KYLIE Jenner’s makeup factory workers felt “degraded,” were forced to work in “horrific” conditions and banned by factory supervisors from even looking at the billionaire mogul when she visited, two former employees exclusively claimed to The Sun.
Kylie, 23, launched KYLIE Lip Kits by Kylie Jenner in 2015 before the company was renamed Kylie Cosmetics, LLC in 2016, and Spatz Laboratories located in Oxnard, California has been the manufacturer of her cosmetic products since the brand's first days.
Former Spatz Laboratories employee Irene Lopez was hired by a temp agency to work for the factory on the assembly line in 2016.
Kylie would occasionally go to Spatz Laboratories, which she does not own or directly control, with her mother, Kris Jenner, to check in on the manufacturing, and would often document her visits on social media.
Irene, 32, claimed exclusively to The Sun of the makeup mogul's visits: “She would come by and watch us work to see what we did.
"Before they would come in our supervisors would tell us, ‘You are not allowed to talk with them, you guys are supposed to keep on working, you guys are not allowed to take any pictures or ask any questions.’
“We had to be quiet and continue working. They would come around and just watch us on the machines or filling up the makeup tubes. They wouldn’t talk to us, they never talked to me, they would talk to the leads and just walk around and look at everything.
“It’s not like she didn’t see what the conditions were.”
'DON'T EVEN LOOK AT HER'
Martha Molasco, another employee of Spatz Laboratories, was hired by a separate temp agency to work for the factory from 2015 to 2017, and handled Kylie’s products during her time there.
Martha, 31, exclusively told The Sun of the strict “rules” workers had to follow when Kylie visited: “Supervisors would say, 'Don’t talk to them, don’t even look at them.'
“It was messed up. We were doing her product and we couldn’t talk to her. We couldn’t see her. If we’re doing her product and all the work is on us, she should be aware of it.”
A source told The Sun Kylie and Kris have never given any instructions to employees of the manufacturer.
There is also no indication that they knew workers were under strict instructions for their visits.
'I WOULD CRY'
During Irene's year at Spatz, she claimed she felt “degraded” while creating products for the reality star's brand.
Irene claimed employees were expected to complete quotas of 1,000 to 1,200 products a day.
She alleged: “The supervisors I had there had been very degrading towards everybody. Everything had to be perfectly made and if it wasn’t they would throw it away in your face like it was trash. If you didn’t go fast enough, you were going to get fired.
“When I first started, two months in, I wasn’t going as fast as they wanted me to. They would get in my face and say, ‘You’re not going fast enough, you’re not going fast enough.’
“I would go to the bathroom crying. It was too much for me.”
Irene alleged her supervisor threw all of her completed cosmetics products in the garbage one time, forcing her to start over and receive help from co-workers to avoid termination.
Irene claimed she was trained for “five minutes” when she started at the factory before being expected to produce the makeup items.
She continued to allege: “When you did ask questions, you were kind of degraded. It seemed like every question you asked was a stupid question. How are you going to learn if you don’t ask questions?”
'STRESSFUL & DEMEANING'
Martha alleged that she felt “verbally threatened” by supervisors.
She said: “They would be like, ‘Oh if you don’t do this much by the end you’re going to be laid off or we’re going to call the temp agency to look for someone else.
“It was stressful and demeaning at the same time. I got paid minimum wage. They never offered a raise.”
Martha continued with one example: “The supervisor told me, 'You’ve been here two years, I can’t believe you haven’t caught up with the machine, you should be packaging twice as much as these new girls.'
“I kind of felt degraded. I’m trying to do the best I can and you still yell at me in front of everybody? I can only do so much.”
Martha believes the hard labor has left her with medical issues today, as she explained: “Doing all that hand laboring, I have issues where my hands crack and the pain shoots from my hand to my elbow. I still have that pain. I blame them!”
Martha was also forced to work 12-hour days while standing.
She claimed: “With the verbal, on top of the 10 to 12 hour shifts, a lot of people ended up quitting or leaving because it was just too much.
“At the beginning it was slow, our regular hours were 4 pm to 12 am. When it started to pick up, it was 4 pm to 4 am. We were getting paid overtime, but it wasn’t worth it because they would push you to the limit.
“They didn’t make us feel appreciated.”
'SO PACKED YOU CAN'T MOVE'
While Irene worked eight-hour shifts during her time at Spatz, she explained she felt pressured to come in on weekends in fear of being fired.
She claimed: “Twice a month you had to come on the weekends as well. I am a single mom of two children and on weekends it was hard to find child care. I tried to explain that I came through a temp agency and I don’t have child care for the weekends. They said, 'Well you need to find someone or you’ll lose your job.'
