Jaclyn Hill Breaks Silence on Lipstick Controversy, Says They're Not Moldy or Contaminated
YouTube beauty guru Jaclyn Hill clarified fans’ concerns about her Jaclyn Cosmetics lipsticks, after many thought were moldy, contaminated and contained hair fibers.
Days after customers began sharing photos on social media of their purchased lipsticks with what appeared to be black holes, gritty lumps and hair-like fibers (that some people hypothesized was mold) embedded in the product, Hill, 28, addressed the issue in a 14-minute YouTube video after completing an in-depth investigation with her lab and team.
“The first thing I want to address is the accusation that my lipsticks are expired, moldy or hazardous in any way,” Hill said at the start of the video. “My lipsticks did not go into mass production until the same month that I launched my brand.”
A spokesperson for Jaclyn Cosmetics also confirmed Hill’s statement about production timing in a comment shared with PEOPLE. “These lipsticks were manufactured in May 2019 and are made with cosmetic industry-standard, FDA compliant ingredients and are produced in an OTC (Over the Counter) compliant factory that is registered with the FDA, providing high degrees of safety standards and rigorous testing,” the Jaclyn Cosmetics spokesperson said.
Although some social media users tracked down an old email from Hill in 2015 where she said she manufactured 300,000 lipsticks, she said those lipsticks are not the ones being sold.
“Because my brand has been pushed back so many times, I actually already went through the same situation with a different lab several years ago. I went into mass production, ended up having an issue and then didn’t launch my brand and had to go to a whole new lab. So I cancelled them and went somewhere else. But they are not expired,” she said.
Hill and her team also insist that her bullets are not moldy or unsafe in any way. “Every single ingredient in my lipstick is new and it is FDA-approved,” Hill said.
A spokesperson from Jaclyn Cosmetics added: “We want to provide assurances to customers who may have heard that our products are old, or contain mold — this is false. Our launch collection was manufactured in May 2019. The preservative system, material composition of the formula, and processing temperature of our lipstick does not support microbial growth and protects the product through the expiration date of May 2021.”
The black holes people are noticing in some of their products are oxygen bubbles that rise to the surface as the lipstick is being cooled, Hill said. “It’s not actually black holes. Again, it’s not mold. It is oxygen and it is 100 percent safe. It is not going to hurt you. But seeing those dots is not pretty. So if you’re experiencing that, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org,” she said.
As for the gritty texture, Hill said the large vats that mix the formula together were not properly breaking down all the ingredients which resulted in some lumps.
“They’re not being broken down small enough or smoothly enough, which I take full responsibility for. We made a lot of product in a very short amount of time and although we all thought it was going to be perfect and fresh, that’s not the case,” she said.
Many fans also called out Hill’s company for selling them lipsticks that had small, hair-like fibers embedded in the bullet and poking out of the top of the product. But according to Hill, who admitted she “had a hard time believing this,” when she first found out from the lab, they were caused by fuzzy white gloves used during the quality control inspection process.
“My lab, instead of using a standard glove that they would use in the lab, they decided to use white cotton gloves,” she explained. “They didn’t want to standard glove to put any smears on this component, to in any way have any prints on it.”
She added: “Not acceptable, at all. The second we saw this we changed to different gloves.”
In addition to the gloves, Hill said that the towels used to clean the mixing vats also caused small lint to get embedded in the lipstick. “They were cleaning my vats with this white fiber almost towel going through it and that’s been happening once to twice a day depending on how quickly we’re moving through batches,” she said. “So with those two things combined, that is what you’re experiencing. It is so beyond unacceptable and I am so sorry it happened to you guys.”
Hill revealed she has decided to cut ties with the lab she was working with due to these production issues.
The biggest issue the Jaclyn Cosmetics team has noticed from customer complaint emails is lipsticks melting in transit. “It’s actually 80 percent of our complaints. It’s showing up in the mail and showing almost like a circular sweat mark or little sweat dots,” Hill said. “And when you swatch it the lipstick kind of leans to the side and it’s got a little line on it because it is a very creamy, very emollient product. So you have to make sure it is fully cooled down before using it.”
“Because of the climate right now, we are shipping to people who are in such hot temperatures that my lipsticks, they’re not surviving it fully. My testing came to about to 140 degrees Fahrenheit which means my specific lipstick can withstand 140 degrees before melting actually through,” Hill continued. “But once these lipsticks are getting onto trucks and then they’re sitting outside of people’s houses, yes they’re not fully melted all the way through, but yeah they might have little sweat dots. When you swatch them they might kind of lean to the side. We are working on a solution for this right now though.”
Multiple times throughout the video Hill urged her customers to contact email@example.com if they are not 100 percent satisfied with their purchase for a full refund and replacement.