The palette breaking the internet

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The recent release of the Shane Dawson x Jeffree Star Conspiracy Makeup Collection shook the beauty community, selling out in minutes and causing widespread website crashes. The collaboration was announced in a six-part documentary series released in early October on Dawson’s YouTube channel, with each video garnering millions of views. 

The collection featured a liquid lip set, a mini eyeshadow palette, and the star of the show: the Conspiracy Pallette. The palette is sold in sets or individually and has completely sold out on Morphe and on Jeffree Star Cosmetics websites. It features 18 shades ranging from matte to metallics to foils. Each unique shade has been pressed with iconic symbols that represent Dawson’s social media presence and each shade has been named after catchphrases and inside jokes relevant to the creator. Senior Maria Leyba, who managed to snatch up a palette herself, said, “Many of the shades are bold, but there are also neutral shades in the top row of both palettes.” 

In regards to pricing, the large palette retails for $52 while the smaller retails for $28. “It’s very pricey for makeup,” Maria added. “However, a huge fan of Shane and Jeffree wouldn’t see the products as just makeup. They’re almost like collectibles.”

Along with the makeup Dawson and Star also released Pig Mirrors, makeup bags, purses and a tracksuit that Dawson wore throughout the whole series. Each item is labeled with Dawson’s new signature icons: the dying pig or the Illuminati.

The palette has gotten both positive and negative reviews from dedicated fans and makeup lovers alike. Freshman Sophia Kouchtaf, who owns both palettes, stated, “The best thing about the palette, in my opinion, was being able to watch the whole process of them making it and then be able to hold it in my hand. The colors also have  a good variety a lot of neutrals but some fun colors to get me inspired to do more looks.” 

The series discusses many secrets of the beauty industry and the drama that has occurred between various creators this past year. However, recently Dawson has come under fire for failing to include video clips describing drama between makeup artists James Charles, Tati Westbrook, and Jeffree Star, clips that he included in his teaser video. Dawson has responded on social media with plans to release a separate video addressing the drama, but many share Maria’s opinion: “The drama is a few months old, so I don’t care too much.”

Aside from the drama, each video brings the viewer through the step-by-step process of creating a palette from scratch, including never before released business information and dealings. 

For some, the multi-part series appeared to be part of an interesting marketing strategy aimed at increasing interest among his multi-million fan base. Long-time Shane Dawson fan, senior Charissa Bachan disagreed, “I think [Shane] genuinely wanted to show people the processes of the makeup world…His intentions were genuine and he just wanted to explore something that wasn’t really done before.” 

The videos also showed viewers a side of Jeffree Star that they had never seen before. As a controversial beauty influencer, Jeffree Star has been involved in many scandals with other members of the beauty community such as Kat Von D and James Charles. The unapologetic  Youtuber revealed his soft side in these videos, and Charissa added that “I never knew who Jeffree Star was until Shane, but then I started to know him better and liked him more so I started to watch his videos.”

This palette is not only a major rave to fans around the world but is also a major eye-opener for the beauty industry to the general public. During the series, the effort Dawson and Star put into the palette and how meticulously producers worked to handpick specific shades that look best on their customers is evident. The beauty industry has long been shrouded in secrecy, and a vast number of the general public are unaware of the process that producers have to go through just to craft a seemingly simple palette or any other makeup product.

The slow build-up towards the release of the palette (close to one year!) generated the anticipation of the collaborators’ subscribers, and when the makeup collection was finally released, the fans pounced on it. In no time, the website that the duo was selling their products on crashed, and the products in stores were sold out. Revealing the step-by-step of the makeup collection affair proved to benefit the two greatly. 

Many fans excitedly await the restocking of their favorite products and the release of the last video in the series. It’s clear that the collaboration has ushered in a new era of both makeup and marketing and fans can’t wait to see more. 

Art by Amanda Renzi.