Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!

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Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Makeup Geek Candid
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Makeup Geek Giddy (longer fiber embedded on the bottom edge of the slant)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Makeup Geek Naive (small fiber on slant, black fiber on side - one of the "better" ones in the launch)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Makeup Geek Shady
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Makeup Geek Spoiled (lots of fuzz/lint/fibers on bottom slant/edge)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Makeup Geek Witty
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - ColourPop Afterglow
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Bobbi Brown Cranberry
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - ColourPop Maleficent
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - ColourPop Sure Thing
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Dior Ultra Crave
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Guerlain #03
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - L'Oreal Glossy Garnet
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - MAC Yoni Crush (longer fiber appears to run across the slant)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Tom Ford Mia
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Fibers in Lipsticks - Tom Ford Satin Chic
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - Bite Beauty Mauvembert
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - Bobbi Brown Angel
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - ColourPop Hades
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - MAC Lucky in Love
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - MAC Elle Belle
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - MAC Framboise Moi
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - MAC Sweet MamaStarrr
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - NARS Linda
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - Pat McGrath She's So Deep
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - Pat McGrath Sorry Not Sorry
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Lint on Lipsticks - Tom Ford Love Crime
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Holes in Lipsticks - Bite Beauty Scorpio (unusually high amount)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Holes in Lipsticks - Guerlain #23 (larger but not too far from normal)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Holes in Lipsticks - MAC Leave Me Breathless (more normal)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Holes in Lipsticks - Sephora Girl Crush (holes in the side, less normal)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Sweating Lipsticks - Bite Beauty nearly Neon Blue
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Sweating Lipsticks - Bite Beauty nearly Neon Orange
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Sweating Lipsticks - NARS Stefania (heavy sweating)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Sweating Lipsticks - Urban Decay 66 (heavy sweating)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Wax Buildup/Mound - Tom Ford The Perfect Kiss
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Melting Lipsticks -- Bite Beauty Leo (unusually melted!)
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Melting Lipsticks -- Bite Beauty Nearly Neon Peach
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!
Just what is normal in your lipsticks? A Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks Follow-up!

I have applied, swatched, and reviewed a lot of lipstick in the last 13 years–there are over 13,000 lip swatches in the Swatch Gallery, and there are years of photos that aren’t included (because they’re older, lower quality, etc.).   I want to discuss my own experiences over the years of what I’ve found to be a common enough occurrence that I’d consider it “acceptable.”  I’ve gone through some of the more popular lipstick formulas and brands, both high-end and budget-friendly, and tried to pull from more recent images I’ve taken; I didn’t have to hunt long to find what I needed.

Since Jaclyn Cosmetics lipsticks started to be received, there have been reports of issues with some being more typical and normal (to varying degrees, though) and others being more concerning.  I think that they’re being scrutinized to a level that most lipsticks have not been held to, so I thought that as someone who has literally photographed thousands upon thousands of lipsticks over the years that I could share my insight based on what I’ve seen over the years on what’s normal / what’s not and to what degree.

For people who may not have the time to read through the entire post:

What we are seeing on Jaclyn’s lipsticks is abnormal because of the number of different issues (not just heat-sensitive, like melting/sweating) and the degree of which they exist (not one piece of lint but lots of unknown fibers/material) as well as the number of people reporting issues with multiple shades that they ordered/received.

As I originally said below, the issues reported have merit and need to be investigated. Because they are so numerous, I would not recommend purchasing them until the brand releases more information or they reformulate. Unfortunately, the Jaclyn lipsticks I purchased do not look like the worst people are sharing on social media, so I can’t personally provide detailed photos of my own.  RawBeautyKristi, on YouTube, has shared photos of one of the worst she received, which is unlike anything I’ve encountered (which should tell you that that’s very abnormal!).

These are the most prevalent issues that have unfolded out of the Jaclyn Hill Lipsticks drama over the last few days, and again, it is hard for us looking from the outside in to know just how frequently these issues are happening.  If you purchased your lipsticks and are not happy, the brand has a return policy (which existed from the beginning) and has affirmed that they will refund/replace defective lipsticks.  I would recommend emailing their customer service and reporting any issues you’ve experienced and be specific about the shades and what’s occurring to which shade.

  • Soft, melting, broken lipsticks
  • Sweaty lipsticks
  • Small holes
  • Grainy/gritty bits in lipstick
  • Fuzziness — from claims of full-on, long pieces of hair to mid-length fibers (both white and black) to lint
  • Smells like playdoh/crayons
  • Black spots on the base

I addressed the first four in my rundown of the process of receiving and swatching all 20 shades of lipsticks (that I purchased) in my original post (that included swatches). Short summary:  Mine arrived with signs of sweat across many shades, a couple had subtle “drips” of melted product on the side (subtle that I didn’t notice while photographing), a couple with raised waxiness, and some with pinprick-like holes (again, see below for what’s “normal” to me).

I wasn’t aware of the latter two issues until after I wrote my post. I did go back through and look at both the close-up photos I took (which have been there for anyone to view), and I didn’t have fuzziness or fibers that I could see.  There were two or three shades with one, small piece of lint that looked more floating (like Sofia, you can barely see it floating off the top left of the slant), so it would be what I’d consider normal to my experience with lipstick close-ups (see below for lots of examples or above in the slideshow).  I went back and twisted up all 20 of the shades I have and looked for anything peculiar along the base, and I couldn’t find anything amiss.  Mine smell like a burnt sugar/caramel scent, I think L’Oreal or CoverGirl has something similar, but they were consistent across all 20 shades. Edited for clarity: As I state below, there ARE issues being reported that are concerning, but unfortunately, I didn’t experience all of the issues so I can’t personally confirm or show you photos.

There are enough issues–like that’s a long list of issues being cited by customers–that Jaclyn Cosmetics has to take a serious look at their inventory, the third-parties they’re working with, and may have to reformulate to create a more heat-stable formula, because the launch has gone terribly wrong and there are too many issues occurring across too many shades (within what one person has ordered) that it feels less and less one-off.

This post is not intended to take away from the issues being reported but to look back and see what does happen across brands and formulas, what has happened, and whether I’d consider that normal or rare based on 13 years of reviewing thousands of lipsticks.  The issues being reported have merit and should be investigated thoroughly by the brand. 

To be clear: I would not recommend purchasing any of the brand’s lipsticks at this time until there is more clarity provided by the brand and/or new inventory or reformulation available.

Brand’s Response

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Are soft, melting lipsticks normal? They’re rare.

It’s rare for a lipstick to full-on melt in a tube; it would have to be receiving a lot of heat exposure for a long enough period of time.  If you left a lipstick in your car’s cup holder in full sun on a 100 degree day, it’s probably going to look 10 kinds of strange when you open it.  You can take a lighter (with care, please) and the heat will smooth out and add shine back to a lipstick but can be enough heat (in just a few seconds) to cause drips down the side of a lipstick.

Melting Lipsticks — Bite Beauty Leo

As someone who orders Costco-level of makeup every year (I’ve been maintaining a spending level around $40-50K on products to review for the last few years) and has done so for many, many years now, it is exceedingly rare to receive a lipstick that has completely melted. For the record, I lived in the south Bay Area, CA and have been in the Phoenix, Arizona area since October 2015.  It regularly reached 100 degrees in the summer months in California, and about a third of the year sits close to or above 100 degrees in Arizona.  At both homes, I had a covered, front door entryway, so in the event a package wasn’t brought inside after delivery, they did not sit in full sun.  In California, I received most of my deliveries earlier in the day.  In Arizona, most of my UPS and USPS deliveries arrive later, 4-7PM, and they sit on a hot truck for longer; DHL and FedEx tend to deliver before 3PM.

Bite Beauty’s Leo might have been the worst I’ve seen, where it melted down into itself (and Bite offered to replace it, even though I didn’t ask). Following that, I’ve seen enough lipsticks where the tips are softer from hitting the top of the tube, which can be from getting dislodged from the base of the tube but can just be that it was extended/overfilled and hitting the top of the inside of the cap.  The next batch of lipsticks that stood out as melt-happy were Bite Beauty’s Nearly Neon collection, which I received and reviewed in July 2017.

With a softened lipstick, it’s most likely that you’ll find the lipstick starts to angle out of its base, but it’s less likely it’ll just fallout of the base (because it is melting and very soft).  That being said, in the winter, some lipsticks can get cold enough that they’re so solid they pop right out of the base!  I don’t experience this as I’ve always lived in warmer areas (California and Arizona) that often but have had it happen a few times.

Are sweaty lipsticks normal? Yes, it’s very common.

Lipstick sweat is nothing new at all. I remember it being a thing years and years ago, and it’s something I’ve personally experienced regularly, throughout the years, and it doesn’t have to be 100 degrees outside for it to happen.  I have lipsticks that have clear indicators that it sweated and dried down at some point to lipsticks actively sweating after they’ve arrived (still wet and sweaty the next day when I’ve gone to photograph them, like Urban Decay 66).  I consider this extremely normal.  You can view a very minor incident of sweating (that dried down for the most part) with MAC Let’s Mesa Around.

Sweating Lipsticks – NARS Stefania

Some of these sweatier suckers have expanded areas of waxiness (see Bite Beauty Nearly Neon Blue), like a raised mound (which I’ve also seen without sweatiness, as seen in Tom Ford The Perfect Kiss), and others are almost dripping wax (see Bite Beauty Nearly Neon Orange).  These are rarer incidents, but I’ve seen them enough across brands that it hasn’t been something I’ve been concerned over.  They are, however, not gritty or grainy.

Are small holes in lipsticks normal? Yes, it’s very common.

Feel free to browse through the thousands and thousands of close-up photos of lipsticks I’ve done over the years.  The small, tiny, almost pin-like holes on the edges and tips of lipsticks occurs all the time.  A big gaping maw in the side of your lipstick would be rare.  I’ve only pulled a few examples of this one because it’s what I’d consider completely expected and normal, but as I was pulling examples of other issues, I pulled the high-res close-ups for Bite Beauty Scorpio (unusual amount of holes), MAC Leave Me Breathless (MAC has them all the time), Pat McGrath Sorry Not Sorry (a cluster of pin-sized holes on the upper right of the slant), and Sephora Girl Crush (has them on the side as well).  There are often pin-sized holes along the edges of lipsticks, usually at the tip of the slant, but an excessive amount on the slanted tip and/or on the side is less normal, but it is something occurs from pouring lipsticks.

Are grainy or gritty lipsticks normal? They’re exceedingly rare.

This is so rare that I can’t recall any particular examples of past incidents. The only lipsticks that I can easily recall that are more textured are glitter-packed lipsticks–and that’s normal–but crystallization within a lipstick is definitely very rare.

Are lint and fibers on lipsticks normal? They’re more common than you think.

I’ve been taking close-up shots of lipstick for a long time.  I’ve seen all degrees of foreign bodies on lipsticks from specks of dusts to tiny particles to short fibers to longer fibers.  I don’t find the small (think 1/4″ long) piece of lint or “hair” (they always seem like a synthetic material, more fiber-like or lint-like) is particularly odd.  Even the rarer, longer fiber (more like 1/2″ to 1″ in length) is still common enough to me as someone who stares at these photos on the regular to be peculiar.  A lipstick that’s noticeably fuzzy with more than one long or two smaller pieces? Yes, that is concerning, it’s not normal, and it is of particular concern when it occurs across multiple shades in the same formula at the same time.

