Wet n Wild vs Morphe x James Charles palette: A look back on brands Morphe copied from

As I wrote in my last blog post, Wet n Wild Beauty broke Twitter yesterday when they showed their upcoming 40 Palette that's to launch this later this fall. James Charles got wind of it and posted these two tweets.

While the Morphe x James Charles palette and the Wet n Wild 40 Palette are similar in the color story, that's all it has in common. WnW packaging is completely different. The artwork on the packaging is completely different. I'm waiting on WnW PR lady to send me the official PR photos but based on their IG page, the 40 Palette is using the standard 40 pan palette packaging that many companies, including Morphe, uses. It's not exclusive to Morphe at all and thus does NOT violate Morphe's trade dress.

Wet n Wild 40 Palette
Photo from Wet n Wild Instagram

When we look at the official photos of Morphe x James Charles palette vs the social media photo of Wet N Wild's palette there are numerous differences than similarities.

The exterior packaging is radically different. The interior packaging layout is different with the James palette consisting of four rows of eight pans and one of seven larger pans for a total of 39 pans. The WnW palette is consistent with all five rows containing eight pans across for a total of 40 pans.

As for the color story, the color stories are similar however the shades appear to be radically different. We don't know about the finish of WnW so we don't know if it's a mix of mattes, shimmers, and pearls or what. It also appears, possibly due to the lighting of the convention center, that the WnW palette are warmer tones whereas the James palette is more vivid.

So as far as the Wet n Wild 40 Palette being a complete rip off, I just don't see it. It reminds me of the old 88/120 palettes more than James.

Now let me get into Morphe ripping off other brands. Let me start with Viseart Paris.

Several years ago, in 2015, Morphe outright stole Viseart's Bright Editorial palette layout and packaging to create their Picasso palette. They then used their influencers to heavily push the Picasso palette claiming it was on par with Viseart but without the price point. Dupe That shilled this story on her IG (still up) while promoting her Morphe code saying the quality is essentially the same but Morphe was cheaper. Once non-influencers began to get their hands on the palette it was discovered (shocker) that Morphe and influencer swatches were highly manipulated and were not pigmented as claimed. Morphe quietly pulled the Picasso palette after a short time.

Circa 2015: Viseart copied by Morphe.
Swatches faked by Dupe That to compare Morphe to Viseart.
Manipulated swatches from Morphe's page.
As for the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette (the white palette) vs Makeup Geek. Jaclyn was to collaborate with Makeup Geek back in 2015 on a palette that ended up not happening. From emails, which both Jaclyn AND Marlena Stell have confirmed as legitimate, the packaging for the Makeup Geek x Jaclyn palette was supposed to be white packaging with Makeup Geek on the cover with Jaclyn's signature in a rose gold foil and on the back four photobooth style photos and a blurb about Jaclyn.

Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette

Jaclyn, while working with Makeup Geek, was also working with Morphe on the EXACT same palette (the white palette) and ended up ditching Makeup Geek at the last minute (after pushing the release off for almost a year). When the Morphe palette was released the packaging was IDENTICAL to what Makeup Geek and Jaclyn were working on but was never released.

The following are excerpts from the emails exchanged between a former Makeup Geek employee and Jaclyn Hill. These email excerpts show that the Makeup Geek x Jaclyn Hill palette concept was used by Morphe for their Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette.

Now let me get into Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Vault vs Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop trade dress violation. In 2015, while Jaclyn was working with Makeup Geek she also was working with Becca Cosmetics on what was to become the Champagne Pop collection. The collection was a big hit, except for the eyeshadows that were made in China instead of their US manufacturer. Due to Jaclyn throwing Becca under the bus for the subpar palette they had a falling out. Jaclyn really didn't care since she was working with Morphe at the same time.

So fast forward to early 2018 when Jaclyn announced she and Morphe were releasing more palettes together. These palettes became known as The Vault collection. People quickly realized that the design for The Vault palettes was nearly identical to the Champagne Pop collection.

Image from Morphe's Instagram page.
Image from Becca Cosmetics Instagram page.
This lead to Becca issuing a C&D against Morphe, and Morphe lying that they were halting the sales because of quality issues - that was a lie and those bad palettes were still sold via ULTA. In turn, Morphe sued Becca but ended up withdrawing their case.

At the same time this was taking place, Morphe x Jaclyn Hill released a set of makeup brushes called The Face Master which was infringing on Gaby Ros Makeup's registered trademark of The FaceMaster, which is also a makeup brush.

By LAW, this was a blatant trademark infringement because both companies sold similar products and would cause confusion in the market place. Morphe totally ignored Gaby for weeks but ended up relenting and renamed their collection but never pulled the products from the market and instead waited for ULTA to sell out. They also refused to pay Gaby for the trademark infringement and essentially threatened her.

Now in more recent times, Morphe has been importing from Jiaxing Huasheng Cosmetics a product, yet to be released, called Dipbrow Pomade. Thing is Dipbrow is a registered trademark of Anastasia Beverly Hills. Claudia, aka Norvina, was made aware of it, and so far Morphe hasn't released the Dipbrow. Supposedly it's a collab with Jaclyn Hill but that's speculation.

So James, exactly how is Wet n Wild copying the palette released by Morphe? Sure, similar color story but other than that where's the copycatting? Let's not forget, James, you've been accused of outright stealing content from other artists so instead of getting upset over Wet n Wild maybe you should look at the things you and Morphe have done to others over the years.


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