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Become a vlogger with this cheap YouTube training bundle

Become a vlogger with this cheap YouTube training bundle

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Love making videos? Learn how to turn YouTube into your fulltime job with this online course bundle.
Love making videos? Learn how to turn YouTube into your fulltime job with this online course bundle.

Image: Pexels

By StackCommerceMashable Shopping

TL;DR: Get the informative Become a Professional YouTuber Bundle for $29, a 98% savings. 

With a wax figure in Madame Tussauds’ Museum and an estimated net worth of $5 million, who wouldn’t want to be the next Jenna Marbles? If making a video of your boyfriend doing your makeup can lead to making thousands of actual dollars, then sign us the heck up. 

Of course, not everyone can be Jenna Marbles, and it takes a certain skillset to actually start earning with your YouTube channel. While you can’t ask Jenna Marbles to let you in on all her secrets (though, kudos to you if you try), we’ve got something almost as good: this YouTube course bundle will teach you how to build a career using everyone’s favorite video platform, and you can grab it for just $29

Turns out, it’s not just about creating hilarious, share-worthy content for your viewers — you also need to get strategic about how you promote them in order to really grow your channel (and, ideally, your bank account.) 

This eight-course bundle will teach you how to leverage search engine optimization and cost-per-ad marketing in order to get your videos seen by more people. It’ll also give you a crash course on how to use video editing software, how to rank your videos first in YouTube search, how to grow your channel quickly, how to get your Silver Play button, and so much more. Seriously, there are 113 lessons and hours of video content in this thing, so you’ll have no shortage of invaluable lessons to help you take your YouTube game to the next level.

These courses would typically cost you $1,600, but you can pick the bundle up for only $29 with this deal.

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This face mask feels like thick honey, but it heats up and turns into a creamy lotion on your skin — here’s what it looks like in person and how it stacks up

This face mask feels like thick honey, but it heats up and turns into a creamy lotion on your skin — here’s what it looks like in person and how it stacks up

  • I tried Farmacy’s warming Honey Potion Mask ($38), which uses antioxidant-rich honey, vitamins, and glycerin to attract moisture and seal hydration into the skin.
  • The best part of the mask, aside from how long the jar lasts, is that it physically warms against your skin when you rub it in.
  • Farmacy’s products are included in Sephora’s Clean category, and the Honey Potion mask is cruelty-free and made with all naturally derived ingredients. 

Farmacy, the clean-beauty brand known for natural ingredients, proprietary honey, and Sephora fan-favorites like their melting makeup cleansing balm and mineral face sunscreen, also has a hydrating face mask that heats up on contact with the skin.

It’s called the Honey Potion Mask ($38), and it combats dry, dull skin with natural humectants. Honey pumps the skin with antioxidants that keep it smooth and glowy, and cichoric acid helps protect collagen and address hyperpigmentation. Amino acids and B vitamins make the skin look brighter. And as glycerin attracts moisture to the skin, honey helps to seal it in. After, skin should appear softer, brighter, and better nourished.

Like the rest of Farmacy’s products, it’s formulated with locally grown ingredients and without parabens, synthetics, artificial coloring, fragrances, phthalates, or animal testing. Farmacy is another clean-beauty brand, like Beautycounter, that meets the EU’s relatively strict ingredient guidelines, which prohibit the use of more than 1,300 ingredients. And the little honey-pot-like jar comes in a package made with FSC-certified paper and naturally renewable inks.

I’ve been using the Honey Potion Mask at home for the last six months, and I’ve laid out the nitty-gritty of what to know before you buy below.

How to use Farmacy’s Honey Potion Mask


Out of the jar, the Farmacy Honey Potion looks like a jar of slightly less sticky honey.
Mara Leighton/Business Insider

Wash your face and pat it dry so you’re starting with a clean canvas. Dig into the Farmacy jar with the magnetic metal spatula that comes included (and handily attaches to the lid when not in use) and spread a thick layer of the Honey Potion Mask onto your face, avoiding lip and eye areas. Then massage it into your skin with your fingertips for one to two minutes. The mask will warm underneath your fingertips and against your skin, and melt from orange to white and from goop to a creamy lotion-like consistency. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse it off. If you’re sensitive to heat, Farmacy recommends patch testing.

