Illusion Tan Founder Blames Mikayla Nogueira For Stress, Debt For Not Reviewing Product

Sara Belcher - Author

Jan. 12 2024, Published 4:49 p.m. ET

Matthew Stevens and Mikayla Nogueira
Source: TikTok / @mvstevens, @mikaylanogueira

When it comes to influencers, especially those in the beauty and makeup space, drama is often abundant. TikToker Mikayla Nogueira has found herself in hot water on more than one occasion for her reviews and partnerships, receiving backlash for a sponsored post with L'Oreal a year ago.

Now, she and the creator behind Illusion Tan have some serious drama unfolding on TikTok. Buckle up, because it's about to get messy.

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The Illusion Tan founder called Mikayla out on TikTok for never reviewing his product.

In a TikTok video that now has 6.8 million views in just over a day, Illusion Tan founder Matthew Stevens details his beef with Mikayla.

"Mikayla's lies have cost me $10,000," he began. "Yes. I am $10,000 in debt because of her lies."

In October, Matthew made a video publicly asking Mikayla if she would review his small business, claiming that there was a bigger company ripping off his idea, though he does not name the rival company in the video.

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He said Illusion Tan is "the only custom self-tanner mixed for each individual client based off your eye color, hair color, and skin tone," with "125 customizable colors." Matthew claims that only four days after he posted that video, Mikayla posted a video with the competitor brand.

"Now keep in mind, when I asked her to review my product line and then she reviewed the competitor four days later, their line had been out for six months at this time," he said. "So I didn't believe it to be a coincidence. It's not that I'm blaming her. I didn't think it was her fault."

Matthew posted a TikTok about Mikayla's video with the competitor brand, and she DM'd him addressing the issue, saying "It would never be my intention to hurt a small business."

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"Regardless, I am away for work right now but when I get home I will make my purchase and try your tanner ASAP," she promised him in October 2023 via text. She also clarified that she didn't have any obligation to the competitor brand, only that she already had the brand's product.

"In October she told me she was posting it 'ASAP' and then two months pass by," Matthew continued. "I really had just grieved the idea and moved forward."

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But Matthew said despite his intention to move on from it, his followers continued to comment on his videos and during his livestreams, asking about Mikayla's review of Illusion Tan. It was then he said Mikayla reached out to him unprompted, telling him "I'm actually using it this weekend!!... I'll be posting a video about it tomorrow."

Mikayla Nogueira addressing the drama with Illusion Tan
Source: TikTok / @mikaylanogueira
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"The last thing I wanted to do was embarrass myself, my business, or her, and Shopify had kept offering me a $10,000 loan. So when she told me 'I'm reviewing this tomorrow,' I was like let me take that loan," Matthew said in his original video. "The money gets deposited within 24 hours, and I spent all $10,000 on product."

Unfortunately, Mikayla's review never came, though she began posting videos with what Matthew hypothesized was a "hideous" spray tan, and he claims she began blocking his followers who commented on her videos asking about the review.

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Mikayla responded to Matthew's video, apologizing but claiming he lied.

Within 24 hours of Matthew's video, Mikayla posted a response to his allegations. She began the video with an apology, admitting she should've reviewed the product when she said she would.

"I am completely in the wrong because I should not have told Matthew 'Oh, I'll do it tomorrow,' when tomorrow came and I couldn't do it..." she said. "But I was going to get to it. I always get to it. It just sometimes takes a bit."

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She also claimed to have Illusion Tan on in the response video and denied that she had ever gotten a spray tan, claiming that was Matthew's "lie" in his video. But she doubled down that she did not advise him to purchase more product or take out the $10,000 loan, and though she was sorry, there was only so much she could do.

"He cannot rely on me for the success of his brand. He just can't. I don't know what to do in this situation but I am sorry," she said.

Matthew replied to her video, explaining his reasoning behind his conclusion that she had received a spray tan, but maintaining that integrity was what motivated him to post the video in the first place.

Though Matthew was once a fan of Mikayla, it seems like the pair's feud is far from done. Matthew's personal account has grown since his callout, though, gaining close to 200,000 followers in a matter of days.

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