Fibers in Lipsticks – Makeup Geek Candid

The worst I’ve seen in the past was Makeup Geek’s Iconic Lipsticks, which had noticeable, longer fibers strewn through the lipsticks, and they were present in more than one or two shades.  The worst offenders were: Candid, Giddy, Shady, Spoiled, and Witty; and then shades that were “better” were ones like Naive that had a small piece of lint and smaller fiber (black) on them.  These were received and reviewed in December 2016 (and they were press samples).

Edited for clarity + update: Makeup Geek is used as an example of worst, just like other shades I’ve pulled here (like most melted, sweatiest, etc.) which means that I haven’t personally encountered worse than this.  Because I have seen these types of fibers woven along the edge (part of it being just under the surface–enough to be at least partially covered or tinted by the lipstick itself) in various lipsticks over the years, while it was surprising to see it in multiple shades within the same launch, it was still similar to what I’ve seen in the past.  If you see a photo that shows something like this but with 5x the number of fibers, it should have you more concerned.

Edited to add 6/12 9PM PST: While we messaged publicly and privately, as well as spoke on the phone, and I felt we had come to a place of understanding, it has since turned out not to be the case. The brand has stated that they have “not received any customer complaints that support the claims made by the reviewer.”   I’ve shared my personal experience but made no claims about it occurring to anyone else as the whole point of this post was to highlight that I have seen a variety of imperfections across brands, formulas, and price points. I’m happy that it wasn’t a widespread issue, but I never said nor did I ever allude to it being a widespread issue.   The review posts are available for viewing on Wayback Machine to show that they did, in fact, exist in 2016/2017 when they were originally published along with comments from readers asking about the fibers found on the lipsticks. [End Edit for 6/12 9PM PST]

It is a prime example that brands that try to cross their Ts and dot their Is can still have mishaps happen–this was one of the points of the post: there are going to be deviations from perfection at some point. Please don’t make a leap or assumption that I’m equating what’s shown here as worse than the most egregious photos going around of Jaclyn Cosmetics Lipsticks as that’s not what I said (I said the opposite, “A lipstick that’s noticeably fuzzy with more than one long or two smaller pieces? Yes, that is concerning, it’s not normal, and it is of particular concern when it occurs across multiple shades in the same formula at the same time”), which was stated above.

My house isn’t a clean room, and my photo studios is certainly not a clean room!  There are absolutely times where I’ve seen specks of dust or even a small piece of lint that looks like it floated down, and it would be difficult to determine if it arrived that way or if it happened while I had it open and was working to photograph.  There are, however, incidences where the pieces are more on the side, lay flatter, or are more embedded in the product–and I’d say these suggest it wasn’t me, it was them.

Here are ones that I’ve selected and while I’ve chosen these deliberately, it took me a half hour to pick and choose all images I selected for this post, and I stayed with more recently released products. All of the images are available in the slideshow at the beginning, which can be viewed as a high-res, 100% crop if you open the image in a new tab.

Fibers on/in Lipsticks: Examples

Lint on Lipsticks: Examples

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Thank you for this! I do think people are going extreme on Jaclyn in some cases, but there have a few pictures of lipsticks that look really really bad… it’s funny that make up geek is pictured above because Marlena spoke out on Twitter that Jaclyn’s glove excuse is ridiculous.

Yeah, it is funny, since my husband was the one who was like, “Didn’t Makeup Geek have this problem before?” and so this post was born – a look through just what is “normal” across brands and formulas over time to get better idea of what is abnormal.

Marlena tweeted about this yesterday or a day before. She said she had a problem with a lab formulating cream products for her. That she received the final samples and had to completely scrap the whole thing due to the issues Jaclyn is now having. She suspects its the same lab she saodnshe will never work with that lab again.

Christine do you think humidity plays a factor? In the past four years I have had lipsticks come from Colorpop, Tom Ford, Urban Decay and most recently Becca that have come slightly melted. Have ordered them from Colorpop website, Sephora, Ulta, and Beautylish. Nothing ever as extreme as your Bite Leo, but like it changes its shapes after I apply, or I find if I don’t put in the freezer right away that after a few uses it will wiggle at its base. I live in Austin, and used to live in Dallas. Only an issue in the summer. I have spent time in both Bay Area and Arizona and although it is hot (hotter then Texas, OMG Arizona!) those climates are more arid. I mean it has to play a role right? It can’t just be me having bad luck with different types of lipstick shipped in really good ways.

I think the humidity definitely makes a huge difference in the sweating on certain lipsticks. I live in a very humid climate and it happens quite frequently—even occasionally inside my house (I don’t have central air). I can’t think of a single time I have received a melted lipstick in the mail though, and it is quite warm in the summer here as well. I do have a shady porch, but my packages, especially from Sephora, are usually delivered by 11am and I don’t get home until 7pm, so they sit out for quite a while!

Alli, I live in Austin too! 🙂 I have had more melted and sweaty lipsticks here, than I ever had in Las Vegas. I totally think you’ve hit on something with humidity! Maybe since the humidity increases the heat index, above the actual temperature, for us, it does the same for lipsticks?

I live in Houston, and I have had the same issue, especially when makeup is left in the mailbox for several hours. In the summer, I normal refrigerate any lipsticks I order through the mail.

Me too please?. Thanks for this post peeps. Wonder if product storage before purchase makes a difference. That is, getting an item from a climate controlled storefront vs. a hot warehouse by mail.
I’m in Austin three, central Texas four and bought a bunch of UD lipsticks from a brick and mortar store when they were 1/2 price, lipsticks looking pristine, I stuck em all in the fridge. (I store perfume and some cosmetics in tha fridge so the heat doesn’t cook ?‍? ‘em. if u in TX/Chich/NM/Monterey quadstate area u need a cosmetic shelf in your fridge or your pricey perfume starts to smell rancid).
I carried the 1993 UD lipstick around with me right away after purchase, it went from looking polished to getting sweaty in my hip pack! In a single day! I don’t worry or find it gross because, It seems humid air causes that.
BUT, BUT. By mail, I ordered the ULTA lipstick ? library, 5 full size lipsticks SKU 7 17897 08126 4. And that’s how I arrived to here, this temptilia article,.. they look furry ? . Like an off-white short haired velvet fuss layer on all 5 shades -some thicker than oders. I ain’t touching my skin to that. I’ve checked several times just to make sure. It’s furry and it’s gross. This is a bummer because the colors look nice.

Ulta makes good lip products otherwise, I’ve gotten most of Ulta’s Frida K lip releases from the store over the weeks and they’ve been excellent. I’ve almost done hit pan on Corazon shade in 2 months. I reach for these so often. That’s what moved me to mail order the Ulta lipstic library. How good the FRIDA Kahlo lip products are.

Wonder also if the same item doesn’t get furry & moldy lookin’ in the store because it’s under climate control? ?
I’ll ask the clerks to let me compare theirs to wot I got by delivery. ?
Or maybe it’s false hope whisful thinking that I can find the Ulta 5 lipsticks library without fur and not have to return it.
I’ll let you know what I found out.
Weather the climate controlled strip mall products are Less furry than the hot warehouse shipped products.

I think her “brand” is being scrutinized so heavily is due to her own claims/statements, and many of those are being disproven. She’s also charging $20 for what appears to be “private-label”, Made in China, mass-produced lipstick, all while claiming to be completely “hands-on”, and delaying release until everything was up to her “perfectionist” standards… Personally, I’d have so much more respect for her if she was completely transparent. She stated, her own words, that her products were going to be a little pricey because she was going to manufacture in the US, but it’s being revealed that they’re MiC…

That is my biggest issue. I can get behind some issues with holes or melting. I understand it happens. However I hate how she is full of excuses, lies continuously, always in drama and makes exaggerated claims. It is enough that I won’t give her one cent. Plenty of brands to buy from who act more professional and own up to their mistakes. Sorry but heck nahhh!

Colourpop also manufactures in the USA and their lipstick are 5 to 7 bucks. I love them. I never heard any complaints on them though.
Actually, I checked all of my lipsticks (around 40) and none of them had anything like what we are seeing in JH 18US$ lipstick.
I think JH is being scanned due to her past problems with other brands. It always comes back to bite you.

I’m wondering if those are the issues that Marlena admitted she had with a lab that she had to end up scrapping. If that’s the case, she’s not being hypocritical, she’s speaking from experience and in this article it is says the ones from makeup geeks were samples.

Thank you for this. I have no doubt this brand is having some quality issues, but seeing a few youtubers look at the holes and going, “What is that? Is that normal?” had me reeling, thinking, have you never looked closely at your lipsticks before? Holes are one of the few things that are common. To act like they’re uncommon really surprised me, because I see them on photos of new lipsticks plenty! It can be hard to get every air bubble out of the wax, of course. Graininess I’ve experienced more often because I have been big into indie brands, and some of them have their bumpy launches. However, I’ve never had it from an experienced or professionally made brand, so this is really a surprise.

The graininess is one that I can’t remember a specific one, but I feel like I definitely experienced at some point… but it’s just not clear in my mind!

Yeah, holes in lipsticks is very prevalent – I would say it’s more normal to have a few than none at all, but some seem better poured than others; like Pat McGrath did seem to be “cleaner” and smoother compared to some brands.

I’ve experienced “graininess” from major brands many over the past few decades, and I don’t think it’s a big deal. I just figured it had something to do with temperature/ climate, since in most cases it happened after not using a product for a while. I’ve also had it happen with foundation (which I did toss). I’ve also experienced the holes, but I don’t recall fibers/hairs…

Do you recall any specifics shades? Just curious! It’s the one issue that I wish I could recall with greater clarity!

A lot of these lil’ bits are hard to see by eye, at least for me, but they definitely come through in photos! Although, I am in more of a “photography as fast as possible” kind of mode so I am not consciously looking through each tube prior to photographing.

I can’t, other than they would have been a major DS brand, like Revlon, CoverGirl, & Max Factor, which seem to stand out to me… Like I said, it never seemed to be an issue, and I never experienced any real problems, and I attributed it to drastic temperature shifts. This happened more, it seems, when I was younger, and my mom would crank the heat when we were home, but it got pretty cold during the day. Or, if I noticed a bit of “sweating”, shortly after “graininess” would appear. Oddly enough, I haven’t noticed it recently, so maybe major brands addressed the issue…?

Not the original poster of this comment, but I’ve experienced graininess with many of my NARS Audacious lipstick shades. Brigitte, Barbara, and Dominique come to mind. They still perform wonderfully. I’ve never really thought about the graininess as an issue before this.

Also not OP, but I remember the MAC stick foundations (discontinued LONG ago) also had a strange grainy texture to them. I worked at MAC at the time, and they were all like that. It was definitely just the formula, but I still found it very odd.

I feel like I’ve had very similar streaking/graininess across the top of my UD Vice lipsticks—Rapture is the shade I’ve used the most, so I’m inclined to say it was present in that one.

