"You guys, imagine this, but e.g. in Lip Kits. I think it needs to be a vending machine where you see all the colours." Talk about a vision.
This is what Kylie Jenner said during an interview with Forbes for its "Youngest Self-Made Billionaire" cover. At the age of 20 (and with $900 million to her name), Kylie emerged as the youngest and richest Kardashian-Jenner.
Teenage girls across the globe won't think twice about dropping $42 for a Lip Kit set. FYI, eyeshadows aren't eyeshadows. They're "Kyshadows." A palette will set you back up to $52, although if you want to celebrate Kylie's birthday with her Birthday 2018 Palette, you'll have to fork out extra (that one is $65). There's no denying they're pretty, though.
CVS or Walgreens sell virtually the same colours, shades and overall product for way less. The one thing the regular stuff doesn't offer? Well, the Kylie Jenner experience. You can browse Kylie's Instagram for free. Browse a little more though, and you'll find some interesting (and somewhat disturbing) info. Namely, what goes on in the Lip Kit factories.
While some Kylie Cosmetics employee reviews are negative, we will, however, clearly state that many are positive. Equally, note that many negative reviews were posted before Kylie Cosmetics originally launched (but the factories are in the same venue). Indeed is the employee review website where both The Huffington Post and Bustle sourced their data.
Not everything about Kylie Cosmetics is as glossy as it seems. You're about to see why. Here are 13 Lip Kit factory secrets that might make you think twice about your Kylie Cosmetics purchase (plus 7 that'll guarantee it sells anyway).
20 Employees Call Factories Unsanitary, No Comment From Kylie
Take a look at the Indeed employee reviews of Spatz Laboratories (where Kylie Cosmetics are manufactured). You'll see a word you didn't want to see. An anonymous employee at the Oxnard, CA Spatz Laboratories titled their review "sweat shop."
A separate review outlined unhygienic working conditions. Interestingly, the word "unsanitary" was used for an actual Kylie Cosmetics pop-up.
When Kylie launched her Topshop Pop-ups, fans called the displays "disorganized" and "gross", Seventeen reports. The coverage of Spatz Laboratories was reported by Radar Online, whose CEO spoke to Refinery29. Mary Beth Siddons maintains that standards are high and "safety comes first." Not a peep from Kylie, though.
19 Factories "Not Inspected By FDA Since 2006"
Fans were left uneasy when news came out that Kylie Cosmetics Spatz Laboratories had "not been inspected by the FDA since 2006," as Refinery29 reports. That's over 10 years ago. There's no saying whether an inspection has occurred since this 2016 news, but it's a little unnerving either way.
Here is Kylie checking her phone (possibly also her bank balance). She was at a basketball game.
Spatz Laboratories' official statement prides itself on "over 60 years of experience." While it admits that it is not FDA-regulated, Spatz claims "immediately implemented suggestive corrective action."
18 "Dangerous, Oily Floors"
Floors are something that Kylie Jenner knows well– her home ones are marbled, the shoes she wears on them are unscuffed, and let's be fair, Kylie has the floor most of the time.
While platforms like Instagram and Twitter are ones that Kylie is more than used to wiping the floor with, how well-wiped those factory floors are is a different question. "Oily floors. Dangerous place to work. Smells of gases. Dirty atmosphere" was one Indeed review of her factory, as Cosmopolitan reports.
17 "Vegan-Friendly" Cosmetics, But The Face Behind Them Admits To A Helping Hand
Kylie's Lip Kits are cruelty-free. The company website clearly states that it does not test on animals. Aside from a few products (like Candy K, which contains the insect-derived carmine, according to Bustle), Kylie Cosmetics are also vegan-friendly. The natural vibe takes on a different meaning in the wider context, though.
Just remember what this company was founded on– a plump pout that's had a little "helping hand." Keep projecting that "natural" image, Kylie.
Kylie was still a teenager when she first admitted to turning to a clinic to fix her "lip insecurities." Idealistic beauty based on the least natural thing possible? Not the world's best ethos.
16 The Weather Collection, "Calm Before The Storm" Shades. Well-Played Marketing
And here is precisely why this stuff sells– Kylie and that marketing team get full credit here. Kylie has realized that her fans aren't just interested in buying a product that makes their lips slightly darker, lighter, matte, or glossier. They want a piece of Kylie.
Anyone buying a Lip Kit is likely following Kylie on IG. They probably know baby Stormi better than their own nieces. Enter the "Calm Before The Storm" and "Eye Of The Storm" Kyshadow palettes.
