The Stuff Beauty Urban Legends Are Made Of…………………Myths on The Internet.

Hi Everyone,

How are you? I wanted to do a somewhat controversial post on a subject i feel fairly passionate about. I love doing reviews but sometimes i want to write about different topics as well. Keep it interesting.

So i am writing about,”This company owns that company’, therefore, they produce the same/similar product at different prices’.

Now, i work in product development so i have a little bit of insight into this and i’m going to address it here.

1. The biggest story doing the rounds is; Chanel Cosmetics are owned by Bourjois, therefore Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation is remarkably similar to Vitalumiere Aqua. MYTH.

I love this story. You see it come up time and time again. Always by a different blogger/You Tuber and all repeating the exact same story. It’s possibly the oldest myth doing the rounds on the internet.

First thing they do is show us the swatches. Erm!  isn’t every liquid foundation similar to the next when swatched? Sadly, we don’t have smellivision yet because if you were to smell each one of these, you will never find two foundations so totally different. Bourjois Healthy Mix smells of such strong fruit, your perfume may actually clash with it. There are no Chanel foundations which smell similar, they generally have a fragrance of mild rose. You can check this for yourself without purchasing either.

Vitalumiere Aqua

Ingredient list for vitalumiere aquaI also did a full ingredient profile on each of these products and out of the 30+ ingredients in each one, there were 10 ingredients that were the same and out of the ten, were 5  found in every foundation on sale out there. These were; water, fragrance, silica, alcohol and titanium dioxide (SPF). The ingredients that were the same, had different quantities used in each foundation too.

I tried the Bourjois one out, because i own Vitalumiere Aqua and I thought, maybe i could save a few pounds on my next purchase. It is slightly thicker in texture and sits on top of the skin unlike Vitalumiere Aqua, which melts a little into the skin with a watery feel to it, giving a sheer finish. I thought Bourjois had a slight orange tinge on it as well, (a few high street do, due to cheaper colourings used). The fact is,Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation there is no comparison at all when you get up close and personal to them both.Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation ingredient list The same story is also circulating about Estée Lauder’s Invisible makeup also being the same as Vitalumiere Aqua.That would hold more weight to me because  it is also a mildly fragranced foundation with a very similar finish to Chanel VA. The truth is, the Bourjois one isn’t bad but it is typical in profile to a high street foundation; however, there was never any harm in thinking your getting a high end product for a high street price.

2.The next story is; ‘a girl who knows a guy who has a girlfriend that works in the Bourjois factory says that blushers are made for Chanel there’. Probably TRUE.

makeup manufacturing

I have no doubt the story of the girlfriend etc; is fiction, it comes up often with different people or family members. Good old internet Chinese whispers! However, the factory setting is probably true. Bourjois do own Chanel after all, so why would they make them any where else? That would never make economical sense.

I have made similar products for many different companies under the one roof; however, they do not have the same set standard. There are different price points to be met and usually the bigger budget gets the nicer ingredients, the company will also set their own particular criteria to a product. As an example; If they want a shelf life of 2 years, they will ask for ingredients to be added to make that happen. Those ingredients will be expensive. This is why high end makeup normally lasts a lot longer than high street and one of the reasons why its more expensive along with packaging and other factors.

What i am trying to say is, yes, some Chanel blushers are in a round pan like Bourjois; however, the quality is not the same. I don’t mind Bourjois blushers, they are the best thing they make actually and if you can’t afford a Chanel one, i would recommend these. The only problem i have with them is that they really lack pigmentation and dry out quite quickly but they are great for short term use; not cost effective in the long term though as you need to apply it heavily to get any colour off them. The packaging is cheap and cheerful  too.

Another point is that a lot of powders used in making eyeshadows can be produced in the same factory. Some are a great deal more finely milled than others. The expensive eyehadow will feel buttery soft when touched and the cheaper ones have a more powdery or grainy feel then. They will probably all be milled, coloured etc in the same place though and packaged differently. No harm done as far as i’m concerned as long as i get a great eyeshadow for the money i spend and that’s what really matters.

3. L’Oreal owns Kérastase, so the hair care products are the same. MYTH

Read my full review on these two products here.

Besides L’Oreal owning approximately half of the beauty industry, Estee Lauder own a good chunk of the other half. This does not mean the products are the same quality by any means or have the same ingredient profile. Do you think Benefit cosmetics are the same as Guerlain? Why not! LVMH own both companies.What about Lancome and the Body Shop? They are both owned by L’Oreal.  What about Estee Lauder, Tom Ford or MAC! Yes, you read it right, all owned by Estee Lauder. Shiseido and NARS? I could go on but i don’t want to bore you anymore haha. You get the point now.

Next time you read somewhere, or watch a video and it states a product is the same/very similar to another. Question their research and not their swatches. If they know their stuff, they would have done some. Take care and i will see you all soon. 😉


  1. April 12, 2013 / 12:07 am

    Hi, I loved your post today, I could have read a 100 more pages on this topic. I am a product freak, I try all types of products high-end (Lancome) and local department store brands (L’Oreal) for example. In the U.S Lancome and L’Oreal are similar in some ways, for example, packaging I wonder if the products are different in quality here in the U.S then in Europe? I would love to try Tom Ford but just to pricey for me in this stage of life (he-he) but I do enjoy Lancome products, and Nars; I tell people you get what you pay for, but sometimes you can come across a good product that a person can use on a daily basis and I do use my expensive products for special occasions (girls night out, Dinner dates, etc..). Again thank you for this AMAZING POST.

    FAshion Girl.

    • April 12, 2013 / 12:16 am

      Thanks for reading it. I think some base ingredients can be the same but with regards to shelf life and multi-dimensional colours, some high street products tend to fall down a bit but occasionally you can get great high street products and they have deffo upped their game over the last few years from the way they used to be.

  2. April 13, 2013 / 11:42 pm

    Really interesting post! I am going into my third year at marketing and thinking about topics for my dissertation, I was thinking something along the lines of branding and you have inspired me to incorporate this topic. That’s great you work in product development, I would love to go down that route as a career. Thanks for sharing such a great post x

  3. April 14, 2013 / 10:51 am

    That’s brilliant Shannon and thank you so much for the compliment. Good luck with your dissertation. I wish i had studied something like that now but i loved Microbiology too.
    Yes, i get a bit incensed by people who write on topics with little research at all. Some one who is a very famous makeup artist on You Tube spoke about this but didn’t back themselves up at all. They said at the end of the video, you can down load the ingredients for yourself. Truthfully, they were doing a ‘controversial’ post to gain more traffic to their site but sadly, the knock on effect is everyone then copies that post and that’s how silly rumours end up on the internet. I unsubscribed to their channel because they lost all credibility with me after that which is a shame because that person can also have some valid opinions too.

  4. Tab lam
    March 23, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Bourjois (1864) and Chanel (1924) are sister companies. Bourjois is owned by wertheimer who was approach by Chanel to help sell their fragrances and so its bouirjois and wertheimer family who actually own the Chanel empire. Made in same factory but not same product.

    • March 23, 2016 / 10:57 am

      Thanks for your input Tab. I believe Coty may have acquired both Chanel and Bourjois last year. I am not 100% sure, however it was/is a private company. It also emphasises my point about products not being produced to the same spec. X

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