Hey love you are so thorough and I literally trust you 100 % with everything you say! I do remember certain lipsticks being gritty or grainy which deterred me from buying..I remembered they we’re Jeffree Stars bullets when they first came out (idk if this has been fixed but I would bet money on it). If you go on Beautylish and read the reviews and look at the pictures you can see it. It’s funny that JS and JH are both very affiliated with Morphe and if I had to guess I would have to say they are somehow very much involved (Morphe that is). I think that’s how she’s able to offer refunds and free new products to people complaining (very valid just saying). As a small indie brand, who has the funds to do that??? Just my 2 cents! Xoxoxo

Hi! I just started buying jeffree stars bullets Dec 2018 & so far I’ve have not felt graininess from them. Not sure if this helps.

Nars Audacious lipsticks are what I thought of right away when I read the section about grainy and gritty texture! I have had multiple shades but Anita is the one that has been extra gritty for me and makes me cringe when thinking about putting it on. I still wore it a bunch at one point because of how well it stayed on me/the flattering shade/ease of application. But as my collection grew and I had other lipsticks that did that for me… I haven’t worn the Anita shade since. Ugh the texture is like sandpaper.

Hey! I have experienced a texture with scratchy lumps and odd texture from a lip product from Burt’s Bees #523 Sunset Cruise. I live in Texas, and thought maybe the heat or humidity affected the product, however, the more I used it (always indoors out of the heat) the more the texture and scratchy lipstick increased with use. I loved the color but threw it out, and haven’t repurchased any other Burt’s Bees lip products.

I have one lipstick that I can ever recall being gritty or grainy. It was the LORAC alter ego lipstick in the shade Goddess. It’s a matte mauve. I don’t love the texture of it but the color is my favorite.

I’ve exceeded the typical threshold of lippies and have seen the occasional lint fiber and pin holes. More often, Ive experienced some softening due to my warm weather conditions (learned about refrigeration right after delivery from this though). But through all the melts, softening and sweats, only one has ever bern bumpy- Chantecaille lip chic in anais. That thing got so grainy I threw it out. But it only became bumpy, not sharp, after a very hot day with A/C which was a few months into it’s use. I bought a second one and never had the bumps.

The only bullet lipstick I’ve experienced the grainy bits with has been Celebrity Skin Lip Ammo from JSC. I also bought this same lipstick for a friend at launch when I ordered mine and hers was also like this. But of all the bullet lipsticks I’ve ever owned/used it is the only one I had this happen with.

The graininess definitely seems particularly uncommon and specific to particular shades/formulas (which would make sense if it is crystallization!). Appreciate you sharing!

My Maybelline lipstick in Touch of Spice has developed a graininess over time that seems similar to what we are seeing with Jaclyn cosmetics

I posted a comment down below, but reading these I just remembered the only lipstick that I have that has “graininess” is MAC’s Ionized Iris. However, the formula is somewhat glittery, so like you mentioned in your post, I would consider that to be normal.

Yeah, if it feels a little gritty/grainy but is pretty full of glitter, that’s not surprising since glitter is a larger particle size, so it can be felt more! Definitely agree that that would be normal – unless you saw something else IN the lipstick that would cause it that isn’t glitter!

I think what some are saying is grainy isn’t the issue with these. Pieces of blackish bits are not the same thing as a “non-smooth” lipstick. Unless I’m misunderstanding and these are non-smooth as well as contain unidentifiable bits in them.
Jenna Frose (youtube) has a clear picture of the bits in one of her tubes.

I’ve experienced the graininess issue many times too across a variety of brands, Bobbi Brown sticks in my mind. Always with lighter nude/ beige shades in a shimmer/ satin/ pearl formula. I suspected it had something to do with color category. Similar to how purple eye shadows are usually disappointing lol

Good to know! It could be potentially related to color as I’ve learned that the pigment chosen may interact differently with the rest of the formula – like not all pigments will react the same, so for full stability testing, you have to test all of the colors. I thought, “No wonder it takes brands awhile to release products!”

I just read a thread about this very thing on r/muacjdiscussion. Even if these aren’t contaminated, it still creeps me out enough that I would never purchase these. Thanks for adding your thoughts on the matter!

I always worry about lipsticks going rancid in shipping because it’s so hot and humid here. I’ve gotten a few new MAC lipsticks that smelled funny upon opening and this was in the winter!

Super interesting post, Christine! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I don’t know anyone else who has photographed and tested more lipstick than you – not even by a long shot!

Christine, thank you for your in-depth article on these lipsticks. I have zero interest in JH & her products, but I read your entire article anyway to learn about potential normal/not normal lipstick product flaws. I would actually find a similar article on powder products – specifically eyeshadows & highlighters – to be equally interesting.

What *is* concerning is how many of these issues are found in JH’s launch. It hopefully will be enlightening to her consumers that QC was not a top priority.

Absolutely — there should be concern about the Jaclyn lipsticks, because it definitely seems too frequent / too extreme across the board for some, so that needs to be looked into & addressed – at least from what we see on social.

I have never purchased any Jaclyn Hill products.. I have, though, been making soap, body butters, body lotions, scrubs, and other assorted bath products for a long time. I have had some experiences with my test batches, and I am not taking anything away from Jaclyn, but when I make soap or anything else that contains oils or butters, I have to use a saponification table so I know what the melt/solid temps for certain things are so I don’t get those little bumps of unmelted Shea butter or any butters for that matter. There are a few ingredients in Jaclyn’s formula like Shea butter and Mango butter that could be causing those little particles. They both have pretty low melting temps, and they must be cooled quickly in order to avoid little balls of unmelted or slowly cooled butters. In my experience in making soap and other moisturizing products, Shea butter and Mango butters are the culprits when I get those little balls of product. I am not making excuses for Jaclyn, or her products, but when you have a very creamy product, you send it off when the weather is hot, and then it is cooled too slowly, you could end up with a product that is separating. if you use butters that have a low melt point, they do run the risk of having air bubbles, melted and then cooled too slowly can cause those little beads of product, and oils will leave a sweat like film on the products. I have no explanation about the fibers or the hair. I wear my hair up, I wear a face mask, I wear rubber gauntlets, and I keep the area I am working in as clean as possible. I always make a few test batches to see what I may have done that makes them get air bubbles, or little balls of unmelted butters.
I also noticed that the batch codes are all the same on her lip sticks. I don’t make up batch codes other than to see what recipe I used. If the recipes work well, I know which to use when I make more of that product. If there are issues, I scrap that batch. I use a saponification table so I know what butters, oils, or other ingredients melt and solid temps are so I can use ingredients that have similar properties, that way, if they melt at the same or nearly the same, I don’t have to worry as much about how they blend together. I think maybe the lab didn’t do some testing to see what would happen if the products were heated up, then cooled slowly. Mango butter is notorious for beading when it is melted and cooled slowly. Shea butter also beads up when it is heated up and then cooled slowly. I have also learned that you can’t just dump all of your ingredients together at once and then mix them up. I do it in phases, some ingredients would curdle, or they just don’t mix well. I mix my dry ingredients, then fats, butters or oils with similar melt/cool temps, and then when they are blended, I slowly mix them together. The only cosmetic items I have made are eye shadows for my own personal use when a beloved color gets discontinued, but I would imagine lipsticks would have ingredients that could become melted and cooled, and the ingredients would become a bit unpredictable and perhaps separate, leave a film of oil, or when some oils or butters melt, cause air bubbles. I have to say, it has taken me many years, many test batches, and a lot of notes to get the best results. I also get my friends and family to try the test batches as well to see what they think, and if there were issues, I would be able to figure out what was creating different issues in my batches. I think that maybe she rushed ahead because she has been talking about her makeup line for quite some time, but it isn’t that easy to rush things on such a grand scale. I do small batch, and I test almost constantly as well as have my friends and family be my test subjects. Formulating things can be a very long drawn out process, and maybe Jaclyn didn’t realize that all those moisturizing could become volatile in different conditions.

Thanks for sharing your input, Elizabeth! I feel like we are all learning a lot about production, and it definitely seems like a very complex process so you have to hire the right lab!

I love, love, LOVE posts like this one!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such detailed and informative posts, I find it’s important to be aware of what is worth being cautious about and what isn’t.
(There’s a little mistake in the second to last example: “sorry not sorry” was listed as PmG’s but I see it’s actually Colourpop’s 🙂 )

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this very informative post! I’ve experienced sweatiness in many lipsticks and slight melting (I live in FL), graininess once (I think it was a Maybelline product) but never the fibers. I’ll probably be looking a lot closer at my lipsticks now! ?

Centipedes? In MY lipstick? It’s more likely than you think.

(Man, that meme’s gonna be old enough to vote in 2020.)

I think that Jaclyn’s initial response to people posting about issues (common or not) with their lipstick on social media was far more concerning before she backtracked and changed her approach. That said, things like little pinholes and such never bothered me. It’s pretty common in lipstick and I knew it had to do with the pouring process. There’s no need to veto lipstick over little pinholes when it’s just a natural process that occurs. I mean, if they were large holes, maybe.

I’ve yet to have a fiber in my lipstick so that was new to me. Melting occurs, especially if you live in warm to hot areas. I’ve only had one brand of lip balms sweat and melt but not a lipstick, but it happens.

What was concerning to me is the grainy, bead-like, sharpness that are being reported in several lipsticks across the line. That is not close to being a regular occurrence and I, personally, would contact customer support if that was something that occurred in a lipstick because that shouldn’t be happening. I suppose one could use a lipstick brush to apply to avoid rubbing a sharp, grainy lipstick on their lips, but at the price point these are, this is not something that I’d put up with. Not that I’d put up with it in a low cost lipstick. I’d be like ummmm and contact customer support.

The graininess definitely suggests an issue at formula-level, which is important, but obviously sanitation and handling of products from development to shipping is also important to avoid contamination or creating unsafe product! I’m very curious how the brand is going to respond / what they’ll do because I’ve only seen more issues come to light that just indicate something is going wrong somewhere in the chain.

Yeah I have a lot of questions tbh. The graininess/sharpness is likely a formula issue. Sanitation is a huge concern but I’m not believing the shedding gloves excuse. I’m interested in seeing how the brand moves forward from here with releases as well as continued responses to this problem.

I really like one of the shades but I’m just going to get a dupe. The graininess/sharpness is highly concerning and I’d rather not chance getting that. Plus, I’m questioning how safe and clean this product really is right now. The shedding glove excuse just has me asking if these so-called shedding gloves were an issue somewhere along the line, why did they keep using them? What else is is going on?

On that note, it’s actually funny to see so many people inspecting their lipstick up close right now. I always inspect my makeup products when I first open them (I do this with everything in general) so it’s just funny to see people noting they never do this and really scrutinizing their lipstick for the first time.

If it is a lab that’s done business before, you would certainly hope that they’ve handled metallic components before – I wear white gloves whenever I shoot products, which I bought because they were lint-free and designed for jewelry handling, to avoid fingertips while shooting pics. It seems like that would be standard (no shedding!) protocol and something any lab would know about way, way early on in the process. These situations are always a challenge to ascertain what information is accurate and what’s going on behind the scenes, who’s being told what, etc. It could be anyone’s fault – the lab, her, her team, etc. – and I’m sure we’ll never get the full story. I just hope if that any of the concerns about the hair/fibers/fuzziness being seen in some lipsticks have the possibility of being mold that the brand really steps up and ensures that people’s safety comes before anything else.

