Jeffree Star Cosmetics has released their third eyeshadow palette, Blood Sugar.
And I won't be buying.
I actually received a ton of requests to write about this palette, and I just wanted to thank those who reached out to me. I'd also like to encourage others to let me know of new products that you would be interested in having me discuss.
This is the third palette by Jeffree Star Cosmetics, and it is the first one that has a color scheme that I personally am drawn to. If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I have been crazy for pink, mauve, purple, and red shades for several months now, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
So you would think that when I saw Blood Sugar that I would totally fall for it, right? Well, not really.
Let's take a look at the palette:
Let's take this row by row.
In row one, there is nothing new and exciting for me personally. In theory, I think this is a good row to have in a palette because there are plenty of neutral and transition shades, but I have every shadow in this row a few times over.
Row two is slightly more interesting, but again, I have all of these shades. The most interesting shadows for me are the hot pink and the neon purple, but I have both of these shadows in the Sephora Pro Editorial palette. I have also the hot pink in the Urban Decay Electric palette and the neon purple with Colourpop 143.
Row three has the most unique shades overall, I guess, but there also appears to be quite a bit of repetition here. On the eyes, I don't feel like there will be much distinction between the various red and purple shades.
Let's look at swatches:
Image credit: Trendmood1
I'd like to take a moment to talk swatches. I watched Jeffree Star's video where he announced and unveiled this palette, and I thought it was really odd that he only swatched a few colors and didn't provide swatches for the rest. He mentioned in the video that he doesn't like finger swatches and finds them to be a little pointless in terms of accurately displaying the quality of a shadow, and I agree with that, but then he proceeded to finger swatch a few of the colors and "ooh" and "aah" over them.
As of right now, there are no "official" swatches of Blood Sugar on the Jeffree Star Cosmetics or Beautylish websites, and I have to say that I find that odd. Yes, swatches are incredibly manipulative (and we'll talk about the ones above in a moment), but they are also a necessary evil in a lot of ways so that people can get some idea of what the shadows are going to look like. For example, "Sweetener," which is the third shadow in the middle row, is the first color swatched in the photo above. In the pan, this looks to be a traditional gold shade, but swatched, it looks like a pinkish gold.
I'm not going to speculate as to why Jeffree Star Cosmetics did not provide swatches, I just wanted to point out that I personally find it odd. In terms of the swatches provided by Trendmood, it is pretty clear that the swatches were applied with a finger, were applied with a lot of pressure, and in some (or all) cases, were swatched multiple times. The most obvious multiple applications are the third and eighth swatches on the bottom row. This makes it difficult to gauge anything about how the shadows will perform, because the swatches are applied in a way that no one would actually wear them.
Regardless, when I look at these swatches, I still come to the same conclusions about the colors. Swatches four through nine on the bottom row look incredibly similar to each other; I already have a hot pink and neon purple; and everything else is a neutral that I already have a few times over.
The color scheme is nothing new. I am drawn to it, of course, because I really like these shades, but that doesn't mean I don't already have all those colors. In fact, I have them all in my two favorite palettes in my collection.
There's my duped Just Peachy Mattes:
And "duped" (loosely defined at this point) Desert Dusk:
These colors are also in Lime Crime Venus:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance:
And my duped/reimagined version of it:
Huda Beauty Rose Gold:
And Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions:
And if the only shade that you don't already own is a matte red, consider picking up a single. Like Superpill Love Plus:
Or Make Up For Ever Tomato:
Let's talk price. Blood Sugar retails for $52 and contains 18 shadows. The pans of these shadows are considerably smaller than other pans by Jeffree Star Cosmetics, which, in my opinion, is a positive thing. However, Blood Sugar also has a $7 price increase from the brand's other palettes that contained 10 shades with large pans. Shipping from Jeffree Star Cosmetics seems to be around $6 for domestic orders, and it doesn't appear that there is ever an option for free shipping. So including tax, this palette is going to cost around $60.
In terms of price, in some ways I think it's in line with similar products from other brands, but in other ways, I think it's overpriced. I personally would not pay upwards of $60 for this palette when I think of palettes like Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix and Saint and Sinner that had similar prices. I also find it to be a negative that Jeffree Star Cosmetics products are not sold in stores, so consumers aren't able to see it in person and try it out before purchasing. However, Jeffree Star Cosmetics does accept returns, unlike other online-only brands like Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics.
I think the main reason for the price increase, however, is the packaging:
Jeffree Star said that he wanted the case to look like a vintage doctor's bag:
I don't think this is necessarily the worst packaging, and I find it better than something like Urban Decay Heavy Metals or even anything by Natasha Denona, but I personally will always choose to have a less expensive product over extravagant packaging.
