Where there's a product that someone will pay good money for, there's someone who will make a fake version of it. The counterfeit market is worth a lot of money, and people in search of a bargain often unwittingly buy fake products. But buying fake makeup could be harmful, as they can contain some horrifying and dangerous ingredients. So if you're tempted to buy makeup from online sources such as eBay, here's how to check if your makeup could be counterfeit …
1. You're Buying from an Unauthorised Seller
Some sellers may be selling the genuine product, but you have no idea until you receive it and have the product in your hand. One clue is if the seller has a lot of the same product. Makeup brands will only sell their products through authorised retailers such as Sephora, department stores and drugstores.
2. It's Too Cheap
Expensive makeup may be overpriced, but you can be sure that it's been rigorously tested and uses safe ingredients. So if you see these brands on offer at prices that seem too good to be true, it's a dead cert that the makeup is fake. Brands don't want to sell their makeup cheaply, and they don't sell in bulk either.
3. The Packaging
Brands will spend a lot of time and effort ensuring that the packaging on their products looks just right. Fakes, on the other hand, will have spelling mistakes and other errors. Another clue is if they have the wrong shade name on them. Brands carry out quality control checks; counterfeiters won't bother.
4. Compare to Your Existing Products
Another easy way to check if a product you've bought is genuine or not is to compare it to one that you already own from an authorised retailer. Look at the packaging; fake products will use poorer-quality cases and exteriors. The color of the print may be too pale and the text different, so examine the packaging carefully. If you don't laready own one, look at the brand's website to compare.
5. It Smells Strange
One thing you can be sure of with counterfeit products is that they do not replicate the formula of the real deal. So smell the suspect item - if it's fake, it may have a chemical or medicinal smell. If you buy fake perfume, it should be obvious that it's not right - it won't last as long and just won't smell quite 'right'.
The consistency of a product is also a good indication as to whether it's genuine or not. Fake products won't have the same consistency, and will often be chalkier than the genuine item. A fake may also have a different surface texture from the real product. You can see from the company's website what the product should look like.
7. The Color
Some fakes may look pretty convincing, but there's a clear giveaway that identifies them as counterfeit - the number of colors. Some counterfeiters slip up by fabricating more colors than the real manufacturer does! The colors may also be stronger than the real thing.
If you don't buy makeup from an authorised seller, you're taking a chance and buying makeup that is probably fake. It's just not worth it. You could be risking skin reactions and even health issues, as you just don't know what's in them. Either save up and buy the genuine product, or look for another, cheaper brand - there are some very good products around.