The YouTube beauty guru candidly opens up about drinking alcohol to mask her anxiety and depression, which got worse after the Jaclyn Cosmetics launch last year

By Kaitlyn Frey
February 05, 2020 03:00 PM

YouTube beauty guru Jaclyn Hill got vulnerable with her followers about her ongoing battle with anxiety and depression in a candid new video.

After launching her namesake makeup company Jaclyn Cosmetics last June with a collection of lipsticks, Hill, 29, faced intense backlash on social media from some customers who reportedly found hair fibers, lumps and tiny black holes in their lipsticks. Hill and her team conducted an internal third party investigation, and while they found the products were in compliance with FDA regulations, Jaclyn Cosmetics decided to refund all customers for their purchases.

The drama that unfolded continued for weeks and now, Hill is ready to open up about the negative impact the “cancel culture” had on her mental and physical health.

“I want to talk about last year and I want to talk about my weight. I know that my weight has been a topic of discussion for a few months now. I have put on quite a few pounds since my lipsticks launched — if we’re going to be totally honest, that’s when it started,” Hill said in a YouTube video. “I have put on God, close to 30 pounds the past eight months and there is a reason for it.”

Jaclyn Hill/ Instagram

The beauty guru said she constantly receives hate messages online critiquing her physical appearance, so she feels the need to speak up about what is going on in her life behind-the-scenes. “I want to talk about it because I can’t post a picture or a video without people talking about how fat I am and especially my face. I get so much hate for my face. So many people accuse me of getting fillers and Botox,” Hill said.

She continued: “As you guys know last year when I launched my brand, it was a total flop and a total failure. I had a moment where it broke my heart. I did not make one dime on that launch. I felt like an idiot. I handled the whole thing so poorly. It was just such a messy year you guys.”

The challenging lipstick launch combined with hate comments about her body had Hill turning to alcohol to ease her pain.

RELATED: Jaclyn Hill Announces Relaunch of Beauty Brand After Being ‘Canceled’ for Faulty Lipsticks

“At the end of the day to cope with my anxiety and my depression I turned to alcohol and started drinking to fix what I was feeling mentally. I’ve never been a heavy drinker. I’ve always drank with my friends for fun socially. I honestly don’t even like being drunk, that’s not what it’s about. This year I discovered when you have a couple of drinks your brain just kind of relaxes and my brain just goes crazy,” she explained.

Rather than crying “so hard” and getting “so worked up” that she would “uncontrollably throw up,” Hill began drinking alcohol anytime she felt the anxiety coming on. “And when I started to get [it], I would immediately be like, ‘Alright I need a shot. I need a drink. I need a cocktail. I need something.’ I just numb it. Instead of using a Xanax or Valium or Ativan or whatever prescription drug, I had been using alcohol to self-medicate and that is why my face has been so swollen,” she said.

Michael Loccisano/Getty

Hill explained that the drinking caused her face to keep “getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” which ultimately led her to experiencing even more anxious emotions. “On days when I would be so full of anxiety and I would drink more than other days. I would wake up in the morning and my face would be so swollen and my eyes would be so puffy and I would just cry,” the star said.

While Hill isn’t ashamed about “gaining weight in my body,” she’s become more upset about “what the weight represents.” She said: “So when people tell me, ‘You’re fat. Your face is swollen. You need to stop getting fillers,’ [and] it triggers me in a way because I wouldn’t look like this if I didn’t make such poor decisions. I wouldn’t look like this if I didn’t hurt myself by self-medicating with alcohol.”

Now, Hill is working with a doctor and therapist to manage her anxiety and depression in a healthier way.

“At this current point in my life I am going to therapy two to three days a week. I have found this amazing doctor. Between her and my therapist they’re working together and they’re going to get me on the right track and work on my anxiety and depression without medication,” she said. “I am not against medication for those things, I just personally don’t want to do it. No prescription drugs, no alcohol. I just want to learn how to ground myself in a natural way.”

At the moment, Hill said she is “doing better,” but it’s still an uphill battle. “I am not out of it. I am struggling right now because it is real,” she said. “There are some days I won’t get out of bed all day long. I am so over it. I am so sick of it. I am over these demons. I am moving on.”

Hill previously opened up about her fluctuating weight in a candid Instagram post last year. “I have gained 20 pounds in the last 7 weeks,” she wrote. “I’m being transparent with you guys, because I have been getting lots of comments about my weight. I have never been this insecure about my physical appearance in my life. Sweatpants are literally the only thing that fits me right now & i’ve had to go up 2 sizes in my jeans.”

The YouTuber added that her subscribers could expect to see her looking a bit different in her upcoming makeup tutorials. “Side note: you’re going to notice in my future videos…. my face is bigger, my arms are bigger, my entire body is bigger. But you’ll just have to deal with it, cause this is me❤️,” Hill said.

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