The YouTube beauty influencer opens up about launching her debut cosmetics brand, Tati Beauty, dealing with life in the public eye and more

By Kaitlyn Frey
October 23, 2019 01:00 PM
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After creating over 2,000 videos on YouTube for nearly 10 years, beauty guru Tati Westbrook is finally giving fans what they’ve been asking for: her own eponymous makeup brand, Tati Beauty. And while 2019 has been a whirlwind filled with plenty of highs and lows for the star, who faced backlash for her public feud with James Charles in the spring, Westbrook, 37, is over-the-moon about ending the year on a high note.

“Honestly, this is the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I’ve been through a really rough year for so many reasons. This has brought me to such a peaceful and good place. I’m grateful,” Westbrook tells PEOPLE exclusively leading up to the launch of her Tati Beauty Textured Neutrals palette, which drops on Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST.

In addition to running her wildly popular beauty YouTube channel, Westbrook’s kept her focus on her NutraCosmetics vitamin brand Halo Beauty, but always knew that jumping into color cosmetics would be her next big move.

“I’ve been trying and failing to launch color for a really long time. I started with beauty from the inside-out, so got Halo Beauty off the ground. The pacing and growth of the brand is on great track,” she says. “But I felt like it was the right time to pivot back to color because so many people were like, ‘Tati, we need a palette! We need makeup!’ It’s always been in the back of my mind: how can I do this and do it well?”

Now, after years of work, Tati Beauty is officially here. “It feels like I just crossed the finish line of a very long marathon,” she says. “It’s just the best.”

Below, Westbrook opens up to PEOPLE exclusively about the first Tati Beauty product, her plans for the brand, dealing with internet drama and more.

You’re one of the few beauty influencers that hasn’t done a brand product collab before — was that because you knew Tati Beauty was your true dream?

I’ve had plenty of offers to do collaborations or have investors come in to help me start my own brand. There were many times I came very, very close to doing it. But I always had this vision. I had to work really hard to reach a level of success, to be taken seriously and have the resources to pull this together and do it right. The timing was about climbing the mountain. This is a new beginning and it’s taken a lot of time to get here. I poured my heart and soul into it.

Why start with a palette?

I think it’s what people want the most. As much as there’s so many eyeshadow palettes out there, I actually dare to say we’ve pushed the boundaries. I wanted something large enough to make a statement but small enough for someone living in a teeny tiny studio apartment. I wanted a large mirror. I wanted it to lay flat. I wanted different shadow textures [the palette contains matte, sequin, metallic and glitter shades in six different tones]. It makes sense for someone that knows nothing about makeup but also exciting for someone that’s very advanced.

The pressed glitter shadows look stunning. How do you apply them without making a mess?

They’re actually held together with a gel base made from coconut oil. In my opinion, the more wet the formula feels, the better it is going to perform and the less fallout you will have. You can do different things with it to jazz up a look. It applies best with the fingertips. I’ve tried every glitter out there and many just stick to your finger and don’t transfer onto the lids. But mine are so opaque and magical.

What was it like to see everyone’s reaction to the news of Tati Beauty?

I’m so proud. It’s been a tough year for so many reasons. I’m public and open about it, but I’m having fertility issues. My grandmother passed away this summer. My younger sister’s having surgery on her lungs soon. Life is life, and that’s just happening. No matter what you have to find a way to pick up the pieces. I don’t think I realized how tough this year had been until all of this started happening and I began feeling all the love. I’m genuinely excited about what I’m doing.

How do you deal with negativity and haters on the internet?

The biggest thing I’ve learned through hateful comments or drama is that it is a marvelous thing to keep going and know your good days are going to find you again. It sounds so silly, but there’s so much power in not giving up on yourself.

Who inspires you in the beauty community?

One is a dear friend of mine who has been so supportive of me, and that is [Jennifer Lopez’s] makeup artist Scott Barnes. He’s launching his own makeup brand right now and we both support each other. There’s no ugliness at all. And the other two would be [makeup artists] Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath. And as far as my YouTube community, Michelle Phan. She’s the queen.

Would you ever step away from YouTube for good?

Whenever I think of making a farewell video, I get really emotional. I don’t think I’ll ever know how to say goodbye to this. I don’t see that day coming anytime soon. I can definitely see myself slowing down. We want to have a family, and if that means adopting or getting serious about fertility treatments next year, then so be it. I’ll have to slow down. But I enjoy this and will keep creating content as long as my audience is enjoying it.

What’s next for Tati Beauty?

I have everything, even items that don’t exist within the industry yet that I am going to bring to the marketplace. It’s exciting because I think everything is oversaturated right now. I want to try to make products that make life easier for people. I love bringing ideas to life.