You can find a video of how to do the above steps on Sephora’s site here

My experience using the Honey Potion Mask for 6 months

farmacy honey potion hydrating antioxidant face mask

Once you rub the mask into your skin, it warms and turns into a white cream.
Mara Leighton/Business Insider

I’ve been using the Honey Potion Mask for the last six months. In the summer, I’d slather it on a few times per month for a little extra luminosity and, to be honest, because it’s just really fun to use.

Now that winter has hit and my skin has shifted from the dewy glow of a person living on top of an urban heat island to a dull, dry mask, I’ve upped usage to a few times per week.

After washing the mask off, my skin looks a few degrees better. It looks naturally plump, moisturized, and a little glowy, and it feels hydrated and very soft. The aftermath isn’t slick like face oils can be, and it doesn’t leave a resin that pills under other lotions or clumps under makeup. Instead, my complexion kind of looks like what I expect my insides to look like after drinking a kale smoothie. 

I’ve stuck with the Honey Potion Mask over the last few months because it makes my skin look glowing and hydrated, and because it contains ingredients that I feel good about using on a regular basis. And, honestly, because it’s pretty addicting to use. I love that self-care can feel decadent and relaxing, and the Honey Potion Mask is a good example of that. 

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s effective enough to replace all the other hydrating products I use in the winter. I still rely on lush micellar waters to grab makeup without stripping my skin, good moisturizers, bacitracin for healing non-active blemishes without scarring, and weird foreign drugstore holy grails like Homeoplasmine for my lips. It takes a village. But it’s a really great product to have in the arsenal. 

It’s not ideal to pay $40 for a face mask, but that’s pretty standard pricing for competitors. And even sheet masks add up over time. Plus, it’s helpful that one jar of a little over an ounce of Honey Potion Mask has lasted me for six months of regular use.

The bottom line 

The Honey Potion is a good product for a few reasons: It does what it’s supposed to, it uses natural ingredients, and it’s really fun to use. If you’re looking for a hydrating mask with clean ingredients and like your self-care to feel a little special and decadent, then this is worth checking out.

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask, from $38

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at


Insider Picks 2019
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I tried Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson’s new makeup that sold out almost immediately after it was launched, but it doesn’t live up to the hype

I tried Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson’s new makeup that sold out almost immediately after it was launched, but it doesn’t live up to the hype

Eye-shadow palettes are the focal point of the Jeffree Star Cosmetics x Shane Dawson collaboration.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

The outer packaging of the Conspiracy and Mini-Controversy eye-shadow palettes.
Crystal Cox/Insider

The $52 Conspiracy palette features 18 shades, while the $28 Mini-Controversy palette has nine.

In my opinion, the outer packaging of these palettes is enough to impress most shoppers. The larger palette is packaged in a black-and-white spiral-print box, while the smaller product is contained in a black box with a 3D static print.

Dawson and Star detailed the creative process behind creating these packages in their recent YouTube series.

The Conspiracy palette is arguably the most-anticipated beauty product created this year.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

The larger eye-shadow palette is contained in a black-and-white geometric box.
Crystal Cox/Insider

When Star and Dawson first revealed this palette in their YouTube series, I thought it looked really unique. My feelings stayed the same once I held it in my hands just days later. Its geometric box stands out from any palette I already own, and it’s leather-like material feels high quality.

I was a little concerned that it would be too heavy to actually work with, but its weight hasn’t been a problem since I’ve started using it. 

I couldn’t wait to dip my makeup brushes into the colorful shadows.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

A view inside the Jeffree Star Cosmetics x Shane Dawson Conspiracy palette.
Crystal Cox/Insider

When I first opened the palette, I thought the shadows looked less vibrant than they do online. However, this actually made the product seem more appealing to me, as I initially thought it looked both colorful and wearable.

I particularly loved the stamps embedded into each eye shadow, and appreciate that they really represent Dawson’s work on the palette. 

Once I swatched the product, however, I became less enthusiastic.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I first swatched the top two rows of the Conspiracy palette on my arm.
Crystal Cox/Insider

While arm swatches do not make or break makeup, in my opinion, they can be telling of a product’s quality. In my experience, the lighter colors barely showed up on my arms while the darker colors looked patchy.

