Alright y’all, I know that I am super late to the party and this tea isn’t just cold, it’s iced over, frozen solid, and sitting in cubes. Frankly, I have never really been a Jaclyn Hill fan, and I’ve never really paid much attention to the ever-present scandals that always seem to be swirling around Ms. Hill. I know that she always has problems with launches, I know those lipstick were nasty as fuck, and I know that she has a reputation for only posting on social media when she has something to sell…a reputation that she probably definitely deserves.
But you know a bitch loves a highlight, and these looked good…
I saw quite a few YouTubers do a review of these, and the reviews were generally favorable. And while that lipstick debacle was the makeup clusterfuck of the century so far, I figured that powder products would be mostly safe from the kinds of production defects that the lipsticks were affected by. Then I waited, like, half a year to make sure that any problems would crop up before I placed my order. Honestly, I also mostly ordered them because Morphe put them on sale. But I did what I did, and here we are: I have two of the Luminous Setting Powders and the Accent Light highlighter palette in The Flash.
(Editor’s Note: It would be pretty hard for you to not know about “Lipstick-Gate,” but in case you missed it or forgot, I’ll include Raw Beauty Kristi’s video below where you can see for yourself. It was a hot mess express, and I don’t think Jaclyn’s reputation has fully recovered. Seriously, it’s nasty…)
First up, the two Luminous Powders: Brighten Up and Carats.
At first, this was the only product from the highlighter collection that I was interested in (I only bought the palette because of the sale), and I thought the formula was something that I might enjoy. In Jaclyn’s launch video, it seemed like these were less actual highlighters and more like a setting powder – similar to the Dew You Luminous Setting Powder from the Too Faced Tutti Fruitti collection, but more subtle. The Too Faced powders are ok, but there is way too much pearl for me; they end up giving you almost like a full greasy face m0ment and need to be used very carefully. These looked like they were more finely milled and had less actual pigment and just the right amount of shine.
Carats is a slightly darker, more peachy shade. Brighten up is a bit lighter and has a little more of a neutral pink tone. I like them both, but Brighten Up is a little more useful for me because I tend to do more cool-toned or neutral looks, and Carats leans a little bit warm.
Here are swatches, on bare skin, of the 4 baked highlighters followed by the two loose powders. I swatched the powders pretty heavily so you got a sense of the tone, but they are not that pigmented when you apply them with a brush like a typical setting powder.
L to R: Gleam, Iced, Sparks, Mesmerized, Carats, Brighten Up
The packaging is nice enough; the frosted plastic is heavier than some similar components (the Give Me Glow highlighters and loose setting powders come in a similar component, but the plastic is thinner and lighter weight) but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it feels expensive. There is something about the sifter in the top that prevents much product from coming up. I guess that’s great for storage – it’s always a mess when you open a powder and half the contents are sitting on top of the sifter! – but it would be nicer if there was a little more flow. I have to really whack it and shake it upside down to get the product I need for a single application. Carats is better than Brighten Up, so maybe it’s just something with that one shade, or with that one sifter? It’s a petty gripe, but worth noting. Just don’t tell Drama Investigator, of there will be 6 new videos about it…
I used the Brighten Up shade in a couple of my Face Friday posts recently: the Violet Voss Neon/Pastel Rainbow Eyes (linked HERE) and in the post that will be up this coming Friday. Here is the step from the Rainbow Eyes walkthrough:
I was doing a more ethereal sort of blush application and the powder really helped flatten out my texture and give it a nice subtle “lit from within” glow. I think. People always say that shit, and to be honest I’m not 100% sure what that is supposed to mean, but I think this counts. I say it counts.
In the look coming up this Friday, here’s a little sneaky peeky:
I went a little heavy handed with my blush application, and I used the powder to tame it down and give me a smoother, less extreme look. I love a good blush draping moment, but I wanted to take it down a couple of notches. If you want to see all the products I used and what brands are featured, be sure to check back at 11 am central this Friday to see the full look!
I also picked up The Flash palette, featuring 4 baked highlighter shades. This is the lighter option; there is another 4-pan palette called The Flare designed for deeper skintones.
The shades are all pretty basic; like I said before, I probably wouldn’t have picked this up if it hadn’t been 40% off on the Morphe site at the time. Theresa Is Dead seemed pretty pleased with it, and I love the alien slut vibe she espouses, so I figured I would give it a shot.
L to R: Gleam, Iced, Sparks, Mesmerized, Carats, Brighten Up
Yeah, that’s the same picture. I figured I’d save you a little scrolling. I probably shouldn’t have swatched them all together at the same time. Lesson Learned.
Gleam is an icy pearl shade, very cool-toned and probably the brightest of the shades in the palette. Iced is a champagne shade with a nice silvery sheen to it. Sparks is a bright yellow gold highlight. Mesmerized is the darkest of the shades, and on my skintone it’s fairly subtle (sorry to keep doing this, but you can see me use it in the Face Friday post coming later this week!) but it’s a nice blend of pinky, peachy, and golden tones. It looks straight up peach in these swatches, but it has a pink/peach quality to it that is almost like a duochrome. I love the color, but it is a little subtle for me, so I generally would use this as a base to start building up other highlighters on top.
These are fine, and you can get a good glow from them, but the way she gushes about these in the launch video…just, no. They are nice, basic highlighters if you like that drier, baked formula and if you prefer shimmer over glitter. With the exception of Mesmerized, there is nothing particularly special about the colors, and even that shade isn’t revolutionary. If you’ve been buying highlighters for longer than 5 minutes, you can probably pretty easily dupe these out in your collection.
The packaging is nice enough, and the design is pretty and elegant, but to me it feels exactly like the components from the Becca and Khloe Kardashian Best Friends collection. I have the silver cheek palette from that collection, and it’s pretty much identical to this in quality and overall design, with just some tweaks to the top design, a slight modification to the shape, etc.
I mean, I only bought the Becca palette because it was on sale at Ulta, so it seems like a theme here. They are both nice palettes, and I’m sure I’ll get my use out of them, but I definitely like them better at the discounted price than I would have at the original retail prices. In fact, the powders in Jaclyn’s palette and the Becca palette have a similar consistency and feel. That could just have to do with them being a baked product, but it’s easy to suspect that Jaclyn may not be entirely forthcoming about how “unique” and “exclusive” these products really are. Fool me once…
I don’t know what to think about Jaclyn Hill. A lot of her aesthetic jives with mine: I loved, loved, LOVED the components for her grody lipstick launch! Sleek and silver, but with the glitter and rhinestone accents. A perfect blend of classy and tacky – what I always strive to be! These highlighters have a similar sort of feel and I love the look of the pieces. But people have accused Jaclyn Hill of only going on social media when she has something to sell – something she herself acknowledged in a recent GRWM video…right before announcing that she was going to have something to sell! That product was the Jaclyn Hill Volume 2 collab palette with Morphe, and it was kind of basic and boring.
Jaclyn bemoans that people think she only comes online to skill things, but it’s like she doesn’t realize that there is a simple solution to that: start posting shit that isn’t about making money! Recently Jaclyn posted an IG story about some markers that she was using to color her way through the apocalypse and how much she was loving them, how they helped her with anxiety, etc. What she didn’t disclose anywhere in the post is that the link to the markers she provided was an affiliate link. And when those markers sold out, she posts a new link – also affiliated – to another similar but smaller set of markers. It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over and over again.
But we keep giving her more chances and buying her shit, so maybe we’re the assholes?
I get the feeling that we’re the assholes, and she’s laughing and crying and whining all the way to the bank.