Influencer Jaclyn Hill’s Makeup Brand Jaclyn Cosmetics Closes

Jaclyn Cosmetics, the makeup brand from influencer Jaclyn Hill, announced in Facebook and Instagram posts Sunday that its business is closing.

The closure wasn’t entirely unexpected as owner Forma Brands, which emerged from bankruptcy last year after lenders salvaged it in a $690 million deal, has been deprioritizing the brand as it focuses on a turnaround, and Hill, once a brand kingmaker, has been ending the labels she spawned. She revealed in a YouTube video in August that her apparel and accessories brand Koze and jewelry brand Jaclyn Roxanne were shuttering and admitted that Jaclyn Cosmetics’ future was uncertain.

In the Facebook and Instagram posts that provided certainty the brand is over, Hill wrote, “There has been plenty of talk, but what I will say is the brand has been such an important chapter in my book and one that I will always cherish but am ready to close. First, I want to thank each and every one of you for the support & love you have shown me & this brand. You let this girl dream and that’s what I did. I still have those dreams, but to properly pursue them I am going to need time and patience to do so.”

Launched in 2019 with a debacle when customers slammed its lipsticks for being lumpy and hairy (their lipstick purchases were later refunded), Jaclyn Cosmetics landed in Ulta Beauty two years later, but the big retail rollout didn’t shield it from problems. The same year it entered Ulta the brand’s Sun Kissed Cream Bronzer shade selection was criticized for being too narrow.

As of Monday, there were 27 Jaclyn Cosmetics products available on Ulta’s website. Ranging at full price from $18 to $49, they’re mostly being sold for half off, including bestsellers Poutspoken Liquid Lipstick, Mood Light Luminous Powder, Luxe Legacy Eyeshadow Palette, Bronze & Blushing Duo and Beaming Light Loose Highlighter. On Jaclyn Cosmetics’ site, the products are being discounted 50%. Consumers and content creators have spotted stashes of Jaclyn Cosmetics products at off-price retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.

In a YouTube video in August explaining her decision to stop Koze and Jaclyn Roxanne, Hill acknowledged she wasn’t working hard to grow Jaclyn Cosmetics. She said, “I was given such an incredible opportunity to be in Ulta stores, and I’ve done the bare minimum supporting my brand in Ulta.”

“I’ve done the bare minimum supporting my brand in Ulta.”

Brand consultant and cosmetic developer Kevin James Bennett shared unverified news via an Instagram post in September that Hill was given an offer to acquire Jaclyn Cosmetics and declined. Bennett describes Hill’s financial relationship with Forma Brands is unclear as a licensing deal. An Instagrammer with the handle kristenmick commented, “My guess is she doesnt have as much money as they want, she knows her product doesnt sell as well as she wants and therefore doesnt want to put money into something that she wouldnt ‘profit’ (as much as she would like it to).”

Hill continues to have a sizable social media fan base. She has 5.53 million YouTube subscribers and 8.8 million Instagram followers. On Amazon, she leverages her fame to garner income from affiliate commissions. Hill’s brand’s social media audience hasn’t matched hers. Jaclyn Cosmetics has 548,000 Instagram followers.

Hill isn’t the only influencer that has had difficulty translating social media fame to brand success. Lunar Beauty, the brand by Manuel Gutierrez, better known was Manny MUA, was in and out of Sephora. Sephora dropped Item Beauty, a brand incubated by Ipsy parent company Beauty For All Industries that’s now closed, and Selfless by Hyram, a partnership between influencer Hyram Yarbro and brand The Inkey List that’s moved to Target.

Jaclyn Cosmetics, the brand owned by Forma Brands and connected to beauty influencer Jaclyn Hill, is closing. The brand launched in 2019 and two years later entered Ulta Beauty, where its products are currently marked down.

Other brands tied to influencers like One/Size, Naturium, Summer Fridays, Sacheu Beauty and Live Tinted have made headway at retailers such as Sephora, Ulta and Target. Last year, Naturium was bought by E.l.f. Beauty, and there’s speculation that Summer Fridays, a recipient of investment from Prelude Growth Partners, is the subject of buyer interest.

Forma Brands’ bet on Hill wasn’t out of left field. The influencer was integral to Becca Cosmetics’ rise in the mid-2010s. In 2015, she collaborated with the brand on Champagne Pop, and it sold out of 25,000 units of the highlighter upon the product’s premiere at Sephora. The next year, the publication Women’s Wear Daily reported a Becca Cosmetics collection with Hill containing face palettes yielded $3.5 million in sales within five hours of its release.

In 2016, Estée Lauder acquired Becca Cosmetics for around $200 million when it was generating an estimated $80 million in sales. Hill’s magic touch didn’t last, though, and Lauder shuttered Becca Cosmetics in 2021. The brand’s demise demonstrated the challenge of banking on a YouTube star as attention shifted to competitor platforms like Instagram and TikTok.