‘Crocodile Tears’

by | Local (↓) | Amusement (↑) | 0 comment | 3 questions

Velour liquid lipstick in dark green by Jeffree Star Cosmetics. A relatively new cosmetics brand fronted by Jeffree Star, American singer-song writer, model, YouTuber and (controversial) personality.

Where and how is it used?

A lipstick, quite bold, it's used at festivals, nights out and halloween

What did you or someone else pay for it?

It's my sister's, she paid £16 for it

Why do you want to add it to the museum?

the cosmetics industry has long been riddled with ethical debates surrounding whether customers should buy from beauty brands that test on animals. However, the recent rise in popularity of YouTube has seen a wave of new makeup brands faced by celebs. Think 'RealTechniques', 'KatVonD', 'JeffreeStarCosmetics', 'KylieCosmetics', 'KKW'. This new wave of make up is raising new debates within the industry. To what extent should brands that are ethical in the process of producing make up, for example in the sense that they do not test on animals and pay their workers a fair wage, be supported if the celebratory 'facing' the brand is controversial. Jeffree Star has attracted much negative media attention recently with accusations of racism and promotion of illegal drugs.

How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

Is mass-produced

Is produced by local cottage industry

Is made to particular specifications

Is craft / hand-made

Is foraged

Is found

Is colonised

Is a service

Materials & Making

Who made or produced your commodity?

Jeffree star supposedly designed the formula, colour and packaging. I assume it was made in a factory in America.

Who was paid to make it?

I don't know, maybe factory workers?

What skills does it take to make it?

machine operating skills, design, marketing, driving

Where was it made?


What does it cost to make it?

less than selling price at £16, the average lipstick costs $1 to make (wow).

What is it made from?

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?

Jeffree Star, BeautyBay (who sell Jeffree star's brand)

Who or what assesses its quality?

factory manager? consumer? Jeffree?

Where is it sold?

Jeffree Star's online store and BeautyBay

Who or what sells it?

see above

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

my sister bought it on BeautyBay and gave it to me to wear at a festival

Where is it used?


Where is it kept?

it was in a bumbag, normally a makeup display case

How and by whom is it cared for?

keep the lid on! and my sister

How long will it last?

2 years maybe (although it should probably be thrown away before then for hygiene reasons)

Where will it go when it's finished with?

maybe recycling

What is it worth?

used probably not that much

How do you and others value this commodity?

See the values contributed by visitors and those of the donor. And add your own values to this commodity.

Total times valued3
Positive (↑)Amusement
Negative (↓)Local
Overall Positive108
Overall Negative-115
Controversy34.166666666667 (0 = most controversial)

What do these numbers mean?

This data that we have collected over time in our database means nothing without interpretation. A relational database, which we are using here, is technology that enables designers of websites and software to compare, contrast, interrogate and infer relations within data. The act of designing a database is not objective but driven by the agency of its creators and owners.

Within the MoCC Collection data is used to help think through the relations between values, commodities and data. Can we describe our values using sliders and numbers? How do we infer meaning such as controversy from data?

Below is a brief explanation of the some calculations and how these help make decisions about what is shown on the site.

  • Controversy Score:
    (Total Positive Values) + (Total Negative Values)

    The closer the value is to zero the more controversial it is in relation to other commodities. Used to infer that values associated with one commodity divide opinion more than another.

  • Average Value Score (used in the sliders):
    (Total Positive for Value + Total Negative for Value) ÷ Total Times Valued

    Used to infer a collective value associated with a commodity.

How do you value this commodity?

To add your own values click VALUE THIS COMMODITY and move the sliders left and right to add your own values - then click SUBMIT
show donor's original values
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17 +
- 0
15 +
- 0
15 +
- 0
10 +
- 0
9 +
- 0
8 +
- 0
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- 0
6 +
- 1
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- 2
6 +
- 0
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- 2
4 +
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2 +
- 3
0 +
- 3
0 +
- 6
2 +
- 3
0 +
- 7
0 +
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0 +
- 7
0 +
- 5
0 +
- 11
0 +
- 12
0 +
- 11
0 +
- 16
0 +
- 16
0 +

Questions and answers

Help to reveal unknown quantities, properties and uses of this commodity by answering this MoCC curator's questions.

