Friday, 17 August 2012

A Tale Of Two MACS - A Learning Curve

Hello lovely ladies. 

Today I have a little story for you, about something I've had to learn the hard way. Yes ladies, this is a tale of a fake.

A few years a go when I was living up north I worked in a large office, mainly comprised of women. One of these women used to come in with massive boxes of make up for sale, at extremely low prices, swearing it was all the real deal, she was selling on behalf of a friend who bought it all from America so she could sell it cheap and make a profit, and blah, blah and blah. As I had no idea about make up at the time (I was certainly a late bloomer when it came to all things make up) I happily snapped up the lions share of it, thinking I was getting a bargain... Hands up who thinks I was?

Two MAC blushers. So which is the fake? Lets have a look at the back...

On the left, Dainty, bought for about £8 from the aforementioned lady, on the right, Miss Behave, purchased from an official MAC retailer. Dainty, is a fake. And not only is it a fake, its a bad fake. I discovered this was a fake, not by noticing the obvious signs, but by browsing in MAC, and coming across a real Dainty blusher. So what should the real Dainty look like? 

Yep, no white marbling, no glossy plastic box, no rubbing away of the MAC logo. And it costs £19. I got mine out the second I got home, and compared it with the picture & Miss Behave. Fake. Fake Fake Fake. I was duped on the good faith of another, but its not just me, this is happening every single day, on that well know auction site most of us have a love / hate relationship with. eBay.

After a quick search for MAC on eBay I was struggling to actually find any real MAC. The same for Benefit, NARS, Chanel and so on.

In July a woman was give a £2000 fine as well as a suspended prison sentence & community service after selling massive amounts of fake mid to high end make up, lots of which contained dangerous levels of lead. Which is terrifying. Its very easy to write everything on eBay off as a fake, but if you are going to buy from eBay, here's my checklist to determine if its worth the risk, or not.

The old saying, if its too good to be true, it probably is, has never been truer. That Benefit Boxed Blush, RRP £23.50 for £5? Its a fake. MAC Brush Bundle, where each brushes RRP is £10 to £30 for £15. Its a fake. However, a couple of quid off if its slightly used or the outside of the box is damaged? Don't write that one off yet, it might be real yet.

This is NOT a hard & fast rule, but have a quick scan of the feedback, paying particular attention to the last few days. I say the last few days as, and this really makes me angry, many sellers of fakes will contact the person who left the negative feedback & offer them cash to take the negative feedback down. They will also occasionally threaten & bully, because they are well aware that they are selling fakes, and one person saying that they are in fact fakes will damage their business usually to the point of having to shut it down, and start again. And as most of them rely on there positive feedback, they will try to avoid it at all costs. Be warned - Feedback is not always correct. 

Google the product, does it look the same as in the photo? Is the box different, is the product different, is the logo different? If you notice one or more of these differing even very slightly, its a fake. 

Ok, again, referring to the three points above, this isn't a hard & fast rule, but 90% of buy it nows will be fake, as this is the quickest way to sell huge quantities of the product at a set price. Auctions starting at a reasonable price are far more likely to be the real deal.

Contact them, ask them if its genuine. No response? Its a fake? Shirty response "Yeah, of course its real what are you accusing me of? Its a fake. Pleasant "Yeah I bought it from MAC/Selfridges/Debenhams last year but the colours just not for me" probably real.

This is probably the biggest clue to whether you will be receiving Chanel or Channel. What else are they selling? Some shoes, a few dresses and a few beauty bits? Chances are its the real, but refer to the above points. Hundreds and hundreds of listing for high end make up, all priced at unbelievable prices? Its more than likely a fake. I have found, more than anything else, personal sellers are selling the real deal, and just trying to claw back a bit of money after buying something expensive that didn't work for them. On the other hand, I've found that 99% of power sellers are selling fakes. 

Doesn't feel right? Too much or not enough in the description? Says GENUINE over and over and over again?  Don't buy it, it will be a fake. Go with what feels right for you.

I will now only buy from personal sellers that meet all the above criteria, but again, to avoid being disappointed, if its too good to be true, it probably is. The rules above can be followed, but always go with your gut!

So ladies, hands up who's been tricked by those clever sellers offering up things you couldn't afford for prices you can?



  1. This is such a good detailed post. It make's me so angry that there's so many people on ebay wasting their money on fake MAC or any brand. I bought a couple of things from a market and they swore it was real, I told them I know it's fake I'm a totally MAC junkie where she then tried to fob more off to me. I read the article about the extreme amounts of lead and threw away any fakes I had. Great post xx

    1. Awww thank you & the same thing happened to me, she swore they were real and that she got them from the USA and blah blah, knowing nothing about MAC at the time I didn't even realise the discount was so much! x

  2. Great post! I know a few people that have bought fakes. They are often so convincing. You make some great points. I think its will help a lot of people steer clear of potential fakes.

  3. This is a really great, helpful post. I myself admit that sometimes the price seems just too good to pass up and it takes a post like this or someone to actually say "Do you really think they can sell the real thing that cheap?". Its great that you are raising awareness of this issue because I think especially nowadays people would be more likely to fall for this kind of thing because moneys tight- but nothing is worse that a fake product full of nasty chemicals.


    1. No its true & a lot of the time the product you receive will be such low quality you'll feel utterly ripped off any way! x

  4. Iv come across this before. My boyfriend purchaced a "Genuine MAC Palette from the Disney Collection" Granted, he was trying to cheer me up (i was having a very bad week) and thought it would be a nice surprise. Sadly, 100% complete FAKE. I will never be buying make up from Ebay. I would rather just going into store and pay the full price and know it is genuine. Thanks for the post it has opened my eyes a lot as when you see "genuine", you beleive they are telling the truth. xxx

    1. I think buying in store or directly from MAC is the only way to guarantee the real deal :) and thank you <3 x x

  5. Great post! I am sick of ebay makeup fakes! I don't care if they sell fake bags and clothing, but makeup from unknown sources is really dangerous! xo

    1. And it can and sometimes does contains dangerous levels of lead >.< its so scary to think you can buy something as a treat that could make you ill! x

  6. Ow fake MAC? I only buy it from the online retailer because I'm too worried about that crap on ebay. :(

    1. That is fair enough, I think a lot of people do exactly the same for the same reason :) x

  7. Great post. I always report eBay sellers for fake MAC and so on if I see them. There's tons of articles on fake MAC (pigments, shadows, etc)) and what to look for so if you see something off eBay, aaaaaaalways Google whatever it is first. Saying that, I *have* bought genuine MAC from places like Fragrance Direct, so it is possible to get it for cheaper sometimes but blog sales are probably the way to go.

    Anyway, sorry you got ripped. Been there :(

  8. Thanks for the post! When buying off Ebay i've found that Ebay will refund you your money if you tell them the product you purchased was a fake.


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