Chemical Labs NEVER EVER EVER EVER use “white gloves”. Or gloves made out of cotton/fiber/woven textile. They are Always latex or non-latex rubber. It is for the protection of the lab workers in contact with chemicals (some of which are caustic/volitile) as much as for quality control.

JH claiming the “quality control” workers wore white cotton gloves says more to emphatically prove she is lying to the public than anything else she could say or do.

I’ve personally experienced many of these issues at one time or another, but not all from one brand, at one time… As for the “Play-Doh/crayon” scent, I’ve most often experienced that just before a lipstick “turned”. I think it has more to do with the “fragrance” having dissipated due to how long a product has been sitting around (I’ve actually had this happen with a fairly new, never opened lipstick once, and within 2-3 weeks, it was completely unusable), but I do believe it’s otherwise harmless. However, it makes me believe she’s had these lipsticks sitting around in a warehouse somewhere for a significant amount of time, likely because she was waiting for all the shades to be available before launching; I am curious if the “scent” issue was isolated among a small amount of of specific shades.

The biggest issue I have with her “brand” is it appears to be “private-label”, based on the fact she’s using the same “lab” as Morphe, and not being honest. There is a video showing a second label on the bottom of the component that matches the label on her Morphe “vault” palettes, which also state “Made in China”, which wouldn’t be a huge deal breaker if she hadn’t emphatically stated, more than once, her “brand” would be manufactured in the US… Again, I have no real issue where a product is made, but if one lies about the smallest things, how trustworthy are they, or their products…? The fact her distribution center/warehouse is in SoCal is also very telling…

Could just be the components, the packaging, that are made in China though, not the actual product. Apparently that’s common and still counts as made in the USA.

Ah! Remember that used lipsticks probably look gross because they’re used! A lot of the lint or little pieces of whatnot aren’t going through the whole tube, thankfully!

After watching Tarababyz Saturday Hauling where she saw things going on with the grainy texture in the 2 shades she purchased and then the nearly one hour exposé video that Raw Kristi Beauty did comparing her PR package lipsticks against the vault that she had purchased, my mind is made up. My stance on these is that I will not be purchasing any of these until and IF these issues are thoroughly resolved. I actually made the mistake of hitting pause on Kristi’s while I got a plate of dinner ready, plopped down and hit play….just as she revealed the worst offender in the purchased lipstick batch. No, you seriously don’t want to be throwing back eats while watching a magnified image of blatantly obvious mold growing out of a very old lipstick!

Agreed. Lol. I think they mentioned a medical condition I’ve not heard of previously that has a phobia of the appearance of holes or something. Can’t imagine ANYONE can looks at those microscopic pics, clean or not! Eck. Even more troubling though with the JH lipsticks is the reports of an awful smell all the way through and some folks saying the dots may be mold. That’s a whole different ball game, especially in what you’re swallowing and eating off through the day.

Omg the MOLD! And the double stickers on the tubes. And gross long hairs being pulled with tweezers.
So much bad going on with these!

I’ve never heard of “black spots on the base”? Wonder what’s that about? Like base on the waxy lip formula itself or just on the outside of the packaging bullet?

Everything else is “normal” enough. I wouldn’t ask for a return on a lippie with a few tiny pinprick holes or sweating unless I think the overall formula feels/looks different from majority of reviews.

I imagine the obvious thought is that it could be mold, but identifying what is/isn’t mold is beyond my pay grade! If I saw full-on fuzzy peach level fuzz on a lipstick, I’d assume mold and toss, and if I saw black spots on an old lipstick, I’d think the same and also toss!

This launch was not on my radar as I don’t subscribe to Jaclyn’s channel. I have noting against her and admire her stick to it tenacity. Women are very hard on other women and I always find that curious. I think any young woman who has built a successful career is to be applauded. As I said with your first post, she is a very polarizing individual but whether you like her or not, she is successful and that should be a positive thing to support. Having said all of that and not owning any of her products across her several collab launch’s, she does seem to have some issues with getting things right before going into manufacturing. Several launches have been pulled and reformulated. Some were pulled and I think, never returned to circulation. Whether she needs new scientists to help formulate, new brands to work with who are more attune to developing better quality products, different manufacturing plants or better quality control, she needs to step back and re-evaluate her product development. A few runs of one shade with issues is one thing but when the entire range appears to have many and different problems, that isn’t a quality control issue but rather a formula issue.
I appreciate the hard work that you have put into this post and it is always interesting to see the overview of what is acceptable and frequently occurring. Thank you again and as many have said, you have seen a lot of lipsticks so you evaluation holds a lot of merit.
I thought that Tara (Tarababyz on YT) was very diplomatic in her handling of the situation and yet was able to say that she would not be purchasing any more of the lippies. She avoids the drama which is one of the reasons I love her channel.

Speaking only for myself, obviously, I’m not “bashing” her, only speaking my opinion based on my interpretation of evidence. For example, she has stated her brand would be manufactured in the US, but evidence has been exposed it was produced in China. She claims she was “hands-on”, and working in a lab, but the video she produced shows her in what appears to be a warehouse, lots of jewelry, and a face full of makeup, while another “worker” isn’t wearing gloves, at all. Also, there’s evidence of her label over another on the bottom, indicating they’re “private-label”, not her own formula. Those are just three “untruths”… So, while any person, regardless of age/race/gender, should be applauded for their success, I feel that only applies to individuals who don’t create their empires on lies…

Hey Amy,

I’m not sure what specific information you’re referring to, but some of the information seems to be presented without context or may be making assumptions – because I’ve been asked to look at my labels, and they lift to show the same type of information that’s on the actual box, like that PNR Consultancy was used in the UK and there’s an Australian address. I’ve spoken with two brand owners, and when I asked if they’d heard of PNC, they immediately replied with “PNR does a lot of testing internationally for brands.” PNR and its UK address is printed on labels for Coloured Raine (also listed as “Made in USA”) and Dose of Colors (also “Made in USA”). Hourglass lists Biorius for “EU Responsible Person” (from Ambient Edit palette).

Here is their website – they effectively offer a suite of services, so it’s hard to know what service(s) were employed by Jaclyn – http://pandrconsultancy.co.uk/

Made in USA is also specific language, and there would be import records if they came from elsewhere, though ingredients themselves don’t have to be US made as far as I understand: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/complying-made-usa-standard

One person I’ve reached out to who is a brand owner of an established, high-end brand, and have asked several questions about various parts of this, and they said they couldn’t find any import records.

Edited to add: There are so many issues going on, and there is a lot of theories and speculation going on, but as we have seen over and over again over the last several months in the beauty community, misinformation happens and can spread like wildfire.

I have seen the “sweating” on lipsticks, and I live in a very hot climate. I can definitely tell when lippies turn because you can smell it. I’ve seen that prevalent in Tom Ford lippies especially because it’s hot here and oils in his seem maybe more prone to turn quicker in my experience and from what I’ve read. MAC lasts much longer. Pat’s can get smooshed here in this heat. But it still smells good and is fine nice I out it in the fridge a little. I’ve not seen balls, clumps, messed up at the base, on new products nor have I personally seen fibers. I’ve seen them in used testers, or where one is clearly sent by mail purported to be “new” but likely someone has twirled up the bullet, etc. And I surely have not seen anything like what we’re seeing from legit people so prevalently as in this JH rollout. The excuse of white gloves really doesn’t pass the smell test, if you will. The colors look nice, but the problematic pictures juxtaposed with the reasons being offered by her don’t add up. I do think MUG’s Marlena came from a place of truth, and she has experienced tossing out products due to unsatisfactory results. It what it is though in your pics of her stuff, no doubt your pics are accurate. Having said that, it sure looks like major shade was being thrown at MUG while excusing JH. IMO.

I’ve been receiving a LOT of questions to weigh in what’s “normal” or “is this normal,” and because there some additional issues with Jaclyn’s lipsticks, I wanted to 1) address those issues and see if I had them (unfortunately for me, I did not), and 2) contextualize what I’ve seen over the years because I’ve posted a lot of lipstick close-ups (all of these are on the blog already, I just went back to the high res version and cropped the sections at 100% instead of blog image size!).

Early on in thispost, there is bolded text that is also in a block quote about emphatically NOT recommending to purchase Jaclyn lipsticks and that the issues being raised have merit and should be thoroughly investigated. I haven’t excused them at all – I’ve stated specifically that the these issues should be looked into, and I don’t think anyone should be purchasing until the brand provides greater clarity/fixes the problems!

My thoughts exactly. I found it curious that MUG was represented in this context and it made me feel that the author is biased. I feel that the pictures of the disgusting lipsticks from jaclyns launch look so much worse than any of those posted in this article. There are black stuff, a myriad of holes that look very very old, hairs galore and the lipsticks look expired to me.

Hey Kat!

I’d really appreciate it if you re-read my post! I’m sharing what I’ve personally experienced over time, so if you’re seeing something that is worse than what I’ve shared here, that should be a clear indicator it is abnormal!

RE: grainy lipsticks. About five years ago, I purchased a few shades from the Lipstick Queen Sinner line. After a hot summer, I noticed that they had developed a “grainy” or slightly “lumpy” texture. At the time, I consulted the internet and found that other people had had a similar experience with that particular formula of Lipstick Queen lipsticks and that the textural change was likely caused by the crystallization of the shea butter after it had melted in the summer heat. Despite the graininess, the lipsticks nevertheless continued to look and feel just as they had when I first opened the tubes. In other words, while it may be rare, lipsticks can go grainy without necessarily going bad — I know from personal experience. Just some potentially helpful information…

Thank you for sharing, Doris! It’s the one area I don’t feel like I’ve experienced enough, just that it’s obviously going to be an issue in the formulation/production (whether not mixed well enough or an actual issue with the formula’s composition), so hearing from others about what they have is great!

Amazing that these issues affect all brands, indie to major, even the highest of high end!
I bought some of Pat McGrath’s initial lipstick launch, and Flesh 2 was distinctly gritty. I read other people commenting the same thing. I got rid of it.

Oooh, that stings. I did specifically want to look through some of the high-end/luxury brands for problems, but I am sad to hear that your Flesh 2 was gritty! I wonder why.

I just want my money back. All of it. And I shouldn’t have to go through the trouble of mailing them. The components belong with the health department or cdc. But I will just throw them in the trash due to fear of what might happen if I use them.

Maybe put them in ziploc and set them aside – like in a garage? It’s not like it matters if they get worse! But maybe hold onto it just in case they ask for photos or something (I hope they aren’t going to make it hard on people).

Thank you for the comprehensive overview. I really appreciate it and for what it’s worth I didn’t read it as excusing one company over another, but rather providing a tempered view of what is sort of a universal within the bounds of “normal” and what goes above and beyond. In hindsight, I’m sure I’ve experienced the pinhole issue as well as some light sweating. It’s really nothing I have ever given much concern over because I know natural variations exist and heat and humidity can cause all sorts of things. I’ve never taken notice of fibers though, and that would definitely give me pause. And I can’t recall a particular lipstick with graininess, but definitely have had that problem with tinted lip balms, likely due to the higher butter content melting and solidifying (Burt’s Bees in particular, but they are still usable, just annoying).

