Some beauty products instantaneously catapult to the top of cult favourites list, so much so, they sell out in a manner of minutes (remember Kylie’s lip kit craze?). This often leads to a third-party shadow market promising to fill our appetite for the product – and often for cheaper.
The problem? These are counterfeit cosmetics and they don’t only con us out of our money, they can cause serious harm. These doppelgangers use unregulated ingredients and may contain harmful heavy metals, bacteria, glue and more. And telling the difference between your legit favourite and these fakes is not as easy as you might think, often because they appear on legitimate third-party sellers you likely already know and love.
Here are some tell-tale signs to spot these pretend products:
Note the seller
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Note the price
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Note the “limited-time offer” messaging
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Note the packaging
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Note the label
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Note the colours, smell and texture
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Note the applicators
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Note the reviews, spot the spam
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Test the product, if possible
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When it doubt, don’t
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