Tati Westbrook, perhaps better known as GlamLifeGuru, is a household name for those in the beauty scene who haven’t been living under a rock. Having been on YouTube for over 7 years, Tati is a beauty-vlogging veteran — and with over 3.8 million followers on that platform alone, she’s well-respected in the community. She’s given millions of viewers makeup and skincare tips throughout the years, and her (at times, brutally) honest reviews earned their trust. So when the news came out early in 2018 that she soon would be launching her own brand, millions were thrilled.
We couldn’t wait to see what her first item would be — an eyeshadow palette? A set of makeup brushes? A skincare line? Her brand unveiling on February 28th shocked most by being none of those things. Halo Beauty’s first item would be a vitamin.
Tati explained the surprise with her philosophy that beauty should be from the inside out. But despite the sweet sentiment and her story of passion behind the product, the negative backlash was almost immediate. Questions about her qualifications for making a vitamin and its ingredients turned into personal attacks and threats to her family — enough to warrant her disabling the comment section on her announcement video.
Of the many concerns (and at the extreme, conspiracy theories) about Halo Beauty, there were two primary ones. The first: we trust Tati with our makeup and skincare tips, but how can we trust someone who isn’t a medical professional with a hair, skin, and nails vitamin?
Second, why was it so expensive? Many criticized her for labeling the product as “affordable,” when each 1-month supply of vitamins is $39.95… before shipping. Before deletion of the comment section, many voiced that they could not afford to spend upward of $480 on vitamins per year.
A week after her initial announcement of the brand, Tati made a 52-minute YouTube video addressing concerns about her brand. In it, she responded to these two pressing points. Regarding the first concern of trusting her with our health, she defended herself against the accusation that this was a new endeavor for her. Citing her video from years ago, she argued that she’d always been an advocate for taking vitamins and drinking a lot of water. She also reminded her skeptics that it wasn’t her whipping up a formula in her beauty studio, she worked with a board of qualified professionals to determine the formulation of her vitamin.
In her video, she addressed the price of her vitamins by emphasizing the quality of its ingredients — namely, Ceramide rX. According to Tati, this is the superstar ingredient and the reason for the formula’s price. When applied topically, cermamide is a skin softener. Processing this lipid for consumption is a fairly new breakthrough, one that Tati believes is the next hype — enough so that she and her husband, James, bought its patent. The ingredient costs a whopping $2,500 per kilo, whereas the most expensive ingredient in another commercial vitamin brand is $600 per kilo.
After publishing the video, the tides seemed to change. Though many still had their questions, the comment section showed a wave of renewed support. This support translated to sales — Halo Beauty made upwards of $1 million on its first day.