Jeffree Star products are worth the hype

Morphe: This beauty brand sells eye shadow for millions of dollars in minutes

How did eye shadow become one of the hippest products among teenagers? The New York Times asks. Because especially in the USA, an absolute hype has broken out around the eye shadow palettes, which are created by influencers like the popular YouTubers Jeffree Star, Shane Dawson or Manny MUA. The collection around the pallets “Conspiracy” and “Controversy” was almost completely sold out online within half an hour. Estimated total revenue: $ 35 million. The cosmetics brand Morphe benefits from the products. OMR has shed light on the company and shows how the combination of social media promo and sales works.

Millions of Wins in Minutes: The Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson Collection

Morphe sold the two eye shadow palettes Conspiracy with 18 color shades (price: 52 US dollars) and Controversy with nine color nuances (price: 28 US dollars) in record time. The products were significantly more expensive than many commercially available eyeshadow palettes. Customers can buy them at drugstores or online, sometimes for ten or 20 euros. Nevertheless, the Morphe collection was sold out online after a good half an hour - with the exception of a few items. That seems unusual for such an everyday beauty product. If you think of the quick sale of extremely popular products, Apple's iPhones or Tesla's Model 3 should come to mind. These products sold in the hundreds of thousands, even millions, within hours.

Just like Apple or Tesla, the ten-year-old beauty brand Morphe has managed to make the new products of the collection into objects of desire even before the launch. Created by social media beauty star Jeffree Star (15.3 million fans on Instagram, 16.7 million on YouTube, own beauty brand Jeffree Star Cosmetics) and YouTube idol Shane Dawson (11.9 million fans on Instagram, 23.1 million on Youtube), the Conspiracy collection has become an absolute top seller, the success of which is primarily based on the popularity of the Internet megastars.

2.5 million customers in the queue

Almost a million pallets were sold via the digital channels in less than an hour. In combination with sales through the almost 30 stationary Morphe stores, around 35 million US dollars are said to have flowed into the coffers of the beauty brand with this collection alone, which also sold over 90,000 lipsticks, bags, etc. This is what digital media publisher Tubefilter reports. For initiator Shane Dawson, almost ten million US dollars could have jumped out - more than he would have earned on YouTube in eleven years.

The windfall is probably not over yet. During the launch on November 1st, millions of potential customers had to wait a long time for their online order to be completed because the systems were overloaded. The video “The Beautiful World of Shane Dawson” (over 15 million views), which documents the launch day, shows that just one hour after it was published, a good 2.5 million people were waiting for the purchase to be completed. Jeffree Star repeats the statement in disbelief: “There are 2.5 million people? Oh my God". Some waited in vain.

Problems checking out for the Conspiracy Collection purchase online, © Shane Dawson

For this reason, 60,000 new pallets each from the Conspiracy and Controversy series are to be sold at the beginning of 2020. More is currently not possible because there is a bottleneck for a color and the production takes time, as Jeffree Star himself states: “When you watch the series, you know that it took us a long time to bring everything together. So we want to be transparent. Now that everything is ready we can do things a lot faster, but it will be another two or three months - realistically. "

The Conspiracy eyeshadow palette (click on the picture to get a larger view), © Morphe, Jeffree Star Cosmetics

The social media star also announced on Twitter that the Conspiracy series is to be established as a permanent part of Jeffree Star Cosmetics, which are sold through Morphe, among others.

Episode 7 of the series is coming soon & will show you everything that happened on launch day and all future plans .. It's Shane and I, so expect the unexpected. The #Conspiracy collection is permanent. Thank you all so much for the biggest launch in our entire careers! ???

- Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) November 5, 2019

Product promo on Youtube and Co. - customers don't think twice about buying

Influencers like Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star naturally play the central role in promoting the products. At the end of October, Dawson had the video “The Conspiracy Collection Reveal | Jeffree Star x Shane Dawson ”. It more or less describes the making-of of the collection, is over an hour long - and has generated more than 18 million views and over a million likes.


In the video, Dawson and Star visit production facilities, viewers see them negotiating with partners or at the first glance at the new finished product. In between, personal issues are also dealt with, for example when Jeffree Stars' dog dies. The fans can also watch how both lipsticks are packed in boxes or they can get exclusive insights into shootings.

Dawson has published an entire Youtube series with Jeffree Star. And the view numbers and engagement are immense. After all, the fan base of the two stars is huge. In the weeks before the launch, Dawson and Star advertised the YouTube videos on their extremely successful Instagram channels and repeatedly shared brief insights on the development of the collection.

The dissimilar business couple benefits from each other

Jeffree Star began his career as a musician at Myspace and for years had more and less success. With his beauty label Jeffree Star Cosmetics, he turned into an extremely successful Youtuber in 2014. The products of his brand are sold through various dealers, especially Morphe, and of course through the Jeffree Star Cosmetics website itself.

