What a year, Champagne Dreamers! This has been a crazy year, and as we wind it down, I’m thinking a lot about all of the craziness that 2020 brought us and I’m trying to simplify a lot of things in my life. When the world’s on fire, there’s no reason to be lighting candles, know what I mean?
Jeffree Star recently launched the Blood Money collection, which included the Blood Money palette (a green palette in the vein of Blood Sugar, Blue Blood, and Blood Lust) as well as a few coordinated items. We’re going to dive into the products that I picked up from the collection in a moment, but first let’s talk about Jeffree Star Cosmetics.
This summer, I posted “Goodbye, JSC,” a post that outlined my feelings about Jeffree Star Cosmetics after Tati Westbrook uploaded her video, “Breaking My Silence.” I’m someone who normally avoids the drama/”commentary” space on YouTube (I put commentary in quotes because most of the creators who claim to be commentary channels are just drama channels who think they’re too good to be drama channels…no thanks), but I got caught up in the public spectacle. A lot of what I posted in that article is still true, and I do think that whatever may or may not have happened with James Charles was different from Jeffree Star’s past behavior because it was sneaky and manipulative, compared to his usual public spats with rivals and competitors. But I don’t know what really happened, and neither do you (no matter how many “spilling tea!” videos you’ve watched).
I don’t know Jeffree Star. I don’t know Tati Westbrook or James Charles. I don’t know Shane Dawson. I’m not sure what they are “really like” in their private lives, and frankly, if 2020 has taught me anything, I don’t care. If I strip away the drama and the spectacle of the whole thing, I ask myself this question: is anyone actually harmed when I spend money at Jeffree Star Cosmetics? And the answer is no. Jeffree Star isn’t making donations to people or organizations that I disagree with or that are actively working to take away my rights. I give an example of this in my recent video using this collection if you want to explore this more (I’ll include it below – the first 15-ish minutes is the discussion of the brand and conscious consumerism, so look to skip about that much if you just want to get to the makeups!), but I’ve decided that I’m lifting the “ban” on the brand for my website and my channel. I feel like I can spend money on these products and not worry that the money I spend will be used for some nefarious purpose. All of this drama is just a bunch of rich, entitled people fighting over what they think of as their “turf.” I say, let them fight. It’s not worth my emotional labor to care about their pettiness. I’ve spent way too much time over the last few years researching and commenting on this group of people and Jeffree Star in particular, and I’m done.
And there are always people who will say, “You’re just reviewing his products for clout!” Jesus, give it a rest. First of all, yes, I will say that reviews and videos about Jeffree Star products tend to get more views, and they also tend to get a fair amount of engagement in terms of comments and thumbs up/down. As a creator, I want to create content that people watch and engage with – that’s the goddamn point! But I had been using Jeffree Star Cosmetics products for years before I had a YouTube channel, and they have always been some of my favorite products in my collection. I’m not buying the products as a stunt to get views; I’m buying products that I generally enjoy, reviewing them with the same critical eye that I review all of the products on my site and channel, knowing that these products may have the added benefit of increased engagement.
And here is my other response to that criticism: the “woke girls” who are constantly trying to drag others for “using JSC products for clout” are doing the Same. Damn. Thing. Go to their channels and check out the thumbnails: how many of them feature JSC products in the thumbnails, or have videos about why you shouldn’t shop from the brand. Every anti-haul, ever “will I buy it” video, anything even tangentially related will usually have the most recent JSC product in the thumbnail. Why? The exact same reason: they know that people have all kinds of feelings about the brand and they want to pull in all of the anti-JSC people to watch and engage with their content. And so before anyone gets smart with me about using JSC products for clout, I’ll just say this: we’re both doing the exact same thing, talking about a brand that we know tends to lead to more engagement, but at least I had the courtesy to shop from the brand before I used their name rather than just freeloading on an easy grab at animosity in the community. If you really wanted Jeffree Star and his brand to disappear, you wouldn’t find reasons to bring him up, show off his products in your thumbnails, and use your faux outrage to drum up more views. No one is actually harmed by me spending money with this brand, and I’m not here to babysit the feelings of people who are using his brand as their own gravy train. And that is that on that.
Wow, that got saltier than I expected. I’m going to calm the fuck down and get into some makeup!
The Blood Money palette is an 18-shade trunk palette, similar in general style and design to the Blood Sugar and Blue Blood palettes. This one has a push button clasp, faux alligator material on the outer packaging as well as goldtone metallic accents on the corners. Inside there are 18 shades in a range of greens as well as a few brown, gold, and mustard tones.
