Lip drip artist Vlada Haggerty sues Make Up For Ever for copying her trademark work

'We need brands to respect individual artists! I think it's important to speak up and not let it slide.'

By Carly Cardellino
Vlada Haggerty

Makeup artist, photographer, lip artist — and Smashbox's Lip Editor in Chief — Vlada Haggerty is suing Make Up For Ever and its parent company, LVMH, for alleged copyright and trademark infringement over the beauty giant's Lustrous cosmetics line logo, which she claims is eerily similar to her lip drip artwork.

Haggerty's "liquid gold and rose gold [lips] are both copyrighted, and the rose gold is also a registered trademark," says the makeup artist's lawyer, Stephen McArthur, of McArthur Law Firm.


"Regarding the dripping lips issue, as explained in the complaint, MUFE has gone beyond simply copying the dripping lips style popularised by Vlada. They very clearly copied her exact copyrighted work, down to the exact drips, textures, and highlights. The final work is both substantially similar and likely to cause confusion. Copying plus substantial similarity is the basic test for copyright infringement, [so it's] likely to cause confusion among the relevant consuming public, which is the basic test for trademark infringement."

Haggerty, who once threatened Kylie Jenner with a lawsuit over the reality star's holiday lip kit fingers art, alleges she was contacted by MUFE several times asking to use her lip art to promote their brand.

Per a statement on McArthur's law firm website:

Haggerty claims MUFE knew why she was declining to promote the brand's Lustrous collection. "I have clearly stated that I have contractual obligations with another major makeup brand, and any of my signature looks are off limits. There was no way around it," Haggerty says. She adds that the only reason she declined to work with MUFE was due to the fact she was already working with a competitor.

According to McArthur, BuzzFeed contacted Haggerty in January 2017 to create lip videos, promoting MUFE because she is the "lip pro." According to the complaint, Haggerty declined the offer. Months later, in September 2017, blogger @TrendMood1 posted images of MUFE's new Lustrous lip line, and that's when Haggerty's followers starting spotting similarities between the logo and Haggerty's work.


Her lawsuit says the comments on the Instagram post include:

@susanmichelle92: "Is this a collab with @vladamua? The lip art looks similar to hers"

@jackie.a_: "At first glance I thought it was a collab with @vladamua 🤔"

@rachaelleahx: "@vladamua was this done with you at all???"

@vladamua: "@rachaelleahx no"

@shayxtreme: "Hmmm wonder if they are gonna get Sued for copying this Lip Art..." "@shayxtreme i was thinking the same thing... at first i thought the caption was gonna say a makeup forever collab with @vladamua"

@brxndoncross: "I definitely thought this had something to do with @vladamua because of the lip art. I don't know man... 🐸☕️"

Haggerty says a lot of people thought she was doing a collaboration with MUFE. "I was surprised to see it, especially because I declined their offer a few times. I'm so grateful to everyone who has reached out with their concerns."

That's when Haggerty and McArthur knew they had to take action and filed the lawsuit on Friday, January 5. The United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a summons today, giving Haggerty's team the authorisation to serve the complaint. Once served, MUFE will have 21 days to respond.

"We need brands to respect individual artists," Haggerty says. "It's important to speak up and not let it slide."

Via: Cosmopolitan US