When it comes to makeup, one of the most frustrating things that can happen is you buy a product believing it to be original and find that, in fact, it is fake.
As if that were not bad enough, we have to add the fact that counterfeit products have not gone through any kind of quality assessment, so it is impossible to know if the product is really suitable for use, whether or not it contains toxic substances and whether it has been produced hygienically.
But the fact is that counterfeit makeup and cosmetics exist and what you can do is seek out strategies to avoid being cheated. Always remember that using fake products can even be harmful to your health!
Thaty Oliveira, make up artist from São Paulo ( Instagram | Facebook ) helped us list some tips and precautions to avoid forgeries. Following only a few simple and effective precautions, it is possible to distinguish them from the original ones, avoiding being deceived and avoiding damages to health, such as irritations, contaminations and even stains by the continuous use of harmful substances.
1. Choose the location where you will buy the product.
Thaty explains that it is important to watch where you buy the product. The best way to know where to buy a product is to access the official website and check which brands are authorized dealers, both in relation to physical and virtual stores. You should be wary if you find a product indicated as MAC, Chanel, or any other great brand, mixed products for the home and stationery. These brands do not sell their products in disorganized places or neighborhood stores.
For virtual stores that are not listed on the brand’s official website, search the internet for the store’s reputation. Virtual certifications are a good sign that the store should be trusted, and services like the Reclame Here are quite useful to make sure of that reliability
Another tip is to search the store on social networks, read customer feedbacks, see if it is an active page and have a good customer service channel. These features increase reliability by demonstrating customer contact and concern. In this case, the chances of the product being true are greater.
Regarding sites that act as intermediaries between buyers and individual sellers, such as Mercado Livre, OLX and other sites of the type, attention should be redoubled as it is very common to find counterfeit products on these sites. If it is to buy, make sure the photos are true and get the return policy in case you realize that the product is fake when it gets in your hands.
Consider also the following tips: If they are all observed together, you will probably make a safe purchase and will not be fooled.
2. Consider whether the price of the product is in accordance with its quality
Make-ups and quality cosmetics, especially international brands, are expensive. And it’s no use believing magic promotions, where the product is 80% off, for example, because there is certainly some problem with such a product. Most of the time, it is a fake product. But if it is true, it is possible that it is about to win, and you will not be able to enjoy the product for a long time, since overdue products can also harm your skin.
The tip here is to consider the price on the official website and keep in mind that the rebates will usually be around 20%, with the biggest discounts turning around 40%, not more than that. Some certified virtual stores sometimes have products with up to 60% discount but are hardly major brands. The most common is that they are of smaller brands, and only one or two specific products, never a whole line.
Keeping this type of marketing behavior in mind can help you get away from many scams.
3. Look in detail at the packaging
There are some fairly obvious forgeries. From those who just look at you already know that there can be a product of that brand that the product claims to be. However, counterfeiters have come closer and closer to the original appearance of the packaging, which makes it necessary to redouble our attention at this point.
Still, it is a detail that should always be analyzed, since the counterfeit packaging is often “betrayed” since the material used is never as noble and sophisticated as the original product.
The official website is, once again, the reference that will help to recognize the product. Pay attention to the size and color of the packaging, font, letter size, where the inscriptions are printed. Also, check if the product actually exists in that presentation. For example, palettes of shades with many colors (sometimes with up to 80 shades) are very rare in most famous brands, which generally opt for smaller palettes and, in some cases, customizable professional palettes.
It is important, then, to confirm that the product actually exists before buying it from an unofficial point of sale.
4. Check the manufacturing information on the packaging
The first element to note here is the bar code. The first three digits represent the country where the code was issued. Be wary if these numbers do not represent any country or if the country presented in the code does not match the country shown on the packaging as the place of manufacture. It could mean that the product is counterfeit.
In addition, it is important to look for markings such as lot, serial number, and expiration date. Although some international brand products come with no expiration date printed on the product, other information is usually printed on the packaging itself.
Another detail is the fact that brands usually standardize the presentation of the product name. Some are identified by number, others by name, others by name and number. Pay attention to the brand standard: if it always identifies the products by name and the product you are thinking of buying is only identified by a number, it is likely to be counterfeit.