The website reviews? "I loved it for the most part and the packaging was nice" is one. "My daughter wanted the eye of the storm" is another. You've got your answer right there.
15 And Yet, You Could Pick Up Virtually The Same Thing For $4.99 At CVS
If you're earning your own cash, you 100% get to decide how you spend it. Lip Kits aren't just lining 20- and 30-something shelves, though. Teens as young as 11 are wanting a Lip Kit–it's down to cash-strapped mothers to fork out the $42 for the KKW x Kylie Lip Set.
You can find almost identical cosmetics in any pharmacy at a fraction of the cost. $4.99 in CVS. $6.99 in Walgreens. Even a $15 branded lipstick or gloss finds itself considerably cheaper than Kylie Cosmetics. The company hired themselves a good copywriter, though. "Main Bae is a soft, shimmering gloss that glides on the lips." Hmm, tempting.
14 "Minimum Wage, No Benefits," Meanwhile, Kylie Has Likely Reached Billionaire Status
Kylie's $900 million net worth made the entire world gasp. We're nearing the end of the year. If Kylie hasn't hit the billion-dollar mark yet, she very soon will. The Indeed reviews are, as we said, a mix of positive and negative. One review mentioned pay, and it didn't sound great.
"The pay is very minimal for the amount of work that is requested with no benefits," was one review. The minimum wage in California is currently $11 per hour.
$11 is likely what Kylie can drop for a smoothie. For one of her five homes? More like $11 million.
13 Enough To Pay The Lawyers, Since She's Being Sued Over "Born To Sparkle"
This one is being kept on the DL (as far as Kylie is concerned). Recently, The Mirror reported that Sheree Cosmetics is suing Kylie Cosmetics over a supposed "copying" of the "Born to Sparkle" range.
This Alabama-based beauty company claims that it made and named the same glitter shadow palette 10 months prior to Kylie launching "Born to Sparkle." The company founder told DailyMailTV that the lawsuit was in the interests of "[protecting] our business."
Sheree Cosmetics fears that people searching for their "Born to Sparkle" product will land instead on Kylie's website. $1000-an-hour lawyers on retainer? Kylie can afford them.
12 Irritatingly, Kylie Always Sparkles In New Ways (This Little Munchkin Definitely Does)
A product sells when it's well-marketed. It's why we buy iPhones. It's why we buy Reebok (thanks, Ariana Grande). To claim that a company does well because the marketing is strong isn't a flaw. It's a fact that you could consider a compliment.
Much like Kim, Kylie always finds new ways to shine. "Stormi Weather" was Kylie and Stormi's thunder and lighting Halloween costume.
Stormi is ridiculously cute. She's also ridiculously good marketing. Lip Kits now sell to girls who love a cute baby (plus mothers who have their own). Relate to your audience. The number one rule of good salesmanship.
11 An Experience I Do Not Wish To Have Again, Reviewer Says
Here is Kylie doing a great job of showing that she's a hands-on entrepreneur. She may have gotten there by private jet, but Kylie did visit the Lip Kit factories. The cameras went with her, and it all went straight to social media.
"Early morning shifts" and "long hours" was one Indeed review of Spatz Laboratories. Another review simply wrote that it was a bad experience the person did not want to have again.
Then again, another review listed a pro of working there as "seeing something from start to finish how it is made."
10 And Yet, "The Kylie Experience" Is Something Girls Will Pay Anything For
It's the X Factor that even marketing experts are having trouble putting their finger on. Something about Kylie Jenner is a giant draw. Anything she puts her name to flies off shelves. Lip Kits might have similar alternatives at pharmacy prices, but the pharmacy doesn't make you giddy with glee.
It's like the iPhone, right? You need a phone. You want an iPhone. There's a difference (for which you'll happily pay).
"Just ordered my very own KKY X KYLIE lip set, and i'm so excited!" is one fan review. "I need this for my birthday!" is another. You want the Kylie experience? You pay for it.
9 "If You Did Not Meet Standards, You Were Fired"
Getting fired for not doing your job properly is something that happens everywhere. It happens at the deep frier in McDonald's, right through to the vice president suite at major banks.
The same negative review of Spatz Laboratories mentioned earlier stated that there were "unrealistically high" expectations for new hires. "Doesn't care about employees" was another review. Remember, though– not all are negative.
A review that stated work to be "fast-paced, product had to be packaged, and quotas had to be made." You can take that one either way. Either it's a well-run business that has a right to demand results from employees, or it's a tad too much.
