Alright y’all, let’s set the tone on this right away: I’m not a Jaclyn Hill stan and I’m not a Jaclyn Hill hater. I don’t wish her any ill will, I’m not all caught up in her past dramas (though there have admittedly been many of them…), and I don’t give two fucks about all of the “manipulation” that commentary channels love to rehash every time she puts out a new video. I also don’t care if she’s your favorite person in the world, if she saved your cat from a burning building, or if you have a tattoo of her across your backside. I’m just here to talk about the makeup. I come at this with a pretty neutral attitude, and I don’t really care for either of the extremes that tend to surround Jaclyn Hill. We good on this?
So I didn’t get in on the Valentines mystery boxes (that, if urban makeup legends are to be believed were actually holiday products that got pushed because of the weird pandemic world that we’re living in) but I was pretty interested when I heard that Jaclyn Cosmetics was releasing new shades of highlighter as well as brush and bronzer duos that seem to be a similar sort of baked formula. I have The Flash palette from her earlier release and I’m a pretty big fan – the shades are bright and reflective, and the powders are super soft and work really well with other powder products that I like. Some of the highlighter shades in the new release are repeats of shades from her two earlier palettes and some are brand new. I bought mine from Ulta and there were three shades available that I didn’t already have in the palette: Awestruck, Turned On, and Va-Va-Boom.
L to R: Awestruck, Turned On, Va-Va-Boom
Just looking at the shades, they all seem like they are too dark to really work as highlights on my pasty ass, but I have been living for a glowy blush moment and that’s why I bought them. I think these are going to pair beautifully with a lot of the matte blushes that I have to really glow up a look.
I also bought two of the blush/bronzer duos. There were a couple more that I wanted that were already sold out on Ulta’s website, and there was one other duo that I didn’t pick up (the lightest duo with the lavender blush) that may end up in my grubby little hands eventually, but who knows when things are going to restock, so I decided to go ahead and just do the review with these two: Pink Me Up/Oh Honey and Warm Flush/Golden Goddess. The stans lost their goddamn minds when Sam Ravndahl dared to point out that four of the duos look very similar when swatched out. I do think she has a point and she did elaborate more in her review video (which I’ll include at the bottom), but the two that I got have some difference between them as you’ll see in the swatches. Is it enough that I think someone would need both? Depends on how heavy you like your blush. The more you build it up, the more you’ll notice the difference, but if you are a sheer subtle blush wearer, I think you should just pick the one that appeals to you most. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
L to R: Pink Me Up/Oh Honey, Warm Flush/Golden Goddess
With cheek products (unless I’m being lazy, which definitely happens…) I like to swatch over a foundation that’s not set with any powder as that most closely replicates how I apply it to my face. I do a pretty thick finger swatch on the left to show the color and how it can look in a thicker application, and then do a more diffused brush swatch on the right using a small fluffy blending brush like the Morphe 510. Hey, it’s a Jaclyn Hill review – I couldn’t go through the whole thing without at least mentioning one Morphe product! But no code, I promise…
L to R: Awestruck, Turned On, Va-Va-Boom
Seeing them swatched out, I think Awestruck is light enough that I could use it as a legit highlight, or even lay it down as a metallic base before putting a glitter highlight on top of it. It comes out brighter and lighter on the skin than it looks in the pan, so I think I could get away with it. The other two shades are definitely going to be glowy blushes for me.
Awestruck is a light rose gold pink with a gorgeous pink metallic shine. This one came out lighter and much more reflective than I anticipated. I really like this color and I think it’s going to work with a lot of different looks.
Turned on is sort of a browned berry with a nice metallic shimmer that has some hints of pink. I was surprised that all three of these shades are very metallic. There was definitely some metallic shine in the palette that I have, but these are even more intense. The pearl is intense!
Va-Va-Boom is a bright orange copper metallic. This one has a nice strong metallic when it’s on thick, but I feel like this one loses some of the metallic as it’s blended out. It’s still a great color and I’m excited to play with this with some of my orange and peach blushes.
I’m a big fan of these, and I love the metallic shine. Turns out, I think I like these as blushes more than I like the actual blushes. Whoopsie!
L to R: Pink Me Up, Oh Honey
Pink me up is a pale pink, very cool in tone, with a slightly shiny satin finish. Oh Honey is a pale tan bronzer, very close to my foundation shade but definitely a little bit of depth when built up. I want to play around with this to get some more subtle contouring for videos (me? subtle?! who even am I right now?!).
