I remember in high school I saw my first MAC counterfeit cosmetics on ebay. Ebay was far less popular than it is now and people actually scored insane deals--remember those days?
I remember browsing through and as a huge MAC fan ended up searching for some products that were no longer available. I soon stumbled across what was marketed as a MAC cream eyeshadow palette. I looked at it and the logo seemed right, but everything else seemed wrong. The eyeshadows weren't the typical MAC pan size, they were weird cream-powder hybrid formulas and they never showed the back label.
I remember looking it up and coming across a page dedicated to informing people about this crazy scam where people sold counterfeit MAC. I was shocked!
Who had the time or money to create counterfeit MAC? Why would someone destroy one of my favorite brands in this manner?
Since then I've seen an incredibly increase in counterfeits all over the web for not just MAC, but just about every popular brand out there--Urban Decay, Benefit, etc.
People want to explore these brands for the first time or score a hard-to-find product and they take the bait. Little do they know, so many of these are counterfeits. You have no idea what's in them, what nastiness they've been exposed to, etc.
Why is it so dangerous to use counterfeit cosmetics?I think it's important to spread awareness about the dangers of purchasing and using counterfeits. That $5 you're saving by purchasing a MAC pigment on ebay could end with a nasty flesh eating bacterial infection--no joke--or rashes or poisoning. These products are not being tested, regulated or held to hygienic practices that legitimate manufacturers are held to. There's literally nothing preventing them from putting metal shavings into your blush or arsenic in your shadow.
Maybe you're thinking--but I've bought from the same ebayer/discount site a few times and never had an issue, so is it really a big deal? The problem is, some substances need to build up in your system before you see their nasty effects. Or perhaps you were just lucky the first few times. I personally don't really think it's worth the risk.
A bunch of articles have recently been milling around, but I saw one this morning that actually stated that Homeland Security is getting in on the fight against counterfeits and thought it was really worth the read.
I strongly suggest giving it a read and re-thinking purchasing cosmetics from ebay, discount sites, etc. Amazon has a lot of authorized retailers, but they have a lot of individuals as well. I have a sibling who purchased a cleanser once from someone that claimed to be an authorized retailer and what he received was sealed but CLEARLY not the actual product--super watered down, smelled funny, etc.
How to Spot Fake Cosmetics
Honestly, I've read a LOT on the topic and counterfeiters are getting so smart that their products are sometimes identical looking to the real deal--down to the last mark. Sometimes there's no real way of knowing by the actual product, so the best way to spot fake cosmetics is to simply avoid them altogether. Only purchase from reputable retailers like Sephora, the brands themselves, Macy's, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Ulta, CCO, etc.
Bottom line, be careful out there! Devious people are willing to destroy your gorgeous face for a few dollars--don't let them!