Tati Westbrook, aka GlamLifeGuru, is an American YouTube personality who has managed to amass over nine million subscribers on the vlogging platform as of this writing. Westbrook is a self-proclaimed makeup addict who shares “unbiased product reviews, tips, hauls, and tutorial videos on drugstore and luxury beauty products,” according to her popular channel.
Westbrook vlogs about everything from product fails to trying on $1,000 worth of makeup to the best drugstore products. Her followers across all of her social media platforms turn to her for guidance on all things beauty — so much so that she regularly gets emotional on her YouTube channel about her connection to her community.
But there’s a whole lot more to the cosmetics guru than just her love of colorful eye shadows, perfect primers, and blush brushes. She’s a dedicated, multitalented, entrepreneurial go-getter — and she always has been. Read on to learn about the stunning transformation of Tati Westbrook.
Tati Westbrook was born on the day of love
Tati Westbrook was born on Valentine’s Day in 1982, but it’s not because of the Hallmark holiday that she’s showered in so much love on her birthday. It’s because she’s surrounded by good friends, family, and her caring husband that her birthday is so big each year. We’re talking flowers and fancy hotels to celebrate her special day, according to a tweet from the YouTube sensation. Oh, and of course “unforgettable” surprise parties.
To celebrate her birthday and the day of love in total GlamLifeGuru fashion, Westbrook offered free international shipping on her brands’ products in 2020, according to a video on her vlog. Of course, Westbrook hasn’t always celebrated her birthday with giveaways. “This is my first birthday where I have a cosmetic line so that’s pretty dang cool to me and i wanted to do something, you know?” the YouTuber explained in the video.
Dance was a big part of Tati Westbrook's life growing up
Tati Westbrook isn’t only great at creating the perfect smoky eye; she’s also a decent dancer. When she was growing up, dance was a big part of her life. Westbrook actually ended up dancing into her late teen years, she revealed on Dance Showdown. Westbrook further explained that dancing was once “a huge passion” of hers.
“When I was a kid … I knew what I wanted out of life, I thought I was going to be super famous … from the time I was three,” she said in a vlog about her life before YouTube. “I wouldn’t say, like, ‘I’m going to be a ballerina when I grow up.’ I owned it.”
While dance took up a big chunk of her childhood, it eventually took a backseat. She ultimately did not become a ballerina, but a YouTube sensation and makeup artist. Of course, both dance and makeup are expressive, creative outlets, so we’re not surprised that Westbrook’s journey panned out how it did.
Tati Westbrook was a child actress
Before Tati Westbrook ever became internet famous, she had dreams of becoming Hollywood famous. According to her IMDb page, Westbrook’s face was first known for appearing as a victim on Unsolved Mysteries in 1996 and as a sorority sister on Greek in 2007. Fans took to Reddit to share their excitement over spotting Westbrook in the episode of Unsolved Mysteries where she portrays Sarah Powell, a girl suffering from amnesia after her home was broken into by burglars.
It’s actually because of Westbrook’s childhood as an actress that she developed a love of makeup, the YouTuber revealed in an episode of Dance Showdown. While she was on sets for different projects, the young star became fascinated with the transformative power of cosmetics, she explained. Westbrook has “forever been a girly girl,” she continued, adding that it’s in her DNA. “Certain girls just have glitter running through their veins, and I’m one of them.”
Tati Westbrook worked a series of odd jobs before finding fame
Tati Westbrook moved out of her family home when she was just 18 years old. To support herself, she took up a number of equally “disgusting” and “totally fun” jobs, Westbrook explained in a vlog. She further revealed that she had “every random job out there.”
“I’ve had to do what I’ve had to do to pay rent and to support myself,” she said. “I come from a family that is very loving, but we don’t come from tons of money, and it’s not like I could call home and be like, ‘Hey, can you pay my rent?'”
So, instead, she folded clothes at Gap for $5.75 an hour. She was a “perfume sample lady,” which she remembers being such a “bad” job because her feet would burn from standing for hours on end. She filed paperwork for a production company for a time. She became a personal assistant. She was a cashier. She worked at Starbucks. She sold gemstones. She bartended. She “cleaned the anal glands” of dogs as a groomer at the pet shop. When Westbrook said she had “every random job,” she meant it.