L to R: Warm Flush, Golden Goddess
Warm Flush is a peachy coral blush that has some some pink shimmer reflect in it. It’s definitely a warmer tone than the other blush, and the warmth shows the more you build it up. If you wear a very sheer wash of blush, you might not notice a huge difference between this and pink me up, but it’s definitely more of a warm tone. Same with the bronzer, Golden Goddess: it’s a little deeper than Oh Honey, but it’s much mroe warm-toned and the warmth starts to show up more as you build it. Still a rather subtle contour kind of shade for my light-leaning-medium skintone, but it’s a bit more noticeable than the other bronzer.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with these products. The blushes have the same soft, baked formula as the highlighters that is smooth and easy to apply and blends out almost effortlessly. It’s a really gorgeous formula, and while I think they could have done a lot more shade-wise, it’s still a pretty solid release. I’m very excited for the two darker duos to get restocked – there is a blood orange blush that is to die, and I think is going to be absolute fucking FIRE with Va-Va-Boom!
As for the packaging…meh. I don’t hate it. It’s in a similar vein as her earlier product releases, but somehow it feels like it’s made of cheaper materials. I agree with Sam Ravndahl (again, video below!) about the raised J: it’s obnoxious and makes it very hard to stack/store these products. I think it’s an elegant design, but both the black and the gold packaging get filthy with fingerprints basically immediately. In the earlier palette, the outside had a clear beveled plastic piece over the logo and while I’m sure it got fingerprinted, it wasn’t as obvious as this new packaging. It’s still thick and bulky, but I don’t mind that. Definitely not something for people who hate wasted space in their products! These babies are thic-c-c-c-c-c-c.
Now, let’s talk lipsticks…
In case you missed out on “Lipstickgate,” I’ve included Raw Beauty Kristi’s video showing some of the problems with Jaclyn’s first lipstick launch. It was a disaster, no question, but people act like Jaclyn was mixing these up in her goddamn kitchen. She gave an explanation, but people said that it wasn’t good enough, or they felt it wasn’t true (you know, because of all of their no fucking useful information whatsoever…). This situation is actually one that I go to when I rail about millennials not demanding apologies that they have no intention of accepting. When Jaclyn announced that she was releasing new liquid lipsticks, all of the usual shrill commentators came out of the woodwork to crow about how she never explained what happened with the first launch.
Actually, she did; you just decided that you didn’t believe her. But your lack of belief doesn’t change the fact that she did offer an explanation. Accept it or don’t, but stop pretending it didn’t happen.
Anyway, there is a new collection of liquid lipsticks: 15 shades and 12 complementary (but not matching) lip liners. I’m not going to be reviewing these, not because of any concerns about the lipsticks themselves but because of a change in how they are being sold. With the blushes and highlighters, they released at Ulta pretty close to when they released on her site. If possible, I try to buy from Ulta when I can, partially because of the return policy (though I rarely return product; as a review site I know that one of the dangers of the job is buying products that I might not fully love and I don’t want to drive up prices) and partially because of the very generous rewards program. A bitch ain’t fancy and getting PR, so one of the ways I supplement the products that I pay for is using my Ulta points to pick up other products that I want to try. When you see my upcoming review of the Urban Decay Wild West palette, that’s one that I picked up using points! Plus, while I’m willing to believe Jaclyn when she says that she’s cleaned up the quality control on her products…well, fool me once, know what I mean? I prefer to have the option to return to Ulta, just in case.
Well, in her reveal video Jaclyn announced that while the lipsticks were launching on her site on March 18, they wouldn’t be coming to Ulta until May, and that this sort of staggering would be happening with all of her upcoming releases. She claimed she wanted to give her site a sort of grace period as the only retailer, which might be smart; given how wary people are of her, especially for liquid or cream products, Ulta might be drawing more sales off the site than we think. But what that means is that I probably won’t be reviewing her future releases, unless there is something that I am interested enough in to try and get from her site at launch. I don’t mind reviewing products that aren’t brand spanking new, but there are some brands that you just know get more traction when they are new, and Jaclyn is one of those. If something really calls to me I might pick it up at Ulta and still review it, but I’m much less inclined. I still have to plan my purchases around my content to some extent, and that’s just not best investment that I could make.
I heard a lot of people acting surprised that Jaclyn was releasing liquid lipsticks. We have definitely been in a gloss moment the last couple of years (much to my chagrin!), but with the widespread use of masks, I actually thought that we would see more liquid lipsticks being launched than we have. Not only do they make sense, but Jaclyn Hill was known for being a proponent of liquid lipsticks in her early tutorials. I’m glad that she’s contributing to my prediction that liquid lipsticks would be big this year, but I think she might be one of the few…
I’m tired of the cult of hate that has sprung up around Jaclyn Hill; it’s getting to same level as Lime Crime in the heyday of their scandals! I also can’t stand idiotic young stans who feel the need to get vicious and ugly in defense of a woman who has never met them and doesn’t give a shit who they are. I’m just here in the middle somewhere, trying to enjoy the products I spend my money on and make fun looks with makeup I enjoy. Is that so wrong?
(PS – Here’s the Sam Ravndahl video I promised you! XOXO – Miss Jaye)