It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of matte liquid lipsticks and they really seem to be having a moment right now. When I came across Jeffree Star's products, which had so much hype online, of course I wanted to try them.
Until about 2 months ago, I'd honestly never heard of Jeffree Star! I only really know him through his cosmetics brand but, from what I gather, Jeffree Star is an androgynous internet scene kid turned musician turned YouTuber who came out with his own cosmetics range a year or two ago. I did actually watch some of his videos after discovering the lipsticks and he *seemed* at the time like a breath of fresh air. Since originally putting together this post I have come across some less-than-savoury information on Jeffree. I'm not here to do an analysis with receipts of his character, however the videos (the first I watched kicked off the backlash by rounding everything up) are not hard to find so I'd suggest searching YouTube for that in order to make a fully-informed decision on whether or not to buy these products. Obviously stuff changes and might do by the time you read this but I'd start with the videos Stephanie Nicole and Sanders Kennedy did because they pretty much sum it up.
There's not much point in re-hashing it because like I said, others have done it much better than I could. I'm feeling conflicted in all honesty because obviously I was not aware of all this when I bought these products a couple of months back and I wouldn't have done so if I had. There were some things said a good few years ago which Jeffree Star has apparently 'addressed' but it still doesn't sit quite right with me and there have been occasions more recently where he's apparently been really quite rude to people online. I'm sure a lot of it was down to attempts at being edgy and controversial but to me that's not an excuse. We will see if he does a video or something more than a tweet that will address all of this because these exposé videos are getting millions of views... A lot of people are saying it was a long time ago and he's changed and have pointed out that he uses black models for his products sometimes. However, firstly, I am not accepting that he's changed until he sits down and addresses all of this coherently. Secondly, I don't buy the 'I'm not racist: I once brushed past a black person in the street!' arguments. By that logic: can a man not be sexist if he has a wife? Maybe he will apologise fully and sincerely but I doubt it would be enough to remove the bad taste from my mouth.
(UPDATE: He's now addressed Kat Von D's video but not the racist and all-round sh*tty behaviour! Which to me makes him look worse. And no, I don't consider a few vague tweets to be 'addressing' the issues)
I thought I would leave this post more or less as it was because it was an unbiased look at these products. I have some alternatives listed below with comparison swatches if you want to try those instead.
Jeffree Star products are available directly through his website, however that means shipping from the US. The UK stockist is Cocktail Cosmetics, a shop in Birmingham that also has a website. The liquid lipsticks cost £14 each from Cocktail Cosmetics. The strange thing about both websites is that there's never enough stock to meet demand so you have to follow their accounts on social media to find out the re-stock day and spend ages refreshing the page so you can get one before they go. It's pretty annoying and you'd think after them selling out every single time they'd start getting enough units in, but it is what it is! I probably would've bought more of these at the time I bought the shades I have but I really couldn't be bothered with all the fuss it took to order them every time.
The restocks come in dribs and drabs so they may re-stock 3 shades on a Monday and a different 5 on a Friday, and the shipping is over £4 so it can be frustrating. However on the plus side, Cocktail Cosmetics is quite a small operation so I've been able to order one shade then order another one that was released the next day and because the first hadn't been dispatched I was able to email them and get both shades sent together without having to pay the £4 twice. Overall though, it reeks of deliberately under-producing products in order to make them seem more in-demand and desirable.
So each liquid lipstick comes in a bright neon pink box with metallic pink which matches the lid of the lipstick. It's a little bit flamboyant but not overly tacky. I do appreciate that the writing hasn't rubbed off any of mine yet too.
The applicator wand isn't your standard doe foot shape; it has a sort of dip in it. I personally find this so much easier to use with this formula's consistency. I find the shape really helps me get a clean application on the first attempt.
I have to say that this is one of my favourite liquid lipstick formulas. It's quite fluid but doesn't bleed or run at all. It's also very pigmented and opaque. It sets down within a few seconds of application, however it has this very slight tackiness to it that stops it becoming drying on the lips. It also doesn't cling to or enhance any slightly dry patches on my lips. I find that when it starts to wear off or if I make a mistake, it's pretty easy to layer with this because it doesn't flake at all. Overall I find the formula to be consistent across the shades, however these are all medium tones so I can't speak for the darkest and lightest colours in the range.
