Someone stole $2.5 million worth of makeup from Jeffree Star’s warehouse.
In a video posted on Tuesday that quickly ascended to the top video on YouTube’s trending videos, Star warned viewers that there would be “no humor, no sarcasm” that’s typical of his content.
“The things that I am about to tell you have been my nightmare that I’ve been living with for a few weeks now,” Star said, after announcing that his unreleased concealer had been leaked over the weekend and discussing the launch of his Blue Blood collection. “You guys probably noticed that I was very silent on social media leading up to the launch.”
He explained that in addition to struggling with his birth mother’s declining health, he was dealing with the “horrific” theft of a massive amount of product from one of his stock and shipping warehouses.
On Mar. 17, the night after Star uploaded the reveal video for his latest collection, over $2.5 million worth of cosmetics were stolen. The thieves pulled it off by cutting a hole in the roof and then using the back door, according to TMZ, which seems to be a trend in makeup heists.
“This is the biggest theft I have ever experienced in my entire career,” he said in his most recent video. “This is the biggest hit as a brand. I’m still shocked about the entire thing.”
Over the weekend, someone posted a photo of an unreleased concealer, presumably stolen during the warehouse heist. Star says he’s been “waiting for this moment,” since it’s been about two weeks since the burglary.
“These people were professional,” Star said, noting that a former employee could have tipped off the thieves. “I fully believe it was an inside job.”
The stolen products include thousands of highlighter palates, thousands of lipliners, and an entire shade of concealer — the beauty guru said he only has a few hundred boxes of C5 left.
The leaked photos that surfaced online, suspiciously, show boxes of unreleased concealer in C5.
Star then said in addition to hiring a private investigative team, he’s working with law enforcement and the FBI to figure out who’s selling the stolen product on the black market. He also said that he’s found bundles of his stolen product on buying and selling apps like Poshmark.
He kept fans updated on Twitter, announcing that a “major player” had been arrested.
I never knew I’d be spending my Monday night with the FBI tracking down black market makeup sellers.
— Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) April 2, 2019
I don’t even know where to begin right now.. The last few weeks have been so mentally exhausting but I’m so grateful for all the law enforcement & FBI agents who have been working on my #Concealer heist 🙏🏻 A major player who has been selling my stolen product has been arrested.
— Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) April 3, 2019
Good morning to everyone except the black market 💙
— Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) April 3, 2019
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first great makeup heist to hit Southern California.
In May 2017, $4.5 million worth of cosmetics were stolen from the Anastasia Beverly Hills warehouse just outside of Los Angeles by also sawing through the roof. The burglars got away with 100,000 boxes of eyeshadow, which were presumably also sold online.
But like Refinery 29 points out, the warehouse burglaries highlight a greater problem in the beauty industry: The black market hurts fans, too.
If you aren’t buying products from an authorized seller, you could be purchasing counterfeits, which aren’t bound by the rigorous testing and strict regulations like the rest of the beauty industry. While Star, and other retailers, get their products from cosmetics labs, counterfeit products have tested positive for human waste and nasty bacteria. And according to the FBI, officials have found disturbing amounts of carcinogens like arsenic, beryllium, and cadmium in seized counterfeit makeup, in addition to “dangerous levels” of bacteria and aluminum.
As Star says in his video, his products are created with specific formulas in a controlled lab environment. By buying his collection off a black market seller, you might end up with a counterfeit and could experience rashes, allergic reactions, and eye infections.
“If you see any stolen makeup, please report it,” Star concluded in his video. “My social media is always open if you want to share anything that you see for us to track down or investigate.”