The swatches for this palette were done over the Morphe Eyelid Primer in Translucent with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is the swatches under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Divine Intervention, Mint Condition, Chameleon Fetish
Divine Intervention is a white-based duochrome with a bright lime green flash. The green in this can appear more yellow-toned or more blue-toned depending on the lighting, angle, etc. It’s a really gorgeous shade. Minto Condition is a pastel mint matte, nice coverage and opacity, though you really need a brush to get a smooth application. It’s soft and blendable. Chameleon Fetish is a bright chartreuse matte, a little bit chalky but not unworkable. I used this in the GRWM video I linked above and it blended in with the other shadows beautifully!
L to R: Poison Ivy, Make It Rain, Crocodile Tears
Poison Ivy is a gorgeous and bright apple green shimmer, very blendable, though it does have that sort of texture that can get a little clumpy if you aren’t careful. Make It Rain is a medium yellow-leaning green matte, very blendable though when I used it in the look it seemed to be a bit darker in application than I would have expected looking at the pan or even looking at the swatches. it was still a lovely color, but it just appeared much darker. And Crocodile Tears is a gorgeous green matte. When you think of the green crayon in a brand new box of Crayolas, this is it. It’s really gorgeous, and it applied beautifully on the eyes.
L to R: Equity, Money Heist, CEO
Equity is an olive green matte, a very lovely and consistent application. Money Heist is a shimmer shade with a mixture of brownish, antique gold tones and bright green flash. At the right angle, at its darkest, it looks almost brown, but then there is the amazing bright lime green flash. CEO is a bright, brassy gold shimmer.
L to R: Emerald Estate, Heavy Weighted, Jaded
Emerald Estate is a gorgeous blue-toned green shimmer, very bright with an almost silver reflect to it. This is probably my favorite shade in the palette, and I used it on the outer part of the lid for the GRWM look. Heavy Weighted is a bright teal matte shade, very pigmented and great solid application. Jaded is a muted, cool-toned jade green matte. This one went on very smoothly but it felt a little stiffer to me than the other mattes. It didn’t affect the application at all, but just an observation.
L to R: Private Island, Self Made, Tax Free
Private Island is a very cool light tan shade, matte and a little bit inconsistent, especially around the edges, but can be easily worked with to get a nice blend. Self Made is a lighter olive green matte, similar performance to Private island, and still very workable. Tax Free is a brownish bronze shimmer with green reflect.
L to R: Persuasion, Secret Stash, Black Card Limit
Persuasion is a medium to dark cool-toned taupe brown. With a flash, it looks very washed out, but it has some great depth to it and could be used to deepen up some looks if you don’t want to go full on black. Secret Stash is a beautiful duochrome shade with a reddish brown base and strong turquoise flash. Black Card Limit is a black matte with green glitter. It’s a little bit tough to use a finger with this, but it applies nicely and very deep black with a brush. I would suggest using a glitter glue if you want that green glitter to hang around.
If you want to see my video doing brush swatches, I’ll include that below so you get another perspective on these shades!
This is the same sort of quality and performance as I see in the Blood Sugar and Blue Blood palettes. If you like those, and if you like green shades, this palette is a no-brainer! I love the way these blend together and I’m obsessed with green makeup, so I love this selection of shades. The greens are gorgeous, and there is a nice range of more yellow-leaning and more blue-leaning shades, and the supplemental shades are a great complement to the greens.
Because I’m an absolute monster when it comes to green (and green adjacent) makeup, I picked up both of the Extreme Frosts, Stripper Magic and Cold Hard Cash. I gave in and I bought the other three Extreme Frost shades, and I really love them. They are bright and glittery, and just give this amazing shine. For these swatches, they are on bare arm with a finger swatch on the left and then a brush swatch on the right to show the product buffed out, more like actual application. Same deal with the lighting/flash as the swatches above.
L to R: Stripper Magic, Cold Hard Cash
Stripper Magic is a pale pearly champagne base with a yellow-y green shift. Cold Hard Cash has a more golden base and the flash is more obviously green.
