Jaclyn Hill Gets Real About How Much Beauty Influencers Make on Sponsored Posts

Jaclyn Hill has become one of the most recognizable beauty influencers in the world, thanks in part to her collaboration with Morphe. But she already had millions of YouTube subscribers before that partnership, and many viewers have understandably assumed she makes a lot of her money through sponsored posts on her channel, like so many high-profile influencers do on theirs. However, in one of the longest videos she's ever posted, Hill sets out to make something perfectly clear: she doesn't do sponsored posts.

"Marlena made a video talking about the beauty community,” Hill says, referring to a recent video posted by Makeup Geek founder Marlena Stell. The video has gotten a lot of attention for calling out how much some beauty influencers demand for sponsored content or mere product mentions. "In this video, she drops a big number and says how, you know, she was getting charged $60,000 for a sponsored video — like, sponsored content — and I think she said $20,000 or $40,000 for an Instagram post." Hill explains that, as soon as Stell's video went up, commenters came for Hill on social media, assuming she was who Stell was talking about and saying they couldn't believe she charges so much for sponsored posts.

Hill, however, says she doesn't charge $60,000 for sponsored posts because she doesn't do sponsored posts. “I could be making so much more money than I am. The deals that I get in my emails honestly shock me,” she says. "I’ve had brands reach out to me and be like, ‘Hey, wanna work together? We’re willing to pay you $50,000 to introduce our new foundation.’ The reason why I don’t do it is because it usually always comes with a list of stuff that I have to say and things I can’t say." Hill explains that the brands making the offers typically insist on using specific language and omitting mentions of brands that may be considered competitors. So because she can't just be herself and say what she wants, she doesn't accept the offers.

I could be making so much more money than I am. The deals that I get
in my emails honestly shock me.

She does, however, confirm that some beauty influencers are definitely demanding tens of thousands of dollars for sponsored posts, and that she's even aware of someone charging $150,000 right now. “Yeah, $60,000 is a pretty normal price for people to charge,” Hill says. “People who do sponsorships — honey, $60,000 is just the beginning. I sat at a table with a bunch of influencers last year, and everyone was talking about sponsorships and brand deals and trips and just stuff like that. And some of that table told me, ‘Oh yeah, I get paid $70,000 just to mention a product. Like if I am doing a makeup tutorial and I just, like, use a blush, as long as I talk about it for 30 seconds, I get paid $70,000.' And I was like, what?!"

So other than views from the ads YouTube runs before her videos, how does Hill make money on the platform? "I have used affiliate links and affiliate codes, and I’m always honest about that and the money I make from that. I earn commission off of those links and off those codes," she explains, noting that's how she would make money from Makeup Geek in the past. "I had an affiliate link that I put down in the description box. If you clicked on it, I made 10 percent commission, and that’s how it was. And then I’d have to go in and request the payout whenever I wanted."

Hill confesses that she has, in fact, done one sponsored post with Ulta, for which she received what she calls a "humble" amount of money. But even though she hasn't done any others, she wouldn't be opposed to doing them in the future if brands would be willing to loosen up a bit. “If someone were to give me free range and be like, ‘Hey, talk about this product,’ then hell yeah, I would take a sponsorship, but that’s not really the way it works. At least that’s not the way it’s worked for me," she says. And she doesn't judge other influencers who choose to do them.

“I really don’t see an issue with it because if you’re charging $100,000 for a video but you’re making that company a million dollars because of your video, that’s 10 percent, and you should be getting paid. If you’re in a contract with them and they’re sponsoring you, get your coin."

Watch Hill discuss this, her delayed Morphe palettes, and more in the full video:

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