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The Rise and Fall of Morphe Brushes

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Founded in 2008 by Linda and Chris, brother and sister. Didn’t have a beauty background.

  • Linda - teacher

    • Always interested in beauty but couldn’t afford the prestige brands. Felt they were ripping people off with their high price point. Wanted to provide high quality products with a better, more affordable price point.

  • Chris - automotive

From their website: “Morphe was born in 2008 among the artists and influencers in Los Angeles. Finally. A beauty brand created for the creators. For the dreamers. For those looking for killer makeup without killing their wallet. A place where our #MorpheBabe can let their passion and creativity for beauty fly high. We’re more than just a brand; we’re a ride-or-die fam. At Morphe, there are no rules. Stereotypes? Not interested. We’re real all the way. Dare to create. Push those boundaries. Make an impact. Show the world your true, vivid, exploding colors.
You do you. And no one else. Blend the rules, Morphe Babe.”

Influencers they have worked with and say they are working with as of now (these are ones that are more known to myself, but there are some others):

  • *Jaclyn Hill

  • Danessa Myricks

  • Ashley Strong

  • Brookelle McKenzie

  • Madison Beer

Past work with:

  • Nakita Dragun

  • Manny MUA

  • Laura Lee

  • Kathleen Lights

  • *Jeffree Star

  • *James Charles

*CONTROVERSIAL influencers.

MORPHE really was one of the first brands to utilize influencers to promote their product. This was during the time of influencer marketing and when it was really taking off. Morphe Babes are those who had an affiliate code with the company or were somehow associated with making a commission from promoting the brand. During the 2010s, the FTC didn’t have regulations on the promotion of a product without actually disclosing it, in regards to influencers. They do now, however.

Here for the Tea exposed the whole thing and many felt lied to because all these influencers were receiving a quick payout with those affiliate links, and commissions that they didn’t disclose.

2016 - it was rumored that Morphe was doing private labeling. It was never confirmed. It was rumored that Crown Brush was the labeler for Morphe products because their products were so similar.

  • Private labeling: one large brand that has the resources to create something, then you can purchase that product and put your label on it. It’s nothing that is custom curated.

    • This can be done with palettes, brushes, etc. and there are different levels of private labeling.

Morphe started to open brick and mortar stores - which sold more than just the Morphe brand. Think about Beauty Bay and that’s what it reminds me of. And they are now in other retailers like Ulta Beauty and Target.

These are some of the other brands that are currently listed on their site:


  • Beauty Bakerie

  • P Louise

  • SUVA Beauty

  • Danessa Myricks

  • Dragun Beauty

  • Grande Cosmetics

  • Iconic London

  • House of Lashes

2017 - Drama in the 2017 era with the Vault Collection with Jaclyn Hill. These were shades she didn't include with her original release of the 35 pan palette. They were sent to influencers for those “pre-reviews” and they were a disaster. So Morphe recalled all of the palettes and then re-released the vault collection…which was also a disaster.

2018 - James Charles palette which blew up all over the internet. And really grew James’ career besides his ties with Tati Westbrook.

2020 - FORMA Brands was founded in 2020 and now includes Morphe. They wanted to be a brand incubator like Seed Beauty (owner of Colourpop)

Brand incubators are an organization that helps startup companies and individual entrepreneurs to develop their businesses by providing a full scale range of services starting with management training and office space and ending with venture capital financing.

As the Incubator they started in-house brands such as:

  • Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics

  • Morphe 2

  • Bad Habit

  • Such Good Everything … but I have never heard about this brand, ever. I believe they’re out of business now.

  • It’s rumored that they also had a hand in REM Beauty.

2018 to 2021 - Drama drama drama. Jeffree Star and James Charles. There was a lot of drama from both of these two. It was rumored that Morphe played a part in Jeffree Star Cosmetics. These two creators were tied to Tati and the whole 'buy sisters' video, which has since been removed from Tati's channel. Morphe didn’t disassociate themself with James and Jeffrey right away. They did a James Charles mini palette.

Then more allegations surface regarding James Charles and apparently they disassociated themselves with him soon after that. But it took them several years to do so. Which really damaged their reputation.

The quality of their products really changed. There were several videos on the internet about the Jaclyn Hill formula drastically changing from the first palette - when they restocked and it was completely different.

While it is perfectly fine for a company to change their formula, Morphe was constantly hiding it and denying it even when creators did comparisons between old and new Jaclyn Palettes.

2022 - FORMA Brands filed chapter 11 bankruptcy… While this doesn’t always mean the closing of a business, it can mean restructuring as well. They noted the pandemic and scandals with influencers lead to losing business.

2023 - Morphe officially announced the closure of all of their U.S. Stores on their social feeds. But their product can still be found in those other retailers such as Ulta and Target.

  • Morphe kept the closing of their stores hush hush for months. There are videos all over Youtube and TikTok regarding this. Employees didn’t know the future of their retail store. They would show up and there wouldn’t be replenishment of products. Stores were pretty much empty before the holidays and were given days notice that the store would be closing, not weeks.

The biggest downfall of Morphe is the treatment of their employees in their stores, with the secrecy of them closing without notice to the employees. It is all over “justice for Morphe employees” and I would not be surprised if we see some class action lawsuits soon regarding Morphe and their former employees.


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