IS JACLYN HILL PROBLEMATIC? SHOULD MORPHE BE CANCELLED?
There seems to be a handful of beauty YouTubers that are forever in the thick of drama, and one of them is most definitely Jaclyn Hill.
Jaclyn has attempted to step into the cosmetic sales world several times in the last few years… and she’s had some pretty dismal luck with it.
Morphe, the creator of this palette is no stranger to controversy as well. I’ll be getting into that in this post, but ultimately the question is: Is the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Volume 2 Palette any good? And the answer is yes… and no.
Grab a cup of tea, or something stronger, and tuck in because it’s a long one.
Here’s why I returned my Jaclyn Hill Palette
In order to understand why there seems to be so much drama associated with this launch, I feel some backstory is in order.
I’ll preface this whole post by stating that I don’t believe in cancel culture generally unless a brand becomes problematic in a racist, a homophobic or sexist sense… Or they are an MLM/Direct Sales.
That’s where I draw my line in the
loose powder sand.
THE BACKSTORY OF JACLYN HILL AND BEAUTY LAUNCHES
PART ONE: JACLYN HILL + BECCA
Jaclyn’s original collaboration with Becca to create the now cult classic Champagne Pop was a worldwide success. I still use mine frequently!
The followup eyeshadow palette, however, had major quality issues when the brand decided to outsource its manufacturing.
It was easy to excuse this though; Jaclyn was young, knew hardly anything about cosmetic formulating and ultimately Becca was in charge of the formulation.
PART TWO: THE RISE OF MORPHE
But it didn’t stop there.
A few years back Jaclyn started raving about a relatively unknown brand named Morphe, and pretty much put the brand on the map commercially.
The eyeshadows were cheap (like $2/pan kinda cheap) but she raved and raved about the quality. Next thing you know, Morphe has an affiliate program and all the big beauty YouTubers are talking about the brand like it’s the second coming.
It wasn’t a surprise when inevitably the two collaborated to create an eyeshadow palette and it was well-received by the public.
PART THREE: THE FIRST FAIL
But then came the Morphe Jaclyn Hill vaults; A collection of palettes that had shades Jaclyn had originally left on the cutting room floor from her first launch, curated into themed smaller palettes.
Consumers loved the concept… but the quality was, in some cases, embarrassingly bad.
Suddenly there’s a recall, only for rapid redistribution with the same batch codes. This raised eyebrows for several reasons; Reformulation takes months and new products would have new batch codes in order to track for recalls.
Ultimately, consumers complained that no improvement had been made and Jaclyn and Morphe’s reputation was tarnished.
PART FOUR: JACLYN HILL COSMETICS AKA LIPSTICKGATE
This is where things get bad… really bad.
Jaclyn Hill launches her own cosmetic line, and the maiden voyage into her brand was a collection of $20 nude lipsticks.
The press samples had barely landed on desks before some serious allegations started surfacing; Influencers and consumers alike were finding hairs, metal and plastic in their lipsticks.
Jaclyn’s response initially denied the claims, then come out with a statement claiming the hairs were from gloves the factory workers used, then ultimately delete her socials and go silent.
Eventually, Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics refunded the cost of all the lipsticks, losing millions, but the damage was done and so was Jaclyn’s reputation.
“I decided I was going to test out the palette as unbiased as possible, not factoring in anything personal about Jaclyn or Morphe and really just focus on the quality”
Ok, so now we’re caught up to present day and Jaclyn’s latest launch – another collaboration with Morphe to create the Jaclyn Hill Palette Volume 2.
Initial reviews were positive, which had me thinking Jaclyn might get a hail mary from doomed launch luck.
But it seems nothing with Morphe or Jaclyn is spared from scrutiny and whispers started spreading that the formula had changed, and no longer was Vegan as it claims.
YouTuber JenLuvesReviews has an entire video about this that goes in-depth and proves that the original palettes formula changed sometime after launch, with no acknowledgement from the brand.
This wouldn’t be an issue, had Jaclyn not very specifically mentioned how the formula of eyeshadows in her palettes was proprietary to her, and that the new palette had the same incredible quality as the first (successful) palette.
SO WHAT WAS THE REAL REASON I RETURNED MY JACLYN HILL VOL 2 PALETTE?
This revelation regarding sneaky formula changes came to light the day after I purchased my palette.
Personally, vegan formula isn’t a dealbreaker to me (Carmine has been used in cosmetics and food – hello red velvet cake! for centuries), but I felt a bit grimy supporting a brand that seemed so disingenuous.
I decided I was going to test out the palette as unbiased as possible, not factoring in anything personal about Jaclyn or Morphe (hard, at this point) and really just focus on the quality.
And honestly, the quality was good!
Yes, the formula is a bit dusty, but the pigmentation is actually really incredible. Some shades blew me away – especially the pinks, purples, corals and reds. Heck, even the yellow is great! The pressed glitter formula stuck to my lids without primer and was still where I put it at the end of the day.
But the browns…the warm browns Jaclyn loves and built her channel on creating looks themed around… were very repetitive.
There are approx 8 variations of warm brown in this palette, and on me, they are nearly impossible to tell the difference.
Now I hear what you might be saying: “it’s a colour palette! it’s not about the neutrals!”, but I beg to differ. The ability to make colour wearable to the masses is to have shades that can balance and blend, and this missed the mark for me.
Had Morphe and Jaclyn given me 2-3 mid-toned warm brown options, a couple of deep chocolate browns and a light peach/camel shade I would have kept this palette.
Despite the drama, despite the undisclosed ingredient changes, despite me not loving Morphe as a brand.
But on my skin tone, the variance between shades just wasn’t enough, making 7 or the 8 browns fairly redundant.
So ultimately the neutrals sunk this ship, for me. How crazy is that?!
The Jaclyn Hill Morphe Volume 2 Palette could have been the only brightly coloured palette I needed in my collection. I can’t justify holding on to a palette where I’ll only use half of it and there is so much repetition.
So is Jaclyn Hill problematic? Probably.
Should Morphe be cancelled? That’s up to you to decide.
Is the Jaclyn Hill Volume 2 Palette good quality?
Yes, I was genuinely very impressed.
Sadly the repetition in browns and how they applied on my skin tone is what turned me off.
If you are a colour lover, I would actually suggest you check this palette out. The brights are vivid, smooth and blend really well. I don’t often have the time to wear bright colour anymore (hello toddler mom life!) but if I were in a more artistic phase of my makeup life I wouldn’t regret keeping it.