Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery — at least, according to James Charles.
The beauty blogger and social media star accused Wet n Wild on Saturday of copying an eyeshadow palette he created with the makeup retailer Morphe.
Wet n Wild debuted its new eyeshadow palette this weekend at RuPaul’s DragCon, a convention celebrating drag and queer culture in New York. The company said on Twitter that “40 Palette,” aptly named for the 40 shades of eyeshadow it contains, will hit the Wet n Wild website this fall.
Soon enough, Charles called out the drugstore brand for imitating his palette, which contains 39 colors of eyeshadow.
“That’s crazy… your “NEW” palette looks extremely similar,” he wrote on Twitter.
Here’s what the James Charles Palette looks like, if you want to compare for yourself.
Sure, no one has a monopoly on colors, as Charles mentioned later. But Wet n Wild’s new palette does appear to bear an uncanny resemblance to the James Charles Palette, featuring nearly identical colors in a nearly identical arrangement.
“there are only so many colors you can put into an eyeshadow palette & I’m not claiming to “own” specific colors. BUT when you copy the exact shades & layout from my palette without even TRYING to hide it…?” Charles wrote in another tweet.
Charles fans and other enthusiastic defenders soon joined in, directing similar complaints at Wet n Wild.
A request for comment through a form on Wet n Wild’s website wasn’t immediately returned, but on Twitter, the company brushed off accusations that it copied Charles’ product.
“We certainly didn’t copy the price,” it said in response to a now-deleted tweet from a user.
The James Charles Palette retails for $39. Wet n Wild, which has long been a cult favorite among broke teenagers and anyone else who balks at the idea of shelling out $39 for eyeshadow, told users on Twitter that its palette would retail for $25 to $29.
The company responded to copycat complaints by pointing to a common beauty industry practice known as dupes — cheaper, comparable alternatives to more expensive makeup.
Budget brands frequently manufacture their own versions of high-end makeup products and sell them at lower prices, and beauty bloggers and lifestyle publications often round up the best dupes for in-demand cosmetics.
But by the estimations of Charles and others who rallied behind him, Wet n Wild’s latest eyeshadow palette isn’t a good look.