Too Cool for School’s new makeup looks eerily similar to Charlotte Tilbury’s, and here’s why I personally have a problem with that

Too Cool for School’s Fixing Cover Foundation vs Charlotte Tilbury’s Charlotte’s Genius Magic Powder – Let’s talk Packaging Design.

The other day, as I was scrolling through my social media feeds, I saw that one of my favourite brands – Too Cool For School – had released a new cushion foundation.

If you’re not familiar with the brand: It hails from Korea as far as I can see, and has always been perceived by many consumers as to be on the forefront of new trends, featuring innovative, creative designs, skin-loving ingredients and brilliant makeup.

As I stared at the image, I could not help but think that their new cushion foundation reminded me of something. And then it clicked: There was a Charlotte Tilbury product that looked quite similar. Let’s have a look and check out Too Cool for School and Charlotte Tilbury’s designs side by side:


As I scrolled through the comments, I saw that others had had the same thought. I asked in a comment whether they did not think that this was a bit too similar to Charlotte Tilbury. No response (fair enough). They do not owe me or anyone anything.

Koreans were also commenting on this in Korean. Too Cool For School did not respond to any of the comments as far as I can tell. Again, fair enough.

If you look at the designs side by side, objectively speaking, I do believe that most people might agree that they are more than just a tad similar. Charlotte Tilbury released her makeup a long time ago and Too Cool For School just released theirs. For the sake of simplicity, I shall refer to Too Cool For School as TCFS and Charlotte Tilbury as CT from now on onwards.

Comparison: Similarities and Differences

Here is why I personally think they look similar.

  • The colour palette: rose gold and a dark neutral. If you look at TCFS, it seems as though they used black and a very bright rose gold, whereas CT used a more bronzey rose gold and dark mocha by the looks of it.
  • The logo in the middle of the container: TCFS’s CT logo in the middle looks almost identical to CT’s at first sight. However, whereas CT’s make the C overlap, TCFS makes the C dive under the T. CT’s logo is a filled in font, whereas TCFS uses a stripey sort of font that is not bold.
  • The geometrical design on top. Again, not the same, but TCFS uses a geometrical, asymmetrical design with clear lines crossing one another, whereas CT’s design is geometrical but symmetrical, like a mandala. TCFS’s design is a bit more random and free-flowing in that regard.

I did see some commenters saying that TCFS stole the design off CT. Do I think they stole the design? No, because they did not just copy it. Could TCFS have done a better job of taking inspiration from other brands? In my personal opinion, yes, they could have taken caution to make the design look less similar.

Why do I care?

I’m not affiliated with either brand.

So here is why the fact that the design looks similar annoys me personally.

It’s not like Charlotte Tilbury came up with something completely from scratch. Art and design, including packaging design, obviously always takes inspiration from somewhere, and clearly Charlotte Tilbury’s design team took inspiration from Art Deco and makeup from back in the day.

BUT. They didn’t not just take someone’s existing design concept and recycle the elements. They took inspiration from somewhere and made it their own. This is why I’m feeling rather miffed. TCFS clearly did more than just give CT’s makeup a passing glance, I feel.

I do remember Kat Von D speaking out about cheapo brands stealing her packaging design concepts. She did say that yes, there’s nothing she can do about it legally because they changed it just enough to make it impossible to sue, but that anyone with half a brain would have been able to see that they were just lazily recycling her ideas to piggy back onto her success story.

I also remember Jeffree Star reviewing a brand called Copycat Beauty, a company that literally specialises in copying big brand makeup for a fraction of the price of the established brand.

Here’s the thing though, TCFS is not a cheap brand at all and they’re not new on the market either. Certainly not as famous as Charlotte Tilbury but definitely a major player here in Korea as well as overseas. As far as I can tell, this is the first time they came close to someone’s design concept.

Their designs are always creative and super cool and their products look like novelty items, so I just don’t understand how the new foundation fits in her. Why now?

I have personally been affected by someone ripping off my husband’s (who is Korean by the way) designs in the past, so perhaps I’m a little sensitive here. You tell me in the comments.

I just think that TCFS could have looked into Art Deco and makeup packaging design from bygone eras, thereby paying their respect to an established and iconic brand such as CT, without coming off negatively. The colour scheme could have been different. The logo in the middle could have been different. Instead of stripes, others patterns or even textures could have been used (think faux leather, silver, black gold). It just could have been so much better I feel.

6 thoughts on “Too Cool for School’s new makeup looks eerily similar to Charlotte Tilbury’s, and here’s why I personally have a problem with that

    1. @vivian which ones can you think of? For me, only Makeup Revolution and Copycat Beauty come to mind. Honestly I’m quite mad (perhaps irrationally so). Perhaps we should be voting with our wallets and refrain from supporting blatantly plagiarised brands.


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