I'm also personally not a huge fan of the theme of this palette and find it to be a bit muddled and confused. Typically this isn't something that I really care all that much about, but because the theme is the cause for the packaging and that is the reason for the price increase, I feel it is worth mentioning. Jeffree said he wanted it to have a "doctor/dentist" theme, which is why there are shade names like "Cavity", "O Positive", and "Root Canal." (Personally, like Jeffree, I have had a lot of dental work done, but because of that, I really hate the dentistry-related names). But what's odd is that there are also names like "Candy Floss," which is another name for cotton candy, "Cherry Soda," and "Cake Mix." I suppose I could suspend disbelief and think that those names relate because they cause cavities, but even then I think it's a stretch.
Like I said, theming really isn't a huge thing for me normally, and I'm fine with my Viseart Dark Matte palette that doesn't have any names whatsoever, but if the theme and packaging are what's driving up the price, I feel like those things should be really well executed, which I don't think is true with Blood Sugar.
Now, in a post about Jeffree Star Cosmetics, I feel it necessary to acknowledge his problematic behavior. I delved into this in my anti-haul post on his Androgyny palette, and I would encourage you to read that post if you don't know what I'm talking about.
Since I wrote that post, Jeffree Star made a video addressing his past racist actions. From what I remember about the video, Jeffree says that the videos showcasing his racist words and actions 12 years ago do not represent the person he is now and that the past can never be erased. That I recall, he doesn't actually apologize. However, as I discussed (with screenshots) in the Androgyny post, he has relatively recently called women "rats" and threatened physical abuse toward them. Jeffree acknowledged in the same video that he reacts harshly to certain things and that he is working on not doing that. From the little that I have seen (I don't actively follow his social media), it seems like Jeffree has dialed back on lashing out with really upsetting and disgusting language.
With all of that said, it's not up to me to decide if his "apology" should be accepted. I put apology in quotes because, although he did acknowledge his racist behavior and condemn it, he didn't actually apologize (that I remember). It's not up to anyone outside of the affected community to decide how the affected community should feel. I don't subscribe to Jeffree's channel, and I'm not going to buy Blood Sugar, and that is my personal choice.
Bringing it back to this palette, I do think that it's pretty and certainly the one I like the most from this brand. But when I consider my makeup collection as a whole, upwards of $60 is way too much to pay for colors that I already have simply because they are in a special case that is bulky and not quite properly themed. This is a palette that I have no doubt that I could entirely dupe with what I already have in my collection, and for the exception of a few slightly unique shades, I would say most people could do the same.
In terms of the formula, I will be transparent and say that I personally have never tried the Jeffree Star Cosmetics formula. I have read and watched dozens of reviews that conclude that the formula is fine, but nothing all that special or groundbreaking. I don't advocate for buying products and colors that you already own because you want to "try out the formula" as I find that just to be an excuse we tell ourselves to justify buying something new and hyped that we know we don't need. The Jeffree Star Cosmetics formula has never been hyped, so that's just one less thing to be tempted over.
I also think that Blood Sugar might fall into the same problems that Urban Decay Naked Heat faced, which is that despite having several colors, there won't be too many distinct looks that can be created with the color scheme. I'm assuming there will be a gold look, a pink look, and a red look, and everything else will be a variation of one of those three. That's certainly true of my duped Desert Dusk palette (pictured above), but I still completely love that palette because it is made up of so many of my favorite single shadows.
And finally, it appears that Jeffree Star Cosmetics is using the false scarcity marketing tactic with this palette. This is something that many brands do, and is essentially how Kylie Cosmetics built their entire brand, but it's where the brand has a very small initial release so that it can sell out of stock almost instantly and create a false sense of scarcity, causing people to jump onto buying it because they don't want to miss out on what must be an incredible product because it sold out so quickly. Sure enough, Blood Sugar sold out shortly after its release, and now Jeffree Star Cosmetics is accepting pre-orders on the second launch. I understand that Jeffree Star Cosmetics has a rabid fan base, but there just really isn't anything all that special about this palette to justify the feeling of fear of missing out. On the eyes, this palette will look just like any of the palettes mentioned above, and you could achieve the same kind of looks by buying only a few single shadows.
I certainly don't need any more palettes, especially when I own at least three already that dupe all of Blood Sugar. This is a color scheme that we have already seen a dozen times over, and it's even repeated throughout its own palette. I don't need any more of these shades, and I won't be buying.