There is a certain amount of activity on YouTube focused solely around the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Mystery Boxes. There are entire channels that are primarily or exclusively dedicated to spoilers and unboxings, and newer, smaller channels will often use the boxes to try and give their channels a boost. Although the mystery boxes aren’t the phenomenon they once were, selling out in seconds and leaving many consumers to rant on the internet about the unfairness of competitive makeup shopping, they are still a bit of an event.
I haven’t been as big of a fan of the boxes lately; I bought the boxes last Halloween, and I didn’t find the value for me to be quite as good as past boxes. There was only one “exclusive” makeup item in the boxes, a lip balm that was clearly packaged to be released with the Cremated collection that most likely got held up in production delays at the start of the pandemic. I live for the exlcusive makeup items, and in the past I’ve really enjoyed them, but those Halloween boxes kind of put me off and I didn’t pick up anything from two rounds of boxes, holiday 2020 and spring 2021.
What brought me back to the boxes for summer was the promise of early release products. Unlike previous boxes, the summer boxes were going to feature some exclusives as well as some “early release” products, meaning that the products will come out with the regular line eventually, but the box is the first chance to own them. For this box in particular, the big draw was the inclusion of the Star Ranch mini palette, a 9-pan palette set to release later this year (I say in my video that I think it’s going to be the Wyoming collection, but we’ll see!). I love the Jeffree Star Cosmetics eye shadow formula, and I was interested enough in the chance to get ahold of it early that I decided to give the boxes a shot.
In addition to the palette, which I’ll be swatching and talking about below, there were two exclusive liquid lipstick shades. There were two tinted lip balms, Blood Stain and Cowboy Kiss, that are either exclusives or early releases but they are just tinted lip balms with a slight red or brown tint respectively. For this post, I wanted to stick to what I found the most interesting: the palette and the two liquid lipsticks.
I did see a little bit of complaining online that there weren’t any pink tones in the palette because the box the palette comes in is entirely pink (and weirdly effectively patterned in woodgrain – it’s a texture experience, y’all!). But in the reveal video, he stated very clearly that the box didn’t necessarily represent what was inside and, of course, now that we’ve seen the new collection, Pink Religion, we know why there are no pinks in this palette. By the way: there will be a full review of the Pink Religion collection coming to this site soonish…if they ever decide to fucking ship it!
The palette is a mix of a few neutral shades with blues and a minty green shimmer. I swatched all of the shades over the Ulta Matte Eye Primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Yak Farm, Owl Eyes, Open Range
Yak Farm is a cool sandy beige matte. Owl Eyes is an antique gold shimmer. Open Range is a medium warm chocolate shimmer.
L to R: Casper Mtn, Wyoming, Star Creek
Casper Mtn is a bright baby blue shimmer metallic with a gorgeous, full base. Wyoming is a medium brown matte, a little patchy in places and a lot boring. Star Creek is the standout, a green shimmer with notes of gold shimmer and a slight blue tone to the green base.
L to R: Ole’ Jeff, Grand Prismatic, Winter Wind
Ole Jeff is a bright cyan shimmer. This one thins out at the base if you use a finger, and you get more of a glittery wash; if you want more of that base pigment along with the glitter, you’re best off using a dry brush. Grand Prismatic is a bright Cyan matte. Winter Wind is a rich royal blue shimmer almost edging down into navy territory.
These shadows are all reflective of the usual JSC formula, and I didn’t have any problems with how they performed. As I noted above, Ole Jeff is a little bit sheer at the base if you use a finger or foil it with a spray, so if that’s the look you want you can achieve it, but if you want a fuller base pigmentation I would definitely suggest a dry brush. All of the others have a pretty consistent base pigmentation. Wyoming seemed maybe a little bit patchy, but let’s be 100% real: I am never that interested in matte browns, so I didn’t take much time to fuss with it. I have no reason to believe that you couldn’t get beautiful performance out of this if you cared to try. Which I didn’t.
I used this palette in last week’s Face Friday look – definitely check that out in the LifeStyle section if you want to see what shades I used and how and where!
The two lipsticks are lovely and are pretty wearable shades for the average consumer. Neither one has a name; mystery box shades always have some sort of logo or picture associated with them. The one on the left had a star badge logo and came in the mini box, and the one on the right had a yak head logo and came in the supreme box. I’m going to call them Badge and Yak! As of this writing, there is at least one option for each of the four mystery boxes available on the Jeffree Star Cosmetics website, so check them out if you think you might like these exclusive shades.
The swatches are done over bare skin with the lighting the same as noted above.
The Badge shade is a mauve-y purple with a muted finish. This looks a lot like Androgyny to me, but I didn’t have that shade to compare them. I’m sure there is some difference, but I’m not sure it really makes that much difference on. I saw a couple of people swatch the two shades next to each other, but most of them had pretty atrocious lighting and the differences I saw were there, but minimal. It’s up to you whether or not you’d want to pick this up if you already own Androgyny. Yak is a bright peachy pink, and this shade is really pretty. If I were going to compare it to a shade off the top of my head, I would say Rose Matter, but this one is more of a peachy color. I think this one is lovely and I’m excited to play around with it more.
You can hear my full thoughts on the boxes by watching my video linked at the top of this post, but I wish that JSC would get back to having more exciting (and plentiful!) exclusive makeup items in their mystery boxes. The merch items are fun (though the titties out shirt from the supreme box was a definite dud for me!) but we’re here for the makeup! The highlighters that he has done in the past have been raved about, and the lipstick shades, even if they are odd, are always a favorite. I imagine he’ll keep using the Mystery Box format to clear out overstock (since he’s shit on TJ Maxx more times in videos than I can even count!) but I think that if he wants to keep them fresh an exciting, he’ll need to put more thought into the makeup that he includes. The pre-release products are a fun twist, and it was certainly enough to get me to drop some coin, but if there isn’t more than just a new palette to draw me in, I’m not sure how long I’ll stay.
And I’m probably not the only one given how much less competitive shopping for the boxes has become.