These are alright, but I don’t think they are the same sort of quality as the other shades of Extreme Frost. These are still nice and glittery, but in application I find them to be much more like the Supreme Frosts than the other Extreme Frosts. That’s not a big deal in and of itself, except that the price difference between the two is 18 AMERICAN dollars. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of use out of these, but if I were doing this over I would only pick up Stripper Magic. Cold Hard Cash is nice, but I don’t use that much gold highlighter in general, and since the shimmer isn’t as blinding and glittery as the usual Extreme Frost, it would have been an easy pass for me. You live and you learn.
I also picked up the mini liquid lipstick vault – those green components are absolutely darling! – but I didn’t do swatches for this post. You can let me know on the comments here or on Facebook if you’d like a part two with swatches of the lipsticks. In the meantime, I did use two of the shades, Bankroll and High Society, in the GRWM video, so you can check that out if you want to see how those shades perform. Bankroll is the first shade in the box, the emerald metallic, and High Society is the light mint green matte. They blended beautifully to give me a fabulous ombre lip.
I did also pick up three of the four shades of The Gloss that came out with the collection, and I did do swatches of these (though I’m not sure why – I never feel like gloss swatches do much for me!). The fourth shade was a milky chocolate brown shade, one of those that doesn’t have any glitter, and I’m not super about that life so I decided to pass and just get the three shades that have green glitters in them! These swatches are done over bare skin using the applicator, same lighting as above.
L to R: Peach Price Tag, Paid In Full, Blood Money
These glosses are typical of his formula: they are somewhat thick but not sticky, have a pretty decent vanilla crème brulee scent, and the glitters pretty, if not a bit subtle for my taste. Peach Price Tag has a pale peach base and green, gold, and pink glitters. Paid In Full is a more champagne/pale gold base with green and gold glitter. Blood Money is a pastel green base with green glitters. All of these bases are pretty sheer, so it’s not full color by any means, but you do get a little hint of the base color, enough to differentiate between them. I like the feel of these, but I do find that they reactivate the liquid lipstick formula, so be aware of that if you’re planning to stack.
And in the latest episode of “Miss Jaye is a lazy product reviewer,” I also didn’t do swatches of the two shades of the Automatic Eye Liner that I bought. Money Counter is a bright lime green matte and Armored Truck is a brownish base with teal blue glitter. These are fine. I don’t love mechanical liners, and there is nothing about these that is working to hard to convince me otherwise. If you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to get you to watch my GRWM video, and you guessed it: I used (or attempted to use – oooooh, foreshadowing!) both pencils in that video. I had the same problem with these that I have with all mechanical liners, especially if it’s a softer, creamier formula: the product kept breaking off. It’s impossible to find that sweet spot, where you have enough out that you aren’t just scraping plastic across your face but not too much so that it breaks from the pressure of application. I lost a chunk of the lime green. When I started to lose a chuck of the brown, I was a total classy lady and just shoved it back into the barrel and lowered the liner down to practically nothing. I wouldn’t buy these again, and I’m not going to add any new colors to my arsenal. If you like mechanical liners and can make them work for you, these are as good as any others. Just not my thing.
Ever since JSC announced the Blood Sugar palette and it seemed like they were going to be doing mostly monochromatic collections themed around specific colors, I’ve been dying for a green collection to come out – and they definitely did not disappoint! The highlighters weren’t as impactful as I would have liked, but they are still gorgeous. The glosses are pretty, and the lipstick collection adds some interesting new shades into the line (let’s hope a few of them become permanent additions!). The eyeliners are a pass for me, but not because they were bad in particular, but more because I don’t really like that style of product, and these were no better or no worse than other examples of that product type that I’ve tried.
The real star, obviously, is the palette, and it might just be my love for green talking, but I think this is the best of his Blood palette series to day. It’s the most coherent and the supplemental shades that were chosen are just perfection. You can go really cool-toned and more teal, or you can do those more yellow-infused, swampy kind of colors. There is so much to play with here and I can’t wait to get into it. I’m definitely going to be doing a Face Friday with this palette; since the GRWM look was more cool, I will probably embrace my inner bog witch! I’ll also be sure to use a couple more shades of the liquid lipstick, just in case I never get around to swatching them all out for you…
2020 has been a whirlwind, and in the middle of all the shit it really was a blessing to finally get something that I have been waiting for for so long. The fact that the performance was also outstanding was a bonus. This world is scary and hard, and it’s time to love what you love and stop shaming people for liking things that you don’t like, especially when no one is being harmed in the process. Do you, do your consumerism however you like, but let’s try to stop attacking each other so much for what cosmetics we do (or don’t) choose to buy.