Recently, Kat Von D took to Instagram to scorn Makeup Revolution by posting an image (below) showing her ‘Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette’ above Makeup Revolution’s ‘Ultra Eye Contour – Light and Shade Palette’.
The caption accused Makeup Revolution of copying her design, using hashtags including ‘#bootleg’ and ‘#cheapass’. The following day she also published a vlog on YouTube titled “Dupes vs. Rip offs”, which explained her frustrations with ‘dupe makeup’. In the video, she made reference to the amount of time and creative effort that was put into designing the product, claiming Makeup Revolution had ‘jumped on her coattails’.
This divided her followers. Many encouraged cheaper alternatives, whilst others dismissed these brands as design thieves; some even said they would boycott Makeup Revolution. I found it interesting that Kat Von D didn’t decide to publicly ridicule Smashbox, despite their recent ‘Cover Shot Eyeshadow Palettes’ using the same layout as her Shade & Light palette (although, in Smashbox’s defence, they have made the effort to use different colour schemes, and have one less ‘set’ of eye shadows in the pan).
However, this still raises issues with Kat’s attack on ‘Dupes’. Kat might have singled out Makeup Revolution because they are lesser known, and therefore less likely to win a popularity contest with her. Or, she may simply have not acknowledged that another larger brand’s product shares similarities with one of hers. Though, it does seem strange to have researched one brand’s product and not anothers.
The video is also problematic as she labels Makeup Revolution a ‘rip off brand’. Whilst they may not use the same ingredients in their eye shadow formulas as Kat Von D, Makeup Revolution do pride themselves on using far better product formulas than actual ‘rip off’ brands. For example, the palette Kat attacks has a talc-free formula, which is almost exclusively found in high-end products.
“Many people said that is isn’t fair for Kat to try and compare Makeup Revolution’s dupe of her products to a rip-off”
Actual ‘rip off’ items can be found on sites such as eBay and AliExpress. These products look exactly like the original but contain harmful, and often banned ingredients. Many people said that is isn’t fair for Kat to try and compare Makeup Revolution’s dupe of her products to a rip-off, as it does prevent some people buying cheap, potentially harmful products online.
Makeup Revolution are well known for being a ‘dupe’ brand. Since establishing, they have duplicated products including Too Faced’s ‘Chocolate Bar Palettes’, Lorac’s ‘Pro Eyeshadow Palettes’, and most recently Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks.
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If anything, it can be assumed that Kat Von D has merely given the brand publicity, and has alerted her fans that there are cheaper options available than her £39/$46 eye shadow palettes. If these people also avoid the trap of assuming Makeup Revolution are a ‘rip off brand’, then they will also find that these cheaper ‘Dupes’ are in fact also of relatively fine quality.
As a student, I welcome any brand that attempt to create inexpensive versions of expensive cult classics. Personally, I don’t have the money to constantly use high-end cosmetics. If the ‘dupe’ isn’t absolutely identical, and the formulation is of a good standard, I really don’t see the problem.
What do you think about it? And whose position do you side with?