Shots Fired: Is Jeffree Star’s Lip Ammunition On Target – Or Is He Shooting Blanks?

Published on December 28, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

No matter what I do, I just can’t avoid talking about Jeffree Star – what can I say, he keeps putting out products that suck me in with that mixture he has of ultra femme Barbie pink and edgy trash talk.  I just can’t get enough!

Now, there has been a dead link on his website for Lip Ammunition for a long time now, and he’s mentioned in a few videos that he has been working on this for a while but decided to focus on the liquid lipsticks first.  Here’s the video where he finally reveals the first 10 shades and swatches them:

First off, as he notes that’s a shit ton of pink y’all.  I guess because the liquid lips feature so many nudes I’m glad that he didn’t just throw out a whole bunch of nude shades right away, but the initial run is not very diverse, especially when you consider the range of the Velour Liquid Lips.  Also, two of the shades from the Velours were “translated” into the lipstick formula…but why though?  I’m not saying that it’s not a great option for people to be able to see a color they like and choose either the liquid or the stick formula, but it seems odd to carry the name between formulas for the chosen two, Celebrity Skin and Unicorn Blood, and not for any of the others.  After all, there are some shades that look like pretty close (if not exact) dupes of shades from the Velours.  Let’s take a look at some of the promo images:

Can we talk?!  Granted, we’re looking at promo images and not side by side swatches, but these don’t look like the same colors at all.  The Lip Ammunition shades are noticeably lighter than the velour shades – in fact, I’d say that the Unicorn Blood Lip Ammunition looks much closer to Redrum than to the Velour shade with the same name.  Same for Celebrity Skin – the Lip Ammunition shade is so much lighter.  This isn’t a case of just having different finishes (satin versus matte); these are entirely different colors!

These two pale pink shades are a much closer match than the two red shades above – by far!  Again, these aren’t side by side swatches (just yet!) but they are images that appear to be shot on the same model and the lighting appears to be pretty consistent.  I think Queen Supreme got translated into a stick, but didn’t get to keep its original name.

Another almost identical pairing, although it’s the only one where the Lip Ammunition actually appears darker than the Velour shade.  They aren’t 100% identical, but I’d say they are a hell of a lot closer than Unicorn Blood or Celebrity Skin!

This one is perhaps a little bit of a stretch, and I definitely want to swatch these side by side to see how they stack up, but Starfish is supposed to be a coral pink.  In terms of promo images, I think it looks only a shade more coral than Prom Queen, but I also included the promo image of Watermelon Soda from the Summer 2016 Collection as that was a coral pink as well.  It doesn’t match as closely in the promo images as I expected, but I’m still wanting to see them side by side.

So basically, I feel like a lot of this first run are just rehashes of shades that exist in the Velour line, but he kept the names for the two biggest sellers to try to capitalize on their popularity while changing the names of the others to make it appear like he’s offering a bunch of new options.

Next, let’s take a look at some of the YouTube reviews that I found interesting, both positive and negative (most positive though – Jeffree’s fans are notoriously rabid for policing reviews on YouTube and harassing people who make negative reviews; most of the criticism I’ve read about for these lipsticks has come from Instagram or SnapChat):

This reviewer isn’t a fan of pinks, so she chose to review the Celebrity Skin and Unicorn Blood shades.  I do have to say that in the video the red appears darker than in the promo image, but still not nearly as dark as the promo image for the same shade in Velour.

Here’s a woman reviewing Unicorn Blood, Celebrity Skin, and Grandaddy Purp on darker skin.  I think she’s crazy when she says that Celebrity skin is too light for her – I thought it looked pretty good!

This video shows off some of the pink shades, and shows off six of the shades in all.  She’s clearly a huge Jeffree Star fan so I’m hoping the lipsticks really are as good as she’s saying they are.

Here are some swatches on a woman with a medium skintone.  She shows off quite a few of the shades and generally likes them.

Here is a negative review of Beauty Pageant, the sheer glitter formula.  Her critique that it is gritty and unpleasant is one that I’ve heard floating around even with the other shades, but this one is compounded by the fact that it’s a glitter shade.

Another mostly positive review, but how can you not love an Australian (or maybe New Zealander?) accent?!

Finally, here’s one more review of 4 of the shades, and a comparison of the two Lip Ammunition/Velour Liquid Lip pairs.

