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Merch Vs. Makeup: The Jeffree Star Valentine’s Mystery Boxes

Posted By on February 24, 2020 in LifeStyle | 0 comments

Merch Vs. Makeup: The Jeffree Star Valentine’s Mystery Boxes

Let me start by saying that I love mystery boxes and subscriptions boxes, and overall I think that Jeffree Star has done a great job of bringing together interesting collections that have some exclusive items, some staples, and a few surprises.  I am also a big Jeffree Star Cosmetics fan and I own a lot of his products, so when I buy them I always assume that there are going to be a fair number of duplicate items (although I’ve had pretty good luck with getting at least a few new items that I didn’t already have).  I don’t understand people who want to complain about mystery boxes and what they contain.

First, it’s called a “mystery” box, not “a box of perfectly curated stuff that only includes the exact things you wanted and no duplicate shades.”  That’s not realistic.  Mystery boxes are a great way for brands to reduce stock on things that may not be moving as quickly as they had anticipated and make back some of the cost.  As much as Jeffree Star throws shade at brands that sell excess stock to retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, a mystery box serves much the same purpose.  If you want a box of stuff that you know you don’t already have and is exactly the colors you wanted, then place an order.

Second, Jeffree Star Cosmetics is a makeup brand, yes, but the merch category is a strong one on their site and almost all new collections have a strong merch presence in addition to the cosmetic products.  People who act surprised that they are getting a fair number of merch items should check out the website and they will clearly see that JSC is a brand that prominently features its merch line across collections and categories.  Again, if you aren’t a merch fan then mystery boxes might not be the best option for you.

I think the discussion about merch vs. makeup is going to be one that comes up a lot more, and I think it’s definitely relevant to the Valentine’s boxes.  Once again, JSC created exclusive cosmetic items that were only available in the boxes (1 unique item per box), but there were a large number of exclusives across the boxes.  If there are a lot of exclusives, and only one of the exclusives is a makeup item, by default that means that there is going to be a fair number of merch items.  In the two smaller boxes, Premium and Deluxe, merch items were 50% of the items included (2 out of 4 and 4 out of 8 items respectively).  The Supreme box was a little more makeup heavy with 4 out of 12 items being merch for 33%.

Here’s some stats on the boxes and what they included:

Deluxe Box – $105 stated retail for $60, 4 items with 3 exclusives (white box)

The Gloss, shade: Succulent (exclusive)
Red Jeffree Star Candy Hearts Beanie (exclusive)
Pink JSC Logo Pop Socket (exclusive)
Alien Palette

Premium Box – $199 stated retail for $100, 8 items with 3 exclusives (red box)

Velour Liquid Lipstick, shade: [broken heart with question mark] (exclusive)
Candy Hearts Tshirt (exclusive)
Pink JSC Logo Baseball Cap (exclusive)
4 pack, JSC Metal Straws (assorted colors)
Mini Breaker Palette
Platinum Ice or 24 Karat Highlight Palette
The Gloss (assorted shades)
JSC Star Mirror (assorted colors)

Supreme Box – $285 stated retail for $145, 12 items with 5 exclusives (pink box)

The Gloss, shade: Softcore Sparkle (exclusive)
Candy Hearts Tote (exclusive)
JSC Cross Body Bag (exclusive)
Pink JSC Logo Pop Socket (exclusive)
Jeffree Star Approved Mirror in Hot Pink Chrome (exclusive)
Blue Blood Palette
Brain Freeze Highlight Palette
Velour Lip Scrub (assorted flavors)
3 Velour Liquid Lipsticks (assorted shades)
The Gloss (assorted shades)

So let’s break down my thoughts on the exclusive items, starting with the cosmetics.  I love that he did another metallic liquid lipstick as an exclusive shade; JSC does amazing metallic liquid lipsticks and they need more in the line!  In fact, if I had any complaint about the number of metallic that he has done as exclusives it would be that he needs more in the permanent collection!  So many brands struggle with metallic liquid lips, and I always have a good experience with the JSC formula.  This lipstick is a gorgeous deep berry, sort of a red/pink hybrid that looks very pink in the tube but has a strong red undertone when applied.

I was secretly hoping that there would be an exclusive shade of the new Extreme Frost highlighter (or even the Supreme Frost), but instead we got two new shades of The Gloss.  I personally think these are great for mystery boxes because I don’t buy a lot of lip glosses since they aren’t very practical for show makeup, so most of my glosses from JSC are from the various boxes.  Both of these are gorgeous, light and bright shades with plenty of sparkle in pastel shades perfect for Valentine’s Day.  Succulent is a bubblegum pink base, but it has a glitter shift that is very blue!  Softcore Sparkle is a lilac base with a pink and purple shift.

