What's Really Going on With Jaclyn Hill's Lipsticks?
Beauty YouTuber and influencer Jaclyn Hill recently launched her long-awaited eponymous brand, Jaclyn Cosmetics. The launch includes 20 shades of "nude" lipsticks and are all currently sold out on JaclynCosmetics.com. Hill touts 6.2M followers on Instagram and 5.9M subscribers on YouTube and has collaborated with brands like Becca Cosmetics, Morphe, and Quay. The Jaclyn Cosmetics site offers the lipsticks for $18 or a trio for $49 and states, "Jaclyn Hill is ready for the ultimate close-up with Jaclyn Cosmetics. Enter a world where all your boujee dreams come true."
Recently, however, she has come under fire for her namesake launch due to the quality of the lipsticks people have been receiving. While there was initial praise about the shade range and comfort of the lipsticks — POPSUGAR was sent press samples that were not compromised — there have been complaints about the quality of the lipsticks, from bullets breaking and melting into the packaging to hair being found within the lipstick itself. Here's everything that has transpired with the controversy.
May 23, 2019
Hill uploads "INTRODUCING JACLYN COSMETICS" on her YouTube channel, revealing the first launch for the brand: nude lipsticks. She swatches all 20 on her arm. "I wanted to start a brand that was a core brand, where you can go to for your products that you need, that you can't live without," Hill said. "I wanted to start off with basics and build from there, so you can trust my brand and really get to know me by something as 'simple' as a lipstick."
May 30, 2019
Hill launches Jaclyn Cosmetics with praise from influencers like James Charles and tweets, "If you have any questions or concerns about my lipsticks, please tweet @JaclynCosmetics." Customers start to receive their preorders.
June 3, 2019
Hill comments on the PR packages, stating there was an issue with shipping and that most influencers and press would not receive their packages until June 4.
June 7, 2019
Feedback starts rolling in with concerns about the lipstick, such as fibers, fuzz, lumps, and holes appearing in or on the product. Twitter user @itsv_82 writes Hill asking if "lumpy lipstick" is normal, to which Hill responds in a now-deleted tweet, "You posted swatches 2 days ago loving the lipsticks? Now you're wondering why it's lumpy? It's obvious this lipstick is used & not fresh from the factory. Like any other lipstick, if you use it over other products, have dry lips, etc., things like this can happen."
Fans are upset with Hill's "snarky" tone, which she apologizes for. Hill also thanks for followers for the "unbiased feedback" on her collection and says that comments and concerns with the lipsticks have been brought to her attention and have "not been taken lightly," but that she stands behind her brand and will do "whatever it takes to make sure her customers are satisfied."
The Jaclyn Cosmetics account tweets that they are seeing "less 0.01%" (sic) of product with issues, and that some of the lipsticks may have been exposed to high temperatures or were not blended properly.
June 8, 2019
Hill makes another statement, saying she and her team are working to discover what is causing the "grittiness and bumpy texture" of the lipsticks. Influencer Kristi of RawBeautyKristi posts a photo of a lipstick bullet with small holes and filaments on it, in which Hill quote tweets her and states that the fibers on the product are not hair but are a result of the factory she used changing gloves for quality control and they have "shed all over [her] product."
RawBeautyKristi then uploads a 53-minute long video titled "THE TRUTH ABOUT JACLYN HILL COSMETICS LIPSTICKS," in which she melts down some of the lipsticks and uses a microscope to inspect them, showing off filaments and random beads within the product.
June 10, 2019
A Change.org petition is created to have Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics recalled, which currently has almost 16,000 signatures. No recall has been made by the brand.
June 11, 2019
As complaints about the lipsticks pour in, Hill makes another statement via Twitter after three days of being off the platform. "I plan on breaking my silence and addressing the issues regarding my lipsticks very soon," Hill said. "I have been working hard to gather all of the facts and details so I can give you accurate answers. I appreciate you allowing me time to wrap my head around all of this & investigate."
