YouTube’s beauty gurus, ranked from most to least popular

YouTube’s beauty gurus, ranked from most to least popular

5. James Charles comes in last place with an incredibly low net favorability rating of -50.5%.

james charles

James Charles.

Steve Marcus/Reuters


In last place is James Charles, who burst into mainstream fame when he became the first male CoverGirl ambassador in 2016 after a recreation of his senior portrait where he was wearing makeup went viral. From there, he built a strong brand partnership with Morphe Cosmetics, and released his own eyeshadow pallette in 2018.

While he bounced back after Westbrook’s takedown video, his controversies were far from over. 

In February, a TikTok user named Isaiyah claimed that Charles sent him nude images of himself. Charles denied “grooming” in a video, saying Isaiyah did not disclose his age while they were speaking. Several other boys who said they were under the age of 18 when talking with Charles also came forward. According to an Insider poll taken around this time, Charles’ net favorability rating was -11.9%.

Charles took a break, then posted a video in which he apologized for not verifying the ages of people he was sexting with, saying he was “desperate” for a love connection. 

Despite everything, Charles remains YouTube’s biggest beauty creator with 24.7 million subscribers. But his reputation, both among fans and fellow influencers, has taken a massive hit. 

Of the 17.6% of respondents who said they knew Charles, 6.2% liked him, while 56.7% disliked him, giving him a net favorability of -50.5%.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,105 respondents between August 16-17, 2021 with a 3 percentage point margin of error.

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