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Battle of the Banana Powders

Posted on 22 August 2017

Most consumers understand that there are knock-offs or fakes being transported out of China by the shipload every day. If something sells well (goes viral) in the beauty industry, it’s really just a matter of weeks before the knock-offs flood the market.

The knock-offs/fakes are often very well done. Same name, same label, same packaging, same look and feel; however, in most cases they do not use the exact same ingredients. This knock-off trend started many years ago. You can look at Louis Vuitton sold on third party sites; there are seemingly more fakes for sale than there are the real thing. MAC Cosmetics has been knocked off for years. The popular belief is that China makes most knock-offs, but I assume other areas produce some as well. It’s actually very easy to do, and the profits are large in most cases.

Due to the number of fakes on the market it appears to the average consumer that most brands have given up the fight to stop it. The consensus among many is that if you buy a knock-off you get what you deserve. The purse falls apart in the first few weeks, the makeup looks bad, it’s all "just desserts" for the naïve or less fortunate in society. That seems a bit harsh to me, but I’m not playing judge here. 

What happens when a major company copies a smaller brand and comes out with their own version of the smaller brand’s most popular product? Same name, same container, seemingly the same product? I assume it’s legal, but I’m not a lawyer. I’ve seen a few major beauty stores do this. Is it ethical? Does David (let’s call the small family business “David”) have a chance against Goliath (lets call the billion plus dollar businesses “Goliath”)? Goliath can buy media influencers for thousands of dollars per gig, and they can afford as many as they like. Goliath can afford a marketing team, and has the pull to get their press releases into the top magazines. David, the smaller business just doesn’t have this kind of money. All they have is a great product that took years to formulate and bring to market.

Take a look at the two “banana powder” products here. One powder has been manufactured and sold by Ben Nye for many years, as far back as I can remember. Ben Nye is a family-owned company that accessed the American dream without stockholders or big investors; Ben Nye is well known in the theatrical makeup business, it was founded by Makeup Artist Ben Nye.  Ben Nye made great products and grew the family business with hard work and perseverance over the years.  The other suspiciously similar banana powder was recently introduced by a beauty industry giant, a well funded beauty chain store. The very similar powder was brought to the public with the same product name, same container, and to the naked eye the powder looks the same - only the brand name is different.

The original Banana Powder made by Ben Nye is a few dollars more, but then again it is the original, made and packaged in the USA. Who knows how close the the "other" powder formula is to the original Ben Nye? Will people be fooled into believing the "other" powder is the one everyone is raving about on the Internet, the one made famous because Kim Kardashian wears it? I personally think so. Did the big beauty chain count on this mistaken identity? I have no idea, but why make a product look identical if you were not trying to make the consumer believe you were related somehow? So, is it right or wrong? Is this just capitalism at work? I would love to hear your opinion on this. Please let us know what you think.

The real original Ben Nye Banana Powder can be seen at many stores, including Camera Ready Cosmetics. 


Ben Nye (made popular by Kim Kardashian) 
Leading "Copy Cat" Brand 

Talc, Zinc, Stearate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben; Parfum Free.

May Contain (+/-): CI NO. 77491; 77492; 77499; 73360 (Iron Oxides; Red 30 Lake); 

Talc, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492).

Sample 6 different banana powders from top industry leading brands in one convenient bundle! 

Banana Powder SAMPLER Bundle

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