As much as I would like to be the beauty blogger who tries everything and brings all the brands to my readers, there are some I just can’t support. There is enough attention on these products in the beauty world right now that I do get asked about them, and I felt like I needed to address the issue of why you will not see reviews or recommendations of the product on my blog. Hate away–I’ve got comment moderation turned on, and I do not hesitate to delete comments from people who flame me.
Kylie Lip Kits: yeah, yeah, sell out in minutes, prices through the roof on ebay, huge black market for fakes, blah blah freaking blah. But you know what? The brand didn’t correct the pattern of action that caused their F rating from the Better Business Bureau until after the rating was published, and Jenner herself credited “so many of (her fans) speaking out” for getting that rating pulled, meaning that they flooded the site with fake positive reviews to try to save her. In 2015, her team used a photo of Vlada Haggerty’s work without permission to advertise the Kylie Lip Kits which were not used in the photo, and then for this past holiday season, copied another of Haggerty’s looks without permission. That’s aside from the quality issues and the products arriving as empty boxes. I don’t mess around with cheats and thieves.
Jeffree Star: Oh, Jeffree. You never met an opportunity for drama that you didn’t like, did you? Others have covered it better than I have, and I can forgive the fact that he made racist comments a decade ago and has apologized for them, if it weren’t for the fact that he Has. Not. Changed. His. Behavior. He routinely calls women “bitches,” “hoes,” and “cunts.” He did a skit with another vlogger where he joked about throwing battery acid in a black woman’s face to lighten her skin. Stephanie Nicole (no affiliation) on YouTube has done a better job of collecting receipts on it than I ever could, so I’m not going to rewrite it here. Suffice to say that I would never support or promote a brand owned by someone like him. I don’t know what his products are like, and I have no interest in trying them, because I would rather be dead than have someone this cruel make the first red cent off me. He and MannyMUA, aka Manny Gutierrez, another bullying ass who participated in the bullying of a small YouTube vlogger with Jen Gerard of Gerard Cosmetics (see below), were sued this year over their collaboration by indie brand Black Moon Cosmetics, alleging copyright infringement over their logo for the project. The suit was resolved under unknown circumstances, but it looks incredibly shady.
Kat Von D: Once upon a time, when I was young and naive and fascinated with tattoos, I adored her. She was one of my heroes, back when I didn’t know there was anything wrong with using the R word as a pejorative on a regular basis. While she claims the anti-Semitic signed photo she allegedly gave Ami James was forged, there is little evidence either way. (Her former relationship with Jesse James, who has had his own share of anti-Semitic controversy, doesn’t help her case, though.) Her lipstick names are generally trying-too-hard edgy (“Lolita” and “Underage Red” creep me out, even though Underage Red is a gorgeous shade), but she didn’t really cross the line for me until “Celebutard” and her refusal to walk back her use of the name until Sephora discontinued the color over the backlash. They apologized; she didn’t. And when she allegedly cut ties with Jeffree Star, she claimed she was removing her lipstick shade named after him from her line, but it’s still on her website.
Lime Crime: Hoo boy. Doe Deere (born Xenia Vorotova) of Lime Crime is a real piece of work. Between being photographed in a Hitler costume, suing and threatening bloggers who criticize her, the FDA controversy over ingredients that weren’t legally allowed in lipstick, and the fraudulent charges to people’s credit cards after ordering from the site, she and the brand are a hot mess and always have been. Arabelle Sicardi’s piece for Racked has all the links you could ever want on the subject.
Gerard Cosmetics: I’m just going to leave this here. It contains enough screenshots to prove the point. Basically, the owner and MannyMUA ganged up on a small Youtube reviewer (under 10k subscribers at the time, comparable to this blog) because she criticized the product and the brand’s business practices.
Manny MUA was entangled with the Gerard scandal and the Jeffree Star crap, and he’s tangled with plenty of other people. Anything with his name on it, I won’t buy. So I’m super disappointed that Benefit Cosmetics, one of my favorite brands ever since I was a teenager, has once again partnered with Jeffree Star and with Manny, especially since it’s on products I actually liked long before they were involved. I’ll buy other Benefit products, but I want their “collaboration” (aka spokesmodel nonsense) to crash and burn. Like Jeffree, he also has a habit of calling women “hoes” when they cross him, which speaks to a nasty degree of misogyny and whorephobia. I’m not okay with that.
There are other brands that I won’t personally buy, because they left a bad taste in my mouth as an individual, but without receipts, I’m not going to tell you not to buy them. These, though, turn my stomach, and I can’t just not say anything. Yeah, they’re bigger than me, and making more money than I probably ever will, but I can’t send people off to buy stuff knowing the people behind the brands are so mean-spirited. There is too much hate in the world right now to ignore and tolerate. I know the Kylie lip kits are adored, Jeffree Star and Kat Von D make amazing colors, etc., but I feel like by engaging with these brands, I would be condoning the behavior of the people involved, and I can’t do that. I know that my readers are kind, reasonable people who will understand my refusal.