And just for funsies, I included the “commercial” Jeffree made before the lipsticks launched.  Even though Jeffree is starting to look a little bit like a creepy plastic doll, there is some definite hotness happening in this video!

Now, this post isn’t just an excuse to gather a bunch of YouTube videos for you – I also want to share my swatches and review of the shades that I ordered to see if I think they live up to all the hype I was hearing on YouTube.  Here we go!

Ammo Swatch 01

In the swatches above, I put Unicorn Blood next to Designer Blood – let’s be real, except for some alleged gold shimmer, Unicorn Blood and Designer Blood are the same shade.  But I ranted enough about that in THIS POST, so let’s move on.  Seeing them side by side, the colors are much closer than I originally gave them credit for.  The Lip Ammunition (shown below the Velour Liquid Lipstick in the swatches above) is a little lighter and less brick red, but still a much better translation than I expected looking at the swatch images.

I also decided to do a comparison of the lavender shade Popsicle Dream (lower) next to the Velour shade Blow Pony (upper).  These are a pretty close match as well, though the liquid is brighter and a little more true pastel.  And Grandaddy Purp, once I saw it in person, is much more of a blue-purple hybrid than it looks in the promo images, so it’s not a dupe for either I’m Royalty or Blue Velvet.

Now what about the pinks?

Ammo Swatch 04

On the left, top to bottom, we have Starfish, Jeffree’s Girl, Ice Cream Blvd, Ex-Supermodel, and Baby Spice.  On the right, top to bottom, we have Watermelon Soda, Prom Night, Queen Supreme, Rose Matter, and Chrysanthemum.

I’m actually surprised (I guess in a good way?) that there’s as much variety as there is.  Ice Cream Blvd and Queen Supreme are pretty much dupes, and Jeffree’s Girl and Prom Night are a close second, but the others are all pretty much distinct shades.  Chrysanthemum is sort of like Ex-Supermodel but with more peach tones.  And I think if I had Doll Parts, we’d be seeing a pretty clear dupe with Baby Spice.

Overall, I’m willing to get on board with the idea that these aren’t just dupes for shades that already exist, but I’m still a little skeptical about why he felt the need the “translate” two shades, and I think the answer is money: Celebrity Skin and Unicorn Blood are two of the best selling shades in his Velour Liquid Lipstick collection, so why not try to cash in on that by slapping the names onto some tube lipsticks as well?!

All of this would just be me being a petty bitch if the lipsticks arrived and were absolutely fabulous.

Unfortunately…no.

Lip AmmoThey aren’t terrible, but for an $18 lipstick I expected a lot more.  I’ve heard a lot of rumblings about people receiving lipsticks that were grainy or had a weird texture (as noted above) and that was something I noticed in several of my shades as well.  Ex-Supermodel, Ice Cream Blvd, Grandaddy Purp, Popsicle Dream, and Unicorn Blood all had some level of chunkiness when I applied them.  5 out of 8 isn’t great.  Hell, 1 out of 8 wouldn’t be great, but this many having problems speaks to either quality control issues with the ingredients or even with the formulations themselves.

As for the packaging, it’s a cute idea but the plastic used is super cheap – it doesn’t feel sturdy or high quality at all.  This feels like the kind of thin plastic you get on Dollar Tree lipsticks.  The bullet is cute, but I would have taken something less visual that had more heft and quality to it.

Final thoughts?  It’s disappointing that these are so mediocre given how long Jeffree has been teasing them – and given how absolutely amazing his liquid lipsticks are!  But this formula just isn’t “there” yet.  The collection isn’t terrible, but it just can’t escape the fact that there are better options out there.  You can find any number of other brands out there that are similar price (Urban Decay’s Vice Lipsticks beat these by $1 and there are 100 shades!) that don’t have the same problems with chunkiness or graininess, have better shade selection, and more attention to detail.  Unless there is a shade that you think you absolutely can’t live without (I immediately fell in love with Starfish, and that’s the one shade that I’m living for in this collection!), I would look to another brand for your lip fix.  Here are some great options:

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick
SugarPill Pretty Poison Lipstick
MAC Cosmetics Lipstick

So while I wouldn’t say that Jeffree is 100% shooting blanks, he definitely has a ways to go before hits a bullseye.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

 

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