Disclaimer: This is my opinion – if you want to be negative – just leave.
It’s been a long while since I wrote a beauty related article, and over the past week or so, a topic that has been the talk of the industry is make-up dupes.
In particular, brands that actually strive to make their products direct copies of higher up brands.
Make-up isn’t cheap, especially high-quality, high-profile brands. Of course there is the odd exception to this, but for the most part, it can be a quite expensive hobby when doing makeup. If you are anything like me, the cost of some of these brands is a luxury and not something you can spend easily. Or even if you prefer cruelty-free/vegan products over easily accessible (yet tested on animals) products. And due to this, there are brands that create more affordable versions of the same products.
The reason the act of copying another brand has come into question so much lately has been due to Kat Von D calling out the brand Make Up Revolution for copying her “Shade & Light” palette. In the past, I have seen brands call out these smaller brands, such as Jeffree Star calling out Lime Crime (though not a smaller brand) for apparently ripping off his colour “Androgyny”, and never really thought much of it.
At first I didn’t really think much of it. Honestly, I didn’t think Kat was wrong or right for calling out this brand, I just didn’t really pay much attention to it. I have bought from Make Up Revolution before as well, in fact, I have bought palette dupes from them, as their version had no animal products rather than using Carmine (crushed up beetles to create a red pigment). The fact that this brand was so much cheaper than the actual brand name palettes was a pro but I bought them mainly for the fact they were vegan.
It wasn’t until Kat then released a video addressing the reason as to why she was so annoyed at this, that I realised how wrong copying these products were.
As an artist, one of the horrible consequences of putting your artwork out into the world of the internet, is that some stupid people tend to rip off this artwork and use it as their own. This happens for tattoo artists especially, as there are some other low-life so-called “artists” who take these designs, and then tattoo them on other people (ripping off both the artist and their client). As someone who wants to work as either a full-time artist, or a tattoo artist, the thought that someone could take my artwork as their own terrifies me.
This may not sound so bad to unartistic people, but think of it this way… you have spent hours and hours (sometimes longer) planning, creating, redoing some parts, to make this artwork the way you want it to look – it is your vision come to life by your hard work – only for some other person to take it, and claim it as their own hard work, and also profit off it.
And that is what Make Up Revolution, and so many other brands before that, have done wrong. Kat talks about how much time and planning goes into her products, the creation process… and this doesn’t just go for her brand alone, it also goes for so many other brands, the people and creative team behind the products; the products they create, that’s their babies – what they have spent countless hours working to create and make perfect.
There will always be dupes and colours that are similar to another colour, but when it comes down to directly ripping off another brand, that is stealing. For a company with no face, it can be easy to get away with – smaller brands such as Kat Von D beauty, Too Faced, Tarte, and even Lime Crime, it is easy to see where the items come from. Think of brands such as Storybook Cosmetics (as they are ruling the internet right now), for another brand to start creating a copy of their Harry Potter wand brushes, you can see how that is directly stealing their hard work for profit, it would be the same if someone where to copy the story you have written, or anything that you have created and taking credit and profit for it.
I do understand that unfortunately brands such as Kat von D beauty may be too expensive for some people, and also inaccessible – but instead of supporting brands that are directly stealing the work of others, look at brands that do similar hard work, and have similar colours. There are so many accounts on instagram and all over the internet, that give people other options for dupes, that aren’t profiting by stealing someone else’s hard work. ColourPop is an amazing company, with so many colours, that are extremely affordable, and some of their colours even look like that of higher brands.
Please think about this the next time you go to buy make-up, or look at dupe palettes.