Tati Westbrook met her husband online
In 2010, Tati Westbrook met her now-husband, James, on Match.com, according a vlog on Westbrook’s YouTube channel. Westbrook and her then-boyfriend told viewers that she was actually late to dinner on their first date because she went to the wrong restaurant.
That first night, Westbrook expressed to her future husband that she was totally over dating, according to her video. James felt the same way. If that date hadn’t lead anywhere, both planned to take a break from dating for a time. Of course, that’s not what happened.
In an Instagram post to recognize the couple’s ninth wedding anniversary, Westbrook wrote, “James said to me last night right before bed, ‘Thank you, love, for 9 incredibly happy years.’ It made me panic a little, because … those nine years came and went in the blink of an eye. When you worry about a lifetime not being enough … you’ve found the right love.” No, we’re not crying, you’re crying!
Before YouTube, Tati Westbrook was a freelance makeup artist
Tati Westbrook has practically always loved makeup and she’s long enjoyed doing it for others, which is why she freelanced as a makeup artist for quite some time, she explained in a vlog. The beauty guru said she feels proud of her work when people ask her what she did before becoming a YouTuber.
Westbrook paved her own path to becoming a freelance makeup artist and image consultant. She didn’t go the traditional route in that she doesn’t have a degree and she never even went to cosmetology school, she revealed in her video. That’s because, in the state of California, “it is not legally required for you to have a license if you are applying makeup,” Westbrook explained.
“You can absolutely work your way up and just have a nice kit, know your stuff, act professional on set, and really build your own business that way,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to go to makeup school,” Westbrook added. “I wanted to. I did not have the funds.”
Tati Westbrook started on YouTube with makeup tutorials
Tati Westbrook joined YouTube in November 2010, first sharing a since-hidden makeup tutorial. Although Westbrook has chosen to keep that video private, she did take to the platform in May 2017 to share her reaction to her first vlog, thus sharing snippets with fans. In her reaction video, Westbrook makes fun of her former self for applying makeup so up close and personal to the camera, sitting in front of the door with staged candles, and not having professional lighting.
Westbrook hasn’t hidden all of her old videos, though. Her first public vlog on her YouTube channel dates back to January 2011. In that video, she can be seen reviewing Buxom’s then-new smoky eye stick. The review was a glowing one, giving the stick four as opposed to five stars because it was “a teensy-weensy little bit on the soft side” and difficult to work with.
From the start of her YouTube career, Westbrook has been honest with her viewers about both the pros and cons about products. And she’s even let her personality shine through. At the end of the January 2011 video, she agrees to getting a bucket of water dumped on her face and squirted with a garden hose just to test the smoky eye stick’s waterproof claims.
James Westbrook proposed to Tati with a surprise video
Tati Westbrook and her now-husband James got engaged back in 2012. James proposed by surprising the YouTuber with a video that she later shared on her channel, titled, “My Surprise Marriage Proposal.” Westbrook had clearly been waiting for James to pop the question as she said in the video that she had “been that psycho chick” always getting ready for a possible proposal.
“I’m thinking that we go to the movie theater and it’s going to say, ‘Will you marry me?’ on the movie screen,” she revealed. “I go to the gym and I think I better look cute because it might happen.”
She even admitted that she’d been waiting for him to ask her to marry him since the day she met him. And, in the video, she got her wish. With the help of her YouTube friends, James made an adorable video proposing to his future wife. He had her watch the video at dinner and then proposed in person.
In 2013, Tati Westbrook competed on a competitive dance web series
Although Tati Westbrook had drifted away from dancing, she had an opportunity to show off her moves once again. In 2013, the beauty YouTuber competed on the thirds season of the competitive dance show Dance Showdown in which eight YouTubers danced for a chance to win $50,000. She, alongside her professional dance partner Matt Steffanina, went up against fellow YouTubers, including Lindsey Stirling, Meghan Camarena, and Steve Kardynal.
While we think that Westbrook totally crushed it on the dance show, she actually wishes she could forget it ever happened. In a 2018 tweet about the competition, she wrote, “OMG I wish I could erase this from my brain! The dance, outfit, hair, and makeup. I didn’t pick ANY of it, and the judge telling me that it would be better to wear a skimpy outfit so people would look at my body not my moves. SMH.” SMH, indeed.