“It was hard because they expected you to do all these hours for a minimum wage job, which I didn’t think was fair.”
Irene also opened up about the “horrific” conditions she was forced to endure during her time at the Oxnard, California factory.
She said: “You couldn’t turn around without someone being right there behind you. That’s how packed we were in the factory.
“I have anxiety so I would have to go back and forth from the bathroom because it was overwhelming working with that many people. You can’t really move, you can’t really talk to people.”
Irene added: “There were always spills, messes. I did see a lot of ants in the corners and stuff.”
Employee Martha claimed the workers were forced to endure “cold conditions” in the winter and “hot temperatures” in the summer.
She claimed: “During the summer it was miserable. No heat during the winter. You had to double layer, which was kind of annoying because we had to make a lot of hand movements and jackets would get in the way. It was bad.”
While Irene no longer works at Spatz, she claimed current employees said the conditions are the same, and she is demanding change.
She added: “I believe it is even more packed with people.
“I wanted to tell my side and part in the story because I would like them to have better communication with supervisors.
“That was my first job and I was very intimidated to do anything wrong. It sucked.”
Reviews on job websites in recent years suggest the conditions remain unchanged.
One review on Google from two years ago read: “People have to go through an employment agency to get a job at this place, so the company doesn't have a problem firing you if you can't pull 10 to 12 hour shifts, HR don't care if [you’re] a hard worker or not if [you’re] not part of the company they don't care about your opinion or concerns, if [you’re] a stranger they put up this huge front like everything is good.
“The people that I talked to didn't like the job, I mean this place is a mess. I'm surprised it hasn't shut down. I would give this place 0 stars but that option isn’t there.”
One review from Indeed dated May 28, 2019 read: “If you are looking to get [paid] minimum [wage], be worked like a dog, [work] 50 hours a week on the holiday season just so you can get laid off after or get 4 hours a day when it’s not seasonal, then go for it. Management only want numbers."
A second wrote on July 8, 2020: “90 percent of the workers are temps and they don’t thank them at all, company employees think [they’re] on another level.”
A third review from May 21, 2021 read: “It's hard work but it's a decent job. This was one of my first jobs. It's a factory setting. It's not very safe a lot of times but it wasn't that bad.”
Former workers have also filed complaints with the California Labor Commissioner's Office.
In documents obtained by The Sun from the United States Department of Labor, a Spatz worker filed a complaint on February 21, 2017 over a safety concern.
The investigation summary read: “At 9:15 pm on January 25, 2017, an employee was pushing material into a pulverizer, when his right index finger became caught. The incident resulted in the tip of his right index finger being amputated.”
The department was “cosmetics, beauty supplies.”
The case was closed on November 21, 2018.
On March 29, 2016, another employee filed a complaint over unpaid wages.
The worker complained of 48 hours of unpaid wages at $10 per hour in the amount of $480 and nine hours of unpaid overtime wages at $15 an hour in the amount of $135.
The case was closed that same year.
Representatives for Kylie, Coty and Spatz Laboratories did not respond to The Sun's request for comment.
In March 2016, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star gave a behind the scenes look into the making of her products on her app, as a teaser video showed her filling up liquid lipstick tubes.
In February 2019, mom Kris visited Spatz Laboratories solo, as Kylie had just given birth to daughter Stormi, 3, with on-again boyfriend Travis Scott.
Kris posted a photo wearing a lab coat in the factory, as she said in a video while helping an employee: “Anybody else need any help? I'll be right there. I'm only one person… I'm exhausted!”
In 2018, Forbes named Kylie the youngest self-made billionaire, as her company was worth $900 million by the time she turned 20.
Then in 2019, Kylie sold 51 percent of Kylie Cosmetics to beauty empire Coty for $600 million, valuing the company at $1.2 billion.
Kris and Caitlyn Jenner’s youngest daughter said in a statement at the time: “I look forward to continuing the creativity and ingenuity for each collection that consumers have come to expect and engaging with my fans across social media.
“This partnership will allow me and my team to stay focused on the creation and development of each product while building the brand into an international beauty powerhouse.”
Kylie Cosmetics is relaunching on July 15 with “clean and vegan” formula.
In honor of the new line of products, Kylie released a three-part YouTube series titled "Inside Kylie Cosmetics," as her team praised how involved she is in the company.
Momager Kris said: "Kylie is so smart, so creative, so full of ideas. She truly disrupted the entire beauty business and the industry."
Chief Commercial Officer Megan Mildrew added: "Kylie is involved in every single piece of the creative conceptive ideation of what the products are going to be, what the color is going to be and the tiny details of the decoration on the packaging."
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