The scandal that will not go away
In terms of drama in the beauty community, Jaclyn hill is the gift that keeps on giving. Three weeks after my post about Jaclyn and her lipstick launch, people are still uncovering new information in the story; it is becoming a saga as epic as Game of Thrones.
Having an addiction to makeup has made me intrigued by the manufacturing and ethics of makeup brands. Before I took an interest in the beauty community, I had never considered what I had put on my face or what damage it could do.
Turning tables; refunds galore
After making a video on her YouTube channel stating that she stands by the quality of her lipsticks and that a small minority might be susceptible to ‘less than perfect standards’; she backtracked and dramatically refunded every customer who had bought a lipstick from her. This poses the question; how long did she know that it was not a ‘small minority’ of lipsticks affected before issuing the refund?
It took her over two weeks from the problems surfacing to her refunding customers, any decent CEO would find out the scale of the problem within days of the incident; is this lack of experience or a deliberate attempt to hide the full scale of the problem, saving money for the company?
She constantly said that she wanted to provide a great product for her loyal fans and how upset she was about the whole lipstick scandal; if you were that concerned about customers, why not recall the product and refund straight away? If you do this for the fans, Jaclyn, why did your fans have to wait weeks for a refund; surely you would have identified early on how many lipsticks were concerned by the batch code? Oh, wait, the batch codes were all the same for the twenty shades of lipstick and thousands of lipsticks; why would any self-respecting cosmetic company or manufacturing lab do that?
Deleting social media
How did Jaclyn deal with the growing evidence that Jaclyn Cosmetics was contaminated and possibly unsafe? She went into hiding. As humans, our primal instinct is to either fight, freeze or flee the scene, in this case, Jaclyn put all of her social media profiles on restricted and left a multitude of fans and the beauty community wondering what was happening.
It is natural, when someone feels like they have been wronged, to want answers and explanations; her fans have been no exception. I can understand how this is causing pain for Jaclyn and her mental health will possibly suffer as a result of the scandal; but if you are in a position of power and people look up to you, surely you have some responsibility to them? The price associated with fame and fortune is a lack of privacy and a certain expectation from the public who have invested time and money into her ‘brand’. There is also a higher moral standard that they are supposed to follow since they are influential to others in what they do and say; that is why they get paid so handsomely. It would have been foolish of Jaclyn to be naïve to that fact.
As I write this, Jaclyn has completely deleted all of her social media channels so fans have no way of knowing what is happening. I am aware how devastated she must feel and how it can affect someone mentally; but as a mother, I have also learnt that, if people depend on you and look up to you, you need to get up, pull your big girl knickers on and get on with things. Cutting yourself off from society will just make the problem harder to get through in the long run.
Frequently asked questions
When Jaclyn announced she would be refunding the lipsticks, her website closed down, brandishing the words ‘coming back soon’. I had not noticed that there was a frequently asked questions section on the site that was still there. Usually FAQ’s are generic and mainly include shipping details, however, the FAQ’s on the Jaclyn Cosmetics website gave some new information on the lipsticks and their safety.
You can find out about the FAQ’s from this video by Peter Monn.
Shortly after this, people started to ask more questions about Jaclyn Cosmetics and linking it to the brand Morphe, that Jaclyn has been heavily involved within the past. When people looked at the safety testing that Jaclyn Cosmetics conducted on their lipsticks and published their reports in their FAQ section. The general public was quick to point out that where they had blacked out the brand name they had missed the top section and it looked suspiciously like Morphe. The FAQ’s were quick to point out that Jaclyn Cosmetics is owned by Jaclyn Hill and she is being helped by Elevate Brand Partners as a strategic and financial partner.
Peter Monn did another video on the FAQ’s and how they have changed.
Many science enthusiasts were keen to look deeper into the scandal and have since brought news of animal hair being found. Cassandra Bankson, who has a keen interest in dermatology, has looked at the hairs on a Jaclyn Hill lipstick under a high power microscope and found them to resemble rodent hair. Cassandra reported that another source had found the lab that was suspected to be manufacturing her lipsticks had pictures of animals inside the lab; which sets off massive alarm bells. Other people with an interest in scientific testing discovered that although the lipsticks themselves did not contain mould or any other infections, the outer parts of the lipstick’s container did contain signs of mould. Betty Wilder has been cataloguing her findings on her Twitter account.
The longer she hides and wallows in the failings of herself and her company; the harder it will take to address the world, own whatever mistakes she did and get on with what she wants to do, create makeup. I am not suggesting she comes straight back with her own makeup line, but going back to her roots and doing some tutorials and possible collaborations might be her reinvention.
The measure of an individual is how they respond to their mistakes. Diverting the truth and misleading people is one classic tactic as well as completely running away from the situation. It takes the strongest person to admit their mistakes and take full ownership of their actions and use it as a learning experience. I hope that Jaclyn chooses the final option as I fear a repeat of the first two options will be detrimental to her career.
Will this saga with Jaclyn ever end, will the public find a way to trust Jaclyn again? What are your opinions on the whole situation? Let me know in the comments.
Ciao for now beauties xx