Saturday, June 17, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Jaclyn Hill X Morphe Palette

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


Charge more.

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. 


  1. I personally can't stand Jaclyn, so this was an easy pass. The difference in the two swatch sets are very telling!

    This palette is also pretty expensive for her core audience. Even at 23 I feel 'too old' for so many of these influencers.

    1. I don't follow her, but that's because her personality doesn't really attract me. And I definitely agree this palette is very expensive for her core audience. Nonetheless, I'm sure they will buy the palette because she had a hand in it, they trust her, and they want to "support" her.

  2. It's way past my bed time but I just stumbled on your blog tonight & I've literally spent the last hour reading your posts. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the detail you give for why you're not going to buy certain products. Will definitely keep reading your stuff. Thanks for the great content.

  3. shipping to australia is 60 USD which converts to 80 AUD. NOT HAPPY. quite disgusted actually.

    x Tash /

    1. WOW. So shipping the palette costs more than the palette itself? Morphe is ridiculous.

    2. Beautybay is currently selling it for $69.20 AUD and the Modern Renessaince is $71.40 AUD. The jaclyn palette is a rip-off !! I can't comprehend spending that much for morphe.

  4. Was that the shipping including the cost of the palette or the shipping alone???

  5. Well FOMO hit .... and I bought the palette. I think I may save it as a Christmas present.

  6. That's strange, the shipping for me hardly costed anything. & I think $38 is an amazing deal for as many as 35 shades. I spent way more than that on my naked palette & it only has 12 shades. Great work on the article though, I can tell you put a lot of thought & effort into it!

  7. The formula is nothing new, Google it. It is exactly the same as the Morphe 25B Bronzed Mocha palette. Ball dropped big time on this one by Jaclyn and Morphe. I've never bought one of their palettes and never plan to. It's just over-hyped garbage.

  8. I love your blog, and cannot agree with you more !
    I have refused to fall into the Morphe hype, those mass produced made in China products just have no appeal to me. I find these big "gurus" to be fake and extremely untrustworthy. They behave like a bunch of entitled brats!
    This palette is overpriced and nothing they can "claim" will justify a Morphe Pallette being that price.

  9. I'm in QLD, Australia and for shipping alone it's $62.14USD. If your in NSW shipping alone in $27.20USD. Morphe's shipping cost is a joke! To double the already expensive shipping cost for a neighboring state is ridiculous.
    I bought a heap of JSC the other day that would have weighed far more than one palette and shipping was $10.99USD. Morphe is laughing all the way to the bank with this palette.

  10. I live in QLD, Australia and shipping alone is $62.14USD. For the state below us, NSW, shipping alone is $27.20USD. Morphe's international shipping prices are an absolute joke! I don't understand how they can justify doubling the shipping cost for neighboring states. They say it's because of taxes but I got a heap of stuff from JSC the other day that would have weighed far more than a palette and shipping alone was only $10.99USD.
    Morphe is laughing all the way to the bank with this palette.

  11. I have a love hate relationship for jaclyn 😆 so initially I wanted to buy the pallet, i even waited "in line" on, had the pallet in my cart but i couldn't bring myself to buy the dang thing. I like/ would use maybe 10 of the shadows on a regular basis so it seems silly to buy a pallet for $48 if i'm not even going to use half of the shadows. They definitely are charging more because her name is on it...

  12. I recently purchased the palette, but I have not received it yet. I am very interested in the formula that has everyone talking. I live in Queensland,
    Australia and paid USD29.95 for postage and USD64.15 total, which came to AUD83.10. I am not sure if the other lady got the total cost confused with the total or not, but it clearly states on the website the prices for international shipping and even the expensive option is only USD38 or something near that.

  13. Disregard my previous comment. Just checked the website again and postage is now USD62.56 WTF? I would not have paid that the other day, so I don't know what the hell they are doing!!!