The main way in which they vary is the wear-time, however I'm not sure if it's a case of it being less noticeable when the lighter shades begin to fade. The least long-wearing is Gemini, however I personally still can go at least 4 hours before I need to retouch it. Celebrity Skin lasts a little longer; I'd say 4-6 hours. Finally Rose Matter has the most amazing lasting power at around the 6-8 hour mark. I don't particularly go out of my way not to ruin my lipstick, so this is all when I've just been eating, drinking and going about my day as normal.
I really wasn't sure when I Googled swatches of this shade because it looked like a completely different colour on various people. However I decided to take the plunge because it would be easy enough to sell on Depop or something if it didn't look right. Although a nude lip is nothing new for me, this is definitely a lot cooler than my usual. I have a very warm skin tone so for me this is almost a greyish-brown light nude that's still very wearable. It's one of the lightest nudes I own however the tone of it stops it from being a case of 'concealer lips'. Overall I really like this colour!
This is another shade that's something really special. It's quite hard to explain but I'll try! It's like a very warm-toned brown nude with these reddish-rust and slightly pink undertones. I absolutely love this shade for my skin tone; it's the perfect day-to-evening colour that I can wear when I want something a little bolder than a nude but not a full-on colour.
Again, this is a very unique shade. It's almost like one notch below a neon pink; it has a slightly muted tone to it but it's still a very vibrant rose colour. I know that most people don't think 'matte lips' for Summer but this is just perfect for this time of year and looks amazing with a tan. It's definitely a 'weekend' colour for me but I really rate it.
Although Celebrity Skin isn't *quite* like anything else in my collection, I managed to pull out some similar shades for you. The NYX Lip Lingerie in 08 Bedtime Flirt (£6.50) is more affordable and relatively similar. However it does have a slightly warmer undertone and some hints of pink in there. Personally I do find the formula more drying and a little thicker in texture so I do prefer Celebrity Skin, however this is a lot easier to get hold of, cheaper and (to my knowledge) NYX are not shady! I also have the Dose of Colors Matte Lipstick in Truffle (£14.50), which is actually even harder to find than Celebrity Skin because BeautyBay always seem to be out of stock in the nude shades of this range (I somehow luckily managed to get one). I find the packaging and formula to be SO similar to the Jeffree Star so to me the main difference is the colour. I always thought Truffle was quite cool-toned on me, however as you can see it's much warmer and pink than Celebrity Skin. I'd say to check out the Dose of Colors range if you're after a formula that's almost identical to Jeffree's, though the shade range is entirely different outside of Truffle and Celebrity Skin's similarities. When I first tried his products I Googled whether he was affiliated with them (I didn't find anything to suggest he was) because the packaging, applicator and formula are so alike.
Again, I couldn't find anything exactly like Gemini, as the colour is so unusual, but I've done my best. Lime Crime's Velvetine in Riot (£13.95) is quite a bit more red and rusty in tone; it doesn't have as much pink or nude in it as Gemini (it's also a little deeper). As a side-note I've now discovered this brand is at the centre of various dramas! I just picked this up in-store on a whim in New York and had no knowledge of the controversy because this isn't a known brand in the UK at all. I guess these days you can't even randomly throw something in your shopping basket without having to Google if the owner of the brand is an a-hole... I don't find the formula to be quite as long-lasting as Gemini's and it's a tad more drying but it's still a really nice one. The LA Splash Lip Couture Waterproof Matte Lipstick in Latte Confession (£9.95) is again deeper and has a richer, slightly more plummy undertone to it. Whilst this is a stunning colour, unfortunately I do find it flakes on me a bit.
It was really hard to find a comparable shade to Rose Matter and the closest I could get were the Jouer Long-Wear Lip Creme Liquid Lipstick in Framboise (£14) and the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare ($20). Framboise is actually even more vibrant that Rose Matter - it's close to being too much! I find the formula a little more sheer and creamy, however it dries down to quite a powdery finish, which means I have to make sure my lips are hydrated and exfoliated. Double Dare has a much more muted strawberry tone to it. I find the wear-time and pigmentation similar, however I do find Jeffree Star's formula considerably less drying. Overall though I do prefer the more everyday shade of Double Dare.
They're good products and unfortunately I've already given him my money, so I will continue to use these. However I hope this encourages you to do your research before spending your money (it has definitely been a learning curve for me). If you're reading this post, you're probably a grown woman (or man or non-gender-specific person) so you can spend your money how you want. I just can't support this brand and Jeffree could give the best apology in the world but I doubt he'd get any more of my money. I hope this has been useful for those of you looking to find some alternatives to his products.
Have you tried any of these liquid lipsticks? Have you been keeping up with the Jeffree Star drama?