From left to right, there’s: Ranch, My Pills, Tanacon, Diet Root Beer, Just A Theory, Spiraling, Conspiracy, Pig-Ment, Food Videos, Trisha, Cheese Dust, and Flaming Hot.

However, I really appreciate the quirky shade names of each shadow.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I then swatched the third row of the Conspiracy palette on my arm.
Crystal Cox/Insider

Not only do the shade names stand out from the more standard ones created by other brands, but it also feels like you’re sharing an inside joke with Dawson and Star.

From left to right, the above shadows are: My Ride’s Here, Illuminatea, Sleep Paralysis, Not a Fact, Diet Cola, and What’s The Tea?

I had a little bit more luck when applying the shadows on my eyes.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I first applied a light-brown shadow called Tanacon in my crease.
Crystal Cox/Insider

I started by applying the shade Tanacon in the crease of my eyelid. While the shade barely showed up on my arm as a swatch, it applied beautifully on my eyelid. In my experience, the eye shadow looked pigmented and blended easily.

That is, until I got to the darker colors.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I applied the “My Apology” shade from the Mini-Controversy palette on the outer corner.
Crystal Cox/Insider

Because I was going for a fall look, I wanted to apply a maroon shade on the outer corner of my eye. Though the plum shade “Not A Fact” looked appealing, I preferred the metallic “My Apology” shade from the Mini-Controversy palette.

Unfortunately, I found this shadow to be very difficult to use. In my experience, it didn’t blend well with the other shade on my lid, and excess powder quickly surrounded my eye area.

The black shadow wasn’t as pigmented as Star promised in a recent YouTube video.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I used the black “My Ride’s Here” shade from the Conspiracy palette as an eyeliner.
Crystal Cox/Insider

In “The Dangerous World of Jeffree Star” episode of Dawson’s series, Star commented on the black “My Ride’s Here” shade.

“It’s so creamy — holy s—,” Star said in the video. “Blacks are kind of hard to perfect sometimes if you want a really true black.”

However, I don’t entirely agree with Star. I used the shade as an eyeliner, and found it to feel more chalky than creamy. To be fair, I didn’t use the perfect brush for this technique, but the shadow could have been more pigmented regardless.

In my experience, these eye shadows were pretty messy to use.

Jeffree Star Swatch

The shade Tanacon looked great on the eyes, but was messy to work with.
Crystal Cox/Insider

After dipping my brush into the Tanacon shadow only once, loose powder flew everywhere. Typically, I don’t mind a bit of kickback — I find it usually means the shadows are more blendable. 

In this case, however, I worried the excess product would muddy the other shades in my palette and coat my mirror in makeup.

My eye shadow could have turned out worse, but it also could’ve looked a lot better.

Jeffree Star Swatch EYES

My completed eye shadow could have turned out better, in my opinion.
Crystal Cox/Insider

While I’ve certainly used worse eye shadows over the years, nothing about the Conspiracy palette really stood out to me upon first try. I had difficulty blending the shades, and the metallic colors seemed to fade quickly throughout the day. 

I’ve since used other shades in the palette, and have grown to like Conspiracy more than I did initially — but I’m not sure it’s worth spending $52 on.

I also tried using one of the shadows as a highlighter on my cheekbones.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I applied Ranch on my cheekbones as a highlighter, but didn’t like how it looked.
Crystal Cox/Insider

When the palette launched, some people on social media said they planned to use the eye-shadow shade Ranch as a highlighter. Of course, I had to try this technique for myself.

While the color was a bit too white for my taste, it initially looked great as a highlighter. After only a few hours, however, it all but faded. I even asked a colleague for their opinion on the highlight, to which they replied: “I thought that was excess powder from your eye shadow.”

The following day, I tried the Mini-Controversy Palette.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

The exterior of the Mini-Controversy palette is reflective.
Crystal Cox/Insider

The $28 palette is much smaller than the Conspiracy product, but looks just as stunning. As I mentioned earlier, Star and Dawson really nailed the packaging of this collection.

The palette contains nine eye-shadow shades.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

The interior of the Mini-Controversy eye-shadow palette.
Crystal Cox/Insider

While one of the shades — Diet Root Beer – can also be found in the Conspiracy palette, the other eight colors are unique to this product.

