Fans of niche Youtube drama, rejoice! I’ve got a tale for you that requires an infuriating amount of backstory, so buckle up.
Over the summer, Beauty Youtuber Jaclyn Hill—who has long collaborated with makeup companies like Morphe for personalized collections—launched her own brand, Jaclyn Cosmetics. She started small and smart, with 20 nude lipsticks priced at $18 each. But customers, upon delivery, reported mold, black spots, and white hairs on their product, and some believed their “new” lipsticks to be expired.
People made videos about it. Hill made apology videos about it, even though another beauty influencer, the veteran Marlena Stell, posted her own hour and a half long video saying she warned Hill not to use the lab where the reported contamination took place, and Hill did it anyway. Now, as the year approaches holiday season, Hill has returned to the makeup game, releasing luminous powders, highlighters, and brushes.
Fellow makeup guru Jeffree Star reviewed them in his November 24 video labeled “Does Jaclyn Cosmetics Deserve A Second Chance? Highlighter Collection Review.” I’ll save you 30 minutes and tell you: he likes some of it, but never fully answers the question the title poses.
Weeks earlier, on November 1, Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson (a YouTube veteran in his own right, known for comedy and conspiracy videos) released their massive, sold-out collaboration, the “SHANE X JEFFREE CONSPIRACY COLLECTION.” In preparation for the release, Dawson released a seven-part “documentary” series that promised to give an insider look at how makeup is made (it does not) while teasing in-depth coverage of 2019's big Beauty beefs, like the James Charles x Tati Westbrook saga. (It did not.) Instead, his series was about seven hours of advertorial promo for their product. To date, it has ranked in a cumulative 130 million views. On November 6, Star shared in an Instagram Story, now expired, that they sold 1.1 million palettes, which retail for $52 each.
All of that is questionable, but just wait until you get to the latest drama: customers have been posting on social media that their products are contaminated with unidentified hairs and fibers, among other defects. Sound familiar?
According to the gossip site Oh No They Didn’t!, Star addressed the drama in a now-deleted Instagram Story, clarifying that he is not deleting any comments about issues, adding “that comparing the Jaclyn Hill thing to this is not fair and not in the same level” because there have been “only 35 customers complaining.” He also posted the following tweets. Dawson has not responded.
Now, if only Dawson could film one of his conspiratorial videos to uncover the truth...