Jaclyn Hill teamed up with Morphe for yet another collaboration—the Jaclyn Hill X Morphe Palette.
And I won't be buying.
This is an odd post because I feel like most consumers are going to be grouped in one of two groups:
- Those who love Jaclyn Hill and will buy anything she had a hand in creating
- Those who aren't tempted by this palette at all
I belong to the second group.
And I feel like this is an odd post because I don't think the majority of people are going to be evaluating whether they should buy this palette or not or if they think this will be a good buy for their money. I think most people will probably have already made up their minds on if they will be buying or not.
For some background, Jaclyn Hill is an incredibly popular person who makes beauty videos on YouTube. She has collaborated on several products, most notably with Becca and Morphe. Morphe released the "Jaclyn Hill Favorites" palette a few years ago, which was a selection of Jaclyn's favorite shadows from Morphe's collection:
This newest palette, according to Jaclyn, took two years to make and has a brand new formula, so it is supposedly different from all other Morphe palettes and shadows.
The palette has been teased for months (maybe even a year), and the release date kept getting pushed back. The palette was leaked earlier this year when a photo of a cake commissioned for a celebratory party surfaced:
But Jaclyn insisted the palette looked different from the cake.
When photo of the palette released, it was obvious that it was the same as the cake (down to the message on the lid).
I personally think it's pretty terrible when people's work is leaked for the sake of hype and attention, and while I think Jacklyn lied by saying it was not the same, I can understand how much it must have sucked to work on a project and have the first reveal be from a damn cake.
To be completely honest, this palette does not interest me at all, and despite the fact that it has a "new formula," I think this palette is a complete ripoff.
Let me explain.
This palette has 35 shadows, like most other Morphe palettes. And Morphe palettes with 35 shadows typically cost $23.
This palette costs $38, which is a considerable increase. And, here's the thing. Morphe wants consumers to think that this palette is $15 more expensive because of this supposed "new formula," but the reality is that the $15 price increase is the "collaborating with Jaclyn Hill" fee.
I've explained this many times before, but when brands collaborate with someone, they are selling the product in large part because of the name attached. Therefore, the name attached will earn a nice percentage of the profits. In these cases, brands have two options if they don't want to sacrifice on the profits they would normally earn without the collaborator. They can:
Lower the quality of the product so that it is cheaper to make but keep the price the same
It looks like Morphe chose the second option.
But, wait, there's more. Morphe shipping rates are very high, especially considering how light the products are and that if the product comes broken and the buyer did not request to spend extra money on shipping to insure it, they will not replace the item.
With shipping, the Jacklyn Hill X Morphe palette costs around $48 in the US, meaning that it is considerably higher for international customers.
That is insane to me, especially considering that this is a Morphe palette.
I have owned two Morphe palettes: 35T and 35OS. There is a store in NYC that sells Morphe palettes and allows you to swatch in store, so I purchased my palettes there. When I swatched in store, I was impressed with the shimmers (for the price), but as I've said before, it is really easy to make a shimmer that looks good swatched. I ended up decluttering the 35T and most of the 35OS. There are a few shadows from that palette that remain in my collection that I depotted and put in a custom palette.
I am not a fan of Morphe. I don't like their business practices, I don't like some of the people they associate with, and I don't like their products. I think the quality of their shadows is quite poor, especially the matte shadows. Now, I understand the shadows in the Jaclyn Hill palette have been reformulated, and I think it's great that some reviews have said that the mattes are, for the most part, pretty okay. But, I highly, highly doubt that the mattes are as good as (or better than) ones that I have from Makeup Geek, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kat Von D, Melt Cosmetics, Viseart, or even those in my Milani Earthly Elements palette.
In terms of swatches, most that have surfaced from Jaclyn look like this:
The colors look like they pack a lot of pigment, which is something that I have found with a lot of Morphe shimmers. But I think it is also evident that the colors have been pressed incredibly hard into the skin. Looking at the brush in the second photo, for example, that is much, much more pressure than I would ever use on my eye.
These swatches from Samantha Ravndahl look what I consider a little more true to life:
(Each color has been swatched twice. On the left, it is a finger swatch; on the right, a brush swatch.)
You can watch Samantha Ravndahl's review video here.
Apparently Jaclyn recommends applying some of these shadows with a finger, which is not surprising considering the pigmentation in the above photos. A lot of foiled/metallic shadows apply better with a finger. I have some shadows by Natasha Denona that look like complete crap when applied with a brush and incredible applied with my finger. However, on the whole, I think most people would like a shadow to perform well with a brush.
Let's look at the colors:
From my understanding, this is supposed to be Jaclyn's ultimate palette, or something like that. It's not meant to be an innovator or on trend or anything like that. It is literally just what her ideal custom palette would look like.
And when I think about it like that, I realize that this palette looks a lot like all of my custom palettes as well, meaning I already have all these colors.
Here are some of mine:
(I have two others that are all round pans, but I am still recovering from surgery and cannot stand long enough to take photographs of them.)
Let's look at the Jaclyn Hill X Morphe palette as just pigments:
Do you know what I see here? A whole lot of colors that look either the same or very similar. This is something that I find happens in a lot of Morphe palettes. Take the 35O for example:
This palette was SO hyped, in large part because of Jaclyn Hill, and for the exception of the last two columns, this palette just looks like a whole lot of browns to me that won't look all that different on the eye. That's the reason I decluttered the majority of the colors from the all-shimmer version of this palette: so many of them were duplicated in the palette.
And, here's the thing. The Jaclyn Hill palette will be so hyped—it's already so hyped. And it will likely sell out. Or the Morphe website will crash. Or something like that. And that's because Jaclyn has a huge following of (primarily young and impressionable) viewers, I don't think it matters if the quality is meh, the colors are repetitive and generic, or if it is overpriced. People will buy this because it has Jaclyn's name attached to it.
But for nearly $50, there are so many better palettes one could buy, like everyone's favorite: ABH Modern Renaissance:
Or Juvia's Place Masquerade:
I don't fit the targeted demographic of this palette, and this is an easy pass for me. I have all of these colors somewhere in my collection, and I certainly don't need or want a huge Morphe palette with all of them. So, I won't be buying.