Jaclyn Hill faces backlash for contaminated lipsticks

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics Instagram
Image used under U.S. Fair Use
YouTuber Jaclyn Hill is facing major backlash for selling lipsticks that many are calling contaminated. Mainstream media have been downplaying the backlash by calling her products "defective" however this does not accurately portray the issues that customers have been seeing in their products.

On May 31, 2019, Jaclyn Hill finally launched her long-anticipated brand - Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics aka Jaclyn Cosmetics. Twenty beautiful shades in various sets and individual lipsticks were sold out within minutes. Individual lipsticks sold for $18 each, trio sets for $49, and the full collection for $295. Within a week of purchase, the first complaints about the products began to surface.

The first issues with Jaclyn's website came in how they were collecting taxes then came issues with those who paid for expedited shipping didn't get their products in a timely manner while those who paid for standard were getting their products. The first of the big issues with defective products soon came with people complaining of melted and broken lipsticks this quickly was followed up by people posting photos of their products contaminated with some type of hair or fiber embedded in their lipsticks, discoloration of the lipstick bullets, as well as blooming.


Then on June 5, a young woman named Veronica posted to Twitter this to Jaclyn Hill.

Jaclyn responded with this now deleted Tweet.


Jaclyn's response placed blame on her customer by essentially accusing her of having dry, chapped lips for which the young woman was viciously attacked by Jaclyn fans. Since Veronica's Tweet many other people began to come forward with similar contaminations including but not limited to noticeable holes, hair, unknown fibers, plastic particles, metal particles.



More established YouTubers spoke up about the issues with their own lipsticks - both PR and ones they purchased.


By this time, it became clear that there was something seriously wrong with the Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics lipsticks. All the lipsticks - both PR and ones customers purchased - contain the same batch/lot code on the bottom. This code - GC05A - should be unique per color. At this time no one knows for sure what that code means but using known methods of reading similar codes it's possible this code means these products were made in March 2017.



Before I go any further, typically in similar codes A = 1, B = 2, etc then 1 = January, 2 = February, etc. That would mean G = 7 or 2017 and C would be March. A could represent it coming from the 1st batch. Of course, this is not confirmed and does not hold true for the Morphe Vault palette codes.

Image from Temptalia.
Image used under U.S. Fair Use

Image from Jaclyn Cosmetics website.

It is probable that this is the format which would indicate that these lipsticks are indeed expired as two of the ingredients - Shea Butter and Mango Butter - both have shelf lives of two years or less in it's raw, unrefined form. If there was an issue with the preservative itself that could lead to the Shea Butter and/or Mango Butter to become rancid which could lead to mold or fungal issues.

Another ingredient, radish root ferment filtrate is used as an anti-microbial but if there's not enough of it then it won't stop microbes from growing. It is near the end of the formulation, excluding the "may/may not contain" so that means the formulation does not have a high percentage of this natural preservative. If the lipsticks are older than a year then it's highly possible spoilage occurred due to a lack of preservative. We just don't know for sure at this point in time on what happened with these lipsticks. Spoilage though does not explain the hair/fibers and what appears to be plastic and metal particles now being reported.








On June 7, 2019, Jaclyn Cosmetics posted on Twitter that "in rare circumstances, some lipsticks were exposed to high temp" however that didn't explain other contaminants in the lipsticks which it seems as if they're ignoring by not issuing a recall.



Jaclyn did respond on her personal Twitter account that they were looking into the matter.


To make matters worse, Jaclyn's response over the fibers and other embedded material is that her lab had been using "white gloves" and switched to "rubber gloves" a couple days prior to her tweet. This angered many people who don't believe a lab would use a glove with loose fibers in an area that requires sterilization and sanitation due to the fact those types of gloves, often cotton or nylon, are not sanitary.


This contradicts her own video on her website that shows both she and lab workers wearing blue gloves (made from either nitrile, or poly, or vinyl).

She later claimed these products are 100% SAFE when the fact is no one knows for sure if these are toxic or safe.


As of right now, Jaclyn has yet to release an official statement on her website while her cosmetic company has made statements to mainstream media stating that the issues affect less than 0.1% of sales. Many of us do not believe this statement as more and more people have spoken up on social media including Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.


So what happened? The honest truth, no one knows. No one knows at this time if the hairs/fibers are mold or fungus or someone's hair, or something else. No one knows what the plastic-appearing balls are or what the metal pieces are. What we do know is there is the high chance these products were made between 2015 and 2017, most likely in 2017, based on Jaclyn's own tweets and screenshots people took and posted between those dates.

