There’s nothing that delights a beauty fanatic more than high-quality, budget-friendly makeup — except, of course, budget-friendly makeup that’s virtually indistinguishable from the expensive stuff. The internet’s obsession with dupes is proof of that: A cheaper replica of that $30 lipstick everyone loves is hardly more than a Google search away. But at what point does a dupe stop being a happy "coincidence" and become a shameless rip-off?
That’s the question people have been asking of Makeup Revolution, a London-based beauty brand that markets almost exclusively in low-priced products that look uncannily like those you’d find from high-end brands, down to the packaging. But Kat Von D just called out the company for what she believes to be an egregious copy via Instagram — and, by association, to her 5.7 million followers.
The brand has raised eyebrows with its product clones — including Charlotte Tilbury lipstick look-a-likes, as well as blushes that don’t just look like a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick but are actually called Shimmer Brick — in the past, and has even spoken out on the subject. “Dupes are a recognised and celebrated part of the fashion and beauty industry, and consumers love them,” they told Cosmo UK. “We never knowingly infringe any design copyright or patent.”
But this kind of public callout is definitely a first. Von D posted a side-by-side photo comparing her own Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette, which retails at $48, to the Makeup Revolution Ultra Eye Contour Light & Shade Palette, which is a fraction of the price at $15. The case is convincing, and it’s probably safe to say that the drugstore brand drew some inspiration from Von D’s cult-favorite version — including the name, which is really just a scrambled version of the original with the word “Ultra” tacked on at the front. (It seems as though subtlety isn't exactly Makeup Revolution’s strong suit.)
Von D’s fans have stepped in to back her up on the claims, even calling the palette an “exact copy” rather than an innocuous dupe in the first place. But will Makeup Revolution actually come under fire for the accusation, or will Von D’s attempt backfire by inadvertently enlightening shoppers to the fact that they can buy a similar palette (at least in shade choice, quality notwithstanding) for a third of the price? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out — because we’re sure this won’t be the last we hear of the drama.