I honestly wouldn’t have noticed this release or the issues as I normally don’t seek reviews outside your site unless it’s something you haven’t covered yet (most recently the Colourpop blue palette a few days before you had swatches or the Sydney Grace liquid shadows). And looking at JH’s release I’m sincerely not interested because all but one are just way too warm-toned for me. But one day she might have a product of interest to me and I think the fact that she had issues with this release isn’t as important to me as how she chooses to respond and represent herself. Some of my favorite independent product makers experienced some really hard lessons and growing pains at first, too, and they learned from it and came back better.

Yeah, everything seen here is totally normal to me. But everything seen in Raw Beauty Kristi’s video about the Jaclyn lipsticks was straight up horrifying. Like, some of the beads inside the lipsticks looked metallic, like a bb. ?

Yeah, the black spots/beads are a big red flag! Jaclyn’s lipsticks have a lot of issues being reported simultaneously, which is why I do not recommend buying because they have to identify and figure out what’s going on.

I asked one brand owner about what it could be, and apparently, the likely culprit is actually plastic fibers shearing off the component! It could also be a slew of other things, and fuzziness (which is not the same as one mid-length fiber!) could indicate something really bad, like mold, as well.

I looked inside my JH lipstick cap and saw a few of the same little while fibers. I’m almost certain that’s where they came from.

My fear is that those hairlike structures could be mold spore filaments. In the case of the Jaclyn Hill lipsticks, she said back in 2017 that everything was ready to go with her line, so there’s conjecture that they’ve sat in the warehouse for the past two years while she dealt with her personal drama.

Wait… or WORSE? What’s worse?!

Not trying to make you feel bad. This comment just made me smile because I kept thinking, “What’s WORSE? Like they’re going to steal your soul?!” Haha! Thank you!

Those fibers really creep me out. I always thought production sites had everyone in hair and beard coverings and either lab coats or those suits almost like crime scene investigators wear. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered sweating lipsticks either except when I’ve been daft enough to leave my makeup bag in my car for hours and hours on a killer hot day. Even then, I think it’s been more “melt” than sweat because I think the first time I ever saw the beads of liquid was here in your photos, Christine and that could be more to do with your crystal clear and enlarged photos. Also, I almost always purchase my products in person so there’s no sitting in a hot Purolator truck for however long or sitting on my front porch in the blistering heat.

I think that sweating is one of the more common things to experience especially buying online during the summer (definitely related to extended stays in the heat), but if you’ve never seen it, you could have a big “what on earth” moment!

Some of these are fine and short enough that I don’t think it’d be super obvious just twisting up and looking at it briefly before applying your lipstick (for the lint/fiber thing) while others are more noticeable, and some are on the side, so if you aren’t looking – you could definitely miss it.

Christine, your post is very insightful. Sweaty lipsticks, yes, I have had. Same for lipsticks with some small holes in them. Never with fibers, never with grainy texture. I’ve watched a video on YT (can’t remember the name of the person because I’m not following her), and many of her lipsticks she ordered from JH (she ordered the vault), had a grainy taxture. You could see small bits of something. She was mentioning the mango butter as being a possible culprit. It seems that the lipsticks high in mango butter should cool down rapidly after being exposed to heat, otherwise they develop a grainy texture that is permanent Some mentioned that they put the lipsticks in the fridge after receiving them (and before opening).

My issue with JH is not so much with the quality of the lipsticks in this launch, but with her dismissive attitude from the beginning and her lack of acknowledging the issues. Anyone can make mistakes, that’s not the issue. But take ownership and don’t slam those who purchased your faulty products as liars.

thank god. I ordered 6 and they were one of the first batches to be shipped – I also live in CA, so shipping was super fast. all 6 of mine are just about perfect – no graininess, sweating, or holes, AT ALL. my first thought upon seeing the negative reviews was ‘its a lipstick with A LOT of butters in it, of course theres gonna be SOME issues’. then I saw the pictures of holes and the hairs and that creeped me out. I feel better about that now. I like them way too much to return them, and will keep using them until I see a definitive reason not to.

The issues seem to have gotten quite a big worse and more serious – like just soft/melting lipsticks would probably be welcomed by the brand at this point, but truly hairy lipsticks, fuzzy lipsticks, black balls in their lipsticks, etc. are far beyond normal and don’t align with even the “worst” cases I’ve come across.

One reason not to is that apparently all of the lipsticks (early, late, promo, purchased, all color options) have the same batch code, so there’s no real way to distinguish between the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones except by subjective things like appearance and use in practice, which may not be enough.

OmGoddess! Christine ! thank you for taking the time to post this, I know this took a lot of your time and effort . What an eye opener..
The lint freaks me out . I’ve never seen that before , maybe I should check closer!

P.s. I’ve had bumpy , grainy lipsticks (2) from Kjaer Weis , and it was suppose to be a creme finish I loved the colors but the bumpy texture, no bueno
I ended up tossingi it.

Thank you Christine for providing useful information and insights on lipsticks as a result of your indepth review process. Generally I have not had a problem with lipsticks as per above, just one of EA’s lipsticks arrived smelling off. I tossed it.
But all of this has given us food for thought.

Great article Christine. I’ll certainly be looking very closely at my new lipstick purchases in future. I think the thing about the JH launch is that all these problems are showing up in the same launch and looking at other influencers on YouTube, there seems to be a discrepancy between the quality of consumer products and PR products.

Yes, they have too many issues across too many shades within each order or set of 20 for those who are having major issues so it looks more and more likely that there are some real issues they have to figure out.

I’ve been using lipstick for 7 years and have never observed any of this, granted my 30-40 lipsticks aren’t anywhere near yours. If I see this I am returning it asap.

I firmly believe if you aren’t happy with what you get, you should definitely reach out and return/replace! I know Bite is really good about replacing!

I have this weird thing where there are things I can’t smell at all (olives), things that I can barely smell (cat pee) and then things that I can smell a lot stronger than most people (green peppers, when food in the oven is ready, if a restaurant is good, and -lucky me- rancid oil). And rancid oil is seriously everywhere!

Any strong crayon-y smell in makeup is almost certainly the smell of an organic oil going rancid. This is not in any way unusual: in every store I’ve tried it, at least 3/4 of the skincare samples have gone bad. It’s also something that happens with food, and from what I’ve read, it’s not particularly good for you to eat (rancid oil contains free radicals and its an oxidant – opposite of an antioxidant), so given that we eat it as we wear it, wearing rancid lipstick isn’t the best idea, but probably won’t kill you. Rancid oil is even common in the grocery store with unopened products! For example, almost every natural style peanut butter I’ve ever purchased was already bad when I opened it, and walking by the vitamins in a health food store can be really gross. In makeup, rancidity is pretty common, and often happens earlier with pricy brands (someone mentioned Tom Ford lipsticks which do go bad really fast). I’ve also had it happen more often with brands that brand themselves as ‘natural’ like Josie Marin, and Tarte, so it’s possible that ‘unnatural’ things like preservatives help. Not all makeup ingredients go bad in this particular way (for example, mineral oil, which is one of the cheapest, is hypoallergenic – in the technical, not necessarily mechanical sense, and never goes bad – or, as a petroleum product, finished going bad eons ago and can’t get any worse). Animal products go fastest, then plant products, but since most olive oil sold in the us is either already bad or on the verge of going bad (since I can’t smell olives, rancid olive oil is the easiest for me to detect and probably a big part of my unconscious restaurant screening algorithm), I wouldn’t be completely shocked if a brand new lipstick had gone bad, but it has only ever happened to me with old ones (and it’s something I’m beyond picky about and hyperaware of).

Given that I have never found a brand new lipstick to be rancid (and I’ve been buying all over the spectrum, including some indy brands – one of whose liquid lipstick went bad in a few months, even faster than Tom Ford), if that has happened, it’s a huge red flag for problems in the lab that’s making them and/or your supply chain.

Very interesting read, Reka! My brother-in-law has a similar sense of smell, though I think he spends most of his time NOT smelling. Thanks for sharing your own experiences with some of the more “natural” formulas!

People have different tolerance to scents and to specific scents, and some might even describe scents differently.
As a cat owner, I totally have high tolerance to cat pee 😆 , but people with no pets catch the slightest scent of cat or dog, and most are bothered by that so called `dog/cat scent` (the scent that the animal naturally has, even when clean, if you sniff their fur). But personally I kind of like the natural fur scent of my cat (I think it has something musky ??? ).

Rancid oil is definitely another case. For example, I don’t cook with oils (I eat raw olives and nuts, prefer to get the fat from the source) and the slightest oil scent disturbs me. But people who eat tons of deep fried food and re-use the oil for cooking actually like the rancid oil scent.
Personally, I don’t see any resemblance between the scent of rancid oil and the scent of crayons. Most natural oils and butter do have a scent, sometimes not the most pleasing and that’s why some companies add that vanilla scent to lipsticks (vanilla does a good job at hiding rancid scents).

A cosmetic case is the Bum Bum cream in Coco Cabana on which influencers opinions varied from awful to amazing… because people have different tastes in scents.

Yeah, all organic oils will eventually go rancid, but it’s definitely true that people have different thresholds for what bothers them, and some people do actually like it. (I’ve read that falafel cooked in rancid oil tastes ‘better’ which I doubt I agree with.) You’re right that temperature makes a difference as oil that smells bad only to me when it’s room temperature suddenly bothers everyone when it’s cooked with (it’s how I found out that other people can’t smell it all that well). Still, I can’t smell olive oil at all unless it’s gone bad, even if I’m standing right over it while heating it and there’s enough in the air that I can feel it on my face (sorry for the gross image). It’s probably one of the reasons I hate olives so much and ‘but these olives are good’ has never made the slightest difference!

The cat pee thing is slightly weird. I can smell it if it’s really strong, like if I’m cleaning out the litter box and the cat doesn’t have a kidney problem, but I found out that I can’t smell it very well by wearing something that turned out to have cat pee on it and the warmth of me wearing it brought out the smell, but only after I got to work! Later, when I brought it to the dry cleaner, I explained that it only smelled when it was warn for a bit, and was informed that that was in no way true (and also, that dry cleaners don’t do cat pee). My wife, a fellow cat owner, can also smell it just fine, so now I ask her if there’s even the slightest chance. I also like the smell of my cats, though I do think it’s better in places they can’t reach with their tongue (cat breath can be foul).

I personally don’t think rancid oil smells all that much like crayons (maybe a bit like the childhood memory of melted crayons?), but it’s how a lot of people describe it. I’ve actually had decent luck teaching someone how to smell rancid (she was actually a bit pissed after because it was a lot more omnipresent that she though it would be) mainly by passing back and forth a thing of rancid oil and describing the components of the rancid smell. I’m probably one of the few people that wish olive oil came in even smaller containers!

Olives and nuts can themselves go rancid (and it can be harder to detect because their smell is more complex than just the oil part), but if you eat them regularly, you would go through them fast enough to be safe. Watch out though if something is really expensive so has been sitting in the store for a while. A surprising amount of stuff can go rancid, including things like flour and dried rice! (Flour and dried rice don’t contain much oil, so it takes a while, but it does eventually happen.)

I have no idea why Tom Ford lipsticks go bad so quickly unless it’s like health food, there’s less of an economy of scale for the more uncommon organic ingredients, so they sit around longer before being purchased and therefore go bad faster.

Sorry this is so long winded, as you can probably tell, I talk too much irl too!

I’m not a big fan of nudes, so I was only interested in the 3 pinkest shades-Mom, Isla, and Sofia-and even that interest was very vague. After reading all this, I guess my instincts were right!

