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Influencer beauty collaborations: same boring concept, same old schtick!

Written by Beauty, Life & Style

When Jeffree Star revealed his new palette ‘Blood Lust’ on February 11 he was met with criticism over the supposed purple palettes lack of, well… purple. Many fans of the brand were underwhelmed and disappointed, but this isn’t the first time major brands have released critical flops.

Makeup brands are businesses and businesses need to make money. It’s because of this that gimmicky or samey products keep getting released by certain brands over and over again with little to no innovation in colour story or concept. Jeffree Star (the brand and the man behind the magic) both have had questionable pasts and launches, but you cannot fault the brand’s innovation. It’s probably because of this that fans were so disappointed in the ‘Blood Lust’ launch. Star’s collaboration with Shane Dawson wasn’t my style at all, but you could tell a lot of work had gone into making it fit Dawson’s branding and personality. There is a personal charm to each of Star’s palettes, and they tell their own stories through their individual concepts; the same can’t really be said for other brands…

Instagram @gigihadid

When I think of an influencer collaboration that really flopped, I think of the Maybelline x Gigi Hadid collection from back in 2017. Not only were the products pretty so-so in colour and packaging, but they were hugely overpriced. One of the palettes in the collection cost £13.99 and contained six shades; compare this to Revolution Beauty’s most popular collaboration with sophdoesnails (which twenty-four shade eyeshadow palette only costs £10) and you can practically smell the money-grab from a mile away. It was pretty clear to see that Maybelline had ran with Hadid’s name and the attention it would bring the collection, not realising that the mediocre release would for some time tar the brands reputation. The same thing happened with the launch of Jaclyn Hill’s palette with Morphe; costing an extra £15 than Morphe’s other 35-shade palettes. There was nothing new about the launch really, it was Hill’s name and fans that would bring in the cash, and as a result really turned off day-to-day makeup wearers like myself.

Instagram @jaclynhill

Revolution Beauty isn’t so squeaky clean when it comes to influencer launches however (no matter their more than acceptable price-tag!). There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”, and Revolution hit this nail on the head. It feels like there is a new collaboration coming out every week that all end up looking the same and clearly lack any innovative thought. There’s also a touch of, dare I say, favouritism, with influencers who have high numbers being given a lot more advertising and time to perfect their collections before the next collaboration inevitably is released. It rubs me the wrong way, and feels like a PR stunt on the brand and the influencers behalf; it’s wrong and in cases like Zoella’s advent calendar launch for example, exploits influencer’s young fans.

Collaborations in the beauty world are becoming less a way of sharing an influencers personal style and branding, and more of a money grab or a way to seal brand-influencer relationships. It’s disheartening and lazy, but as long as we keep buying mediocre products, they will still be made.

Last modified: 4th March 2020

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