Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star have yet to prove that their 9-part ‘documentary’ is more than just an advertisement

Shane Dawson / YouTube
  • The second episode of Shane Dawson’s 9-part “documentary” series with Jeffree Star dropped Friday.
  • Despite much-anticipated drama and tea, the first two episodes have largely been underwhelming.
  • It appears that most of the series will be oriented around the launch of Dawson’s own makeup line, rather than about the highly watched beauty wars that rocked YouTube in the spring of 2019.
  • The coverage of the launch is a departure from Dawson’s previous feature-length videos, which have typically focused on giving an inside look into the lives of other YouTubers.
  • Read more stories like this on Insider.

The second installment of Shane Dawson’s nine-part “documentary” series with Jeffree Star was released Friday, and the tea was only lukewarm.

Despite much anticipation and buildup for the series following Dawson’s previous insider portrayals of the lives of YouTubers – and a full-blown war involving Jeffree Star and major players in the YouTube beauty community – the series has yet to illuminate much that drama-hungry viewers don’t already know.

What’s worse is the series appears to be largely a giant advertisement for Dawson’s upcoming makeup line, which is seemingly being made in collaboration with Star.

Despite nearly two hours of new content, little of substance has been delivered.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson

Shane Dawson / YouTube

Unlike most of Dawson’s previous “documentaries” spotlighting other YouTubers, little new information has been revealed in his second series covering Jeffree Star.

The first episode of the series followed the pair as they took a trip on Star’s private jet and helped open a Morphe makeup store, attracting a true mob to a local mall. The video felt similar to Star and Dawson’s other videos that compare their individual wealth – Star is worth an estimated $75 million dollars compared to Dawson’s $12 million.

It’s an old trick for the duo that now seems a little out-of-touch. Beyond that, the video also failed to deliver the expected dramatic revelations that viewers have become used to with Dawson’s longer, feature-length projects.

The series’ second episode, titled “The Secrets of the Beauty World,” was at least more informational about the makeup industry. But, again, it revealed little that wasn’t already known.

For most of the second episode, Dawson and Star are seen in Star’s business compound of warehouses, where he shows off a new building and arcade. Star reveals some select figures about his business – for instance, that he made over $23 million from his Blood Sugar palette, which costs around $20 apiece to manufacture. He also discusses profit margins and contracts with Dawson.

Star says he believes that many personalities have been ripped off in negotiations with makeup companies, and specifically cited a 2016 collaboration between the brand Too Faced and the YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, known to her subscribers as NikkieTutorials. Star accused Too Faced of only cutting de Jager $50,000 for a product that would go on to make over $10 million. Estee Lauder, the company that owns Too Faced, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

After Star and Dawson’s discussion of makeup profits and merch, Dawson is seen having a brief self-reflective moment where he once again compares his own wealth and capitalization to other YouTubers, and breaks down in the bathroom.

The moment precedes what appears to be the set-up for the rest of the series: Dawson’s self-empowerment through the creation of his own makeup line with Jeffree Star.

In the rest of the episode, the tone is markedly more upbeat as the duo brainstorms ideas for Dawson’s own makeup line and merchandise, with names like “My Uber’s Here,” “My Pills,” and “Jeffree What The F-ck?”

While a look at the process of how YouTubers actually make money is fascinating, the departure from Dawson’s typical subject matter onto the creation of his own makeup line – an arena in which he has zero experience – feels much more like a nine-hour infomercial-turned-marketing stunt.

The series has yet to touch the elephant in the room: the beauty wars.

James Charles, Tati Westbrook, Jeffree Star

James Charles / YouTube

But so far, the series has yet to touch upon a major beauty YouTuber controversy – sometimes known as Dramageddon 2.0 – that hemorrhaged the community this past spring. That gives the first two episodes the feeling of a bait-and-switch, since the preview for the series used copious footage from the controversy.

In fact, the first episode of Dawson’s series barely cites the key Dramageddon 2.0 players besides Star, who is the subject of the series.

The second episode, however, seems to provide some foreshadowing – or is at least a clever bit of PR.

Star, who would later throw beauty YouTuber James Charles under the bus and publicly accuse him of predatory behavior, is seen mentioning Charles as a current successful client multiple times, even calling him a “little brother.”

The footage was clearly shot before their relationship imploded and they severed business ties.

On the one hand, the inclusion of the footage suggests that the coverage of the beauty wars that was seemingly promised may still be coming. From another vantage point, the “documentary” appears to allow Star to portray his side of the story that everyone is watching for.

Two hours into the nine-part series, it’s difficult to say definitively where it will go and why it was produced in the first place. But from the current vantage point, the focus is squarely on Dawson’s new product line.

While that isn’t inherently a bad thing, it may leave some scratching their heads over what happened to that unspilled tea.