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James Charles Versus Wet n Wild Controversy Takes Over Social Media

James Charles, a popular beauty guru, recently claimed that makeup brand, Wet ‘n’ Wild, copied his popular eyeshadow palette collaboration with Morphe, entitled, “The James Charles Palette.” James Charles originally came into the spotlight in 2016 after becoming the first male spokesmodel for the popular drugstore brand, Covergirl. He is known for his YouTube makeup tutorials and reviews, as well as the near-constant drama that surrounds him. 

Wet ‘n’ Wild Tweeted a sneak peek of their new 40 color palette, which they recently debuted at RuPaul’s DragCon, on Saturday, Sep. 7. James Charles was quick to call the brand out on Twitter, writing “That’s crazy… your “NEW” palette looks extremely similar.”

James Charles’ fans also called out the brand over a similar style eyeshadow palette. Many called out the brand for not only making similar shades but also putting the shades in a similar placement. Twitter user, @ellsvaughan posted, “Lmao they just changed the size of the eyeshadows. Won’t be buying that lmao I prefer the James Charles one.” Others jumped to his defense by tweeting an infamous meme of the star.

However, some people were excited about the Wet ‘n’ Wild palette. They claimed that because Charles’ original eyeshadow palette was not unique, it was only a matter of time before someone would copy it. Twitter user, @TashaWorfolk said, “It’s cute that you think your palette was at all original.” Others expressed that they were thrilled with the new palette, as they did not support James Charles, but would now be able to pick up a product similar to his own. 

Wet ‘n’ Wild was quick to respond to the YouTuber and his fans’ complaints. They did not deny the allegations of copying his palette and instead joked about the price, tweeting, “We certainly didn’t copy the price.” However, the price of the Wet n Wild palette is not much less than that of the original James Charles Palette. On Morphe, the palette retails for $39. However, Wet ‘n’ Wild has claimed that their new palette will retail for approximately $25 to $29. They continued to express that even though their makeup is much more affordable than other brands, their products are still of good quality. 

This isn’t the first instance where makeup brands copied their higher-end competitors. Dupes, which are similar, less expensive products, are prominent features of the beauty community. A makeup brand, named Copycat Beauty, is known for creating dupes of popular, higher-end makeup for a fraction of the cost. For example, the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Eyeshadow palette retails for $49, while Copycat is selling a similar product for $8.99.

Wet ‘n’ Wild’s palette is due to be released later this fall. It is unknown if James Charles will be pursuing legal action.

Melissa Kuntzman is a senior double majoring in Editing, Writing and the Media and Political Science. When she's not reading for class, you can find her binge-watching Korean dramas or perfecting her homemade Mac & Cheese recipe.
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