Note: The following is speculation based on emails and/or screenshots and/or her own postings. It includes screenshots and embedded Tweets/Instagram posts made by Jaclyn Hill and others.

In a leaked email between Jaclyn Hill and Makeup Geek, Jaclyn tells the folks at MUG, on August 19, 2015, that she ordered 300,000 lipstick tubes.

"I just put in my order for 300,000 lipstick tubes so I finally feel like we are making progress (after 18 months of work) and I would love to here what you have in mind for shipping, customer service, etc."


A Jaclyn Hill fan page on Instagram shared this photo of a lipstick prototype dated back in June 2015 which corresponds to Jaclyn's own email to Makeup Geek. Now this picture is of a prototype that did NOT become the finalized version. We see the finalized version in another photo dated in 2016 (see below).


The following year, on April 21, 2016 she responded to another fan question on when her brand would launch and she said it would launch in early 2017.



According to Jaclyn, her line was originally supposed to launch in 2015.


A few months after that Tweet reply another fan page on Instagram shared this image which shows the 20 lipstick lab samples along with the finalized lipstick tube that was launched this year on May 31, 2019.



A post shared by ale9jandra on insta (@jaclynhillupdates) on

In a zoomed in the screenshot, you can see the finalized packaging with the stone on the top along with the several of the 20 lab samples.


As more time passes people on Twitter question her about her brand launch to which she replies to someone in March 2017 that it wasn't going to happen that March.


Another fan asked on September 25, 2017 again about when the lipsticks would launch and she stated to them that the lipsticks were "ready to go" at the lab.


By November 2017 it was clear that her brand would not be launching that year and by the following year in February 2018 she responded to yet another fan asking about her lipsticks that the lipsticks would launch sometime in 2018.


Now in her personal life, between 2016 and 2017 she was having marital problems which culminated with her divorce from her husband in mid-2018. Many people, self included, have speculated that the products were ready for sale by the end of September 2017 which means the products were made in late 2016 or early 2017. IF the batch code theory is accurate than the lipsticks were possibly made in March 2017. She may have held off from launching those lipsticks, based on her own emails to Makeup Geek, due to two reasons.

  1. Her contracts with BECCA and Morphe. In her dealing with Marlena and Makeup Geek it appears that contracts with BECCA and Morphe may have prevented her from launching her own lipsticks as she was working with slated to release collabs with both BECCA and Morphe in that time period.
  2. Her marriage was on the rocks which led to her and Jon Hill stating they would be divorcing in May 2018 with the divorce finalized later that year. It's possible she didn't launch the cosmetics at that point in time because of the divorce settlement.

Now, of course, all of that is speculation and theories based on her own posts but we do know for sure is that the products are contaminated with something and should be recalled ASAP with full refunds to all those who purchased her products regardless if the products look faulty/contaminated or not.

At this point in time, if you've purchased the lipsticks and have yet to receive the items or have yet to use her lipsticks I highly discourage you from trying the products on your skin or lips until we know for sure what's going on.


I have contact Diane Wilson of ABC 11 out of Durham, NC to see if she's interested in doing a report on this as she did for the makeup by Justice brands. If you're willing to contact her Ms. Wilson has said for people to email her at Diane.L.Wilson@abc.com.

So what can you do if you've purchased Jaclyn Hill lipsticks? Again, I highly suggest you do not use these lipsticks as it currently appears that product sent out all contain the same batch/lot code on the bottom so one must presume that 100% of the items are contaminated in some manner. As we do not know what the contamination is you can't take the risk that it's harmless or toxic.

You can contact Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics for a full refund based on the contamination. If they refuse to give you a full refund or are requesting you return the items on your own dime you can then contact your bank or credit card provider to initiate either a dispute or a chargeback.

If you've used the products and experienced any type of issue you can contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and report the contamination to them.


You can also contact the California Attorney General's office and file a complaint as well as the Florida Attorney General. If you're in the U.S. you can also consider filing on with your state's ATG and with the Federal Trade Commission.

I highly, highly encourage you to report it to as many authoritative agencies as possible so this issue isn't swept under the rug. You can STILL get a refund from Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics either directly or via your debit/credit card provider due to the fact these products NEVER should have been sold to the consumer if expired and/or contaminated.

2 comments

  1. Thank you!! This article needs to go viral for everyone to see!!! These need to be recalled ASAP!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. These should definitely be recalled ASAP

    ReplyDelete

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