Being Conned Into Buying Fake MAC | How to Spot A Fake


Hi Girls! As a huge fan of MAC, over the years I have become very familiar with all of their products and how each of them look. I absolutely love the classic sleek black packaging and cleverly named products so the general appearance of MAC products is something I only know too well. However, more often than not I am seeing 'MAC' sets being advertised online for alarmingly cheap prices. Now for anyone with an untrained eye, these bargain gift sets being splashed around various social networking sites look very appealing and more importantly, very convincing.

Whilst I was in Australia, my friend Camille came to see me on her way to a wedding in Bali. As we were spending a couple of days in Brisbane, we were at our hotel and Camille began showing me some of her new purchases. As a beauty addict, I was excited when she informed me she'd took the plunge and bought some of her first MAC products. However, when she began telling she bought the products from someone selling sets on Facebook, I instantly asked her if I could have a look.

When she told me she had only paid £40.00 for a MAC makeup bag (that MAC don't sell by the way) brimming with products and a brush roll full of 'MAC' brushes, I instantly knew she had been ripped off. I began rummaging through the makeup bag to discover that each and every product she had been sold was FAKE. Now to make things worse, she had been sold this 'amazing bargain' by one of her friends. Yes you heard that right, shocking I know.

As I was looking at these rip off MAC products, I was fuming. It really annoys me that these replicas are being made and to be honest, not to a good standard either. I felt absolutely awful having to tell Camille she has been ripped off but she wasn't to know any better as she isn't somebody that buys MAC on a regular basis. She genuinely thought this friend of hers had managed to get some cheap sets (she used to work on a makeup counter) and jumped at the chance to buy one. After having a chat with Camille, we both decided it would be a good idea for me to write a blog post about her experience so that it can hopefully prevent anyone else from being cheated out of money in the same way.

I am sure most of you who blog or read blogs will know what MAC looks like but if you are reading this and are new to makeup and the MAC brand, you could find it useful. In the photos above I have included the fake products alongside some of my own genuine items so I can point out some of the tell tale sings that these products are fake. I have photographed three things that camille was sold - a blush, an eyeshadow palette and a brush set. She did have more items in the set including a lipstick, lipgloss and eyeliner but she had left them behind in the UK.

I am going to talk you through each of the above items and the differences between a fake and genuine MAC product. 


Blush:
This blusher was the first thing that jumped out to me as a fake MAC item. Camille was telling me about this lovely blush she had been using so I asked what it was called. As you will probably know, MAC name each and every one of their blushers with a fun, unique name. When Camille said it didn't have a name, alarm bells started ringing. I picked up the blusher and although convincing from the front, when I turned it over and saw the name 'powder blush' and code 'M01' glaring at me, I knew it was a fake. I then opened the blush to take a closer look inside and saw that there was a flap that opened containing a small brush. The brush looked like the ones that come in Benefit powder boxes but MAC blushes never come with a brush. If you look closely too, genuine MAC blushes with have a slightly raised coding on the bottom of their products whereas the fake one doesn't. After noticing these difference, I then had another look at the top of the product. Although it is convincing from first glance, I realised the plastic lid was flat wheres make blushes, MSF's etc all have a domed plastic lid.


Brushes:
Now these brushes were probably the least convincing item out of all of them. I mean come on, a cheap plastic brush roll and harsh, stiff brush hairs? If you are going to make fakes, at least do it well. As well as the cheap and nasty look of these brushes, I also noticed that they weren't numbered. Every genuine MAC brush, whether it is limited edition or not will have a number. I realise you can barely see the number on the one I have photographed above as it is quite old now but the numbers '239' were originally printed next to the MAC logo. (You can see it faintly if you look closely). As well as this, MAC brushes are always designed with silver metal connecting the brush hairs to a black handle. The metal is always silver unless there is a limited edition collection. I once got a brush set from the  'A Tartan Tale' collection and the metal was gold instead. However, I have personally never seen a collection where the brushes are all black like the fake ones pictured above.

