How Does MCoBeauty Get Away With Those Near-Identical Dupes? The CEO Just Explained It

MCoBeauty dupes

A popular US beauty TikToker has gone viral after discovering Australia’s best-kept secret that is MCoBeauty. The beauty line makes dupes of viral designer makeup products, including Charlotte Tilbury, Sol De Janeiro and Drunk Elephant

Mikayla Nogueira, who has almost 16 million followers on TikTok, is asking the question that we’ve all been thinking for yonks: how does MCoBeauty get away with imitating other products, and is it legal???

The last thing any of us want during this cost of living crisis is for our cheap makeup dupes to be snatched away from us, so I’m hoping MCoBeauty’s expansion into the US doesn’t awaken any litigious beasts over there. 

MCoBeauty dupes of Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, Sol De Janeiro and Nars creamy concealer

Some popular beauty products and their MCoBeauty dupes. (Image: MCoBeauty, Charlotte Tilbury, Sol De Janeiro, Nars)

It turns out that while it seems like a grey area – the company has been sued twice in the past for copyright infringement – creator and owner Shelley Sullivan insists everything is above board. 

“The brand is all about luxe for less and providing quality products at a luxe for less price,” she told ABC’s The Business

“Duping is what we call a pillar of our marketing strategy, and definitely not at the top of our funnel of how we market.” 

The founder admitted that the MCoBeauty Flawless Glow was the ‘closest to the line’ when it came to mimicking another product, the viral Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter. MCoBeauty’s version will set you back $35 at Woolworths, while Charlotte Tilbury’s version is $70 at Mecca.

Both the bottles have a round shape, with a ridged gold lid sitting on top. MCoBeauty copied the same red colour for the product name, but changed a few other key details. 

MCoBeauty’s trademarks and patent lawyer Len Mancini broke it down for ABC’s The Business, saying the product didn’t infringe on any of Charlotte Tilbury’s trademarks. 

“Let’s start with the word ‘flawless’. Charlotte Tilbury does not own the rights to the word ‘flawless’,” he said. 

“Charlotte Tilbury, from recollection, has a trademark for the phrase ‘Hollywood Flawless Filter’, but using the word ‘flawless’ is not an infringement on that trademark.”

The diamond shape that sits at the front of the bottle on the Charlotte Tilbury product is, in fact, a “protected asset”, which is why MCoBeauty used a circle instead. 

“There is no trademark infringement happening in this.”

So, when compared side to side – are the products comparable? 

“From what I’ve heard, this dupe is incredible,” beauty influencer Mikayla said, applying both products to the opposite sides of her face. 

“I feel like [MCoBeauty’s] version is actually glowier? Both are beautiful, just in their own way,” she said. “This whole thing just has me shook! I don’t know how they did it, but they did.” 

If you’re looking to save some $$ and get your hands on some MCoBeauty dupes, we’ve tested the latest drop for you here.

Feature image: TikTok @mikaylanogueira, MCoBeauty, Charlotte Tilbury