Jaclyn Hill's new lipsticks work great, but her latest launch seems like a messy attempt at salvaging her brand

Amanda Krause
·6 min read
jaclyn hill makeup brand
A view of Jaclyn Hill's Valentine's Day makeup collection. Amanda Krause/Insider
  • Jaclyn Hill released her first makeup products in over a year via mystery boxes in early February.

  • I purchased the largest box for $65, which had 10 products, including liquid lipsticks that I loved.

  • Still, the overall launch was messy, and I'm not sure that Jaclyn Cosmetics will ever stabilize.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Jaclyn Hill is one of the original beauty YouTubers, reaching both monumental achievements and a surplus of scandals throughout her career.

The latter has mostly surrounded her makeup launches. She's feuded with other brands, recalled products, and most infamously, released a line of damaged lipsticks in 2019 that some people say caused swelling and bumps on their lips. But by the end of that year, Hill was back with a set of highlighters that seemed to put her back on the map.

That being said, her success was short-lived - 2020 passed without Hill releasing another beauty product. So when she suddenly announced that her brand Jaclyn Cosmetics would be selling mystery boxes filled with makeup ahead of Valentine's Day in 2021, I was intrigued.

I bought the collection and put all 10 products to the test. I liked most of the makeup, but the launch was still packed with problems.

I purchased the $65 mystery box, which came with 10 products

The mystery box I purchased, called For the Love of Makeup Surprise Set, was the biggest kit Jaclyn Cosmetics offered in its Valentine's Day range.

It included three liquid lipsticks in varying shades of red, a golden lip gloss, two baked highlighters, and four "loose glimmer powders." The limited-edition box, in my opinion, was a steal, as each item cost less than $7.

jaclyn cosmetics mystery box
The $65 box came with 10 products. Amanda Krause/Insider

The products themselves are good, but the collection still has some problems

I first tried one of the collection's Loose Glimmer Powders in the shade All Lit Up as an eye shadow. It did add some nice shine to my eyes, but it also fell all over my face - despite using a glitter primer to keep it in place.

jaclyn hill eye shadow review
The loose powders are nice, but nothing groundbreaking. Amanda Krause/Insider

Next, I went in with a single lip gloss and the lipstick trio. The gloss, called 24 Karat, is clear with gold sparkles, and it looked and felt nice on the lips.

The liquid lipsticks were even better. They're each opaque with bold pigment, comfortable on the lips, and long-lasting. They even applied with one simple swipe of product.

jaclyn hill lipsticks review
I really loved the lipsticks and could see myself wearing them everyday. Amanda Krause/Insider

I then completed my makeup with the brand's baked highlighters. Having tried and loved highlighters from Jaclyn Cosmetics in the past, I had high hopes for these new ones - and I wasn't disappointed. Both were smooth, buildable, and added a bright sheen to my cheeks.

Just for fun, I also added one of the loose powders on top, and I loved the extra sparkle.

jaclyn hill highlighter review
Jaclyn Hill has created a really great highlighter formula. Amanda Krause/Insider

But despite loving the products individually, I found some issues with the collection overall.

Two of the Valentine's Day mystery boxes sold by Jaclyn Cosmetics came with highlighters. The smaller box included five highlighters from the line, while the larger box included all six versions.

That being said, the brand didn't share photos of the included shades in each box, so there was no way for shoppers to ensure that they'd get colors that worked for them. It also seems pretty wasteful, in my opinion, to buy so many highlighters at once - especially when shining cheekbones aren't as trendy as they used to be.

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It's frustrating that you couldn't choose shades that best suit your skin tone. Amanda Krause/Insider

I also noticed some inconsistencies between what Hill promised and what I got with my purchase

On February 4, Hill took to Instagram to have an "honest, transparent conversation" about her Valentine's Day makeup. The influencer said in an Instagram story that she began planning the collection in 2019 and originally intended to launch other permanent products before selling the mystery boxes.

"I thought that my brand was gonna be very established, and you know, you guys were gonna be like 'F--- yeah Jaclyn Cosmetics rocks,' and I was gonna come out with this super cute little Valentine's Day surprise," Hill said in an Instagram story.

But as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Hill, the Jaclyn Cosmetics launches were delayed. And because she didn't want to waste the Valentine's Day-themed packaging that had already been made, Hill said she decided to sell the mystery boxes as a gift to her fans.

jaclyn hill makeup brand
A view of Jaclyn Hill's Valentine's Day makeup collection. Amanda Krause/Insider

But after buying one of the boxes myself, I'm not sure Hill's explanation makes sense. The line's packaging is red and white, but nothing else is reminiscent of Valentine's Day. The boxes could have easily been used any other time of the year, in my opinion.

The shade names of the products also don't seem to match the February holiday. Names like Light The Way, All Lit Up, and Twinkle are all standard names for Hill's brand, while other products, like the Flurries highlighter and mint-scented lip gloss, actually seem like they were created for a winter holiday-themed launch.

Hill's newest beauty products seem like a messy attempt at salvaging her brand and reputation - and I'm not sure it will work

In my opinion, it seems like the Jaclyn Cosmetics Valentine's Day collection was created for Hill's die-hard fans. The mystery boxes gave her audience something to look forward to, while also giving her brand a chance to get rid of 2020 products and start fresh.

After trying the products myself, I think others who purchased the boxes will likely love what they receive and be eager to buy more of the brand's makeup in the future.

That said, I'm not sure this collection will be remembered as one that put Jaclyn Cosmetics back in business.

Instead, it's another messy launch from an influencer with a history of being untrustworthy - and for that, no matter how good the makeup is, I'm not sure how Hill and Jaclyn Cosmetics will stabilize going forward.

Representatives for Jaclyn Hill and Jaclyn Cosmetics did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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

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