“The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star” has been Youtuber Shane Dawson’s biggest project for months. The very “hush-hush” documentary series began filming in early January of this year and had plans of being a big nine-part series.
The first episode of the long-awaited Youtube docuseries dropped on Oct. 1. Throughout the first five episodes, Dawson follows famous beauty Youtuber, Jeffree Star, as they put together a make-up collection inspired by Dawson, with its main focal point being The Conspiracy Palette. Along with The Conspiracy Palette are other products like the mini Controversy palette and a set of liquid lipsticks.
To begin, the documentary on a technical level, is alright. The documentary is better than a lot of his more recent videos, but still mediocre nonetheless.
I think my biggest problem with the mechanics is Dawson does not know how to edit–at all. The main issue I have with this docuseries and many of Dawson’s others is he never knows what to cut. In fact, sometimes he has unnecessary scenes that go on for way longer than they should. For example, in the very first episode of the series, the first 15 minutes are spent discussing Dawson’s fear of flying and his general anxiety. While this content may be fine for his usual vlogging, if Dawson wants to keep his documentaries on track, he should focus less on his daily life and more so on the subject he’s trying to capture.
Despite my issues with it’s mechanics, the content is fairly interesting. I will give Dawson and Star credit–this was an insanely genius business move. Dawson is documenting the production of this product and its release. By doing this, it allows Dawson to not only drop the episode but also drop the make-up line for fans to buy the very next day. After Dawson announced what his make-up collection looked like in the sixth episode on Oct. 29, the make-up could be purchased two days later on Friday, Nov. 1. Star is someone who knows how to make money, and he does so through not only this docuseries but the thousands of products he sells daily.
The Conspiracy Palette sold out the very day it was released. The website which had been selling the make-up, according to Heavy.com, even crashed. Fans are going berserk over the introduction of Dawson’s palette and it’s insane to think about, considering Dawson is someone who has barely any make-up experience and is now making millions of dollars off his own line up make-up. Not only that, but because of Star, Dawson’s merchandise store got an entire make-over and also sold out within minutes.
Regardless of the massive success this experience has had for Dawson and Star, the question of whether this docuseries will continue is hanging up in the air.
According to Cosmopolitan, Dawson may not publish the rest of the footage he has. In an Instagram live video on Nov. 7, he discussed the current status of the docuseries, but mainly focused on his documentation of “dramageddon,” which refers to the feud between make-up YouTubers James Charles and Tati Westbrook that started in May of this year.
Dawson stated in the Instagram live video that he feels “done” with the documentary. The original trailer not only depicted the unveiling of the beauty industry’s business side, but Dawson had also planned to expose the entire beauty world with things like brand trips to PR packages. Meanwhile, on Nov. 4, Star stated in a tweet that there will be more episodes to come: “Episode 7 of the series is coming soon & will show you everything that happened on launch day and all future plans…”
I’ll be honest–I think that it’s a poor choice on Dawson’s part if he ends the series here. Granted, it would be a little problematic if Dawson decided to release documentation of the Tati and James Charles feud due to the fact it may start up trouble again. However, I’m annoyed that Dawson advertised the exposure of the beauty community as a main focal point and proceeded to fall through on that promise. I feel like with something he had a year to create, Dawson should’ve had a better and more formatted plan. That being said, if he decided to originally only show the business side of beauty, then he should’ve deleted all the hints and ideas alluding to much more drama.
One of my favorite parts of the docuseries is when Dawson’s soon-to-be sister-in-law, Morgan Adams, discussed how she was bullied on a brand trip by a bunch of Instagram models and discussed the cruelty and judgemental nature of the beauty industry. Dawson should’ve put some more effort into documenting how the beauty world can be a dark place where people bring each other down. The beauty world is a place filled with feuds–hence, Tati and James Charles. Even if Dawson finds the posting of the feud to be problematic, I think it would’ve been interesting to see at least a little bit of, especially since Jeffree Star has invested himself in the drama for no apparent reason.
As someone who’s been watching Dawson for years, my biggest problem with him is the fact he’s trying way too hard to be on a moral high ground. I understand that he’s trying to build his name back up, but he can’t do that if he’s being problematic and helping someone like Star, who is extremely problematic, get more fame than he deserves.
I give this documentary series a 5 out of 10. It isn’t doing much for me, but it’s also not terrible. I think he has great content, Dawson just needs to learn how to prioritize. I think he also should include the footage he cut out, such as the drama and the Tati-James Charles feud, because that’s what the people want. It’s what many fans had been looking forward to despite it’s late mention in the year.
Overall, this documentary series can do better, but I’ve seen worse.