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    Here's What Happened With All The Drama Surrounding "Mascara Gate" On Creator Mikayla Nogueira's TikTok

    "I'm sure we all know why we've gathered here today."

    If your TikTok FYP has been overwhelmed with videos about mascara lately, have no fear, for I have decided to embark upon a needlessly thorough breakdown of what's been happening with beauty influencer Mikayla Nogueira.

    Mikayla stands with her hands clasped in front of her as she smiles for the camera at a red carpet event

    It all started on Jan. 24, when Mikayla posted a video about L'Oréal's Telescopic Lift mascara, saying in the opening, "This literally just changed my life. This looks like false lashes."


    THESE ARE THE LASHES OF MY DREAMS!! @lorealparisusa never lets me down 😭 #TelescopicLift #LorealParisPartner #LorealParis @zoehonsinger

    ♬ original sound - Mikayla Nogueira

    Now, here is a side-by-side of Mikayla after first applying the mascara and at the end of the video. We'll get into it more later, but some people accused her of wearing false lashes.

    Now, it's important to note that this isn't any review — it's a partnership with L'Oréal. You would be forgiven for not realizing that this was part of a paid partnership, because where Mikayla wrote "L'Oréal Paris Partner" is directly covered by the caption of the video (assuming you're viewing on mobile) and only appears for a few seconds.

    Mikayla explicitly denied using false lashes in a series of now-deleted comments:

    Mikayla responded to an accusation by saying she only applied "just three/four coats"

    And, in particular, evoked her partnership with L'Oréal in doing so:

    Mikayla says L'Oreal would never all that in a partnered post"

    The criticism aimed at Mikayla accusing her of using false lashes and being misleading — at worst, a symptom of mistrust in beauty influencing everywhere — was swift. The so-called "mascara gate" even brought disgraced beauty influencer and alleged abuser Jeffree Star out of retirement. Part of the commentary took on a meta quality — as some pointed out, the culprit here was "just mascara."

    So, what was Mikayla's response to all this? A rep for her (and L'Oréal, for that matter) did not respond to my request for comment — but after more than a week of not posting, she has since published three Valentine's Day–themed videos. She begins the first video by exhaling and saying, "I'm sure we all know why we've gathered here today...It's the month of love, bitches!"

    Mikayla continued to allude to the controversy in the comments:

    Someone in the comments said "The start of the video [two laughing, crying emojis] to which Mikayla responded with a wide-eyed emoji

    But did not address anything head-on:

    One person said "What about the elephant in the room lol" to which Mikayla replied "I speak about elephants in the next video"

    Although she did respond to questions about her lashes in her most recent video testing liquid lipstick:

    Out of an interest in beauty influencing more broadly, BuzzFeed reached out to @fatherrlex, a beauty TikToker who has 624.3K followers and posted about "mascara gate." She's also posted about disingenuous beauty reviews in the past as she says, "I was fed up with a lot of large influencers posting 'honest reviews' when I knew the videos were scripted."


    #stitch with @bree9933 a breakdown of how creators work🥵

    ♬ original sound - fatherrlex

    When I asked her whether brands had offered her money in exchange for a review, she said, "Definitely. I have come across a decent amount of brands wanting to work with me who send me pre-written scripts of everything they want me to say about the product(s)."

    "I'm grateful for the following I've accumulated who trust me enough to listen to what I have to say," she continued. "When I see influencers deceiving the people that trust them, I think it's sad and it doesn't portray them in a good light. They push these expensive products onto people who might not have the funds to buy a $55 product. But they push them so hard that these people think they need it, they buy it, and they hate it."

    Either way, it looks like Mikayla's back to her usual posting!