, I really hope on both sides it can stop.”
Some influencers, like Gabriel Zamora and Nikita Dragun, came to the defense of Charles, who defended himself in a video titled “No More Lies” on May 18. In the video, he said: “I have never and would never and will never use my fame, money, or power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting, it is not me, and the fact that Tati brought this up blows my mind because she knows the real story.”
He also directly addressed Star in the video, saying the beauty influencer’s tweets and private messages to him were “hurtful, defamatory, extremely excessive,” and “based on lies.”
Charles said that he stands by his previous apology to Westbrook, and thanked both her and Star for taking some responsibility for their feud. Still, Charles shared screenshots showing that Tati and her husband did not respond when he tried to address their argument privately, and said one of the “most hurtful” things Westbrook did was publicly criticize his mother’s parenting.
As Insider’s Kat Tenbarge reported at the time, Dawson and his fiancé Ryland Adams denied Westbrook’s claims. Star, on the other hand, released a YouTube video on July 18 in which he also apologized to Charles and said his lawyers were looking into their options.
Westbrook has not posted on her YouTube channel or other social-media platforms since releasing her video.
The lawsuit claims Tati Westbrook and her husband James committed fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty, causing Halo Beauty and Swanson to suffer financially. Swanson is seeking more than $US25,000 ($AU33,773) in damages.
According to the court documents, Swanson claims that by selling beauty products and planning others under the Tati Beauty brand, the Westbrooks had gone against their agreement to “make Halo Beauty the umbrella brand for all of Tati’s future product lines, including cosmetics, skin care, and fragrances,” as Tenbarge wrote.
Tati and James Westbrook’s lawyers, as well as representatives for Tati Beauty, did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment on the lawsuit, and Halo Beauty declined to comment.
Tati, James, and their brands have not yet filed a counter-complaint, though their lawyers did respond to Swanson’s claims with a letter, which was shared exclusively by YouTuber Emily D. Baker. She said at the start of her video that she obtained the 188-page document from one of Tati’s lawyers.
The letter says Swanson was an “unreliable and unproductive” business partner, that he wasn’t truthful about his wealth and experience in the nutraceutical industry, and that there’s no documentation to back up Swanson’s lawsuit, among other claims. Swanson’s lawyers did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
She also posted a short video montage on her Instagram page with the caption: “I’m Back ????✨”
She also said she wouldn’t be addressing her past feuds, but confirmed that she hasn’t spoken to anyone in the beauty community “in over a year.” While Westbrook noted that she’s continued to be the CEO of Halo Beauty, she didn’t share any details about Tati Beauty. However, she said she’d discuss the brand in a future video.
She also discussed the lawsuit she’s involved in, and said she sold her home in Los Angeles to help financially support herself during litigation. Westbrook thanked her fans for their prayers throughout the process.
According to Westbrook, she and her husband “almost got divorced” during her time away. Though they’ve since gotten back together, as the YouTuber said in her video, she has lost her wedding ring, which she said she believes she accidentally donated.
Finally, Westbrook asked psychics, mediums, and tarot readers to not include her in videos that “involve divination.” She said she’s “closed that door in the spiritual realm,” and that it feels “really violating to have someone read your future without your permission and speak words of death over your life.”
While Westbrook noted that she’ll be sharing more about her time off in the near future, she’s mostly excited to create beauty content for her fans again.
“We are no longer selling products online, and I say that with a heavy heart,” Westbrook said in the video. “I have loved creating this brand, I had huge goals, dreams, visions, for the future.”
According to the YouTuber, the COVID-19 pandemic “definitely slowed things down,” in addition to struggles relating to ongoing litigation with her former business partner.
“So that kind of T-boned everything, and here we are,” she said.