Written By Shannon MacDevine
The first installment of The Beautiful World Of Jeffree Star has left fans a little deflated.
The series opener was a pretty classic opener for Shane Dawson as he geared himself up with laughter and insecurities about his new venture. Though there were no shocking revelations, there were some interesting portrayals of the beauty king pin Jeffree Star.
Okay, if you were hoping for some juicy bits in the first installment of Shane Dawson’s new series, you were probably disappointed. The biggest reveal was the pending Shane Dawson eyeshadow palette that anyone with an interest in the YouTube beauty community saw coming a year ago. Besides that shocking announcement, the only excitement came from the foreshadowing that took place at the end of the episode. Someone banging at Shane’s door in the middle of the night, and potentially talking about the cost of goods, were all shown as “up-coming scenes.”
Diving right in; what initially struck me the most was an obvious increase in the video quality. The opening credits, complete with a smokey background, seemed to point at a higher budget than Shane has had in the past. This included the fact that this first episode was sponsored by Honey (a coupon saving app). Looking back, Shane didn’t get a sponsor until his third episode of The Secret Life Of Jeffree Star (his first series on him).
It is interesting to speculate whether Jeffree played a bigger role in the budget this time around? In fact, after looking at the footage more closely, it seems the makeup mogul is using the “Shane Platform” to further his goals of taking over the makeup community.
Before I get into that, though, there are a couple of other things I wanted to point out in regards to the beginning of the episode. First, there was a disclaimer of sorts that flashed across the screen at the beginning that said: “All discussions and acts of business featured in the following video are completely real and unstaged.” Hmmm? When watching a documnetary you usually assume that what you are seeing is authentic, right? That is the point; a documented account of events.
The second point is really just food for thought. Even though this series seems to be a nice step up in budget from Shane’s previous series, it did seem a little rushed; in the form of the over text. If you didn’t notice, it was a hot mess. The timing was way off, and it was not accurate. When I watched it again getting ready to write this article, it had been changed. Interesting.
Jeffree Star Had A Big Hand In The Series
Back to the main point. It is plain to see that Jeffree has had a bigger hand in the production of this series then he previously did in his first series with Shane. In fact, it seems like Jeffree is using the docu to set himself up to be the head honcho of the beauty influencer world. In a very Godfather sort of way, to boot.
Not only does Shane refer to the beauty community as “like the mafia,” but he also states “I feel like I’m with the mob boss,” when he was asked about his feelings on traveling with Jeffree. There are also some other interesting pieces of information; most notably Jeffree insisting only his clothing brand be worn throughout the series. Jeffree also refers to the documentary as “our series,” and his name comes first in the opening credits. Of course they could have just gone in alphabetical order… but still.
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether they orchestrated the video to look this way or not, but I have to admit that welcoming Shane “into the Family” was priceless! On the other hand, there were some subtle indicators of Jeffree’s nature that I found interesting. One such moment happened when Shane met with Jeffree in the hotel room before the Morphe opening.
As Shane walked into Jeffree’s hotel suite, Jeffree let Shane know that some drama was happening. When Shane jokingly responded “…I didn’t do anything.” Jeffree came back with, “Are you sure?” While Shane was joking, Jeffree most definitely was not. You could literally feel the awkward tension through the screen along with Shane’s honest anxiety about ruffling the Mogals feathers.
The storm seemed to pass quickly, but I got the impression this is something that happens regularly in Jeffree’s sphere of people. Slight intimidation and social control seem to be well within Jeffree’s wheelhouse. Other small incidents like Shane “uninviting” Ryland, and Jeffree walking by Shane without even acknowledging him, seemed to act as a subtle reminder of who is in charge.
To give the mogul his due, Jeffree has claimed to have been burned by friends in the past. It could be a defense mechanism to hold himself apart. Yet, it could be a carefully cultivated attempt to set Jeffree up as the beauty community shot caller. After all, Jeffree Star is nothing if not a businessman; which brings me to my second observation.
Is Jeffree Star A Morphe Shot Caller?
As Mr. Star has admitted himself, he has his hands in at least 10 businesses. I’m confident in saying that there is not much Jeffree does that is not a carefully planned business move. Everything from his persona, to his brand, to his comments; everything is meant to further his business empire. Whether you like him or not, you have to admit that as a self-made, self-taught business profresh, it’s impressive.
I, myself, believe Jeffree saw the “rising star” Shane has become and made the move to capitalize on it. Not to say they are not actually friends, but… I have also long speculated that Jeffree is either a silent partner or has some interest in Morphe Brushes. Jeffree has denied being a silent partner, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a deeper connection than just a collab. The first video in the new series further my suspicions.
Look at it this way, Jeffree has his own very successful makeup brand. The only store to currently carry his merch is Morphe. This makes his makeup more accessible for those within range of a Morphe brick and mortar (morphe is opening new stores all the time)-point one Jeffree. Jeffree also collaborated with Morphe by producing a brush collection and eyeshadow palette. This opens up a whole new revenue for him. Also, if he has the ability to influence Morphe, he could open up even more doors for himself. Even if Jeffree is only a consultant, it is a sound business decision.
So, this is why my Morphe suspicions were amped up while watching the first installment of the series; For a little context, the convo I’m referring to took place while they were flying to Sacramento Ca to open the Arden Fair Morphe store which took place on Feb 23rd, 2019; Jeffree said, “…a few people are sinking right now and it’s f**king my money up.”
I hmmmed again? February was a pretty slow time for the drama community when it came to beauty influencers, however, this convo took place about a week after the infamous “Tati Birthday fiasco.” If you are not familiar with that drama, suffice it to say it was the catalyst for the whole Tati, James Charles, Jeffree Star beef.
It could be argued that Jeffree was talking about Sisters Apparel, James Charles’s clothing line that was distributed by Killer Merch-Jeffree’s Merch distribution company. On the other hand, it may have had to do with the James Charles X Morphe palette. As you may have noticed, James Charles, after being so successful with his first Morphe collab, has not indicated another collab is in the works? We all know Morphe uses their influencers to death. Of course, Morphe stepping back could also be due to the drama that ensued with you know who…
While I’m speculating right down the rabbit hole… Jaclyn Hill was also being dragged at this time due to her high maintenance skincare regime. On the other hand, Jaclyn has been dragged quite a bit, and this was really the lesser of her dramas. She still stayed on top of it with Morphe though. Coincidence?
Let’s take another look at what Jeffree said, “It’s been a really rough week. Business is booming and things are so good, but like, I just feel like when there’s pressure or things are growing some people like sink or swim. So a few people are sinking right now, and it’s f**king my money up…” Shane responded with something in the lines of Jeffree having to be the one to yell at someone- like a boss?
In that context, it seems more like an issue with the Morphe than anything else; especially if Jeffree was connected to Morphe in some way. On the other hand, he could be speaking about something else entirely. As I mentioned, this is just my opinion. I may have caught Shane’s conspiracy theory enthusiasm! What do you think? Am I way off, or do you think there is something else at play? Let me know in the comments below.
It will be interesting to see what happens as the series unfolds. I will be watching with eyes wide open, so check back soon!