Did Kylie Jenner Really Rip Off This Makeup Artist? Copyrighting in the Digital-Age of Beauty


Copyright laws are difficult to navigate in any business, but especially so in the beauty industry. With so many creative and talented people constantly inventing and re-inventing new looks, it can be hard to say who owns which creation. So how does one copyright their artistic ideas within the beauty space?

Kylie Jenner has found herself in the midst of a media firestorm, accused of ‘ripping off’ LA-based make-up artist Vlada Haggerty. Jenner has had incredible success with her cosmetics line, Kylie Cosmetics, and many diehard fans have been quick to jump to her defense. However, Jenner’s Holiday Collection campaign does look very similar to the images Haggerty posted online predating her adverts. This sort of issue can be a slippery slope, especially in a creative field like beauty.

Yours or mine?

Social media has become ingrained in our daily lives. Information and content is accessible and in shareable bite-size pieces… so it’s fair to say the line between ‘copying’ and being inspired by your peers needs to be addressed. It’s still a blurry line for attorneys and companies to work out. Once something is shared publicly, it’s difficult to control what happens to the content. Haggerty had the original idea, but by posting publicly online to Instagram, she left herself open to vague regulations surrounding intellectual property.

Laws are currently being tweaked and reworked to provide some protection to online images. On Instagram, ‘regramming’ allows users to give credit to the original author of images and content while re-posting. It’s the safe and respectful way to show your admiration for another’s work. But to protect all users in case of infringement, the social media giant has a constantly evolving set of guidelines. In them, they provide information about image uploading and the rules when it comes to posting ideas or inspiration.


Here is a full and detailed list of Instagram’s Community Guidelines.

And when it’s more complicated than that, check out this link to your region’s Copyright Office.

If you’re sure your intellectual property is being used without consent, you can also file a claim with Instagram themselves to resolve the matter. Fill out the form here.


Editor’s note: This article has been altered from the original version to reflect new information. 

Jill England

Jill England

Jill likes to share usable information with readers spanning industries such as food, travel, beauty, sports, pets, holistic health, and all things green. She's a curious and avid consumer of information of all kinds to enable continuous learning and sharing.
Jill England