Tati Westbrook's first brand shocked fans
In 2018, some years after finding success on YouTube, Tati Westbrook launched her very first brand, Halo Beauty. The makeup artist’s brand promotes beauty from the inside out with vitamins. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Westbrook admitted that many of her fans were surprised to see her launch a vitamin brand instead of a makeup or skincare line. But, skin health is important to the makeup maven.
Westbrook named her brand Halo Beauty because she wanted everyone to feel included under the “halo,” she said in her brand announcement video in February 2018. As an all-inclusive brand, there is something for everyone, she explained in her video. And it’s “good” and “pure,” you know, like a halo.
“You do not have a ‘special blend’ where you can’t see exactly what you’re getting,” she said. Being transparent with her consumers like she’s transparent with her viewers was so important in the making of Halo Beauty.
Tati Westbrook waited years to launch her makeup brand
In 2019, Tati Westbrook launched Tati Beauty, a cruelty-free and vegan makeup brand, that took seven years to “do it right,” according to Westbrook. “It doesn’t happen overnight. Color cosmetics is the kind of thing that you really want to do right, and you only have one shot at it — especially with the pressure of being someone like myself who reviews product on the daily,” she said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Westbrook spent years testing out formulas with each half of her face done up in different swatches. She kept a list of all the things that she wanted to make sure she ticked off for each product, she told Entertainment Tonight. Westbrook avoided collaborating with established brands as many beauty YouTubers have done and instead waited to launch her own brand — despite how many years it took and how much money she missed out on. In fact, she told E! that she’d actually once turned down a $5 million dollar deal.
This is why Tati Westbrook took a break from YouTube in 2019
Despite putting in years of hard work on her YouTube channel, Tati Westbrook decided to take a mental break from it all in 2019 following a fallout with the first male face of CoverGirl and fellow beauty YouTuber James Charles.
Westbrook was once a mother figure to Charles, who called her “mom,” according to Elle. She regularly promoted his channel and work and he even did her wedding makeup, the publication reported. But at Coachella in 2019, Charles posted an Instagram story promoting Sugar Bear Hair, a competitor of Westbrook’s vitamin brand, Halo Beauty.
While Charles posted an Instagram story apologizing to Westbrook, according to Elle, Westbrook ultimately uploaded a 40-minute video titled “Bye Sister” explaining why she no longer wanted to be associated with him. The whole ordeal was so dramatic that Westbrook actually needed to take a breather and opted not to post videos while she coped with it all. She tweeted that her heart was just “too heavy.” Although Westbrook returned to the vlogging platform the following month, the drama has only grown larger and encompassed more YouTubers by June 2020.
Tati Westbrook has taken up playing the piano in 2020
It’s clear that Tati Westbrook is a creative genius. She’s a makeup guru, a dancer, an entrepreneur, and also apparently a pianist. That’s right, Westbrook started learning how to play the piano in 2020 as a form of meditation, she said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
She also shared a video clip of her playing the piano on her Instagram. In her caption to the video, she shared how “piano became [her] ‘thing’ this past year” thanks to the gift from her husband, James, and she revealed that she’d actually been working on learning a song for some six months.
The YouTube star also tweeted about her love of and obsession with piano, despite the fact that it had once intimidated her. In addition to learning the piano, Westbrook had also been honing her voice. “To sing my own songs while playing has been a lifelong goal I’m starting to accomplish,” she dished. And she’s a beautiful singer, too! In another tweet, Westbrook said she was “grateful for the safe space” music provides.
Tati Westbrook stepped back from YouTube to start a family and handle some legal drama
Tati Westbrook decided to take a break from YouTube in 2019 while she and her husband James attempted to grow their family. “James and I are trying to have a baby and we are actively pursuing fertility treatments and kind of figuring out what’s going to work best for us,” she said in the January video. The YouTube star admitted that she was “stretched too thin” between running her “indie brand and [her] channel five days a week.” She admitted that it was just “not working for me anymore.”
That said, Westbrook didn’t totally give up YouTube. She remained active on the platform up until May 2020, when she took a long pause that lasted almost until July. When Westbrook returned, she let fans know why she’d been “silent” again. In her video, she talked about her aforementioned scandal with James Charles and, under the guidance of her legal team, alleged that fellow YouTubers Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson “coerced and manipulated” her into making the infamous “Bye Sister” video directed at Charles in 2019. Eventually, she said she hopes to get back to her regular material on YouTube.
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