Shane Dawson, on the other hand, was an actor and comedian and has positioned himself on Youtube since 2008. With success: In addition to his channel “Shane”, his “Channel Shane Dawson TV” also has over eight million followers - although no new videos have been posted there for two years. Dawson discusses conspiracy theories in popular videos and documents happenings such as the event of the influencer Tana Mongeau's failed TanaCon. He also meets stars like Jake Paul in his clips. Or just Jeffree Star. The two have already carried out projects together in the past. For example, Shane Dawson posted the video “Becoming Jeffree Star for a Day” on Youtube in 2018 - and has generated over 33 million views with it to date.

Vlogger Dawson, who sometimes seems a bit insecure, who also speaks about topics such as depression or dysmorphophobia (a disruption of the perception of one's own body), and the self-confident and eccentric musician, make-up artist and entrepreneur star should also be different groups due to their different appearances appeal to users. Both of them are likely to have benefited from these in the course of their extensive cooperation and have significantly increased their followings.

In addition to the documentary video series “The Secret World of Jeffree Star”, “The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star” has now contributed to the success of the Morphe collection on YouTube. In the first series, Dawson asked Jeffree Star how long it would take to bring a new cosmetics collection to market. Stars Answer: About a year. Even here, fans could suspect that the two would bring out products together. Thanks to the extensive promotion on YouTube, Dawson, Star and Morphe didn't have to worry about customers for the Conspiracy collection, as it turned out.

Crazy about eyeshadow

The New York Times recently showed in an article how big the run on the eyeshadow palettes is. It points out that the eyeshadow collections in US high schools are becoming a status symbol. A schoolgirl from Chicago even has 30 pallets at home: "I collect them because they are visually appealing and support the influencers who speak to me."

With products like those of the Conspiracy series, different aspects come together. Buyers are often big fans of the social media personalities responsible for the collections. So they buy the items as fans. Thanks to this, the website morphe.com had over 33 million website visits in the 13 months from November 2018 to November 2019, as an estimate by the analytics tool Similarweb shows. For comparison: Kylie Jenner's kyliecosmetics.com recorded around 20.7 million visits in the same period. What is striking about the number of visitors to morphe.com is that they were higher than ever before in November 2019. 6.86 million visits were recorded in the month of the launch of the Conspiracy collection alone. That topped the previous best month (October 2019, 3.66 million) by over 87 percent.

Website visits at morphe.com, Nov. 2018 to Nov. 2019 (click on the picture to get a larger view), © Similarweb

On Instagram, which plays an important role in inspiring beauty products, the Morphe Brushes account has now broken the ten million followers mark.

The rise of Morphe

In 2008 Chris and Linda Tawil founded the beauty brand Morphe. On the blog of the retailer Lookfantastic, they say that they first toured the whole country to sell brushes and cosmetics. The creation of an eyeshadow palette with 35 color nuances then brought them their first successes. The brand only opened its first offline store in 2013, but Chris and Linda Tawil began promoting their brand on Instagram as early as 2012. The better the two got to know the scene, the more they could have resorted to influencers from the industry. The brand has gained more and more popularity through collaborations with them.

Today, the “own” eyeshadow palettes, brushes, lipsticks and the like are sold as well as the creations of superstars from social media.In addition to Jeffree Star, the so-called Morphe Babes include US beauty greats such as Jaclyn Hill or James Charles, Bretman Rock or Deysi Danger. After all, Morphe calls himself “A Beauty Brand Created for the Creators”. The influencers then also appear in official videos for Morphe; But it is their own reach that makes the brand and the current collections into hits - and in some teenage circles, must-haves.

Morphe continues: New collection with Manny MUA just dropped

At the beginning of December, Morphe followed suit. Beauty vlogger Manny MUA (over four million followers on Instagram and Youtube) launched his collection together with Morphe on December 7th. A brush set for 55 euros and an eyeshadow palette for 23 euros from Manny MUA are now available at Morphe. The comments, on the Instagram post alone on the announcement of over 1,200, indicate that many, many fans will buy this collection immediately.

With the new cooperation, the beauty brand would like to continue working on establishing a status as a go-to brand for millions of buyers and fans of the Creator. In autumn 2019, according to the fashion magazine Marie Claire, thousands of people in Great Britain signed up for a waiting list that was supposed to secure them preferential access to Morphe products at the British retailer Boots.

All of these aspects promise a profitable and positive immediate future for Morphe. This is another reason why financial investor General Atlantic - involved in Airbnb and Uber, among others - announced in August that it had acquired a majority in Morphe Holdings. Andrew Crawford, Managing Director and Global Head for General Atlantics Consumer Business said: “Morphe has developed a unique approach that really appeals to the customer base. We see significant opportunities to use this approach to create a differentiated brand portfolio and to scale it across channels, regions and categories. "

According to Reuters, Morphe was worth over $ 2 billion at the time. With successes like those of Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson, that number could rise rapidly. After all, a supply of cosmetics doesn't last forever.

[Update: After a hint, we changed some formulations that were not applicable. Especially with regard to the fact that Morphe himself “stands behind the products”. The Jeffree Star Cosmetics brand stands behind these, Morphe is an effective advertising partner and reseller.]