Scam Alert: Counterfeit Makeup




If you’ve ever been to New York City, than you’re probably familiar with counterfeit products. It seems that on just about every street corner there’s someone willing to sell you a fake Coach bag. But of course, it’s not just bags or designer clothes that get counterfeited; makeup and other cosmetics are just as often counterfeited, and sadly, it’s not a new trend.


Of course, some women don’t understand what’s the big deal. I’ve had one friend tell me, “If it’s cheaper and it works just as well, why does it matter if it’s fake or real?†The truth is, when it comes to counterfeit makeup, we all lose, from the consumer to the company. Read on to find out the dangers of counterfeit makeup, how to tell if your product is fake or not, and more. Then, let us know about a time where you accidentally received counterfeit items in the comments!



Why is fake counterfeit makeup so bad? 

First, there’s a huge danger to your health and safety when it comes to fake makeup. Because those who counterfeit our favorite cosmetics are not regulated by any health board, there’s no telling what ingredients were actually used in the lipstick you’re about to slather all over your mouth or the foundation you’re going to rub into your skin; those harmful substances can be absorbed into your body and wreck major havoc. Inside Edition tested fake makeup they’d bought on the streets of NYC and found high amounts of lead, carcinogens, and gross bacteria. Ew!


Then, of course, the companies whose makeup is being ripped off are facing some serious harm of their own. Instead of selling you their awesome product and making money, they’re losing out on those profits. Why buy fake that Urban Decay palette when you can show the brand some appreciation and buy the real one.



Where should I look out for counterfeit makeup?

Essentially, any time you’re buying from a third-party seller – aka somewhere other than the brand itself or it’s licensed vendors like Sephora or Target – you’re at a high risk for being sold a fake product. This is especially likely on the internet. While it might be tempting to get cheap deals on Amazon or Ebay,  these two sources are full of fakes, and you may never know. If you really need to use the internet, though, look for vendors that have high selling ratings; if you can credible information about their business, even better. Remember: if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.



I think I have a counterfeit item. Now what?

If you think your cosmetic item might be a fake, do not use it until you’ve done your research. Look online for pictures of the brand’s packaging, preferably images that come directly from the brand’s website. Look carefully for any differences between your item and the pictured item; it may be something as obvious as completely wrong packaging or as subtle as a slight different font choice. Pay close attention to the labeling. For example, real MAC products are always labeled on the bottom with the name of the product and an imprinted code that corresponds to the box. Fake MACS are almost always missing those details.


If you realize it’s fake, make sure to toss it right away! It’s also a good idea to try to contact the company whose products are being counterfeited. They might appreciate the tip and can help warn their customers away from specific third-party vendors. 




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Written by Courtney Brown

MakeupTalk Blogger