- 'MascaraGate' has consumed TikTok, with a beauty guru being accused of false advertising.
- But several TikTok creators, including Mads Lewis, seemed to defend the practice, saying "everyone does it."
As "lashgate" has consumed TikTok, with speculation reaching a fervor as to whether the beauty guru Mikayla Nogueira used false eyelashes to push L'Oréal's mascara, some creators are incurring more flak for coming to her defense.
Mads Lewis, a TikToker with over 12 million followers, argued in a now-deleted video that deception is pervasive across the advertising industry.
"Even if she did put false eyelashes on, why does that matter?" Lewis said in her original TikTok, apparently in response to criticism of Nogueira helmed by commentary creator Angelika Oles. "I know it's false advertising, but isn't everything false advertising? Isn't everything technically kind of lying just a little bit?"
Lewis added that it's something of an open secret today that food commercials are spruced up with non-food products. She also challenged viewers if they would deny a large payout if presented with a similar opportunity.
"Don't get me wrong, lying sucks. But everyone does it – especially when it comes to social media, and especially when it comes to making money," she said. "Sorry, if somebody put $200,000 in your face and said, 'Hey, promote my shitty mascara,' I don't think you'd think twice about it."
Though Lewis appears to have deleted the video from her channel, it was reposted by another user, @yagirl.bmo, with several commenters condemning Lewis's take.
"The problem is Mikayla built her whole platform on honest reviews and then has been caught several times lying," a user wrote.
Commentator Oles has also doubled down on her initial critique of the situation. "When have we as a society just accepted the fact that everyone's going to be untrustworthy, no integrity, lying for money, no self-respect?" she said in response to Lewis. "I have denied so many brand deals because they are scams."
The whole ordeal that's been dubbed "MascaraGate" kicked off on Wednesday when Nogueira, a Boston-based TikToker with 14.4 million followers, shared a sponsored post for L'Oréal's new Telescopic Lift mascara. Nogueira sang its praises and showed fans that her lashes grew astounding length after applying the product. Many viewers however had doubts that mascara could accomplish that effect and suspected she had amplified the result with false lashes.
While most people agreed something wasn't adding up, and that it would be tactless if Nogueira had used false lashes for the sponsored post, some creators came to her defense. They felt the whole controversy was wildly overblown.
TikToker @sam_d0ll railed against the absurdity of the cancellation.
@sam_d0ll i’m sorry if this offends anyone i just think it’s funny? #fyp #funny #mikaylanogueira ♬ Flowers - Miley Cyrus
"No one is able to critically think anymore," she said in her TikTok posted on Wednesday. "Anybody that makes that much money off of advertisements is eventually going to sell out. This is not a new concept."
Others online seem to agree that the backlash is way overblown. "People are CRUCIFYING Mikayla Nogueria all bc of some mascara ad. girl be for fucking real, it's just makeup," one user tweeted. "If you had the opportunity to make some money you would do it too."
Nogueira and L'Oréal have yet to respond publicly to the controversy. Lewis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.