It’s not uncommon for a frenzy to erupt every time YouTube beauty guru Jaclyn Hill launches makeup.
When the she released the Champagne Pop highlighter with Becca in 2015, it sold out in 20 minutes. When her second collaboration with Becca dropped one year later, she did it yet again, selling out the Champagne Collection in a little over an hour. By the end of 2017, she managed to sell one million of the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill eye shadow palettes after it launched six months prior.
But while her other cosmetics collaborations blew up the internet, behind-the-scenes Hill was tirelessly working on her true passion project: an eponymous makeup brand, Jaclyn Cosmetics, which officially launches today with a line of 20 nude lipsticks. And based on the success of her previous products, this one’s sure to be just as big (if not even bigger!) of a hit.
Hill’s diehard followers know the launch of her cosmetics company has been a long time coming.
“This has been five years in the making. I thought I would be done in a year and a half, but I started having issues with the lab I was working with,” the 28-year-old former freelance makeup artist tells PEOPLE. “It took forever to build the perfect team and find a lab that could produce hundreds of thousands of units.”
But it was important for Hill to take time perfecting her product, from the glitzy packaging to the rich and buttery formula, before introducing it to the world.
“I didn’t want to be that YouTuber who launched a brand that was subpar and people are like, okay nice try,” she says. “I wanted something that’s incredible right off the bat.”
PEOPLE caught up with Hill to talk all things makeup in honor of the highly anticipated launch of Jaclyn Cosmetics — find out all about her namesake brand below.
Why launch with lipsticks and more specifically, all shades of nude?
When I think of my first memories of makeup, I think of lipstick. I can still smell my grandma’s Mary Kay lipstick that she wore all the time. I wanted to start off with a go-to product that everyone needs at any age. It doesn’t matter if you’re 14 years old or 70 years old, you want to have a good neutral lipstick. Nowadays, people launch lipstick and only give us three neutral colors. Everyone wants their perfect nude, so I developed a large range with different undertones that have been tested on so many skin tones.
How many shades did you test before settling down on these final 20?
Probably 250 to 300 different ones. It was time consuming but so much fun. I would carry samples around in my purse at all times. There was one time I was at my friend’s house and she had another friend there who had the most unique, beautiful deep skin tone. I was like, “Hi. I know we have never met before and this might seem kind of weird, but I have these lipsticks in my purse and I’m wondering if you could try this color on for me?” So I sanitized it and she tried it on and loved it.
How do you want to make Jaclyn Cosmetics different from other makeup brands on the market?
I want to be a brand that people can trust. No matter what I launch, they will know it is going to be amazing. That’s why I wanted to start with lipstick, because it’s basic. They have great ingredients like Murumuru, Shea and mango butter, they’re creamy, they feel luxurious and they smell great. I’m starting off with this as a base of my line and building it from there.
What are your personal favorite three shades on yourself?
My top three are Amazeballs, Nude AF and Obsessed. I can’t step away from them.
Did you turn to any of your fellow beauty YouTubers with makeup companies for tips as you were developing your own?
No, I actually haven’t asked for any advice from any YouTubers at all. I’ve talked to a few brand owners and CEOs about the do’s and dont’s. But more than anything, I’ve been following my gut. It’s a family business between me, my mom and my sister. I’ve been trying really hard to talk to the normal, everyday, average women and men who are interested in makeup, because I want my products to appeal to them.
Launching a makeup company is a huge endeavor. Who’s been your biggest cheerleader throughout the process?
My mom, 100 percent. She’s been at every single meeting, to every single lab and on every single phone call with me. I let her make her own lipstick and it’s named Mom. It’s the most pinky, rosy color in the range. She wanted to create one that looked just like her lip color but just a little bit better. Every time we talk about my line she bursts into tears. She’s like, “I can’t believe it’s finally happening!”
Did you use social media to poll your followers about what they want to see from Jaclyn Cosmetics?
Oh yes. My subscribers don’t even realize how involved they have been in the process. Even four or five years ago when I first started I would ask them questions. I usually ask them questions on Twitter. They’ve helped me name my lipsticks. They’ve helped me pick out the scent for my lipsticks. They helped me pick out the next product I will be launching later this year.
You’ve been on YouTube for nearly 9 years and have almost 6 million subscribers. Who’s given you the best advice about handling life in the public eye?
Kim Kardashian West. When I filmed with her, I was talking to her about the internet being so cruel. She told me that you have to get to a point where you realize that it’s not real life and put your phone down and walk away. Like, do not let it affect you. For some reason, hearing that from someone who has so many followers and gets so much hate, I was like, if she can do it, so can I.
What’s next for Jaclyn Cosmetics?
I am working on some really beautiful face products. I am so damn picky, so it’s a big challenge!