As for the merch exclusives, I was pretty happy overall.  I am a sucker for anything with candy hearts on it, so when I saw the new sweatshirt with the candy hearts featuring Jeffree’s signature catchphrases, I was crossing my fingers that they would do a tshirt design with that logo, and they did!  I also love the candy hearts tote bag; a lot of people noted that it feels kind of cheap and lightweight, and they aren’t wrong, but I love that design and I am obsessed with little totes like that so I loved it.  The crossbody bad that I got is maroon and black (I think I saw one video where someone got a bright red with black, but I could be imagining that!) and it’s totally a type of bag that I would use except that the strap is just a little too short for it to be a comfortable cross body bag (#FatKidProblems).  I’ll try it out because it’s the perfect size and I really do like the style, but I may end up gifting that one to someone.  The Pop Sockets are whatever; I’m not super into them, but I popped one onto my phone and I don’t hate it?  The other one is going into a giveaway that’s coming up soon.

I think the red beanie with the candy hearts is absolutely adorable!  I’m terrible about bundling up and usually go without a hat (not a wise choice in a North Dakota winter!) but I will stick this in my coat pocket and hopefully get some use out of it!  I’m also going to hold onto the pink cap.  I almost never wear caps but I love the light pink with the red logo.  I will probably keep it around for those rare times that I’m in the mood to put on a cap, but it may get decluttered to someone at some point.  Who know?  Maybe I’ll discover my love of caps…but I wouldn’t count on it.

My favorite merch item is probably the Jeffree Star Approved mirror is hot pink chrome.  I am obsessed with the mirrors (16 and counting, baby!) and in addition to the mystery boxes I had already ordered two of the three colors of this style at launch: baby pink chrome and the black with pink writing.  Now, if I had known that this exclusive mirror was going to be in the box, I probably would have ordered the matte pink with black writing instead of the baby pink chrome, but I’m not mad about having both of these.  Since they are so similar, that gives me an excuse to bling out one of them!

As for the rest of the products in the box, I think it was a great selection, although now that I am watching other people’s videos, I realized that the luck of the draw just wasn’t with me this time around!  I knew any eyeshadow palettes would be dupes unless they included one of the Shane Dawson collab palettes – and I actually thought they might have included the Mini Controversy as they seem to have some in stock and when it restocks this spring they are going to swap out one of the shades, so it would have made sense to clear out the old style – but I was super excited to see the Brain Freeze palette as I didn’t have that one yet.  I also didn’t mind getting a new Platinum Ice palette as I have been using mine quite a bit and it’s developed a bit of hard pan, so I swapped in the new one and decluttered the old one.  Since I got three Mini Breakers in the Halloween boxes I certainly didn’t need yet another one, but I added it to my giveaway pile.  I also swapped in the new Alien and Blue Blood palettes into my collection and decluttered the old ones; I wasn’t anywhere near pan on any shades in either of them, but I do love both color stories so I loved getting a fresh start with both palettes.  I love the metal straws, but I was a little sad when pretty much every other video I’ve watched had the green set and I got the black set.  Still cute, still useful, but you know how I feel about green!  I also got a repeat color for my star mirror (hot pink chrome) which gives me another one to bling up but in other videos I saw lots of colors that I didn’t have: white opalescent, gold chrome, and black onyx.

I am obsessed with the Lip Scrubs; I got Root Beer, and while I do have that flavor, it is the one that I am currently working on finishing up, so it’s nice to have a replacement in hand.  I had pretty good luck with the two glosses: I got Ice Cold and Candy Drip, two shades that I don’t already have.  With those and the two new exclusive shades, that brings my JSC The Gloss collection up to 5 shades total.  I was less lucky with the liquid lipsticks: it looks like everyone (at least everyone that I’ve seen) got both Restraints and Romeo, both of which I have, but then for the last one it looks like most people got either Mistletoe or Doll Parts.  I own both of those shades, but I would have preferred Mistletoe as that is one from the original release that I purchased on Ebay for more money than I care to admit and that I now feel totally sketchy about using after watching the Broken docu-series on Netflix.  I almost bought Mistletoe when he re-released the 5 shades from his first holiday collection this year, but I didn’t and this would have been perfect.  Alas, I got Doll Parts.  A good shade, but less useful to my needs.

There is always going to be some disappointment with any mystery box, but I still think they are fun and I love the chance to get a bunch of products, including some exclusives, for a discounted price.  I don’t know if I will do them every time, but Halloween and Valentines are definitely both the sort of aesthetic I love (candy hearts and creepy shit are totally my jam!) so I will probably participate for any of those.  I don’t mind having missed out on the holiday boxes (even though that highlight palette did look bomb!) and will most likely skip the summer boxes again, but I just think they are fun!

I also really like the exclusive cosmetics items this time around – I think they are the most useful of the exclusive items that I’ve gotten.  The Halloween shades were fun, but there are only so many occasions for royal purple or black liquid lipstick, know what I mean?  These shades will work with a much wider variety of looks.  Sorry I didn’t swatch these out, but glosses are a pain to swatch and they always look gross on my arm unless it’s freshly shaved, so I just took pics of the packaging.  Forgive?  Thanks.

Love them or hate them, it seems like the Jeffree Star mystery boxes are here to stay.  Even if I don’t get in on them, I’m excited to watch all of the unboxings and see what kind of exclusive items he’s going to come up with next!

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