Jeffree Star is no stranger to controversy, having been very vocal about his opinions on his social media accounts. Perhaps his forthrightness – on top of his talent in makeup artistry and music – was what propelled him to superstar status on the internet. Despite his popularity, he holds no reservations in publicly ridiculing other high-profile celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, whom he lashed out for the poor quality of her lip gloss applicator when they first came out so very naturally, he was regarded as the voice for the beauty community whose passion for make-up has so often been taken advantage of by big beauty brands.
But things can get even uglier when the tables are turned. Not long after the whole Kylie Cosmetics hooha, Jeffree Star found himself embroiled in a yet another feud, but this time with former BFF Kat Von D, just a few days shy of the release of his summer collection last July. With his credibility undoubtedly affected by Kat Von D’s claims of plagiarism claims against him, his Velour Liquid Lipstick sales took a hit despite all the hype around them on Instagram in the weeks leading up to the launch, thereby prompting Jeffree Star to remove the limit on the number of lipsticks each customer can purchase. Beautylish (an authorised Jeffree Star vendor) had to also slash the price of the bundle in half Labour Day to get them to move.
But were people shunning the summer collection solely because of the scandal? Or were there other underlying reasons such as poor quality control that led to such drastic sales decline? Seeing that not a single shade was sold out one week into the launch, I bought the bundle to test the lipsticks out for myself.
And yes, I paid full price with shipping for this. If only I had sat on buying the bundle a little longer… *sigh*
Aptly wrapped in eye-catching yellow packaging and infused with a refreshing watermelon scent to remind you of the popular summer punch, the theme of this collection is unmistakable. It stands out from the multitude of summer-themed collections in the market (go Google “makeup summer collection” and you will know what I mean) simply because the five shades picked out exclusively for this line are finally not of the same ol’ pink and coral hues… *yawn*
Here, I see a bold yellow as striking as the sun, a vibrant beige as inviting as sandy beaches and a violet like the colour of perennials that bloom even more brilliantly in summer. These shades are oh-so-relevant to the season!
Virginity is described as a soft lilac but dries down completely to a pale purple with slight grey undertone matte. It runs smoothly on the lips and it is sufficiently pigmented to give an opaque finish in a single swipe. The texture feels powdery and drying so it cracks instantly upon movement of the lips. The cracks are more visible on dry lips so lip exfoliation is a must.
Don’t fancy getting roasted under the hot sun but yearn to be tan? Well, this shade is able to help to a certain extent as it makes the skin appear tanner.
While some of the colours in this collection may not be suitable for everyday wear alone, they can be mixed with other lipsticks to create customised colours. As liberal as I am, I am certainly not ready to parade the town in unusually bright lipstick colours just yet, and I am one of the lazy sort who can’t be bothered to tailor-make my make-up. So what do I do with my unconventional lipstick shades? I use them to create lip art!
The whole lip art experience proved to be a lot more fun than I thought.
I spent close to 30 minutes on this one. And to think that I said I was lazy. Hmm.
Virginity is still available on JeffreeStarCosmetics.com for US$7.99.
#2 Queen Bee
Queen Bee is the first yellow liquid lipstick in the market, as claimed by Jeffree Star. It is a vibrant canary yellow upon application but becomes one tone lighter when it dries down. This shade was my main deciding factor in getting the summer bundle (as buying just one product would not justify paying for the shipping fee) because, as common as this colour seems for apparels and household products, yellow lipsticks with this degree of pigmentation and vibrancy is virtually unheard of. Furthermore, I didn’t have a yellow liquid lipstick in my stash so this would be a perfect addition to my spectrum of liquid lipstick colours.
Packed a powerful punch in the colour department, Queen Bee is exactly what you see in pictures, except that it appears streakier and less consistent in coverage than expected. The fresher coats of lipstick can easily be told apart from the older ones because they don’t blend well together, resulting in those unsightly horizontal strokes as seen in the above lip swatches. Therefore, the first application has to be absolutely even for the payoff to be uniform. The finish isn’t entirely opaque as some parts of my natural lip colour can still be seen peeking through the lipstick. It feels a little drying and leaves a tacky finish when dried down.
Besides creating lip art, Queen Bee can also be used with pink and red liquid lipsticks to create a sunset lip ombré, something like Laneige’s Juicy Pop but more vivid and in liquid lipstick form.
Despite all the flaws mentioned, I think Queen Bee deserves a permanent spot in Jeffree Star’s lipstick lineup just because yellow liquid lipsticks are a rare find.
#3 Nude Beach
Nude Beach is Jeffree Star’s rendition of macaroni and cheese nude, a pale peach matte. This is the only shade which I notice dries down to the exact colour as the product in the tube. But like most light-coloured liquid lipsticks, one swipe of Nude Beach is not opaque enough to mask the natural colour of the lips. It does not apply evenly and the texture is too runny to be able to stay in place when I try to add more coats of the lipstick. Furthermore, I’m not impressed with the streaky texture and tacky finish (even after leaving it to dry). Instead of hugging the lips like a second skin, the lipstick feels like a burdensome layer of paint which I very much look forward to remove every time.
Echoing what Jeffree Star said in his introductory video, however, this is one of the few light shades which works for every skin tone due to its gorgeous warm undertone that prevents it from washing the palest skin out while making lips on dark skin tone “pop” in a flattering way. I personally feel it complements Asian skin tone the most. Really too bad for the poor quality.
Nude Beach is still available on JeffreeStarCosmetics.com for US$7.99.
#4 Watermelon Soda
Since watermelons are one of the iconic fruits of summer, it makes perfect sense to dedicate a liquid lipstick from the summer line to the red and green fruit! Fittingly named Watermelon Soda, this rich salmon-toned coral not only resembles the colour of the juicy red watermelon flesh but also smells like the taste of it (yeah, just like the other lipsticks in this collection but this just feels more appropriate, you get what I mean?).
It applies smoothly on the lips and lends a fairly pigmented finish with some negligible patchiness quite unnoticeable from a distance. It dries to a soft reddish-pink matte that does not suck every ounce of moisture from the lips. It is prone to transfers as it still feels slightly tacky after several minutes of wear.
Named after the area code of Orange County in California where Jeffree Star was born, 714 was first launched in 2015 but was quickly discontinued after several complaints about the formula surfaced. It was said to be poorly formulated and extremely blotchy. But as the saying goes, ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’ – while there were critics who thought 714 was the “worst lip product” they had ever come across, there were also hardcore fans who swore by it. After 714 was taken off the shelves, resale prices for this prized lipstick rocketed and people were pleading Jeffree Star to bring it back.
Fast forward one year, this coral-toned pink made a comeback in a different packaging but the formula remains as horrendous as when it first came out. It has poor colour payoff and the runny and streaky texture means that it would be impossible to distribute the lipstick evenly on the lips. The lipstick budges and does not seem to dry down completely, making it a whole lot more difficult to build. It is tacky and very prone to transfers. The only good out of this substandard liquid lipstick formula is probably its lightweight. This lipstick is so bad, it deserves to be shelved forever.
714 is the only shade in this collection not infused with watermelon scent (as Jeffree Star explained that adding fragrance would change the colour of the lipstick).
All in all, the summer collection was a huge letdown mainly because all the lipsticks are of light shades and as many of you know, light lipstick shades often turn out to be streaky. Nonetheless, this is not what I would expect from a perfectionist who has no qualms about calling labels out over quality issues. He clearly knew about all these issues (since he had talked about them in his videos), but had still gone ahead with production. Things are always easier said than done, huh?
What say you? Chime away in the comments below!
Thanks for reading! 🙂