Personally, I love that Star and Dawson chose to create both large and small palettes. Not only is this option more affordable, but it’s also great for beginners, people who don’t wear tons of bright colors, and those who want to try Star’s products without spending tons of money.

In my opinion, this palette provides a decent mix of wearable colors and vibrant shades.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I swatched the entire Mini-Controversy palette on my arm before applying it on my eyes.
Crystal Cox/Insider

Like the conspiracy palette, I wasn’t too impressed by the shadows as I swatched them on my arms. 

From left to right, there’s Flat Earth, Cry On My Couch, My Boyfriend’s Purse, Controversy, Diet Root Beer, My Apology, Exposed, Cancelled, and The Simulation.

Overall, I enjoyed using this palette.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup Eyes

Crystal Cox/Insider

While I did find these eye shadows to be messy like those in the Conspiracy palette, the matte shades I used look stunning in person. It didn’t take too much work to blend them or build up their color, and they also paired well with a liquid eyeliner.

Overall, I think the Conspiracy and Mini-Controversy palettes are nice, but I wouldn’t reach for them every day.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

I personally wasn’t a huge fan of the two eye-shadow palettes from this collection.
Crystal Cox/Insider

I can understand why fans of Star and Dawson waited hours in lines — both at Morphe stores and online — to purchase these palettes. They’re great collector’s items, and would look stunning on any vanity.

Still, I just wasn’t that impressed with the actual eye shadows. I found that blendability was an issue with every metallic shade I tried, and the mattes were a bit too messy for my liking. 

I also tried almost every lip product from the Jeffree Star Cosmetics x Shane Dawson collection.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

The Jeffree Star Cosmetics x Shane Dawson collection includes eight lip products.
Crystal Cox/Insider

The collection includes six liquid lipsticks, which retail for $18 each, and a clear lip gloss, which costs the same price.

An $18 Diet Shane lip balm is also part of the collection, though the product was not available at the Morphe store when I was there.

From the moment I saw these lipsticks, I was confused by the shade range.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I tested each liquid lipstick on my arm before applying them on my lips.
Crystal Cox/Insider

Star and Dawson first debuted their liquid lipsticks in “The $20 Million Dollar Deal with Jeffree Star” episode of their series. Immediately, I questioned why they chose the shades they did.

In my opinion, the three metallic shades looked unflattering, and the matte pink color seemed outdated. Only the neon pink and vibrant red seemed to make sense to me. Still, each color looked promising when swatched on my arm.

From left to right, there’s: Oh My God, Ryland, I Gotta Go, Shane, Jeffree What The F—?, and Are You Filming?

I was even less impressed when I wore the liquid lipsticks.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I really didn’t like the Oh My God liquid lipstick.
Crystal Cox/Insider

I really wanted to love these lipsticks, as I consider Star’s formula to be one of the best on the market. However, I only enjoyed using two of the six products. 

The shade Oh My God, for example, didn’t work for me, as it didn’t suit my skin tone. I also found the shade to apply sheer — it took me at least four coats to get a semi-opaque look.

If you like wearing a statement lip color, the two matte shades from this collection are definitely worth purchasing.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

The shade Jeffree What The F—? is my favorite from the collection.
Crystal Cox/Insider

In my opinion, Jeffree What The F— ? is one of the best pink lipsticks I’ve ever tried. It looks vibrant and opaque, and also feels extremely comfortable on the lips. I almost forgot I was wearing it after it dried down.

Are You Filming? also stands out, though I think it only works when paired with a strong lip liner to keep it in place.

The collection’s clear lip gloss has arguably the best shade name of any product in the line.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

The Shane Glossin’ lip gloss retails for $18.
Crystal Cox/Insider

Dawson and Star named this $18 product Shane Glossin’, a nod to the YouTuber’s last name.

It’s packaged in a clear tube with a pointed top, just like Star’s concealers and other lip glosses.

I have no complaints about the Shane Glossin’ product — it does exactly what it’s meant to do.

Jeffree Star Swatch

I enjoyed using the Shane Glossin’ lip gloss.
Crystal Cox/Insider

In my experience, the product applies smoothly, looks glassy, and doesn’t feel too sticky. While I do think you can purchase similar products at cheaper price points, the unique packaging of this gloss makes the extra cost almost worth it.