Eyeshadow Palette:
Okay, this was probably the most laughable of all of the pieces Camille received. The quality of this palette is ridiculous. It is made of cheap plastic, contains a cheap doe applicator brush and the eyeshadows themselves look very glittery and cheap. To be honest, it really reminds me of those makeup sets you get for kids to play around with. As well as the initial appearance of the palette, I also noticed that this was numbered with '03'. Much like the blush, MAC name all of their products, even limited edition palettes. The only time MAC release palettes, other than the ones you can build yourself is when a new collection is released. In the photos above I have shown my limited edition palette from the 'A Tartan Tale' collection. As you can see, the genuine palette has been named 'Reelers and Rockers' and each of the eyeshadows are individually named. The only name this palette has been given is 'Fascination Eyeshadows', which again is a completely made up name that MAC has never released.


As you can see, my friend was totally fooled into thinking she was buying genuine MAC products. Of course we all know not to buy makeup from unreliable sources but she bought these products from someone involved with makeup and someone she thought she could trust. All I am trying to say is that although a picture splashed online may make products look like the real deal, they probably aren't. The same applies for Ebay. I appreciate there are honest people who sell genuine items on Ebay but in my own personal experience, they are more than likely fake. I once bought an eyeliner and some brushes on Ebay when I first started getting into makeup and when they arrived I realised they were just very convincing fakes. Just remember, anyone can stick a MAC logo on something, take some convincing photos and claim its the real deal. I'd also like to point out that these fake products could contain all kinds of dangerous ingredients. It really isn't worth the risk.


I hope this post will help someone out there who is just getting into makeup and considering buying MAC from an unreliable source such as Ebay or a Social Networking site. If you think you are getting a bargain - you probably aren't. If you want to make sure that what you are getting is genuine, ALWAYS spend that little bit extra and buy from the MAC counter or website.

Have you ever had an experience involving fake makeup?

Lots of Love,





48 comments

  1. Such a disgrace! did she say anything to the person that sold it to her?:O xx

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    1. I know! :O .. I think she's going to say something, I know I would! She deserves to get her money back!! Xx.

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  2. Hey! this is a great post!

    it is a great shame that there are people out there who are selling this "crap" to innocent people!
    Can i just make one silly point though... that blusher brush is no way from Benefit, i know you have not done it on purpose, but they way you have just stuck Benefit's name into this sounds bad. could you maybe remove it? I am probably being silly. but this is a post about fake products and then you have stuck a great brands name amongst it. I'm really sorry and i don't mean to offend as i love your blog!

    i cannot believe those brushes!! they look awful! hehe!

    Jen xxx

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    1. Hi, thanks for your comment but I'd just like to point out that I never said that brush was a Benefit brush, I simply said it looked like their brushes. As in the people making these fake sets have not only copied MAC but also Benefit's brushes. After all, this was a post comparing the differences between genuine and fake MAC products and the genuine blushers do not come with a brush. I wasn't disrespecting Benefit or their brand in any way?

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    2. Okey dokey lovely :) sorry for being a silly one! Thanks for replying and letting me know what you meant though!

      Jen xxx

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  3. This is a great post!! I have had something similar happen to me with Benefit cosmetics!

    Love India

    www.thejewelbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Oh really! It's awful that there are people out there copying reputable brands and making money from it!! Xx.

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  4. Well,you're right Kaylz, I was utterly fooled. Thanks for raising the issue so that others don't get conned like me. Perhaps I should have consulted my beauty blogger best mate pre-buy! Lesson learned. :) <3 xx

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    1. Aw, bless you! I still can't believe it! When I saw them I was like 'NOOOOO Way!', especially when you told me who sold you them! Did you say anything to her? I hope you did as you deserve your money back! Oh and yes, make sure you ask me next time haha!! Xx.

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  5. I'm lucky that I've never bought fake makeup - I never buy branded (or any!) makeup off Ebay, even though it's so tempting sometimes, as you can't really know what you're buying. I'd probably consider it if I knew the seller was reputable, but it's such a risk to take. Such a shame you're friend was ripped off :( X

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    1. I'm the same, sometimes it is so tempting but it's just not worth the risk! Even the reputable sellers could be selling very convincing fakes, you just never know! I always worry about the ingredients put into these fake products as well, it's just not worth the risk!! Xx.

