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If you’re not familiar with the beauty world and that of the makeup community that exists on YouTube, you might not understand the phenomenon that is influencer persuasion.
Growing up, the only makeup that I bought or cared about was the Shopper’s Drugmart gunk that would hide my acne. I tried to add eyeliner into the lineup once high school came around. Once I found out about Sephora, I was much more into mascara and bronzer. But, for the most part, beauty products weren’t something that was touched on.
No one filled their eyebrows. In fact, we didn’t have eyebrows. No one contoured their nose. In fact, we didn’t even think about noses. No one used to highlight their cheeks. Instead, we were highlighting the inner corner of our eyes because most eyeshadow “palettes” AKA, the three shades CoverGirl included in each package, was metallic and hideous.
Instead, most of us used whatever products our mom or siblings used, and we got by. Kids nowadays have it a lot tougher. They have to impress the masses with their makeup knowledge that, honestly, is extremely overwhelming to me. Do I love makeup? Yes, of course. Do I use makeup? I attempt to.
So, when I first got deeply involved in YouTube as a hobby — because yes, I consider watching creators my hobby, watching makeup videos was super intriguing. It started with Michelle Phan in 2008. I would watch her videos and attempt to recreate her looks on nights out with the girls, but it never got me anywhere.
Currently, I’m a beauty insider with Sephora. I’m in the tier that gets 15% off once a year for spending way too much money on concealer and foundation that Rihanna has so graciously created — which means absolutely nothing.
My obsession with the YouTube beauty world ended with the James Charles and Jaclyn Hill debacles earlier this year. Once I realized that the makeup industry seemed tired, I moved on to watch more amateur creators that I admired and forgot about the beauty industry altogether.
That was until Shane Dawson, and Jeffree Star announced they were releasing their new series, The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star. I was intrigued, and once the trailer was released, I was already obsessed.
The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star was a six-episode documentary series about the secrets that exist in the beauty world. Shane’s relatable commentary and business sense was an intriguing part of this YouTube series that kept me inspired to keep watching.
When you first start to earn money online, you tend not to know what you can do to protect yourself, how much you’re worth, and how much you should ask for when you sign with more prominent brands and companies. So, to hear from both Shane and Jeffree’s perspective was very cool.
They shared that Jeffree Star made over $20 million in his last eyeshadow palette launch and that each product costs about $20 to manufacture. Other makeup companies, they said, sell their products for a similar price, but only spend anywhere from $3 to $8 to produce.
Not only do they dive into the mark up of makeup, but they also discuss contracts and negotiations, which was extremely interesting.
Of course, you eventually find that the entire documentary series is serving as a promotion that leads up to the drop of their new makeup line. Initially, I was hesitant that I’d ever buy something this expensive. However, just as I’m sure they planned, I became emotionally attached to the products and to both Shane and Jeffree.
Not only did I love their products, the names, and the designs, but I also loved that Shane was a makeup amateur just like me. I felt less intimidated by the products, and I felt more intrigued actually to try to learn.
One of Shane’s best qualities as an influencer is his ability to stay relatable regardless of his net worth, and I admire that fact. His self-deprecating humour is something I can deeply connect to, so the fact that he was genuinely excited about his products made me feel the same way.
The item I was particularly interested in was the eyeshadows. Up until three weeks ago, I had never purchased an eyeshadow palette in my life. The last palette that I had gifted to me was the first-ever Urban Decay Naked Palette released in 2010. To this day, I haven’t been able to hit pan (use up any of the shadows). But this time, I genuinely wanted to see how far makeup formulas had come and what they’re really like. So, I set my alarm for the release and was prepared to battle with the million other internet users who wanted to purchase the same product as me.
It took a few hours of research, two hours of refreshing and two weeks of shipping time. Still, I was able to receive one of the trendy Conspiracy palettes and one liquid lipstick that I couldn’t resist.
I purchased the Shane Dawson x Jeffree Star Conspiracy Palette and one Velour Liquid Lipstick in the shade “Oh My God” for the total price of USD 73.50. Once exchanged to the Canadian dollar, the final price came to just under $100.
Aside from money, buying this makeup cost me time. I had never attempted to buy anything during a merchandise drop — which is what a lot of celebrities and influencers do now, so I decided to do some research. I found some helpful tips on YouTube (pictured below in case you ever want to use) and followed the steps suggested to prepare.
The makeup went on sale at 10:00 am PST. I decided I would take my lunch hour then so I could dedicate as much time as possible to getting the products. Although, I also assumed everything would be sold out within 15 minutes or less.
At 9:58 am PST, the website launched. By 9:59 am PST, the site had crashed. In spouts of refreshing and reloading in different ways, I managed to get the products I wanted into my cart and get to the cart. After waiting on a checkout page that told me I was in line, I eventually realized this wasn’t going to work.
Due to the Jeffree Star website continually crashing, I dove onto Twitter to see what my other options were if any. I found that the makeup was also to be dropped on two different websites. One website was already sold out, but Beautylish — a makeup shop I hadn’t heard of — still had some products available. I headed there to attempt to purchase the palette, and surprisingly, there were still some left. I got through to checkout, popped in my payment information, and once I clicked submit, the website crashed.
I tried to go back to attempt the same process over again, and unfortunately, everything had now sold out. I assumed it was over and decided to get back to work. Less than five minutes later, I received a confirmation email that my Beautylish order had gone through. Let me tell you, I was more excited to have conquered the internet than actually bagging the products.
Immediately, I had a pit in my stomach with the realization that I had spent $100 on makeup. Still, I decided that this was a refreshing experience and that I’d have fun once I got the eyeshadows, so I let it go. Typical personal finance nerd emotions.
Before even trying on the makeup, opening the package brought me this weird sense of joy I had never felt. I can only assume this is how most fans feel after receiving merchandise from their favourite influencers. It’s honestly so crazy how much power they have.
For me, never buying makeup like this before, it was worth it in the sense that I was afforded the opportunity to buy something that made me happy.
The products themselves are of outstanding quality. Seriously. I have never felt or applied makeup to this stature before. I can vouch for the pigmentation and overall feel to the product that they speak about throughout the series. This is high-quality makeup — and I know, because most of the makeup I use is the opposite.
I feel as though there are enough shade ranges to take me from season to season, event to event and mood to mood. Therefore, this palette means I don’t need any other palettes. Which is ideal. My makeup drawer is tiny.
Would I spend $100 on eyeshadow and one lipstick ever again?
Unless the products were presented to me in a six-part series that clearly took a ton of time, energy and effort, showing me how the product was made and why each decision was made — probably not.
In my opinion, Shane and Jeffree just changed the influencer game by taking launches from a single “we’re dropping this soon” on an Instagram story to “come-make-this-product-with-me-over-one-year-but-in-a-digestible-video-series.”
To see my experience of buying, unboxing, applying, and reviewing the makeup, check out the worlds most extended YouTube video that I had a ton of fun filming and editing:
I bought $100 worth of influencer makeup after binge-watching the Shane Dawson x Jeffree Star YouTube Series: The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star.
The series taught me a lot about the profit margins of makeup, how big-picture marketing decisions and product design decisions are made.
It also showed me how influencers can protect and advocate for themselves during brand sponsorships, and why influencers have the power they do.
I love my new products and am very happy. I spent two hours researching and refreshing browsers to get them the day they launched.
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Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a free resource for anyone looking to cut back on non-essential spending. My most-requested product is these monthly calendars to share on your Instagram story, use as a phone background, or print off to track your spending habits.
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