I don’t watch Jaclyn, have not purchased any of her collabs and was not going to purchase this so I have no opinion on her. What people seem to forget is that Jaclyn did not manufacture these lipsticks herself so the issues being seen are on the lab. That being said, Jaclyn is the owner of this company so what she should have done is immediately and publicly accepted responsibility and, at the same time, provided excellent customer service by giving either a full refund or offering replacements after these issues are addressed or a new lab is found. Unfortunately, she did not do this and instead, made excuses and engaged in social media arguments. Jaclyn has a history of drama including collab quality issues, releases pulled, forced product scarcity and broken contracts and, whether deserved or not, has a reputation that she lacks integrity and isn’t trustworthy. It seems that once again, it’s being shown that when it comes to Jaclyn Hill, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Just when I think there’s no more to be said on this issue, you come swooping down (thankfully) and respectfully illustrate using previous examples from your vast archive! ? Thank you so much Christine for putting this together, leaving the comments open and letting discussion flow on this topic.

I never realized some of these problems aren’t really special to Jaclyn’s brand, and also how some are definitely something to be investigated. I haven’t personally received many faulty lipsticks, I can remember an Urban Decay that melted a bit at the top and a few MAC lipsticks “sweating” but that’s about it!

I hope Jaclyn’s brand investigates what’s going on and provideds refunds and exchanges to those who had problems! Although I am interested in some of the colors, I will refrain from ordering for now until I see they have thoroughly addressed these issues.

I’ve had graininess with a couple of L’Oreal lipsticks before, didn’t stop me using them though. I’m more concerned about the Jaclyn Cosmetics batch codes. Something is very off there. Hopefully they fix the issue because it’s a bad look!

Christine, I always appreciate your straightforward approach to these things. It’s hard to know what to believe with this launch, since a lot of what I’m seeing has been on more “drama” based IGs and YTs. I can always count on you to be decidedly not dramatic! I also didn’t read it as an endorsement of the product, or a slam on MUG. Your advice here is spot on: if you haven’t purchased yet, it’s best to wait and see what happens. No need to burn pictures of JH in effigy, but also no need to buy potentially bad product until we get more info.

I’ve experienced a lot of sweaty lipsticks in my life, and a few lippies with fibers. If the fibers looked anything like human or animal hair, I would clearly be disgusted and pitch a fit, but it has always been pretty clearly synthetic to me (although I can’t say anything as to what has happened here since I haven’t purchased any of the JH lipsticks).

I will say that the possibility of mold or other contamination is kind of terrifying to me. I have a suppressed immune system and severe allergies and something like that could potentially make me quite ill. It would never occur to me to twist a brand new tube of lipstick all the way up to look at the base to check for spots! I actually pretty purposefully only twist them up as much as needed to apply, because I assume exposing the whole lipstick makes it more likely for something to happen to it.

I agree; a lot of the fiber (or fiber-like) pieces I’ve seen over time look like synthetic material to me!

Any contamination would be a huge deal for everybody, and I hope if that occurs, the brand takes full responsibility & is quick about it!

The only time I’ve had the graniness/bumpiness issue was with a Burt’s Bees lipstick, which would fit with the natural ingredients theory. As I recall, it had some occasional unevenness of texture when it was new, but eventually (maybe I stored it poorly) the entire top was just tiny bumps, to the point where I really couldn’t apply it evenly anymore.

Unless it had specific storage instructions, I doubt it was your fault! Since these issues are being talked about more, it seems like Burt’s Bees lipsticks had this issue actually, so it’s not just you!

I have a Burt’s Bees satn lipstick in the shade Scarlet Soaked which has verrry noticeable lumps n bumps in the centre of the surface of the lipstick. You can feel it when applied and it actually looks like bigger bumps than in JH’s lippies. They appear to be more concentrated in pigment so when i apply or swatch it, i get darker streaks from the bumps. They don’t seem to be a foreign body, more like the formula wasn’t mixed thoroughly or has melted and dried agsin oddly. However it doesn’t have any of the other issues JH’s seem to and honestly some of the pics of hers looked pretty gross and concerning. I looked up the Burt’s Bees lipstick and found the same issue i have to be extremely common with their satin lipsticks. They have a lot of waxes and oils and natural ingredients so that could be the issue. None of my other lipsticks from other brands seem to have similar problems.

Glad you aren’t alone on the issue with your Burt’s Bees lipstick, at least! I wonder why they haven’t pulled/reformulated if it is common!

When I used to live in Las Vegas, my Mac lipstick would sometimes have sweating. That was to be expected with the high temperatures out there.

Thank you. This is the most informative content that I can reply on. But i think JH lipstick is contaminated. I’ll check on all of my Colourpop on fibre later.

Hi Christine and the community!

Thank You for your in depth input on the quality flaws common in lipsticks! I hope it will serve to shape up QC controls and perhaps even formulas with many companies and brands, since excellence really should be expected by us as consumers considering how much money companies make on selling lipsticks and make up… ?
And also that creating cosmetics perhaps takes more skill than having a bunch of followers on social media… like having an appropriate education in chemistry or at least some kind of hands on knowledge as to what goes into making Cosmetics…?

I feel sorry for Jaclyn Hill because I beleive she wants things to be perfect when it comes to colours and “creaminess” and to the extent she can understand the content of a lipstick. But for the team she has around her it’s likely business and making ends meet financially that is most important. And I beleive this is a classic case where a lot of corners have had to be cut to try to prevent money loss, which now has backfired horribly paradoxically due to the very fact her influencer status makes her so transparent. If compared to for instance the secrecy surrounding brands like Tom Ford who can get away with releasing summer collections in mid winter and so on without anybody asking questions… Perhaps influencer status may prove to be a con if manufacturing cosmetics is what you want to do?

Now for all those interested in Jaclyn Hill making Cosmetics I think there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. The formula being gritty and melting easily seems to me to be a fairly common rookie mistake, that one as a consumer could perhaps live with if you love the colours and the performance on your lips. The lints, beads and foreign objects combined with the description of the scent as being play doh like which differs a lot from how Jaclyn Hill has described it calls for more concern imo. Because together with the packaging that obviously stems from a time where Ms Hill where going to call her company something containing her last name too these findings may suggest that the products may even have past their best before date…? And that would be a much more serious problem if you ask me. Especially since lipsticks due to their package form are so sensitive to contamination, and decay I for one wish there was a rule making it mandatory to show production date for products like lipsticks so that you as a consumer could keep track of how old a product is when you buy it….

Like I said in the beginning, I feel very sorry for Ms Hill who I have no doubt wants things to be perfect, but perhaps lacks a bit in the know how department. Making cosmetics must be especially hard when every move you make also will be scrutinised due to the tranceparency of the influencer status…

I recall having pin-size holes in my Pat McGrath lipstick (Flesh). I thought the holes were what made the lipstick so amazing–like it was some sort of new technique to making matte-like lipsticks comfortable to wear. L.O.L. This Nudegate situation has informed me otherwise. I still think Pat McGrath is amazing and could care less about the holes (especially bc they don’t really look gross in those lipsticks). With that said, I sure as heck would not be okay with any kind of hair, fibers, or unknown/unvinvited particles. Even if I ever got it for free. If is not part of the recipe, what even is it doing here??

Ideally, there’d be nothing foreign on cosmetics! That just doesn’t seem to be the reality for me, but after doing more inquiring, some of the more common fibers are threads of plastic from the actual component, so it doesn’t seem inherently unsafe/contaminated, but the degree/amount/context can certainly suggest it is a larger issue.

The only crystallization I’ve had have happened with older lipsticks. My last Nars Niagara I bought in person at a Sephora which turned out to be almost expired when I got it home and a very old Estée Lauder Electric Intense LipCreme in Switched-On also started to have the small wax beading once I got to the very bottom of the tube. But I honestly don’t think a new launch should have that sort of problem.

Thank you for writing this up! I’m bookmarking this.

I’ve never seen fibers in all the hundreds of lipsticks I’ve bought in my time. I had no idea they were as common as they are. If I saw fibers on or in a brand new lipstick, I’d return it immediately. Whether it’s actually fair or not, when I see pictures of fibers on lipsticks, I start doubting how clean the brand’s production areas are. It totally grosses me out, like finding hair in my food.

I’ve seen graininess in some lipsticks, especially after they’ve been exposed to big temperature changes. Things like cocoa and shea butter can melt and reform in a grainy texture when they cool back down. It seems like I saw sweating, blooming, and graininess much more on my mother’s lipsticks than I do with modern ones.

Some shown are “minor” in the sense that I think they would be hard to see by eye; they’re easier to spot in a high-res, macro photo because it’s much larger and well-lit.

That being said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with returning/replacing! Ideally, nothing that wasn’t intended to be in the formula would be there.

When people mention lipstick smelling rancid, I also think of old lipsticks, which kind of smelled as rancid oil because of the animal fat and castor oil used in them; even when not spoiled, they kind of have a `rancid` scent.

Tom Ford’s first ingredient is castor oil, and the one TF I have that has gone bad is kind of subtle (I wasn’t sure it had until I put it on my lips and had to take it off within 5 minutes), but the sample TF I have that hasn’t gone bad smells completely different.

After all of these issues (and many of them seeming rather extreme) I would be really interested to do a TVC (total viable count) testing on these lipsticks.. If there are gritty bits which to me look like unmelted wax particles, the factory has not used a high enough temperature to ensure all particles are melted and therefore there may also be issues with bacterial contamination. I’m not going to order a lipstick to the UK to send it off to be tested but I’d be very curious to see how the testing would come out…

You should contact the YT, IG, and other social media influencers who have acknowledged they have received the PR Set of JH lipsticks as well as a post a shout-out to retail customers who all clearly received a much lower quality product and ask them to send it in for testing . Maybe offer to pay for it or start a GoFundMe to test a large batch.

There has been so much blowback about this, particularly in light of the obvious lies by JH which confirm there is a serious problem somewhere, that a significant number of people want more details on this and would be happy to get the lipsticks tested. Most don’t how – where to send it, what tests to request – but if given that information they’d certainly do it.

I’ve bought quite a few lipsticks and I’ve only ever had issues with two of them. One was an Ardency Inn one that I got on sale for a big discount. It was rancid, so I’m pretty sure they were clearing out old stock that had already spoiled, but no fuzz on it. It’s still sitting in my medicine cabinet as a warning, and in case I ever need to write something on a mirror in lipstick. =P

And I got an UD one that had what looked like a piece of metal embedded in it, shortly after they reformulated to the Vice ones. It was right on the slanted edge of the bullet. They refunded me quickly and asked me to send it back to them so they could look into it further. (They even provided a return label, so I didn’t mind sending it back.)


I’m glad that UD took care of you, Kirsten, and in those instances, it can be great for the brand to “see” for themselves – glad they made sure to give you a prepaid slip 🙂 I had an issue with a dropper bottle leaking, and the non-beauty-related brand immediately sent out a replacement but wants me to mail back the original bottle but gave me no prepaid! I was like geez!