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  6. my friend invited me to a mac facebook group the other week. as soon as i looked at the pictures i instantly knew that every single product on there was fake. it was crazy to see all the different made up items. there was loads of weird stuff like 10 different lady gaga lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes that looked like the ones that sleek sell. you'd think that people would look on the mac website or google products for swatches/reviews & see that they don't sell half this stuff. to my horror my friend had already ordered about 30 quid worth of these fake products. its just scary because you don't know what ingredients these things have in them. so many people have had reactions to fake products. people need to realise that its better to spend the full £14 on a real zoom lash mascara rather than £5 on something that could make you go blind! xx

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  7. I have always thought that it is totally worth buying makeup directly from a reputable shop/counter. This way you know the product will be genuine and you can also take it back if it's faulty/damaged. You put these products on your skin daily and fakes usually contain unregulated and even dangerous ingredients. So for me, it’s just not worth the risk.

    B
    X

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  8. I can't believe that happened to your friend! One thing to remember is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Hope she has a word with the girl who sold them to her. x

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  9. My mum got conned on eBay with lipsticks! She knew they were fake as they didn't have the distinct mac vanilla scent! She got her money back though after a fight!!! Ggrrrr x

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  10. Also you don't know what ingredients they are putting into these products, they could be really dangerous especially products that you are putting so close to your eyes and on your delicate skin!! I saw a woman selling fake mac and benefit at a car boot sale last weekend and she was telling people they were genuine! I managed to convince a poor customer they were fake and to go buy the real thing!

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  11. Great post, I'll definitely be getting my purchases from a store or from the actual website :)

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  12. Wow! I would be SO angry if I found out I received a fake, what a piss off! Definitely good to know how to spot a fake though.

    xoxo Bree
    The Urban Umbrella
    http://www.theurbanumbrella.com/

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  13. This was such an interesting read. I was looking for a cheap Pink Swoon blush so I turned to eBay and noticed that they came with those exact 'official' brushes too! I gave in and spent the extra money to get it from the MAC shop instead! I hope that your friend gets her money back! xx

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  14. Great post! It's absolutely disgusting that her friend ripped her off! I would say that maybe the friend didn't know, but if she worked on the counter she will be able to spot a fake in seconds! How appauling! Thank god you noticed! xxxx

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  15. wow that is crazy. It's so hard now to tell what is real and what is fake in everything from clothes to perfume, handbags and everything in between. Great post!!
    I've nominated you for the versatile blogger award on my blog.
    (post to be up in the next 30min, check then)

    xoxo
    annpaige
    http://annpaigefashion.blogspot.ca

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  16. I got a 24 piece professional make-up brush set of ebay. of course i knew it was fake and just a normal brand but i'm a beginner so it's ok. xx

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  17. I once brought a perfume of eBay which I think is fake. It wasnt much cheaper than the perfume usually is but was sold as an unwanted gift as it was just after Christmas. When I used the product it smelt nothing like it (I had brought it before)and there were subtle differences in the packaging - so I learnt my lesson about buying from eBay!

    xo

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  18. This makes me so sad, it reminds me of when my fiancé wanted to treat me to some mac products, got it online, and came to realise it was all fake! I hate that people are getting away with this. :( x

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  19. There is a lot of mac products and brush sets on eBay selling for 20.00 ??

    When a single mac brush Can be £20 alone !

    Such a brilliant post girly xx

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  20. I cannot believe someone that worked on a make up counter knowingly sold these products to a FRIEND, like not only going against like fact she worked for a counter and then sold fakes but also the friend code! These are so obviously fakes as well so it's not as though the friend could be like "I didn't realise", as she is obviously someone with knowledge of make up brands etc. it really annoys me when I see stuff like this because mac as a brand have spent ages and probably a lot of money building themselves up to be reputable but people can totally loose trust in the brand when presented with fakes, even though it doesn't come from them! Hope camille gets her money back xxxx

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  21. This is such a great post! I really liked reading it :)

    I have a lot of MAC as well so I know the signs of something being fake. But not everyone does, & I would hate to hear of anyone else being scammed!

