One of YouTube’s most subscribed beauty influencers, Jeffree Star has never been one to avoid controversy. But after the loss of a major brand partner and his followers in 2020, he’s back in the public eye with the promise of remaining drama-free.
Progressing in recovery from a serious car crash in April in his future permanent home state of Wyoming, the mega-influencer took to the media last month to discuss his beauty brand’s Pride initiative. Jeffree Star Cosmetics donates $ 25,000 plus part of the sales of his Rainbow collection to TheOD Foundation, a non-profit association LGBTQ + people in the criminal justice system.
Over the past year, Star and her eponymous beauty brand have made headlines less for CSR initiatives and more for many controversies. In July 2020, Jeffree Star Cosmetics lost its partnership with Morphe. The split came after several other beauty influencers severed ties with Morphe, with some saying openly and others implicitly that they were doing so in response to allegations of racism made about Star. Their decision to cut ties came shortly after he became involved with another set of influencers. “Dramageddon“which led to the demonetization of her beauty collaboration partner Shane Dawson. December 2020, a Business Insider report unearthed documents indicating that a Jeffree Star Cosmetics executive paid a sexual assault accuser $ 45,000 to withdraw his statement against him. Star declined to comment.
After a year of less frequent posting to YouTube, Star is planning a fresh start of sorts. In June, he announced in a YouTube video his next move from Los Angeles to Wyoming. He also said his days of participating in the “drama” were over and he had recently started therapy. He plans to resume his YouTube posting schedule once a week.
The move will take place in mid-July, after the sale of its 20,000 square foot, $ 20 million Hidden Hills mansion. According to Star, traveling there with his seven Pomeranians requires a private flight. “They have their own nanny and their own security.”
In Wyoming, Star is starting a distribution company in Casper called Scorpio Logistics, a “sister company” to its Killer Merch distribution center in Los Angeles. The Wyoming space manages the realization of its Star Lounge product brand and for local Wyoming businesses. While Killer Merch works with other top YouTubers, customers in Wyoming have “asked to be anonymous,” he said, because “Wyoming is very small and they like to be left alone.”
Jeffree Star Cosmetics and Killer Merch, meanwhile, will remain in their five warehouses in Chatsworth, Calif., Which have 125 employees. Local news from Wyoming report said the companies Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Inc. and Jeffree Star Pets, LLC have both been registered with the Wyoming Secretary of State, with their primary locations still listed as Chatsworth.
While Star wants to avoid drama these days, he hasn’t been totally silent about his major split from Morphe. He recently tweeted that Morphe had “betrayed” him and that he would make a video on the subject. He has since changed his mind about a revealing video.
“I decided not to make a video because most of the time, when I dive into a subject, it becomes transformed into something it is not, ”he said. He said his “betrayed” tweet referred to the appearance of the products at TJ Maxx’s UK subsidiary, TK Maxx in the UK.
“They didn’t have permission, but in our agreement they could do it,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a negative, it was just shocking that there was no communication and then our products appeared in TK Maxx. I don’t have a problem with that, of course. They had to do what they had to do with their stock. I just had no communication with them.
Regarding the separation of his brand from Morphe last year, he said: “I have made amends; I don’t think this is the right decision. While Morphe did not say why she cut ties with him, the decision came eight days after beauty influencers including Jackie Aina and Alissa Ashley ended their partnerships with Morphe in July 2020. While Aina didn’t mention Star by name, she tweeted, “I refuse to align with a company that continues to retail racist anti-black beauty brands. Star had previously publicly tweeted attacks against Aina in 2017, after stating in a YouTube video that she would not support her brand due to videos of him using racial slurs during the MySpace days. In 2018, she tweeted a declaration that said, “I have not and will not excuse his blatantly racist behavior.”
His criticism of Aina involved calling her a “rat”, insult he also used in the past to the beauty influencer Shayla Mitchell. Users online pointed out that he had only used this particular insult towards black women. Asked about it, he said it had “nothing to do with race.”
Star has posted several videos of apologies for her past behavior, including one last month that apologized for her involvement in the drama. But he confirmed that he had not contacted Aina directly to apologize. “I don’t speak to anyone in the beauty community,” he said. “I made my peace with it all, and honestly I don’t think about it.”
From Star’s perspective on the Morphe split, “everything online was just too intense and the investors felt that maybe I was a cowardly gun, and they felt the need to step back.” He added that the brand had previously stayed with him through “the ups and downs of many online dramas and controversies.
“I really thought we were going to be partners forever,” he said. “The two owners who owned it, Linda and Chris [Tawil], sold to a company of old men in the office in costume, and they made a reckless decision that day. They gave us no notice and no conversation, and our relationship unfortunately broke down. Morphe had sold a controlling stake in the company to private equity firm General Atlantic in 2019.
Morphe had been the channel for about 22% of the brand’s wholesale sales, according to Star. The split caused sales to drop by “a bit percentage,” Star said, but he did not disclose the number. “It didn’t change your life; our brand has not seen much change. It was just disappointing to see how things turned out. DTC e-commerce is the brand’s primary channel, and it’s also stocked at Beautylish in the United States. New Zealand.
In 2020, sales for Jeffree Star Cosmetics were “pretty consistent,” Star said. He did not elaborate on sales figures, saying, “I sometimes like being a question mark.” But he noted that the brand’s lipstick sales grew 400% in 2021. The brand’s Velor liquid lipstick is its number one SKU.
For his total revenue from his businesses as well as YouTube ads, Star said “2020 is really good for me”. Although he did not disclose his total income, Forbes ranked him as the 10th highest-paid YouTuber of 2020, believing he made $ 15 million. He noted that last year’s revenue “was not at all as large as in 2019,” but said he expects more YouTube revenue this year. “I took so many breaks last year. I was definitely not consistent.
Star estimates that Jeffree Star Cosmetics is worth $ 1 billion. Regarding rumors about past acquisition efforts, “I definitely had a meeting with Estée Lauder [years ago],” he said. “[But] the company is too big, and when a lot of brands sometimes sell, their formulas are shortened. The vision is obscured the wrong way. It wasn’t for me.
Star “has lost millions of followers” following last year’s controversies, which he described as “the cancellation of culture at its highest level.” But 16.4 million YouTube users remained subscribed to its channel, ranking it third among beauty YouTubers in terms of subscribers. It follows (now demonetized) James Charles and Yuya (Mariand Castrejón Castañeda).
“The Star family are very loyal,” he said, referring to his fans. He added that he did not consider himself “canceled”. Besides keeping the fans out, “I still get PR from most of the big beauty brands,” he said.
“Being canceled means someone should go away forever because they’re the worst person on the planet, so I have absolutely no connection with that,” he said. “I think I’m irresistible, and the term is so overkill.”