Divisive Togetherness: Jeffree Star Promotes Equality With New Velour Liquid Lipstick Bundle

Published on July 18, 2018 by   ·   No Comments

Are you ready for another dip into the JStar drama pool?  Grab your swimsuits, because here we go!

In the last year, Jeffree Star has started putting out a number of mini bundles of his popular Velour Liquid Lipstick formula; no surprise, his first bundle was a collection of nudes, followed up by a collection of pink and red shades in the Love Sick collection this past February.  Each bundle contains 8 mini tubes of lipstick.  The nudes bundle also included an exclusive shade, Skintight, that at the time was only available if you bought the bundle (originally offered in Lip Ammunition stick lipstick, this liquid shade was eventually released in full size in the permanent line).

When Jeffree teased a rainbow bundle package and teased that the proceeds would be going to LGBT charities, tongues got to wagging!

Equality 09

Some were impressed with the charitable effort while others wanted to use this as an opportunity to dredge up accusations about Star from his past (for more on those, you can check out my JStar brand review in three parts: HERE, HERE, and HERE).  The bundle launched on June 1st, at the beginning of Pride month, but some wondered if this was just a ploy to get people to forget about his divisive past.  Regardless of how you might feel about Jeffree and his prolific social media presence, there is no doubt that if any brand was set up to do a collection of rainbow themed liquid lipsticks, it’s Jeffree Star Cosmetics.  The brand is known for their wild selection of colors, many of which are part of the permanent line, and this was a perfect way to show off some of the great vivid shades his line offers.  Nudes, what?  Nudes, who?!

The collection includes 8 shades, and though Jeffree never mentioned this in the reveal video, they actually correspond to the 8 colors of the original Pride flag as it was designed by artist and activist Gilbert Baker: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, and purple.

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L to R: Diva, Redrum, Flamethrower, Queen Bee, Equality,
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Blue Velvet, I’m Royalty

The colors in the original flag represented a number of things that Baker felt were vital to the gay community of the time: sexuality (pink), life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), art/magic (turquoise), serenity (blue/indigo), and spirit (purple).  The pink and turquoise stripes were later removed because of the cost and availability of those color dyes commercially at the time – though it seems a telling omission given the way that LGBT establishment politics has tried to erase the sexuality from LGBT communities.  But that’s a rant for another day; if you want a taste of my feelings on that, check out this blog: The Get Along Gays.  If you’re just here for the lipstick, read on!

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Diva is the only glitter-infused shade of the collection, and my slightly OCD heart sort of wishes that he had included Prom Night instead so that all of the shades would be straight up mattes.  But Prom Night was in the Loves Me Loves Me Not Bundle, so this shade allows there to be less duplication, which is a good thing.  Redrum is a bright, true red and this shade is in the Loves Me Loves Me Not bundle so that one will be a duplicate if you pick up both.  It’s a bright, true red.  Flamethrower is a bright, almost neon orange.  Queen Bee, a retired shade from the summer 2016 collection, is a true yellow.  It looks slightly truer yellow to me than the one from the original collection (which looked slightly more pastel), but it does still have the gorgeous watermelon Jolly Rancher smell!  It paints on a little patchy, but if you give it a little patience and two coats you can get a pretty decent look.  Equality is a bright green and it’s the “new” shade in the group – though I have my suspicions that it might be Mistletoe from the 2015 holiday collection with a new name.  The formula is very thin and was the only other shade that I had any problems getting an even, consistent swatch but it wasn’t terrible.  The color and performance are so much like Mistletoe, which I loved so much I had to buy on eBay…it’s my conspiracy theory, and I’m sticking to it!  I’m just hoping that Jeffree will take one of those two green shades and make it permanent already!  Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a bright tuquoise blue, and along with Blue Velvet has a root beer float scent.  Blue velvet is a true blue that looks a little inconsistent in the photo, but I didn’t notice anything in person.  I’m Royalty is a lovely purple shade that is mostly blue-based, so that’s always my favorite type of purple!

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However you feel about this brand, you have to respect that this item is being sold to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT center which does amazing programs for queer youth, especially queer homeless youth.  I’ll never understand people who want to carry torches and pitchforks against someone for their entire lives.  I’m not saying that Jeffree’s behavior isn’t sometimes still “problematic” (gawd, that’s such an annoying millenial buzzword!) but I judge people by patterns of behavior and while he isn’t someone that I want to spend a lot of time getting to know or watching his social media (a necessary evil if you want to be in the know about his brand!), I do see a change in his behavior in relation to the charges of racism.  I’m sure I’ve got another, more updated post on my thoughts about the JStar controversy percolating, but for now I can just say that I don’t see anything that gives me enough pause to not support the brand.  If you don’t want to, then that’s your choice – instead of buying this bundle, just write a check yourself to the LA LGBT center.  And if you don’t want to do either of those things, then maybe shut your piehole and stop shitting on someone who is trying to do something positive in this moment, with this particular product.

What do you think?  Does this collection have you dying to taste the rainbow?  Or are you going to pass on this technicolor collection?  Are you a supporter of the JStar brand, or are you saying “No Ma’am!” to Jeffree and his whole persona?  What do you think about the idea of “conscious consumerism?  Let us know in the comments below!

PinkTo wrap up, I feel like I want to address the idea of charitable consumerism.  I watched a documentary on Netflix about the marketing around the pink ribbon for breast cancer called Pink Ribbons, Inc.  And as someone who lost someone very dear to me to breast cancer, the film made me very angry.  Most of the people in the film didn’t seem to understand the basic premise of charitable consumerism.  One particularly abrasive woman was complaining about how people were buying pink ribbon branded yogurt to support breast cancer research, but that only 30 to 509 cents of each purchase was being donated.  “You might as well write a check, it will make a great impact!” she sneered.  But that’s not the point.  Yes, if you are only buying the yogurt to make the donation, there are probably better ways for you to funnel your money – no one is arguing that.  But the point of charitable consumerism is to make products that you are already buying also benefit causes that you care about.  So if you are a yogurt eater, maybe you select the pink ribbon yogurt so that you get the item you were already going to buy, and that 30 to 50 cents goes to a cause you care about.  I already buy a shit ton of liquid lipstick, and I already buy a shit ton of Jeffree Star products, so why wouldn’t I buy the product that also contributes to a cause I care about?

And even though there are some products out there that might promote a cause without any direct financial benefit, that’s maybe manipulative but also not entirely evil.  Visibility and awareness is not a bad thing – that’s where the idea of all the different ribbons came from in the first place.  When my grandmother was sick, I had tons of pink ribbon items.  It made me feel better.  Were some of them probably cheap money grabs?  Sure, but they made me feel better at the time, most of the contributed to some sort of breast cancer-related charitable organization, and it allowed me to visibly show my support for something I believed in in my daily life.

That’s the kind of conscious consumerism I’m interested.  You can keep the torches and pitchfoks to yourself; I’m much more interested in building up than tearing down, thank you very much.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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