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  22. I just don't see how someone could go to bed happy whilst knowing that they've coned some innocent person out of their hard earned money. Shame on them and hope that your friend gets a refund! x

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  23. This is ridiculous but I suppose if anyone new anything about MAC and saw these products they would spot they were fake from a mile off! That's ridiculous though that it was a friend that sold it her and for £40 which isn't cheap!!! Xx

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  24. Years ago I ended up with fake MAC & Benefit products. The MAC packaging was spot on, it was only when I was about to use the Lipglass a few weeks later I realised it was fake - smelt like petrol! God only knows what crap is used. I've heard horror stories of really high levels of lead being found in fake make up. I know 'safe' levels of lead are in some genuine lippies but I'd rather not take the chance with fakes.
    xo

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  25. Love your posts!! :)

    P.S I have just launched an online clothing store selling affordable pre-loved fashion.
    Get yourself 15% off using the discount code 'BLOGGER' for a limited time only :)


    Lots of Love
    Emily
    xx

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  26. Thank you so much for the tips. Fortunately I've never gotten any fake Mac products, but it's good to know that it may happy to me and now I feel prepared to spot it. Thanks.
    -Fleur

    pourlefemmes.blogspot.com

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  27. You have a very interesting blog! Now following.

    http://everydayrachel21.blogspot.com/

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  28. Great color palette!

    Hey, we're hosting a GIVEAWAY and wanted you to find out first about it! Maybe you want to join the fun!

    xoxo, 0941

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  29. This was so helpful to read :) my sister bought some fake MAC brushes off ebay recently and they all fell apart after a few weeks! x

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  30. I can't believe it! Why would someone do something like that? Why can't they just make their own brand if they like making money. I hope they get put into jail, or get fined! Will you be able to get our money back?

    Lauren,
    Laurensbeautydepartment.blogspot.com

    xx

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  31. there's so many fake MAC products on ebay and entire website dedicated to them too! i always think if it sounds like too much of a good deal, it probably is!

    from helen at www.thelovecatsinc.com // @thelovecatsinc

    ps. enter my new giveaway to win a MAC lipstick and 5 models own nail polishes!

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  32. Gah, i think I love your blog more and more each time I come on here! What an amazing post Kayleigh. Luckily, i've never experienced anything like this. But like you say, i'd never take the risk! I only ever buy from the counter or website! It's not worth it! xxx

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  33. that is crazy... fake bags and now fake mac products too. someone tried to sell me fake moroccanoil once. so bogus. nice post :-)


    visit me-
    www.stylemailbox.com

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  34. ah how annoying for your friend! I wanted a big set of brushes & I got some cheap fake MAC ones just cause they had a nice case haha! I knew they weren't genuine but I feel so bad for people that get them thinking they are getting a bargain! x

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  35. Omg! I didnt realise they fake everything now! That's crazy.. Gotta look out now. xx Thanks! xxx

    Visit me-
    http://n-twicfashion.blogspot.co.uk/
    Coming soon sneak peak of London Fashion Week!

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  36. Oh yuck, I hate fakes. I'd much rather buy a cheaper brand than something fake from a more expensive brand. I read that fake cosmetics are actually very dangerous because of the ingredients they use. It sucks that your friend got sucked into it :(.

    www.101FashionStreet.com

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  37. I love Mac makeup! Especially their lipglosses! xx

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  38. my mam bought me a "mac" brush set and thought it was a bargain she wouldn't stop ranting and raving about it until she brought them home and I told her they were fake she was disgusted. love this post, people need to be made aware of been coned.

    xo

    http://abullettothehead.blogspot.ie/

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  39. thank you this post will help many people

    xx

    http://ravingbeautyx.blogspot.co.uk/

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  40. I would be naive enough to buy makeup off of E-bay! This is a great post though, its super helpful to those (like myself!) who aren't trained enough to recognize authentic vs fake. Thanks!



    http://facethiscity.blogspot.com/

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  41. I had the same problem a few years ago on ebay. I bought myself 4 mac pigments and I only knew something was wrong when I used them and the colour was really pale and rubbish. Until I started looking into it I had no idea there was even such a thing as fake make-up!

    Michelle
    bodytakesabeating.blogspot.co.uk

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  42. This post gives the light in which we can observe the reality.This is very nice one and gives indepth information.Thanks for sharing this nice article. escrow

    ReplyDelete

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