‪I’m a bit disappointed after reading this post and the blog. I have followed you for years and always trusted your reviews. Lipstick is something we put on lips and it could be people’s health at risk, it could be customers eating and digesting fungus or some unknown chemical impurity.‬ I think this is not the right time to finding escape doors for the company that is trying to make profits out of the problematic product. This is time to voice concerns for customers and ask the company to be responsible. The time you chose to post this article and the angle/perspective you choose does not seems on consumer’s side. Your focus does not seem on protect the consumer, but on finding excuses or buy more time for the company. I was a bit shocked to see you post an article from this perspective at this time – before Jaclyn Cosmetics even give any statement, explanation or proper response.

I felt that this was a strong statement completely to the contrary of what you’re saying: “To be clear: I would not recommend purchasing any of the brand’s lipsticks at this time until there is more clarity provided by the brand and/or new inventory or reformulation available.”

Along with: “There are enough issues–like that’s a long list of issues being cited by customers–that Jaclyn Cosmetics has to take a serious look at their inventory, the third-parties they’re working with, and may have to reformulate to create a more heat-stable formula, because the launch has gone terribly wrong and there are too many issues occurring across too many shades (within what one person has ordered) that it feels less and less one-off.”

I’ve had several readers inquire about is this okay, is that okay, is this normal, etc. and some things happen, like sweating or melting/softer lipsticks that are more minor – but not everyone knows that. People are also looking at their lipsticks more closely and I’m trying to provide context as someone who has been doing that for years already!

Thanks, Christine, for this incredibly informative post. I don’t have a strong opinion about Jaclyn Hill one way or the other – I know that money changes some people but I also know that there are a lot of small-minded folks who will try to tear down others just for being successful. But on this issue, as a scientist, I think it’s important to understand what is and is not normal to observe in comparable products from other companies and then evaluate the JH lipsticks against that baseline. You are probably the best suited person to do this, and you’ve shown that some of the reported issues are not unique to JH and even occur with relatively high-end brands’ products. So from that perspective, Jaclyn may be receiving abnormal scrutiny because of who she is, not because some (not all) of the problems are unique to her brand.

That said, it certainly sounds as though there is an unacceptably large number of defective JH lipsticks that have the potential to pose a health issue. (Unhappy people tend to speak up more than happy people, so it’s hard to know what are the actual statistics, but appearances are bad right now.) And there are also enough other questionable things going on, like the claim about cotton gloves (seriously?) and the apparent lack of variability in batch numbers, that I have come to the conclusion that something fishy is going on. If there is even the slightest chance of anyone becoming sick from these products, I think Jaclyn Cosmetics should recall all of the products and refund the customers’ money.

I’m also incredibly sorry to see other YouTubers who had no product issues getting a lot of hate from viewers who seem to think they should have known better or were lying in their reviews. Even when there are issues with some products (e.g., food recalls), there are plenty of products that are just fine. Give these folks a break – I’m sure they feel as let down or more so.

I think one big take-away from this for me is that there is an appalling lack of oversight and regulation of the cosmetics industry and a lot of consumers don’t think about that until something like this comes up. Sadly, I don’t have the impression that this will change anything – it will likely impact Jaclyn Hill and her brand, but not the industry.

I don’t know if anyone’s pointed it out, but MAC uses three-digit batch codes (and recycles every 10 years) – those are the only batch codes I ever looked at back in the day (not so much any more), but I went and looked at the five lipsticks (five different shades) from the recent Electric Wonder collection, and these were the codes: two with AB8, one with BB8, and two with AC8. The five lipglasses (same collection) were: two with AB8, two with AA8, and one with AB8. So we have shades sharing batch codes but also formulas sharing batch codes.

MAC codes work with the first letter indicating the batch number (A=1, B=2, C=3), the second is the month (e.g. 1=January, and then October=A, November=B, December=C), and the last digit is the year (based on the decade, so 8 = 2018).

Jaclyn’s lipsticks having so many issues, especially more extreme than I’ve seen in the past, definitely suggests something went wrong majorly!

I wish more brands were like MAC, transparent with the batch code. I always go to checkcosmetics to verify batch IDs (Sephora is notorious of sending old expired make-up as free offer or perk points), but not all brands can be found in the database.

`Unhappy people tend to speak up more than happy people`

So true… and not to mention that happy people will be `scared` now to make any statement. We all remember the whole ABH Subculture deal. I mean there were influencers almost afraid to just mentioned that they actually liked that palette. And that wasn’t a matter of health concerns.

I’ve had lipstick formula issues like Jaclyn’s were the pigments didn’t get mixed in complete to create dark spots, and some of the waxes didn’t get completely melted in matte formula. BUT the wax was soft to the lips and although you can feel the texture it not hard or scratchy, the texture still melted.

This is a post where I called it out.

But I’m pretty sure there are other matte formulas as well that had this happen due to the formula density. I’m surprised to see it in a very creamy formula like
Jaclyn’s unless the products didn’t get up to temperature and what you are seeing the raw wax beads partially melted down in there? If the wax is really hard it would feel like plastic scrapping against the lips in those small grain size for sure. I PRAY it’s wax though, and that’s still not a good thing.

When Raw Beauty Kristi, dissected her slipstick that had the beads in it, most of them settle to the bottom of the lipstick in the mold which is the top of the lipstick bullet because they are denser than the lipstick formula while mixing them hot. Which makes me think it’s a formula mixing issue if it wax beads.

But Jaclyn Hill company has some significant issues for sure to have ALLLLL these issue occurring at once. But if the hard bead wax is any indication. #1 They need a more sustainable formula. Whatever the hard Wax Beads are that maybe the ingredients that GOT TO go as it was the last to melt. The bubble is also because it’s a soft formula, so the holes don’t bother me, the amount of lint and fibre people are getting is concerning mixed into the lipsticks. I’ve seen lint on top of lipsticks, and it’s going to happen no matter your controlled clean room because people still wear clothes in there with plastic gloves. But inside them, that deep means something got into the room to contaminate the mix at a higher density than the workers themselves.

Again I’m not a chemist that would know how the actual ingredients would behave given them molecular structure in higher end lipstick formulas. But I’ve done enough mixing for waxes making my own Batik melts and indie lipstick ingredient kits and candles to know when pigments and waxes are not getting melted down and mixed correctly.

Another opinion in the sea of opinions…

Christine, I appreciate that you put out your opinion and beyond the objective points there will always be your subjective opinion on the matter; and I hope more people will understand that this is in the end your opinion and you are allowed to have one. I think there’s a lot of finger pointing, when it shouldn’t be.

The thing is that it’s also the fault of the consumers. Consumers should care more about what they put on their face and body. We should dissect and inspect with microscopes all make-up and skincare, not just Jacklyn Hill’s lipsticks because she’s Jacklyn Hill. We should smell and inspect our make-up to check it didn’t spoiled, we should check manufacturing dates online, we should question brands claims and do our research.
Brands want to sell us products or entice us to love them; even if it’s Jacklyn Hill selling old lipsticks or Wet n Wild selling in China and denying it or Sephora sending Too Faced foundation minis manufactured 5 years ago. In this day and aged we can’t claim we were fooled; we have all these tools to document on what we use… we can’t simply buy products because X and Y rave about them.

I think a lot of people have learned to look a little more closely at their products, but I don’t think it’s up to the consumer to be diving headlong into these issues generally because the manufacturer should be doing the quality control – part of buying the product is so you don’t have to concoct your own! It’s not practical (and would inhibit functionality!) to be dissecting or putting everything under a microscope, and even if you did, you’d have to know what to look for to glean real knowledge from it.

It’s important to be mindful of your purchases for sure, but we can hold companies to do better because they have the greatest impact and the know-how to give us better products/implement better quality control across the board.

Even though yes, everyone is responsible for themselves at the end of the day, it is a brand’s responsibility to only supply products that are not harmful to the consumer. In Europe we actually have someone called a ‘responsible person’ (usually the brand) who takes it upon themselves to ensure the product has all relevant safety testing and information up to date. And if there are any issues (like bacterial contamination) the government can request this data and it has to be provided within 48h. In the US this cosmetovigilance is patchy and FDA only launches recalls when it becomes a very very serious health hazard.

Once again this post reminds me of why you’re the only blog I follow: That JD degree of yours really serves Temptalia well. You perfectly blend intelligently written beauty blogger writing with user-friendly legalese. Kudos!

Thank you so much for this post, Christine. I am never sure why some creators get so much more scrutiny than others, but the photos and details here really go a long way to help make the conversation more productive. Now that the news is getting more widespread, things will probably get a lot more heated before the company finds a way to make their customers happy.

I have been buying lipstick for about as long as you, though I doubt I have surpassed 1000, and coming out of the component, being slightly loose, small holes, sweating, are all totally normal to me as well. I would not be pleased with that amount of lint either though, so I really empathize with JH’s customers who are upset about that.

I remember the whole thing with the Kylie lip gloss brushes, and while it was a setback for the brand, I don’t think it hurt them that much long-term–I hope that JH’s travails end up the same way, because her followers ultimately do want the line to be successful I think.

Let’s think about this melting thing. It a lipstick gets so hot it has sweet spots and melts some does it keep its bullet shape? Does a old lipstick have all these problems? Does a new lipstick have all these problems? And on a large scale? I think we will all be surprised “IF” and when the TRUTH comes out.

It really depends on how hot, how much melting, when you get it into a cooler space, how fast it cools down, and then the formula itself. You can see that Bite Leo melted into itself, so it lost its shape. Often, lipstick will sweat without melting or might just be soft if you were to use it right away, so it would retain its shape as long as you don’t put pressure on it and give it time to cool down. It’s less about old vs. new and more about heat/higher temperatures. If the formula has ingredients that have a lower melting point, then it would likely be something you’d see across lipsticks. I think you should check out the Bite Neons I referenced above, as they came in during summer and had melting issues across the board (just not all to the same degree). I’ve received LOTS of Bite lipsticks that have retained their shape as well (again, check the Bite Neon link and you can click on “Amuse Bouche Lipstick” above the slideshow, which will show you all shades I’ve reviewed – dozens!).

I take photos of lipsticks brand new as much as possible – the only times I haven’t are reshooting an existing shade for one-off but generally find that used lipstick, even once, tends to look awful in photos so I will purchase new just to reshoot if I can – I’m pretty sure I tried to photograph some permanent MAC shades and ended up repurchasing them going forward.

I just wanted to point out that my Pat McGrath luxetrance lipsticks are mostly gritty. Of the 6 shades I own, 4 of them have fibers and grit on them. The worst of all is Major Red which applies dry and gritty and ends of Pilling. I’ve tried researching if anyone has the same experience but haven’t found any. Unfortunately, the Sephora in my region doesn’t accept returns unless the item arrives crushed or completely melted. I also had an Hourglass girl Lip Stylo that smelled heavily of crayon.

Even luxury brands tend to have bad batches. I suppose people just don’t report it that much.

I’m sorry to hear that your PMGs are gritty/have fibers – they are expensive, and it really sucks that you weren’t able to get a replacement 🙁

I haven’t tested my JH lipstick yet to see if it’s similar, but I’m almost certain I’ve experienced the “graininess” folks are talking about in some Lipstick Queen sinner shades. It wasn’t hard or sharp, it truly felt like just denser specks of product. They seem to be a similar finish, so I’d be willing to bet it’s related to the formula.

