The Controversy palette by Jeffree Star has been a phenomenal success, but just why exactly has the popularity been so widespread? (Illustration by Alice Yuan, Maryland Institute)

Jeffree Star Had an Incredible November: Is It Thanks to Shane Dawson?

After the Conspiracy palette sold out, many fans of Dawson now seem to be turning to Star for further inspiration.

Thoughts x

After the Conspiracy palette sold out, many fans of Dawson now seem to be turning to Star for further inspiration.

Jeffree Star has always been a pivotal figure within the influencer world. Whether it is for his controversial past or his stunning cosmetics line, there’s no doubt that Star has become a household name. Lately, some might have noticed an increase in the beauty guru’s online presence and overall sales. With a website that is now even harder to keep stocked with products and website crashes becoming a regular theme, some wonder if all of this success is a result of Star’s work alone. Is it possible that Shane Dawson has had some influence in Star’s elevated triumph?

Star and the Five-Year Anniversary Launch

On Thanksgiving, Star launched his five-year anniversary collection on JeffreeStarCosmetics.com. The group of cosmetic products were revealed through a multitude of posts by the influencer on Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram leading up to Nov. 28. For example, on Nov. 25, Star tweeted: “It’s the 5th anniversary of #JeffreeStarCosmetics this week & I’m launching new products!! Bringing back our original 5 shades from the very first Christmas collection! Retail price: $75. All 5 shades will also be for sale individually! Launching THIS Thursday at NOON PST.”

This particular tweet received 64.9k likes, 3.4k retweets, and 969 comments. Taking a look at the announcement for the Blue Blood palette, the last huge collection launched prior to the release of the Shane Dawson Conspiracy collection, the significant jump in social media engagement is startling. Taking a look at these numbers, the official tweet that announced the release of the Blue Blood palette only received 16.2k likes and 695 comments.

Not only has Star’s public presence grown significantly, but his official website has reaped some of the effects of this rise in fame. Within an hour, the entire collection had sold out, complete with the chaos of website crashes and queue lines, an event that wasn’t common for the self-made makeup artist’s cosmetics site before the release of Dawson’s collection. Obviously, there has been a marked shift in Star’s notability and sales following the hype of the Conspiracy collection.

Black Friday Mayhem: Mystery Box Edition

Only a day after the release of the five-year anniversary collection, Star released a collection of three mystery boxes to kick off the holiday season, including a mini, a Premium and a Deluxe option. Each box contained a variety of surprise Jeffree Star Cosmetics products that costs, as a bundle, a fraction of each item separately. Intrigued, I decided to take my chances at snagging my own $20 mini mystery box. Arriving to the online cosmetics store minutes before the official release, I noticed that the boxes were already up for purchase. Immediately, I selected my item and proceeded to the checkout button under my cart. Despite my early arrival to the website, I was pushed into a queue donned with a photo of Star and Dawson prompting me not to refresh the page.

Desperate, I opened a second browser, with the goal of purchasing the holiday mystery box on my iPhone. Again, I was welcomed by a queue page. Finally, after about an hour, I was pushed through to the request for payment. Speedily typing in my bank account and shipping info, I submitted my order only to be brought back to my cart. All of the mystery boxes had been sold out. Many other fans of the influencer took to Twitter to share in their frustrations over the inability to purchase a mystery box with ease. One user by the handle @realLudoKressh stated: “This isn’t fair. I had the Deluxe box in my cart 3 minutes before it went live then I had to wait in queue only to get this!!”

Another user by the handle @psychHOTic_NURSE made the remark: “What about all of the people that had it in their cart and were in line waiting for 30+ min. To check out only to find it had been removed from their carts??”

I understood this frustration myself as in the past I was able to use the site with ease to purchase the Halloween mystery box back in October; however, I changed all of my plans at the last minute. Clearly, an increase in followers can be the only reasonable explanation for a chaotic unfolding of events such as this.

What is social media saying?

While there is no definitive proof that Dawson has made a significant impact on Star’s success, it is no lie that makeup lovers everywhere can’t stop talking about the Conspiracy collection. Since the release, makeup-inspired individuals across the globe have shared their artistic looks tagging Star while others have commented on their excitement for future collection campaigns — an attention that has grown since November.

With this new attention, it seems that a lot of the controversy that has circulated around Star in the past has been buried with love and support. In fact, the attention has been so overwhelming that Star’s YouTube channel has even seen a blossoming in subscribers and views. A tweet posted by @btvsvixen announced that Star had been named the user in fourth place for most liked beauty videos of 2019, preceded by Dawson in second.

With more sold out collections, a larger following on social media and less controversy pinned to Star, it seems that the month of November has been life changing for the influencer. Perfectly aligned with the release of the Conspiracy Collection, I have no doubt in my mind that the success was aided by the publicity provided by Dawson and the friendship that blossomed between the two in the past year.

Leave a Reply