The beauty brand taking Australia by storm

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If you’ve been on social media lately, or even just stepped foot in a Woolies, chances are you’ve heard of MCoBeauty.

MCoBeauty is a brand stocking everything from makeup to skincare and accessories, and is advertised as providing ‘luxe-for-less’. But, there’s a twist – many of their most popular products look startlingly similar to those of larger, more expensive brands.


In the last few months, the Aussie brand has well and truly taken the world by storm, recently launching in the US. But, are the dupes really as good as the originals, and are they worth purchasing?

About the brand

MCoBeauty was founded in 2016 by CEO Shelley Sullivan, 14 years after she created sister brand, ModelCo.

The brand first came into notoriety in 2019, when it was announced that they’d be one of the brand partners for the second season of ‘Love Island Australia’, meaning influencers-to-be were seen sharing tutorials and reviews for the show and its social media channels. Sophie Monk, the show’s host, was also an MCoBeauty ambassador at the time.

But, in 2023, the brand entered another stratosphere with the release of its Flawless Glow – a tinted illuminating primer which was quickly dubbed a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter due to the almost identical packaging.

What’s a dupe, and why are they so popular?

Short for duplicate, a ‘dupe’ in the beauty industry refers to an affordable product which is similar to a higher end one. Shoppers are encouraged to purchase dupes instead of the original product in order to save money, or to try something comparable to a product that they may not have access to.

Previously, a dupe has almost exclusively referred to a product’s colour and formula, meaning they perform alike, and look pretty much the same when applied.

However, MCo Beauty has taken this to another layer by replicating the packaging of these products almost exactly.

You might be wondering – how is this legal?

In a story published by the ABC last week, Sullivan sat down with the brand’s external lawyer to break down the extremely thorough production process that they go through to ensure that no trademarks in name, shape, colour, or otherwise are infringed.

Replicating the packaging, however, infers that the product inside must be just as good – but is it?

Is it worth your money?

Over the last few years, I’ve avoided shopping from MCoBeauty. Despite there being no issues with legality, something about the concept of duping other products really leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

However, when faced with a 40 per cent off sale at Big W, I couldn’t resist.

A standout product for me so far is their Makeup Grip Primer – a dupe of the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer. Having tried the original, I can say that this one is actually stickier, and feels like it does do a good job at keeping your makeup on your face.


Some other brand highlights for me are the Miracle Flawless Pressed Powder, Miracle Flawless Setting Spray and Soft Matte Beauty Wand – three more Charlotte Tilbury dupes.

Next on my wish list is the Peptide Lip Treatment, a dupe for my favourite lip balm by Summer Fridays.

Overall, I do find MCoBeauty’s philosophy and strategies to be incredibly interesting. Whilst I do think some of the products are good, I wouldn’t buy them full price (at that point, you may as well buy the more expensive version!). But, with regular sales popping up, I’d say there’s no harm in giving the brand a go.

Weekender Newsroom

This post has been published by the team in our newsroom.

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