I also feel the product is especially perfect for people who don’t wear makeup, but still want to support Star and Dawson.

Overall, I’m not sure the Jeffree Star Cosmetics x Shane Dawson collection is worth all the hype it’s received.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson Makeup

Would people still care about this makeup if Jeffree and Shane didn’t create it?
Crystal Cox/Insider

In my experience, I faced too many roadblocks while using makeup from this collection to say it’s worth purchasing. I find most of the eye shadows to be messy, and almost every lipstick shade feels unwearable. While the gloss works just fine, I’m not sure it stands out from others on the market.

I do love the product packaging throughout the collection, and think Star and Dawson did a great job adding unique details to their products — like the funny shade names and quirky eye-shadow stamps. Still, I’m not sure that’s enough to save the collection.

I do understand why thousands of people eagerly purchased this makeup, and I think it’s great that there’s such a tangible way for viewers to support the YouTubers they love.

Still, as a makeup fanatic, I can’t help but wonder if anyone would actually purchase these products if they didn’t have Star and Dawson’s names on them.

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).


BI Photo
Crystal Cox
Jeffree Star

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Jeffree Star fans are selling the YouTuber’s sold-out beauty products for more than double their original price as customers wait for a restock

Jeffree Star fans are selling the YouTuber’s sold-out beauty products for more than double their original price as customers wait for a restock

  • The Jeffree Star Cosmetics x Shane Dawson collaboration sold out almost immediately after it launched on Friday.
  • As fans eagerly await a restock of the makeup, some people are reselling products from the collection for more than double the retail prices.
  • Eye-shadow palettes were listed on eBay for $130 to $400, while lipsticks were available for $10 to $550.
  • On Instagram, Star addressed the resellers by telling them to “relax.” He also confirmed that 120,000 more palettes would go on sale Tuesday, with more restocks coming in early 2020.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Jeffree Star Cosmetics x Shane Dawson makeup collaboration sold out almost immediately after launching on Friday.

While fans eagerly await a restock, some people are reselling the coveted products for more than double their retail price. There are also “preorders” on eBay, meaning some sellers are charging shoppers for makeup they haven’t actually received in the mail yet.

The $52 Conspiracy eye-shadow palette seems to be one of the most popular items being resold. While some were listed for as much as $400, most were priced at about $135.

jeffree star ebay

Jeffree Star Cosmetics palettes on eBay.
Amanda Krause/Insider

The $18 liquid lipsticks, on the other hand, had bidding prices from $10 to $100.

$100 lipstick

Some lipsticks were listed for $100.

Bundles of the entire collection were available for as much as $1,299, while liquid-lipstick bundles could be found for up to $550.

Star addressed makeup resellers on Monday

In a video on his Instagram Story, Star encouraged people to think twice before purchasing resold makeup online.

“When it comes to JSC, I never speak on these things,” Star said. “I know people resell makeup for a living. I know people out there, as a customer, will pay triple the price of something if you really want it right now.

jeffree star insta story

Jeffree Star’s Instagram video on Monday.

Jeffree Star/Instagram

“But just remember that Shane put so much blood, sweat, and tears into this project,” he continued. “And if you do want to wait for the palette, it will be back, of course, you guys. You know we’re going to do everything in our power. Every few months it’s going to be back.”

He added: “I just feel weird putting money in someone else’s pocket that literally did nothing. So if you’re reselling the Shane palette, I get it, not gonna hate, I never speak on these things, but b—-, relax, and just support Shane.”

Star said he and Dawson would restock their eye-shadow palettes on Tuesday

In his Instagram video, Star also confirmed that he and Dawson had 60,000 units left of each eye-shadow palette in their collection that would go on sale on Tuesday.

Once the products sell out, he and Dawson won’t be able to restock until early 2020, he said.

Star did not say what time the products would go on sale because he didn’t want to “cause a stir.”

“We don’t want to say an exact time and cause a stir and break the website again,” Star said. “Listen, Friday was vicious. It was crazy. We all got through it, but, you guys, it was really intense. So when it’s up, it’s up. You’ll find it, and me and Shane, of course, will share the link once it’s actually live.”

