One of life’s most enduring axioms goes; if it looks to good to be true—it probably is. Sadly, too many people overlook this concept when they see something they like at a favorable price until the realities behind that reduced price come into sharp focus. This is true across the entire spectrum of luxury goods, including makeup, which is why it is important to learn how to spot counterfeit cosmetics.
They Can Actually Be Dangerous
Unlike a Louis Vuitton bag or a Gucci loafer, fake beauty products can be difficult to spot. Counterfeiters have become very good at duplicating their look, so in many cases, you won’t know until you open the product itself. What’s more, one of the reasons knockoffs can be sold so cheaply is the fact they don’t have to conform to the FDA’s sanitation guidelines, nor do they have to undergo rigorous testing procedures to eliminate allergic reactions. In other words, counterfeit makeup can compromise your health.
Labels Tell Tales
Though counterfeiters have become good at replicating the appearance of high-end cosmetic packaging, they still sometimes fall down when it comes to spelling, grammar and matching typefaces exactly. Many high-end products also come with supplemental packaging and printed materials. Be suspicious if these are missing. Go directly to the manufacturer’s website and compare the one in your hand to the pictures on their site. By the way, if you’ve decided to sell beauty products from home, it’s possible for you to be taken in by counterfeiters too. Pay particular attention to ensure you always deliver quality goods to your customers.
Packaging Can Lend Clues
Odds are, if you’re looking at lipstick, eyeliner or some other product by a company you like, there’s a nearly empty package of it somewhere in your life. Compare the one you know to be authentic to the one about which you have questions. If they aren’t identical, the new one is likely a fake (assuming you got the older one from an authorized source). Fakes usually come in cheaper plastics, and accessories like mirrors and applicators typically show signs of inferior quality. The fit of external packaging can often be substandard as well.
Price is A Strong Indication
In most cases, the major manufacturers have strict pricing guidelines to which retailers must adhere. They do this to keep the perceived value of their products higher. Whether you shop Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Nordstrom, the price will vary only minimally for the same product. And, in most cases, it will be exactly the same. So, if you run across a website offering it at a 70 or 80 percent discount, you can be pretty sure something is amiss. Yes, closeouts do happen, but if the price is just ridiculously low…
Great Is Difficult to Duplicate
Just to be on the safe side, always keep a bit of old product on hand for comparison purposes. In most cases, color, consistency and the scent of fake stuff will compare poorly to the genuine article. Most of the major manufacturers have a difficult to duplicate signature fragrance to their goods. Take a whiff of anything new. If it smells different, it’s probably not the real deal. Regardless, makeup should smell like makeup, so if you get an overwhelmingly chemical note off of it, you probably just got taken.
Fake makeup is more than just a financial issue; it also poses serious health risks. Whether you’re buying or selling makeup online, spend some time learning how to spot counterfeit cosmetics. And, make sure you carefully examine anything you purchase before using it. There have been some rather severe consequences.
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