The issue of counterfeit products continues to be prevalent in the industry, both in fashion and beauty. Year after year, it just keeps getting worse—but here's the deal: saving a few bucks on fake makeup is never worth the lead poisoning and skin allergies you might get from it!
These are the red flags you need to watch out for:
1. It's too affordable. If the product is almost half the price of the original, start questioning its authenticity. A lipstick that originally retails for P1000 being sold for P200? An instant red flag. Always research about the original price of a product and compare before finalizing a purchase.
2. You've never heard of it before. Many counterfeit products copy the layout of original products to make them seem legit. Some of them even go the extra mile by inventing products that don't actually exist.
As seen here, this counterfeit product claims to be a Naked 4 palette from American brand Urban Decay.
The issue? Urban Decay doesn't have a Naked 4 palette (yet). So even if you're familiar with the brand printed on the label, there's no guarantee of its authenticity.
3. The seller claims that it's "SG Authentic" or "Class A." A counterfeit item made in another country is still a counterfeit item. "Singapore authentic" and "Class A/B" products are just alternative terms for fakes and replicas. You'll also easily spot these being sold at a lower price than the authentic version.
This version of The Balm palette is being sold for P250 and is tagged #sgauthentic.
The original palette carried by Beauty Bar, however, retails for P2795.
IMAGE Beauty Bar
The BalmMeet Matt(e) Trimony Eyeshadow Palette, P2795, Beauty Bar
4. The packaging looks different. There are bound to be differences between fakes and the real thing: typos in the label, flimsy boxes, different text placement, etc. Look closely and compare with photos you can find online to be 100% sure! Here's a video that compares fake MAC products with the real thing:
5. You're not buying from an authorized reseller. Not all unauthorized resellers carry counterfeit items. But still, you should always be aware that they're operating in unregulated ways. Always keep your eyes peeled for the signs mentioned above when buying from these kinds of shops. Ask for receipts and authenticity stickers, and look up their track record just to be on the safe side.
Etude House Philippines, for one, routinely announces that there's only one authorized distributor for the brand in the country.