Who Is Marlena Stell? Makeup Geek CEO Calls Out Beauty Influencers, Including Jaclyn Hill and James Charles

YouTube's beauty community has bet set ablaze–yet again–but this time it involves a less familiar face. While beauty lovers are well-versed in the Jaclyn Cosmetics debacle, a new face in the mix has caused quite the ruckus.

Marlena Stell, better known as Makeup Geek's CEO, published a YouTube video Tuesday addressing drama with various beauty influencers–including James Charles and Jaclyn Hill.

Starting on YouTube in 2008, Stell can be considered one of the original beauty influencers, along with Tati Westbrook.

"I want you guys to stop and think and look over the last 11 years," Stell said in her video. "Have I been problematic? Have I been dramatic? Have I said shady things? I have been 100 percent honest with you guys since the beginning."

Aside from her YouTube career, Stell has arguably made most of her success through her makeup brand, Makeup Geek. Also founded in 2008, the online retailer doesn't only sell makeup products but provides video tutorials of various looks.

"Makeup Geek is my place to share my passion for makeup and beauty with so many others," Stell said in her company's bio. "Makeup, for me, is a way to enhance my natural beauty – it isn't a mask or a way to hide, but more like a way to shine ... I want every other woman (or man) out there to feel that same confidence, so that is why I tape my videos. I want every person out there to feel confident in his/her makeup skills and feel 'pretty.'"

"I consider myself to be a Makeup Educator, not necessarily a 'Makeup Artist' as my passion is teaching makeup- helping the everyday person learn how to use makeup to enhance their own unique beauty," she added.

While her passion for the beauty industry remains strong, Stell has had reoccurring drama with some of the industry's biggest names–which she addresses in her YouTube video.

Below is a timeline of all the dramatic moments Stell has had over her 11-year career:

August 27, 2018

Over the course of her career, Stell has largely flown under the radar–until this video came out. In it, she claims her products haven't been featured by influencers for financial reasons.

"Our name hasn't been talked about a lot and the reason why has been that we haven't been supported by influencers because we haven't paid the massive amounts of money [they ask for,]" Stell said at the time. "We don't have $60,000 to pay someone to do one video, and that's the rates we've been given."

The video sparked online sleuths to investigate who was charging such high prices. Influencer James Charles appeared in a video with Tati Westbrook shortly after Stell's video went live and said he had been deluged with negative comments.

"[The video] really created quite the ruckus," Charles said. "I have never had so many hate comments on videos about product placement before."

Stell's video arguably could've been the starting point for further drama between her and the then 19-year-old.

September 2018

Following her August "My Truth" video, Stell tweeted she was working with Netflix on a documentary of the beauty industry. Charles responded in a very public rant saying Stell "knows nothing about the industry."

"This woman knows nothing about the industry other than blaming her bad business decisions and personal issues on influencers," Charles tweeted in September. "Netflix, this is absurd and I'd love to get in a room together to you the non-bias outline I've already made on this subject that documents all sides."

Stell tried to diffuse the situation, but it is clear she and Charles are like oil and water.

June 7, 2019

In the first stage of the Jaclyn Cosmetics "hairy" lipsticks scandal, Stell inserted herself into the discussion–debunking Hill's claim the "beads" customers found in their products were ingredients that hadn't been properly processed.

"If there are shards of anything sharp in a cream product, that is not ingredients melting and solidifying–this is massive production issues where sterile environments have not been kept," Stell tweeted. "If there are fingerprints on the sides of components, the production did not wear gloves."

June 12, 2019

After providing her opinion on the issues with Jaclyn Cosmetics, the head of a long-running beauty reviews and dupes site Temptalia saisd she also had concerns about Makeup Geek's products.

Releasing a full statement, Stell apologized "for having to address this, however, Makeup Geek's product safety and quality has been in question since the timely posting of the [@temptalia's] article."

Marlena Stell
Marlena Stell attends the 3rd Annual BeautyCon Summit presented by ELLE Magazine at Pier 36 on May 24, 2014 in New York City. Mike Coppola/Getty