Currently, the Jaclyn Cosmetics website appears to be business as usual with the exception of the Customer Service page, in which there is a statement from the company dated June 2019. It states that the issues with the lipsticks are only a result of the manufacturing and "do not impact the ingredients, formula, or safety" of the products.
The company makes a public statement to Fox News: "The response to the launch of Jaclyn Cosmetics has been incredible. Of the incredible volume of orders that were placed at launch, we believe less than half of one percent of orders were impacted by compromised product. We are actively reaching out to our customers with questions and concerns and have added to our customer service team to make sure that any questions are swiftly addressed. We are keeping an eye on the Jaclyn Cosmetics social channels and email@example.com, and welcome all feedback. We love our customers and are proud of our successful launch."
June 12, 2019
Jaclyn Cosmetics issued a formal statement, which said the following:
Jaclyn Cosmetics are made with cosmetic industry-standard, FDA compliant ingredients and are produced in an OTC (Over the Counter) compliant factory that is registered with the FDA, providing high degrees of safety standards and rigorous testing. The issues reported over the last several days are related to irregularities in the manufacturing process which are being fixed and do not impact the ingredients, formula, or safety of our products. Additionally, we want to provide assurances to customers who may have heard that our products are old, or contain mold — this is false. Our launch collection was manufactured in May 2019. The preservative system, material composition of the formula, and processing temperature of our lipstick does not support microbial growth and protects the product through the expiration date of May 2021.
While we stand strongly by the safety of Jaclyn Cosmetics products — we know that our customers deserve better. We have halted production until we've identified and resolved all quality issues. We ask any customers who have received product with quality concerns visit our FAQ at www.jaclyncosmetics.com/faq or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaclyn also uploaded a 14-minute YouTube video around 6:30 p.m. PT explaining what happened with her lipsticks. She said that despite accusations, her lipsticks are not expired and did not go into mass production until the month she launched, which was May 2019. She said she has been working on the components of her products for five years, but that does not mean lipstick was in those components (lipstick tube) and that the products were freshly produced.
"My lipsticks are not moldy. They are not hazardous, they are not contaminated. They are not unsafe for you in any shape, way, or form. Every single ingredient is FDA approved and they are not expired."
She also broke down the issues customers had with the lipsticks, starting with the black dots/black holes. "What these black dots are are actually oxygen bubbles," said Hill. "They are being lifted to the surface when my lipsticks are being cooled off." She explained that the lipsticks are going from a hot temperature to a cool one, and the oxygen bubbles don't make it all the way to the surface of the lipstick. While they are aesthetically unpleasing, they are not harmful.
Regarding the texture and the grittiness, she attributed it to producing too many lipsticks too quickly, so they were not mixed or blended and broken down evenly. "The vat is not breaking down all of my raw materials because we produced so many lipsticks so quickly," said Hill.
As for the "white fuzzies," as she calls them, Hill says, "I know you're going to have a hard time believing this, because I did as well. This is the truth. Because my component is silver, shiny, almost metal-like material, instead of my lab using a standard glove that they would use in the lab, they decided to use white cotton gloves." She explained that the lab didn't want to put any smears or prints on the tube and used different "fluffy" gloves because of this.
Finally, in regard to the melting lipsticks, Hill explains this is what a majority of the complaints were about and that her lipsticks are emollient-based and can withstand up to 140 degrees before melting all the way through. Because of the high temperatures of some of the locations the brand is shipping to, some of them are getting too hot and are breaking and bending. The heat is also responsible for the sweat beads on the lipsticks. Hill asked customers to give the lipsticks time to cool down before applying them but said they are working to find a fix for this issue as well.
Hill emphasized that none of her explanation was an excuse or acceptable and that should any customers be dissatisfied with their purchases, they can email email@example.com and they would not only refund them their money but also replace the product for them.