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Influence Peddler: Jaclyn Hill Gears Up for Next Collab

With more than 4 million YouTube subscribers, Hill focuses the rest of her social media on tidbits of life, not necessarily makeup.

Jaclyn Hill is only working on one collaboration these days — her 35-shade eyeshadow palette with Morphe, slated for release this summer.

The project has been widely publicized through Hill’s social channels, naturally. But the 26-year-old beauty vlogger is up to a lot more these days than the YouTube tutorials that made her beauty-scene famous and is using Snapchat (mainly) to broadcast all kinds of information — from her diet and exercise plan to her thoughts on overcoming anxiety. Hill is also gearing up for the launch of her own makeup collection later this year, she noted. 

But even with all that posting — YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter (not Facebook, she rarely checks in there) — Hill reserves most of her personality for those closest to her — mainly, her family.

WWD: When you wake up, what’s the first social media platform you check?

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Jaclyn Hill: The first one I always open on my phone is Twitter. I feel like not that many people like Twitter anymore, but I’m a die-hard for Twitter because my subscribers are the realest on my Twitter; they are very open in communication with me. I see what they’re saying, what they’re requesting … people send me cute pictures, photos of inspiration. They ask me for advice on anxiety, advice on how to make a marriage work, and I’m like, “They must think that I’m Jesus, I do not have all the answers, I do not know.” Instagram can get so crazy – there are people commenting on my pictures all the time who don’t even know me, and on Twitter, only the people who actually know me are going to tweet me.

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WWD: What other platforms do you pay attention to consistently?

J.H.: Definitely Instagram. When I post a photo I go back to that photo for several days to look at the comments, respond to the comments and see what people are saying.

WWD: You’re active on Snapchat. How does that play into the equation?

J.H.: Snapchat is definitely one of the most important social media [platforms] right now because of the fact that it’s like mini YouTube videos. Once I got Snapchat, people stopped requesting so many videos from my YouTube channel because they started feeling like they were getting to know me more through my Snapchat. Now it’s like, I love a beauty product and I just say on Snapchat — “Oh my god you guys, I love this new deodorant, look at this new perfume” — whatever it is, and I don’t have to sit down in front of a camera with the lights and the production. It’s a quicker, easier way of connecting with your audience in a more personal way.

WWD: How frequently do you respond to people who leave comments?

J.H.: Definitely not even close to every message. I probably get, like, 10,000 tweets a day, so I could never respond to all of them. When I’m in the car and my sister’s driving I’ll jump on Instagram and Twitter and respond to a couple people. 

WWD: What types of post do you find get the most engagement?

J.H.: The thing that gets the most engagement number one, hands down, is anything with my husband. Any time I post a photo of my husband and I together, they’re always my most liked photos. I think people love love. I only post pictures like every other month, I don’t want to be that person who’s posting pictures of their husband every day.

Now that I’ve gotten more into fitness and health, that’s actually my number-one most engaged thing. My number one photo on Instagram, which has close to 500,000 likes, is my before and after picture. On Snapchat when I posted this protein, my engagement went through the roof — I had almost 100,000 screenshots on that protein powder.

Or highlight — anytime I post a picture where my highlight is beaming, people die. People love a beaming glow.

WWD: Who do you follow?

J.H.: I follow tons of beauty influencers. I follow fashion people for sure — I love my bloggers. I just started following fitness people on Instagram. I started following this Instagram called Squatguide and it makes me want to do squats all day long.

WWD: Do you feel like one of these platforms is winning?

J.H.: Snapchat is the king. Snapchat is the ruler. I’ve talked to other people in the industry and everyone says Snapchat makes them the most money if they’re going to post coupon codes. It’s definitely the most engaged out of everything.

WWD: What’s the hardest part of creating content?

J.H.: YouTube is definitely the hardest just because it’s so time-consuming. The hardest part is finding the time — I do everything myself. I’ve been trying to find someone to edit my videos for me but right now I do everything: from beginning to end, one video takes me anywhere from eight hours to 14 hours. I have to put it on my actual calendar.

WWD: When you’re not on camera, how high-maintenance are you?

J.H.: I’d love to say I’m high-maintenance, but I’m the most low-maintenance when it comes to my beauty routine outside of YouTube. Especially now working out four or five days a week…I wake up, I wash my face, I take a shower, I put on deodorant and I run out the door.

WWD: What are some of the products that you really can’t live without?

J.H.: The first thing that comes to mind are these all natural body cleansing wipes, they’re called Good Wipes. I’m obsessed. Because of working out and my busy schedule I take them with me to the gym and use them in the gym bathroom before I run out the door and go to a meeting. I cannot live without the Lavanila deodorant, the Sport Luxe one. As far as makeup products go, the Dior Forever foundation, the new Morphe prep-and-set setting spray — it’s in an aerosol can and sprays out the most fine mist ever. Ouai has a dry shampoo foam. I use it when my hair is freshly clean and it gives it so much volume.

For perfume I have two: Bulgari Crystal and Chanel Chance. The other one is Marc Jacobs Daisy. I went in when I was young and got a sample for my wedding day from Nordstrom, and when I got dressed I sprayed the entire sample sized bottle in my hair, all over my body, all over my dress — drenched myself. For our first anniversary [my husband] bought me the tiniest bottle of Marc Jacobs Daisy and I’ll only spray the tiniest amount. For nails I’m currently doing acrylic, every two weeks. I always wear neutral nail polish — I wish I was less basic — and I do a tapered square shape, like not fully coffin but kind of coffin.

WWD: Who do you look to for style and beauty inspiration?

J.H.: Emily Gemma from The Sweetest Thing. Her outfits are so simple and day-to-day and I have a hard time wearing day-to-day. But when it comes to a red carpet event, I’ve got you. Even my sister Rachel honestly, she’s really good at throwing on mascara and tinted moisturizer and a cute outfit and making it work. I’m either homeless or ready for the Grammy’s. As far as celebrities, I love Rihanna’s style, Kylie Jenner has had some good moments recently too.

WWD: How do you decide how much to share on social media, versus what to keep private? 

J.H.: I don’t have a social media plan. I kind of just wing it and see what happens. I try to be open and honest about the realities of my life but I also have to keep some things held back. People will misread me and it’ll cause me sadness. Even though I put so much out there, I’m a private person, my family knows me in a way that no one else does, but I give like 5 percent of that to my social media and I feel like that’s enough.