Top 5 Controversial Beauty Gurus: James Charles

Most people know James Charles because of his iconic senior yearbook photo that showed a very prominent highlight. However, since his debut into the social media realm, he has placed himself into a lot of controversy and drama. Photoshop is a controversy a lot of beauty gurus have found themselves in over the years, especially on Instagram. His iconic highlighter photo turned out to be edited to make the highlight seem as shiny as it was. This would not be an issue; however, he led people to believe that it was not photoshopped. He claimed that he got the highlight to appear like that using only a ring light. A lot of people were very upset about it because they felt like they were lied to, which they kind of were.

Another scandal he had found himself in is when he was on a trip to Africa and made a joke about Ebola. The tweet read “I can’t believe we are going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola? James we are fine we could’ve gotten it at chipotle last year….” Ebola was a huge world crisis at the time that it became prominent, with its start being in Africa. Normally an Ebola joke would not have made such big news; however, it was directed towards a whole continent. At the time James was still young and I do not think that he realized how big he really was. His comment was met with a lot of backlash and people were very upset with him. When he left Africa, he made a post on Instagram with a beautiful photo that he took on the plane. The caption basically wrote about how he was very sorry for his tweet and that he talked with some kids at a local high school in Africa about his ignorance. He also learned a lot on his trip about how privileged he really is, and how much he takes it for granted.

The last, and most recent, scandal I will be discussing that James Charles was involved in involved when he was unveiling his new palette. James Charles created a collaboration palette with Morphe Cosmetics. This palette contains 39 shades and has a retail value of 34 dollars. The palette contains mostly colorful shades with a row of neutral shades in larger pans in the middle. Morphe in and of itself is a very controversial makeup company; however, in this case it is both the brand and influencer. In his video unveiling his palette and doing swatches, there were many suspicious swatches occurring. Every once in a while, the camera would cut out and then in the next scene you could see his carefully swatching. To the naked eye you may not be able to catch it; however, if you show it down and zoom in you notice something that was hidden. What happened was that James Charles was swatching his eyeshadows over already placed swatches. It is assumed that when the camera cut out, he went and placed some of the eyeshadow down before he cut back in and “live-swatched it”. This is a really sneaky move and he is lying to his fans, and purchasers of his palette about what the eyeshadows really swatch as.

Overall, in my opinion James is young and still very naïve and ignorant about the world. He has come into a lot of money through his social media and does not always realize what the real world is like. I do believe that like other people James has had his fair share of hardships; however, he is privileged. I think that the first two scandals are pretty small, and I do not think that it is the worst of the worst. Definitely the Ebola tweet was distasteful and inappropriate, however, he did apologize for it and was very open with the students at the school. The last scandal in my mind is the worst because he is lying to his fans and consumers. If he would have done a real “live-swatch” the swatches may not be the best, though he could just pack it on a bit. He should be open with his fans about what quality that they should be expecting when purchasing his palette. Also, swatches are not always the best test for how they will apply on the eyes, and he could have claimed that they apply better on the eyes. I am not a huge James Charles fan; however, I do not think he is the scum of the earth. He is a kid and makes mistakes; however, he needs to know that his actions have repercussions.