5. Check the shades of the product
Hardly counterfeiters can faithfully reproduce the colors and tones of bases, shadows, blushes, and lipsticks. So visiting the manufacturer’s website and checking what colors are actually available helps a lot when it comes to discarding the imitations. Also, pay attention to the brightness of the products. If the official palette is matte and opaque tones and the one you are selling is full of brilliant shadows, there is something wrong!
6. Evaluate the odor and consistency of the product
According to That Oliveira, some brands have a distinctive scent that counterfeit versions cannot reproduce. So paying attention to the smell of the product is a good way to identify if you are dealing with a counterfeit product.
And even if you do not know the original scent of a great brand product, consider the fact that it should not smell bad. Also, it cannot easily embark, disintegrate or contain impurities. If the lipstick smells of wax, if the eyelash mask applicator is extremely deformed (or does not conform to the one on the brand site), or if the shadow crumbles very easily, be wary and observe the other signs to identify if not is a pirated version of the product you wanted to buy.
7. Observe the quality of the brushes or applicators that come with the product
Even in the case of packages that are very similar to the original ones, it is sometimes possible to recognize the imitation by means of the included brushes or applicators. Compare the shape, color, and quality with what is presented on the official website. Also, feel the quality of the material, the type of bristles, whether they come off easily or are firm. Brushes with bristles similar to toothbrush bristles should alert you, as well as brushes with very irregular bristles without any explanation for this.
8. Test the product before purchasing it.
Try to always try the cosmetics before you buy them. It is often in texture that one notices that that product can not be the brand it claims to be. Incidentally, it’s strange if the store does not have a product available for testing: big brands often consider experimentation as essential to demonstrate brand quality.
Brushes: is it okay to buy fake?
One of the most fake products in several famous brands are the brushes. To avoid being cheated, again it is important to know the brand standard, how the brushes are numbered and identified, and how they are sold. International brands usually sell their brushes individually or in special kits with few brushes. Thus, cases with 30 brushes, and especially for the price of a single brush in an official store, are clearly falsified.
Unlike cosmetics, which can cause more obvious health hazards, false brushes and applicators are not as immediately harmful. Of course, it is necessary to consider the fact that it is not known of the origins of the material used nor of the conditions of production, so that even brushes and applicators can contain harmful substances. But what displeases most in fake brushes is the question of quality.
Fake brushes can often be as beautiful as the real ones, and sometimes even work quite well. However, they do not have the same quality as the originals and are often misleadingly sold, which is a crime.
If you take the risks, there is not much problem in using fake brushes and applicators, for the reasons presented above. But if you can not afford the originals, it is always better to opt for cheaper brands instead of fakes, as these brands have a more transparent production process than fake products, so you can know the origin of the materials. In addition, even cheaper brands are concerned about the functionality of the product offered and thus offer a quality product within the possibilities offered by the price range in which it is. Only such reassurance and brand confidence should already spur preference for cheaper brands instead of fake versions of expensive brands.
Smart Tips for Buying Time
Of all the tips presented, there are some that should be reinforced so that you can even avoid having to wonder if that product is true or not. Are they:
- Always opt to buy in official or authorized stores. These stores offer warranty and reimbursement for any problem;
- If it is possible to buy in physical stores, know that this is always the best option, since the sellers are trained to indicate what is best for their skin type and color, and it is possible to do the experimentation before the purchase;
- When in doubt about any product, always appeal to the brand’s official website. There you can find all the information about the official products and limited editions, avoiding that you are deceived;
- Original products from famous brands are not sold to street vendors. If there is an original product there, it may be stolen;
- Once again: be wary of very low prices for products that are usually very expensive.
Comparisons between original X fake makeup
In the first image above, notice the difference in the way the brand name is written: in the counterfeit product, the line is much thinner and comes off easily.
Some counterfeit makeup brings items that do not come in the original versions such as brushes, applicators, and mirror. That is why it is important to know the original product.
Above, an example of a fake brush kit. The brand in question does not sell kits with so many brushes, and several of the models presented are not even produced by the brand.
It is very common that they invent products that do not exist in the brand and just put the logo, as an attempt to sell more.
The top brush is the real one. The bottom is a replica. Note that the size and quantity of bristles is different, although they are quite similar.
Counterfeiting has always been available and it is very difficult for brands to control this market. That’s because as long as there are people who buy such products, they will continue to be produced and sold. The best way to reduce forgery is to stay informed and know the product you are going to buy. Thus, it is much more difficult to be deceived and this market will gradually disappear.