Representatives for Jeffree Star Cosmetics did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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Stella Donnelly Shares New “Seasons Greetings” Video, Directed by Julia Jacklin: Watch

Stella Donnelly Shares New “Seasons Greetings” Video, Directed by Julia Jacklin: Watch

Australian singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly has shared a new video for “Seasons Greetings.” It’s directed by Julia Jacklin and Nick McKk. In a statement, Donnelly said she came up with the video’s concept shortly after writing “Seasons Greetings,” and that she wanted “to try and exaggerate the sometimes-nuanced atmosphere of a blisteringly hot, Australian Christmas lunch.” Check out the video and Donnelly’s full statement below.

“Seasons Greetings” is from Stella Donnelly’s debut Beware of the Dogs, which she shared in March. The previous month, Julia Jacklin released her second album, Crushing.

In other Julia Jacklin news, last night (November 4), Lana Del Rey invited her on stage in Denver to perform a duet of Jacklin’s “Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You.” Find footage below.

Stella Donnelly:

From the moment I wrote “Seasons Greetings,” I could visualise a video
concept for it. I wanted to try and exaggerate the sometimes-nuanced
atmosphere of a blisteringly hot, Australian Christmas lunch. Working
with Nick and Julia on this made the day so much fun because they were
able to actually manifest my ideas into a reality. Getting to assign
characters to my friends and dog was the most joyful experience,
especially when we were all cast as fucked up versions of ourselves.
Once we were in our costumes and makeup it was really easy to let the
story tell itself and Nick and Julia captured this so well. No dogs
were harmed in the shooting of this film!

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The Uneasy Return of Bratz

The Uneasy Return of Bratz

Earlier this month Desiree Machado, a 15-year-old YouTuber with nearly one million subscribers, filmed herself getting ready to hit the local fair. Like many high school sophomores, she was preparing to spend one of the last weekends of summer riding rides and eating fried food with her family. The 18-minute video is as inconsequential as it sounds: in her messy room, she points out piles of clothes and an old Starbucks cup, she talks about taking Instagram pics and makeup while curling her bangs. Then she shows off her outfit—a white, cropped, short-sleeve mock turtleneck top, leopard-print platform shoes, and low-rise, neon pink flare pants with chap-like exposed hip slits. While the selections might seem cartoonish—and they are—she based her look on a loose recreation of an edgy toy first released on the market three years before she was born: the Bratz doll.

YouTube hosts tens of thousands of videos bearing Bratz transformations, including the popular “Turning myself into a Bratz Doll challenge” from earlier this year. The five-letter word has become a popular search term, and Machado’s 523,000 views are proof. (Eight months prior, she published a video in which she attempted to give her boyfriend a makeover to look like a Bratz doll. It scored her nearly 800,000 views.)

But unlike most transient trends on YouTube, a fascination with Bratz as a style icon now extends beyond the platform in mainstream popular culture. At the height of her fame and power, Kylie Jenner was (and often still is) likened to a Bratz doll. Her generous use of lip filler and spray tans more or less aligns her look with that of the “ethnically ambiguous” Bratz model, though Jenner herself is white. Jenner’s experimental hair styles have been compared to a variety of Bratz’s signature locks; she’s been the topic of Twitter roundups of fans claiming she looks exactly like the dolls. In 2017, Kendall Jenner, Kylie’s sister, reiterated the observation on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians: “Has anyone ever told you you look like a Bratz doll?” she asked. (Kylie’s response: a smirk, as if to acknowledge it’s a sentiment she’s heard many times before.) Even the people behind Bratz agree: “We love Kylie Jenner,” an anonymous Bratz designer told Vice in 2016. “[Kylie] looks like a Bratz doll. She embodies the dolls.”

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact timing and reasoning for the resurrection of Bratz, though it’s been written about copiously in at least the last few years. The dolls’ fashion, most have concluded, lines up with current nostalgia trends—think Kylie’s tiny sunglasses, or improbably corseted-waist, or liberal use of camo prints, or over-lined lips—and Bratz have become a convenient touchstone for a trend already well on its way. As fashion continues to repeat itself and ‘90s worship is quickly replaced by the godawful styles of the early ‘00s, Bratz have become a flagship example of Y2K cool.

