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Fake Make-Up: Are you aware of the risks?

Counterfeit versions of MAC, Benefit and Urban Decay make-up have recently been seized at a shop in Warwickshire. Scarily, these were found to contain arsenic, mercury, copper and lead. The build-up of these metals in the body can cause a number of health problems such as high blood pressure, fertility issues, digestive troubles, memory/concentration issues and muscle/joint pain. Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service are currently investigating this particular case, but in the meantime it’s important to be aware of the dangers, especially since make-up is increasingly being bought online. The dangers of fake goods landing on your doorstep are perhaps higher than you think.

When shopping on sites such as Ebay and Amazon you may come across make-up that looks perfectly legitimate but is in fact sold by non-reputable sellers. So if you do have any doubts about the legitimacy of your make-up there are a few things you can do:

·         Read buyer reviews to see if anyone else has had any problems with a particular seller

·         Check that the colour perfectly matches up to the original

·         Check that the packaging is perfectly symmetrical because fake versions may not be folded as accurately or as neatly as the real thing

·         Check the font to see if it exactly matches the original – the same goes for logos

·         Check that the spelling and punctuation are correct – fake versions may not be completely accurate


This MAC lipstick is completely the wrong colour and the packaging is not as neat as it should be.


The colours of these eye shadows are just plain wrong, plus MAC doesn’t include applicators in their palettes.


It’s all in the detail. A small difference, but the bottom ‘r’ is not as elongated as the top, which is the real thing.


Ultimately, you should stick to the motto: if it’s too good to be true then it probably is. So have your wits about you – once you start to question how a seller has got hold of MAC lipsticks so cheaply they can sell them for less than a fiver, then you’ll start to be more aware of fakes.

So, instead of putting yourself at risk by buying what could be a fake, it’s a much better idea to find make-up ‘dupes’ instead. There are loads of great buys on the high street that cost a fraction of the price of designer products. Her Campus Nottingham has a great article on the top five make-up dupes for this year – think Sleek lipstick instead of MAC, Revlon lip stain instead of YSL and Rimmel concealer instead of NARS.


Edited by Nicole Jones






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A 3rd year English Literature and Language student at the University of Nottingham.
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