Question: Do you think that brands that are ethical in their practice e.g. do not test on animals and pay workers a fair wage are ethical/ should be supported if the celeb 'facing' the brand is controversial?


What another interesting question this is- and a fascinating dilemma too- one which I'm not sure I've got the answer to.
I suppose, a company should be rewarded for their fair ethics- not testing on animals, keeping good worker rights throughout the supply chain and so on. It's a suprisingly rare thing for companies to achieve. However, using a controversial celebrity/company to face the brand can certainly erode some of this ethical trust a brand creates- are they undermining their beliefs for profits and sales?

It's difficult, because the ethical idealist within me says no, that they shouldn't be supported. But I wonder if I'm being a hypocrite, or unrealistic. In the business world, not getting the best sales could be detrimental to the original brand/companies survival, and if they're focusing on ethics- a more generally expensive ideal, then is it fair to stop supporting them economically? The example that springs to my mind is the facing of Scarlett Johansson and 'Soda-stream'- though the issue here was somewhat the other way round; Soda Stream were behaving unethically in the face of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and Scarlett, a previous ambassador for Oxfam 'sold her ethical stance' and became the face of soda-stream. Perhaps placing blame or judgement on a particular 'face' is unfair- do they become the scapegoat of a much greater ethical dilemma which we're all in part responsible for? Can the company who has good ethics be blamed for trying to survive in the cut throat market of commercialism and sales?

But then I think about it more. Bodyshop for example, a company prided for its supposed 'ethical' stance and environmental policies is owned by Loreal- whose ethics are far, far from ideal. I think this might be enough to stop me wanting to shop there.
I suppose the degree of my 'support' for a company would depend on how the celebrity/brand facing them was controversial. Was it for a deep-seated ethical reason- in which case- i.e.- the celebrity has chopped down a rainforest/exploited labour/been involved in fur trade etc., perhaps it's fair to reduce the ethical rating an individual or group gives the original company. But if it's simply for a non ethical, personal reason that not everyone's their greatest fan, then perhaps to stop supporting the ethical company is unfair.

What do you think? It's definitely a conversation starter!!

by MoCCconsultantGabrielle on August 27th at 2:32pm

Question: What's your favourite lipstick colour?


Ooo classic red or dusky pink. Ideal for any occasion, easy to replace when I inevitably loose/forget/shut the lid without winding down the lipstick. Max Factor does a great colour-sticking after coat too to stop the red covering your teeth and looking like you've eaten a box of red crayons (been there!!).
Most intrigued by the green colour though!! Are there lots of different shades?

by MoCCconsultantGabrielle on August 27th at 11:04am

Question: Do you think make-up is oppressive/ neutral/ a means of self expression, or even something else?


What an interesting question. Make-up has a pretty long history (about 6,000 years), used to signify all different kinds of things, from ritual to Ancient Rome's use of lead based formulas to whiten the skin! Having a natural casper the ghost appearance, I'm not sure I'll be cracking out this Ancient Roman lead-based stuff any time soon...!!

I don't have a particularly strong personal opinion on this- I don't wear it that much (my skills are limited- I mean, what the hec is this 'contour' thing everyone's talking about? I've just about mastered mascara!). But am equally happy for those blessed with such talents. Provided no-one's forced to wear it, I'm in full support of people using it for self-expression!

Make-up clearly has distinct cultural links though. There's a really interesting article here about the cultural 'affinities'- http://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/news/g3034/global-beauty-makeup-trends/. Perhaps something of cultural identity and 'fitting in', as well as self-expression. What an unusual, even slightly uncomfortable expression of 'expressing yourself', but also fitting neatly with what's expected and 'on trend' in culture. What do you think?

As for the lead-based Ancient Roman foundation, I'd probably say today it'd be seen more as a form of punishment and poisoning. So, perhaps, oppression fits this more closely...!

by MoCCconsultantGabrielle on August 27th at 10:59am


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