If you’re not familiar with the controversy from May 2016, Kylie Jenner’s lipstick line was rumored to be very similar in formula as another brand, ColourPop, that uses the same manufacturer. A lot of the upset started when a YouTube beauty blogger named Stephanie Nicole did a “Take Two Review” comparing ColourPop’s formula with the original Kylie Lip Kit formula and the updated Kylie formula.
Just a side-by-side for you: a ColourPop lipstick runs at about $6, whereas Kylie lipstick costs a pretty penny at $17. The only problem is that Kylie’s brand ONLY contains ingredients also found in the ColourPop formula and nothing more. The first four ingredients in both lipsticks are identical and in the same order as far as percentage of content.
In fact, the majority of difference between the two formulas is merely the coloring used. The two brands do not have the same colors, but are otherwise eerily similar. This wouldn’t matter all that much if Kylie Jenner’s lipstick didn’t cost three times as much.
There is an almost $24 price difference between buying a package lip liner and lipstick from the two brands. Stephanie, the Youtube blogger, made a good point by saying that part of the price difference is undoubtedly the mere ability to use Kylie’s name on the branding. The company has to pay her to do that, of course, and therefore the lipstick price must go up in order to keep normal profit margins they would receive on other brand lipsticks.
So, what is a brand name worth? With the Kylie Lip Kit, it seems to be approximately $11 a product, or 283% markup from $6.
There are some obvious ethical issues with advertising a product that is about 95% the same as another as completely different in quality. Kylie Jenner was fairly transparent about using the same manufacturing facility as ColourPop, but that’s a far cry from admitting her brand is really only worth five or six bucks without her name plastered on the packaging.
I personally have no bias for or against Kylie Jenner or the Kardashians and actually would regard them to be smart businesspeople, regardless of how they present themselves for reality TV purposes. However, after looking into this lip kit controversy, I can’t say that I would trust Kylie’s products to be much higher quality than any competitors’. Save yourself $11 and just buy a ColourPop lipstick.
Stephanie’s Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfJS4AeesAU