Beauty YouTube star Manny 'Manny MUA' Gutierrez uploaded a video on March 15 pointing out the "identical" similarities between his own Lunar Beauty product and Makeup Revolution's new highlighter.
Since Makeup Revolution was launched in 2014 by Adam Minto and Tom Allsworth, the brand has been known for its affordable duplications of popular and more expensive products, with the goal to "develop quality makeup which is accessible to everyone."
The company has come out with dupes for many brands, including Anastasia Beverly Hills, Too Faced, Urban Decay, and more – and now, allegedly, Manny MUA's Lunar Beauty highlighter, too.
makeup revolution "blushing hearts" ($6) are dupes for too faced "sweethearts" ($30) pic.twitter.com/NbrECoTYyr
— Makeup (@makeupmanics) June 3, 2016
After seeing the similarities between MR's Glass Illuminator Face & Body Highlighter and Lunar Beauty's Moon Prism Powder, Manny took to YouTube to air his concerns. "All I can do is speak my truth, and speak about something that has been bothering me for a little while..." he began, holding up the two products. "... This is my brand, this is my highlighter compact, and this is the Makeup Revolution compact highlighter."
He then revealed how when a fan shared their concerns about the situation on Instagram, a rep for the company replied and said it was because the two brands shared a factory. "Honestly, this was not a dupe [situation]. Our development team had no idea. Any similarity will be due to shared factories, not any intention," they said.
The 28-year-old stated that he'd created the design himself with a team, that it was exclusive to his brand, and that it was not for commercial use. He also refuted the claim that they'd shared the same factory and showed proof that he'd come up with the design himself. "We reached out to our factory and asked 'did you share this moulding with anyone?' and they didn't!" he continued. "They did not even create Makeup Revolution's at all, this is not created in my factory! ... What's frustrating for me as a small indie brand to have another brand allegedly copy my design is so frustrating."
On March 16, Makeup Revolution shared a statement to Instagram regarding the situation, and acknowledged that there had been a "mistake" and that they were taking "immediate steps" to remove the product from sale.
"Revolution were presented this component by several third parties at a publicly attended trade fair in March 2019 and were led to believe that it was a freely available design," they said. "On launch of our product, Lunar Beauty’s legal team contacted us, but, despite our requests, failed to supply any evidence of his alleged copyright or trade dress right in his design, or even to identify or provide images or illustrations of the product that he claimed were at issue."
"Having seen MannyMUA’s video, released on Sunday 15 March 2020, in which he produces documentation purportedly showing the componentry tooling of his product (even if not any protectable copyright or trade dress rights in that product), as a matter of courtesy and out of an abundance of caution, we have taken the immediate steps to remove the product from sale and will notify our distributors to do the same," the statement read, ending on a note that they had "reached out to Manny to discuss this privately."
At the time of writing, the makeup artist has yet to respond to the statement, but echoed in his video that something like this can have a huge impact on indie brands who don't make as much financially compared to bigger, well-known companies.
MR claimed that their intention was "not to crush the spirit of entrepreneurialism" but that it was "to make beauty trends affordable for all" and that they have acted "quickly and passionately" to fix the mistake.