Updated: May 14th, 2022
Makeup lovers are calling out ColourPop Cosmetics for ripping off artist @naezrahlooks in their latest paid influencer campaign.
The brand came under fire when beauty creator @blondetaki posted a side-by-side of Naezrah’s viral colourful under eye look alongside screenshots of sponsored TikTok content by influencers Abby Roberts and Gabrielle Alexis.
In the TikToks, which appear to have been deleted at the time of writing, Abby and Gabrielle used ColourPop products to re-create Naezrah’s trending look for the brand’s birthday campaign.
Both TikToks included “ad” in the caption, implying the brand had paid both artists to re-create this viral look.
“Confused as to why ColourPop hired creators to use @Naezrah’s look for paid ads instead of hiring and paying her?” Taki tweeted.
She went on to say that ColourPop should have paid the original creator rather than paying larger influencers to re-create her look. She also noted that this is part of a bigger issue for Black creators who consistently find their content and ideas censored, suppressed, and stolen by white creators, especially on TikTok.
While it’s unclear if Naezrah’s look was included in ColourPop’s influencer brief, both Abby and Gabrielle openly used her look as inspiration for their video.
“For those who aren’t reading the thread. The looks are reactions of Naezrah’s work used for ADS,” she continued after some users defended a creator’s right to re-create looks they are inspired by and jump on viral trends. “The two other creators have a combined 19 MILLION followers. They are getting paid top $ to create a Black artist’s work instead of CP just paying a Black artist…See the problem?”
Naezrah responded to Taki’s tweets, saying these big creators were “literally all in my comments” when her colourful under eye look blew up.
“You literally made this trend and the brand should be paying you to do this and not approving others to use ur look for ADs,” Taki replied.
“I wasn’t even tagged. Happens all the time to Black creators,” Naezrah wrote.
While the brand has not responded to the backlash at the time of writing, ColourPop’s Twitter mentions have been flooded with consumers demanding they give Naezrah the credit she deserves.
It appears the brand has also pulled these ads.
This is not the first time ColourPop has been called out for its treatment of Black creators.
In April 2020, the brand copped backlash online for posting a lack of diversity and inclusivity across their social media feeds, prompting creators to take matters into their own hands.
Makeup artist and tarot card reader @killerkingggg posted on April 18th, 2020 urging Black creators to share beauty looks using as many ColourPop products as possible. “We need ColourPop to see BLACK CREATORS,” he tweeted. “So what I wanna do is shove us in their face. Let’s all do a look using as much ColourPop as you can. And post using the hashtag #ColourpopMeBLACK.”
He tagged friends, including makeup artist @NeonMUA who shared a thread detailing the reasons behind this call to action, including why this movement is important.
In the thread, he said that while ColourPop had posted a “sprinkle of melanin” on their Instagram at the time, it was simply not enough. He encouraged users to scroll back and note the alleged consistent lack of diversity, including a lack of representation for Black male creators and Black trans creators.
The call to action sparked a movement on Twitter, with thousands of Black creators jumping on board to create looks and inspire change.
On May 13th, Naezrah tweeted that she had a phone call with ColourPop to discuss the situation.
“I had a call with @ColourPopCo this morning and it went well,” she wrote. “We went over where mistakes were made and pointers for the future so situations like this don’t happen again as well as why it happened. I’ll keep you guys posted with more soon :)”.
Though it seems ColourPop reached out to Naezrah amid the backlash, beauty lovers are sure to keep a close eye on the brand’s social media strategy moving forward.