Makeup-artist-turned-influencer Jaclyn Hill’s latest collaboration — a 35-shade eye shadow palette with Morphe — is set to hit shelves and Internet waves this spring.
While the palette was at one point slated for a March launch, it’s more likely going to be in the middle part of the year, perhaps April or May, said Tawil, specifying an official launch date has not yet been set.
Twenty-two months in the making, yet still tightly under wraps, Hill revealed that the eye shadow hues are the colors she’s known for, later revealing details of a pearlescent highlighting shade on her Snapchat account. “I don’t want to give too much away because everything hasn’t been shown yet, but it’s literally my palette — if anyone knows me, they’ll know what’s going to be inside of it,” she said. Hill and Morphe creative director Linda Tawil both disputed Internet reports that a photo of a cake celebrating the palette presented an accurate representation of the final product. “Thirty-five shades, that’s the one thing the cake palette has in common,” Hill said.
The palette will contain a color-themed family with different finishes, according to Hill. She said started with Pantone colors — giving the example of a burnt, matte orange, that was creamy without a purple undertone — then she would “pick apart and dissect the color,” then do the same for the way the shade applied — for each of the 35 shades.
“I didn’t want it to just be generic,” Hill said. “I didn’t want every matte to be the same matte, I didn’t want every shimmer to be the same shimmer.
“There’s many different formulas in the palette. Shimmer, matte, satin, foiled — every shadow is going to feel different because I wanted every color to have its owning meaning, it’s own blendability.”
The price isn’t finalized yet — but Hill and Tawil noted it will be affordable, available in Morphe’s Burbank store and online, and in abundance. “We are open to the possibility of it being permanent,” Hill said.
Some of her other collaborations, including her first collaboration with Morphe, have sold out quickly. Hill’s original 2015 collaboration with the brand sold out and “immediately crashed our web site,” Tawil said. Another collaboration with a different company, the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette, sold out 20,000 units in 90 minutes, according to industry sources.
Hill, who has 3.9 million Instagram followers and 3 million YouTube subscribers, was Morphe’s first official affiliate, she said, giving her discount codes to share with her subscribers. As she tells it, her relationship with the brand started after she dropped into the Burbank store two minutes before its scheduled close and wound up meeting Tawil. Hill is still planning on a 2017 launch of her first namesake lip products, though it won’t be in April as previously planned. “It’s not launching in April,” Hill said. “We are in production and it will be happening this year.”
For its part, Morphe has worked with a handful of influencers, including Jeffree Star, who has 3 million YouTube subscribers, and Kathleen Lights, who has 2 million YouTube subscribers. The brand generated about $316 million in earned media value for 2016, according to Tribe Dynamics, which sandwiches the brand between NYX and MakeupGeek for the time period.
“It’s not a strategy to grow the brand, it’s more a strategy to get people what they want,” Tawil said. “They die for our products and then they love their idols, so it’s like coming together and giving them something they want. The result is that the brand grows.”
Morphe launched in 2003, and Chris Tawil (Linda’s brother) bought it in 2009, which is also when she joined. For a while, the business — known first and foremost for its brushes — was run as a wholesale and trade show business, Tawil said. But after meeting influencers at one show, the brand discovered the power of social media, she noted. Morphe recently expanded into liquid lipsticks to complement its palette and eye shadow offerings, and may at some point branch into foundation, Tawil said. “I know that foundation is a tough game, so I want to make sure my game is really strong before I even enter into that category,” she said.