8 The Makeup Particles Were Too Much For Some Employees
The pics from Kylie's visit to the Lip Kit factories show her in a lab coat, hair net and safety goggles. Indeed reviews seem to echo that, but they suggest that the protective gear wasn't sufficient. "Was only provided with a lab coat, hair net, and safety glasses," a review states.
"The downfall is that the makeup particles made me cough and sick," was one review. Spatz Laboratories firmly maintains that it has "passed" third-party audits, as Refinery29 reports.
What there is to question here? In many ways, nothing. In other ways, a lot. What's in the makeup? What's the quality like? Are the factories properly ventilated? Equally, it could just have been a particularly sensitive individual working there.
7 The Kardashians And Their Connections
Kardashian manufacturing issues go back a long way. In 2011, there was gossip surrounding Kris Jenner's QVC Kollection reported by The Huffington Post. This prompted a quote from the Institute of Global Labour and Human Rights director, Charles Kernaghan. "The Kardashians are in bed with some pretty bad people, " he said, as The Washington Post reports. Reports of underage labor and China-produced Kardashimerch go way back. They also come with $1-an-hour salaries, "hot" factories, and seven-day weeks.
Since they run their empires, the Kardashians most likely hold the majority of their meetings in air-conditioned offices. It's more marketing than laboring. Reading this saddened us.
6 The Billion-Dollar Trademark We'll Buy Because It's "OG"
When you trademark something, you get to call "OG." Lipsticks and eyeshadows they may be, but when they're Kylie Cosmetics, they're an original item.
In 2017, Kylie Jenner attempted to take it a step further – yes, she actually tried to trademark her own first name. She wanted to patent "KYLIE" in the US was for advertising and endorsement services. It did not go well.
The legendary singer Kylie Minogue blocked Ms. Jenner's move and beat Kylie Jenner in a legal battle, Forbes reports. Kylie Minogue's lawyers stated Kylie Jenner was a "secondary reality television personality, Celebretainment reports.
Talk about a real storm.
5 Our Brains Have Room For One Letter: "K"
The Kardashians have been brainwashing us to respond to anything "K" for years now. Think about it. Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall, and Kylie. Whack on "momager," Kris, and you've got the names. The show is called Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
Khroma Beauty was the makeup line from Kim, Khloe and Kourt. QVC had that "Kris Kollection" shoe line. When Kylie started promoting her beauty line, she was King Kylie.
It isn't couture with these girls. It's Kouture. They may as well call their closets "Klosets." Repeat something enough times to a baby and they'll say it back. Kylie may be mommying to Stormi, but are we the real babies?
4 "Main Bae" And "High Maintenance" Shades, Teens Buy Right Into It
The biggest secret to Kylie's success? Nailing the marketing. Call your products "Hopeless Romantic" and "Hot and Bothered," and they'll sell just as well as "Barely Legal."
Kylie drives up hype to her drops via social media (but she's the one behind the wheel). Kissmas and Baddie? Those babies just sold themselves. The collections also speak right to the audience. Like the #21 collection.
3 Kylie Skin Is Already Trademarked
When there's money to be made, the Kardashian-Jenners don't waste time. In 2018, Harper's Bazaar reported that trademarks had already been filed for "Kylie Skin" and "Skin by Kylie." If you think the Kylie Cosmetics empire is big as it is, that's nothing compared to what it could be.
Nine-hundred million at the age of 21. Just let that sink in. With the business genes that run in the family, Kylie has managed to earn herself close to a billion. Throw in what could be moisturizers, scrubs, masks, and that continued social media showing us #Flawless? The sky's the limit with this girl.
2 "Most Enjoyable Part Was The Breaks"
Nobody likes to feel pressured at work. The matter is subjective, though. While one Indeed review stated: "I love the way my employer treated me," not all are as positive.
"To [sic] many alpha female workers" was one review. A little more disturbing is the review stating "some of the managers were persecuting towards other employees making it uncomfortable to work there. It was hard to interact with fellow employees," the review continues.
As to the "most enjoyable" part being the break, well, that happens in most workplaces. Still, modern workers in America shouldn't be dreading work to that extent. Hopefully, just a one-off.
1 Still Want Your $375 Holiday Bundle?
It's a free world. If you want to spend a month's rent on a purse, you can. If you want to live at the dollar store, likewise, your choice. Kylie has priced these products as she sees fit. $160 for Kylie's Holiday Favorites. $415 for the Birthday Mega Bundle. $215 for the Summer Collection Bundle.
Want to spend $29 on Dolce K? You can't. It's sold out. The $375 Holiday Collection is still up for grabs. That's if you still want it.