It troubles me when I see fake cosmetics peddled online or in real life. I just got back from Bangkok and I saw what were purportedly MAC Cosmetics being sold on the side of the road with locals and tourists “snapping up a bargain”.
MAC Cosmetics, being one of the world’s most popular cosmetics is faked in great quantities and I think all those Limited Edition releases don’t help them. Most times, they don’t even look like the original product – all it does is have the original name on it. In skincare, I have personally seen fake SKII products. Its all very ugly.
But that’s the price of wanting to own such cosmetics which some people might consider out of their financial reach or who might just not be aware that fake products exist. When I say “fake” I mean products stamped with the name of a reknowned brand but which is in fact not the actual product or made by that brand.
Well, now be aware! Fake cosmetics exist and abound. I’ve seen them in person (night markets, bazaars, small obscure shops in small obscure places) and I’ve seen them online (Ebay is always one place to be very wary of) and I’m troubled by it.
Unlike fake merchandise like clothes or bags or shoes, fake cosmetics can seriously damage your skin or pose a danger to your health. You do not know what goes into making them. Fake Viagra has even killed people. They might claim to be from the same factory – the seller can always tell you that – but you still do not know what goes into them and if something goes wrong, you have no one to bring the matter up to. If you buy the genuine product, you can take it back to the counter or take it up with the brand if something goes wrong. But if its a fake item, you can’t. So there are a few things to keep in mind when buying cosmetics outside of the counter or store.
If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. When in doubt, don’t go through with the sale. There are many ways to buy branded cosmetics for less.
- Go to authentic warehouse sales conducted by the brands themselves.
- Buy during a sale at the counter.
- Buy from trusted resellers or friends.
- Buy from online sites during sales or clearances or from authorized resellers
- Buy from sites which have been authenticated and which will offer a refund if a fake product is detected
- Buy when people have online sprees (but even then you have to be careful)
If you really want to buy a branded product and its out of your financial reach for now, save up for it, or put it on your wishlist. Perhaps your friends or family could help you. That’s how many of us do it. Or you wait until you see a good sale or promotion to snag it. There are very few items in the world that you “must have right now or I’d die!” even if it feels that way 😛
If you want to buy from Ebay (and I have) or any other online auction store make sure you know your stuff. Know your packaging, product names and product origins. Get clear photos of the product and ask questions.
If you buy something that makes you wonder if its authentic, its not worth the hassle even if its a lot cheaper than what you would otherwise pay for it. There will always be that niggling thought that it might not be the Real McCoy – and then what would you do?
In the alternative, go for a cheaper drugstore dupe. Many drugstore products these days are of good quality too and you don’t need expensive products to look good.
If you’ve been fooled into buying fake cosmetics or have seen fake cosmetics or know someone who has had a bad reaction from using fake cosmetics, do share your story 🙂
This is a community service reminder to “Stay away from fake cosmetics!”