But as anyone who was in the Bratz demographic when they first appeared on the market will tell you, the dolls were always a problem. They never should’ve become that memorable. Their revival, it appears, sidesteps the forgotten controversy that made them such a flashpoint in the first place.

Launched in 2001, Bratz was marketed as a trendy, edgy alternative to Barbie. Unlike Barbie’s antiquated appearance—white, adult, and conservative—Bratz aimed to reach teens. The tiny bodied, doe-eyed dolls represented a variety of ethnicities and wore what cool teens wanted to wear at the time: heavy makeup that exaggerated their pouty lips, chunky shoes, low-rise flared pants, crop tops, micro-miniskirts, statement bags, hats, and coats. Bratz began with four models, all seemingly meant to embody a different race while playing into stereotypes: Cloe, the preppy, white, blonde one with blue eyes who wore pastel baby tees and shimmery lipgloss; Jade, the black-haired, green-eyed edgy one known for her “quirky” style, often referred to as “Kool Kat” and presumed to be Asian; Sasha, the brown-haired, brown-eyed hip-hop loving doll one who often wore Baby Phat-esque clothing, was a dancer and meant to be Black; Yasmin, the caramel-skinned one prone to wearing Earth tones and identified by her boho-influenced style.

Unlike Barbie, who countered claims of retrograde sexism by holding a variety of job titles and careers, Bratz were hedonistic. Their passion was fashion. They didn’t work. They only looked cute.

By 2006, Bratz had sold 125 million dolls worldwide and accounted for 40 percent of the fashion doll market, an astronomical feat for a market that had primarily operated as a monopoly. (Barbie still held strong with 60 percent.) In 2004, Bratz outsold Barbie in the U.K. Unlike Barbie, Bratz dolls were heterogeneous without calling explicit attention to race, at the time making them appear to be progressive to some onlookers. To others, they were caricatures of the hypersexual stereotypes applied to women of color; Bratz branding was often “sassy,” a hop, skip and a jump away from “sexy.”

The reality is somewhere in the middle: it was exciting to see some nonwhite dolls flood the marketplace, but their perceived racial identities were flattened with frivolous clichés that made such “barrier breaking” uneasy. In 2007, the American Psychological Association established the “Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls,” and published a report announcing concern over what it called Bratz’s “adult-like” sexualization of young women. The inquiry brought only publicity for the dolls—nothing attracts rebellious teenagers better than sexy controversy.

Eventually Bratz mania slowed and sales declined, mostly due to nasty litigation after Mattel sued Bratz’s creator Carter Bryant for designing the doll while he held a job with Barbie (which is owned by Mattel). In 2010, Bratz rebranded to appear demure, claiming to be “more preppy than sexy.” In 2015, they revamped their design once again in an attempt to better reflect the “modern girl”—less makeup, more graphic t-shirts with cheeky statements, like “SELFIE.” These adjustments have yet to result in the kind of spontaneous popularity Bratz inspired a decade-and-a-half ago, but it’s clear that the brand is most interested in staying up to date with fashion trends and, by extension, their initial of how to appeal to contemporary teens. They didn’t seem to understand the teens had already circled back to the original vision.

Internet style influencers’ active interest in Bratz goes beyond makeup routines into cosplay-like fashion. Internet Girl, better known as iGirl, the online moniker of Canadian 20-something Bella McFadden, has made a fortune thrifting late ‘90s and early-00s looks and flipping them on her Depop store. (She’s one of the 20 most followed people on the site.) Because the kind of clothing she resells is so idiosyncratic, she offers $150 style bundles, called “styled by iGirl bundles,” designed with ultra-specific styles in mind: anything from Y2K lingerie, Spice Girls-inspired, Carrie Bradshaw meets Lizzie McGuire, and, of course, Bratz.

In the early 2000s, Bratz sold the dream of trendy fashions to teens and tweens who loved those styles, but couldn’t leave the house in a belly chain, sky blue eye shadow, distressed paperboy hat, and six-inch platform boots. In the late 2010s, as the window for nostalgia grows shorter and shorter, Bratz have become symbolic for the style of the past. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. However, it does feel a bit like taking a step backward: If only the vision for modern-day style didn’t mimic another retrograde standard for young women to emulate—a doll, same as before, built to a history no one cares to remember.

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