Really great post! The lone lint has never really bothered me! I looked through my very small lipstick collection, and I’ve seen a fibre or two…nothing concerning. Same with sweating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any tiny holes from my personal buying experiences from what I can recall however. An interesting thing about grainy texture though: A few weeks ago I was reading reviews on CT lipsticks to see if they were actually worth the $$$, and I saw some reviews say there’s a grainy-ness to them, while others have said the opposite (this was on beautylish). Interesting! And judging by some of the other comments, grainy texture is present in other popular brands. But this issue with JH is something else. Especially after seeing RawBeautyKristi’s video. And the way the situation is being handled is very off-putting (as well as other drama with JH in the past…I have never been a fan tbh!). Hopefully truth and honesty will prevail! Thank you for all of your hard work, Christine!

You don’t usually see all these issues at once, and you don’t usually get extreme instances of fibers/foreign strands – a lot of it definitely points to issues with the formula itself, whether a stability problem (it seems too heat sensitive based on the grainy issues) and/or not mixed well enough.

Sometimes it seems so strange when brands don’t respond well, because it seems so easy – like HEY! We hear you! We’re investigating this – this is NOT the product we want to put out! These were produced in the last 12 months, they’re not old stock or expired. We are working with our lab/chemist/production/development team(s) to find out why there are any issues at all. Please let us know if you’re experiencing issues so we can refund/replace and get a better idea of how many people are affected!

It just seems like the most duh response – acknowledge the problem, say you’re going to find out why and resolve it, show you want people to tell you about it (so you can “do something” about it).

Thank you so much for doing this! I always look to your blog when researching a purchase beacuse I trust your content. I don’t think I’ve ever had a lipstick look like any of the “worst” photos posted here but certainly like the “normal” imperfect ones. I also don’t usually inspect my item so carefully. As long as it looks new and unused and “normal” I am fine with it. Funny enough, as I was reading this post I reveived my package from MAC with 4 creamsheen lippies in it. It is SUPER hot in Northern CA today and the package was warm to the touch. Out of curiousity I opened all the lipsticks right away to see what if any effect the very warm weather shipping may have had. They are all 99.9 percent perfect with some very slight imperfections on the surface but no hair. I had to put my glasses on it see it. My faith in lipstick has been restored. However, I will think about unusually hot temps before ordering creamy make up in the future. Thanks again!

Thank you for always being unbiased & thorough! I also agree, that there are rarely perfect lipsticks, or brands whose launches don’t include at least a couple stranger looking lipsticks. Even the cleanest labs can have fibers floating in the air, even the best labs can’t account for *every* single weather/climate possibility, and in mass producing hundreds of thousands of lipsticks, there is always going to be some variation in the pour. I can imagine even great Quality Control could miss one small fiber/variation, which I would assume is why we haven’t seen a backlash like this in a while — because it usually is just a couple lipsticks. That’s why when I first saw a couple random people complaining of sweating or melting or holes or fibers on Twitter, I thought that with this being a new brand’s very first launch, none of the issues being *that* concerning, and the desire for people to attack Jaclyn, that this was probably normal & fine.

However, when it appeared that this was happening to a plethora of lipsticks, that there were strange bumps coming out of multiple people’s lipsticks, and that some of the fibers looked like they were growing out of a wild amount of lipsticks, that’s when I became worried. It especially worries me, because even if only a large minority were contaminated in some way, it is both still much larger than any other brand I have seen before and all lipsticks containing the same batch code worries me, knowing that there’s no way to tell contaminated from non-contaminated other than sight.

I, personally, got a lipstick in the shade “Gossip,” and it looks pretty much perfect. Smells fine, has no fibers, no holes, no sweating, and no graininess. After 3 uses, it did completely break from the base, which is frustrating, but not worrisome. But, now, I’ve stopped using it until further notice. It kind of concerns me that the bran & Jaclyn haven’t released an official statement yet because I feel like if I kept hearing all of these rumors that my lipsticks were contaminated or moldy or expired, I would immediately want to put these rumors to rest. The fact that even Jaclyn said she is staying silent because she wants to gather all information, tells me neither she or the company know exactly what is going on, which also tells me there is a chance, no matter how small, that the lipsticks (even my seemingly fine one) aren’t safe. I just feel like it’s irresponsible to tell people to keep using their lipsticks when there seems to be no proof they are 100% safe.

Gonna end all this with a question: how do you feel about the “being old” rumor? I don’t mean this gossip wise; I’m just wondering if in all your years of buying & storing makeup, you’ve ever come across an expired lipstick that started presenting issues such as graininess or fibrous material?

I don’t routinely uncap the thousands of lipsticks I have on hand, but when I have revisited lipsticks that are old… it’s rare to see something amiss. Sure, sometimes the smell has faded, but there are brands that fade faster – like Tom Ford gets a fair number of complaints about scent disappearing faster, and I’ve had this one a couple but most seem to stay intact; I’ve also noticed that Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy seems to be similar (similar scent and doesn’t linger forever). Compare to MAC: vanilla scent that permeates my entire chest of drawers it’s so prevalent and yet I’ve also received lipsticks from new collections that have barely any vanilla scent to them (and they’re usually 6-8 months old as they manufacture in advance of a launch; the Electric Wonder lip products were manufactured in October-December 2018).

I haven’t seen fibers growing out of a lipstick that I can recall. I’ve seen wax bloom, and wax bloom looks pretty gross since it can mimic mold, so if it was say, a 5+ year old lipstick, I have just tossed it instead of dither between wax bloom vs. mold, you know? I think that’s been like… less than five lipsticks in history – but again, I am really not diving through every single shade I have like clockwork to check. A lot of the MAC lipsticks I have at this point are for color reference; they’re just SO old (like 10 years!) that I wouldn’t use ON my lips.

Loved this post. Super informative! I’ve had lipsticks arrive sweating, slightly melted, with fuzz on etc and have never thought it a real issue. Just thought it was part of living in a world that isn’t sterile! Saying that, it sounds like the Jaclyn Hill lipsticks are a bit beyond that, but I don’t own them so can’t comment.

Wow- thank you for writing this! As someone with no interest really in purchasing any of these brands lipsticks (aside from Bite, who I exclusively wear a shade I made custom at a lip lab) this was incredibly interesting. I know Bite lipsticks are definitely softer than other brands (which I personally love, even as a Floridian who leaves her bags in her car, and is why they’re My Brand) and I’ve almost always had sweating with their products, though it never compromised the integrity of the bullet/crayons. Seeing that there are so many other brands that have had similar issues tells me that there is some wiggle room to a “perfect lipstick”, and what is cause for concern.

I find it very curious how people are reacting to this post. First read to me came off as be wary of JH’s products until the hype dies down and we can see how the brand reacts to this issue; that the sweating/minor fibers and etc being present in lipsticks literally just happens sometimes and it’s not a cause for concern unless there’s a ridiculous amount; and that these were examples across a variety of brands where these issues have happened so you can see it’s not specific to one manufacturer/lab/etc.

I feel like of all review sites that a moderate to very involved consumer of beauty products follow, this site is one of the most honest and consistent to the point of reviews almost reading clinical… which is fantastic, because I know that there is a rigid standard by which reviews are done. I know that if I have an experience with a product and I come here to see the same thing written on a screen (as I regularly do!) that it means I can trust that the opinions shared here will likely reflect my own. I find it unfortunate that someone could try to misconstrue this as you having a vendetta against a certain brand- because you have such a high, consistent standard by which you judge a product!

At the end of the day- thank you for being a voice of reason on the internet! Your point of view on products and the ability with which you have to share your thoughts so eloquently is invaluable to someone who doesn’t make frequent beauty purchases… but will always check this site before I do to be sure that I’m going to buy something I’m happy with. I love when you pull something in depth and interesting like this out- it makes me feel like my love of beauty is so much less superficial and much more critical when it comes to who I support, why I support them, and the consistency of their products over an extended period of time.

I’m guessing Bite knows their formula is soft/more heat-sensitive and likely has a nice replacement process in place and accepts that’s the “cost” of their formula, but I get plenty of Bite’s lipsticks fully intact, maybe a little sweaty! It’s a great formula.

Thank you for taking the time to read through the whole post, and I’m happy about what you took away from it! 🙂

I agree with others that Jaclyn’s lipsticks were inspected closely for a myriad of reasons but also that was found on inspection exceeded what one would find normal. However I can also attest that I’ve seen little pin hole air bubbles numerous times over the years.
The only product I’ve ever used that was gritty was a cleansing balm from pixi. It had little balls in the formula that looked almost plastic at first but you could crush between your fingers and must have been some sort of separation. Oddly enough when the weather got warmer the problem decreased but I still found it too unpleasant to use and threw it out. … Thanks for the post can always count on measured thoughtful commentary here!!

So interesting. Thank you for always putting so much effort into your posts, Christine. It’s very funny because I received Bite Beauty Scorpio as a GWP in a recent Bite purchase. I hadn’t used it yet until about three days ago, I noticed little tiny holes all around the bullet, just like the photos that you shared of yours. I thought it was kind of funny. I emailed Bite, and they are sending me a replacement and asked me to send back my lipstick so they can evaluate it further.

I think what u need to understand is that while Marlena posted comments about the JHC issue to inform people and keep them safe, there r plenty of fans of Jaclyn that are attacking Marlena for her posts. I am sure in the wake of that she is feeling a bit more sensitive and may have felt attacked by your post showing her brand with hairs and many other sites showing the 2 together like they were on the same level. Just cut her a bit of slack.

Hi Beth!

I try to treat brands the same whether small or large, niche or mainstream, because they should all be acting professionally when it comes to how I review/treat their products, so I don’t think it is fair to provide one brand leeway or to NOT share because they happen to be a smaller brand or a more vocal brand owner. I made no judgments about the issues that I’ve seen in lipsticks – the entire point of the post being, “things happen, and here’s the breadth of what I’ve seen over the years,” so it wasn’t a call out at all. If Makeup Geek is assured of their QC procedures, it would have been a great opportunity to share what they do, how this shouldn’t have gotten through, and that they’ll definitely be reviewing current procedures and looking for past complaints to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. Instead, though, they called into question that it happened at all, despite my photos being posted in December 2016/January 2017 and have readers asking about the fibers within the original review posts (and a copy of the post pulled from January 2017 exists on the Wayback Machine).

I tried multiple times, both via Twitter and subsequent edits on this post, within hours of the post to clarify what I was saying in a way I did not have to do for any brand (and no other brand took issue with me publicly or privately about this post). The responses I’ve received from readers on this post have shown that when read, all of the points were received as intended, but unfortunately, I can’t force people to read the post (even though my post title says nothing about Makeup Geek!).

Another issue was spot of oil/dew or wax on the lipstick, which RawbeautyKristi found at the tip of a JH lipstick. Ive seen this dew mark on some indie lipsticks by MBA cosmetics mainly and on some loreal lipsticks, the ones that are glossy. So this may look like mold but it’s just oil or something and often comes off at the lipstick cap.

I thought I saw a separate post about how we research purchases, but I can’t find it now. I mainly used this site and Musings of A Muse because I was concerned about duping and how products would look on skin like mine. Maybe potential irritants would be an issue, but that’s about it. However I have added to my list recently, especially regarding expired makeup and also makeup formulations. I’m putting in links here because Google won’t find these accounts if you search them by name and even YouTube won’t find them if you search:
Molecular Makeup
Sean KBeauty

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