Counterfeit cosmetics aren’t news to gurus, artists, and the average person who looks to YouTube for their rose gold tutorial. The beauty black market has been around and will stick around for as long as there are faces to be painted.
Fakeups are pervasive right now. In Los Angeles and New York City, they are sold on the streets with admirable insolence. In Manila, they are nestled in the wallet-friendly stalls of Divisoria, in bazaars, and some pop-up stores. And whether you intend to, you can also purchase them from online marketplaces that don't insure product authenticity. No eyebrow is safe from the growing reach of the current hottest brow pomade from questionable origins.
What’s the big deal? When we wear makeup aren’t we all, in its purest essence, just faking it?
Well, for starters, the ingredients found in fake label cosmetics are horrendous.
In a report by the British news outfit BBC, findings reveal that the laboratories in which these counterfeit cosmetics are produced have tested positive for cyanide, mercury, and arsenic. Rat droppings are also present due to the complete lack of sanitation and regard for consumer well-being. Who would want this on their face?
YouTube vloggers like Jordana Byers knowingly test fakes to compare with originals. In one of her videos, she reveals that she has suffered from a chemical burn from using a fake lipstick.
Counterfeit products are unregulated — they don’t go through any sort of standard inspection and monitoring by the Food and Drug Administration.
If you get a bad reaction, you can’t hold anyone accountable.
Big labels take customer feedback seriously. The process to get your concerns may be long and tedious, but the important thing here is that there is due process. Official products are registered and documented, which also means someone from the company is professionally responsible and accountable for the ingredients and manufacturing process. The same can’t be said about counterfeit products. No one can specifically tell you how much human urine made it into your knockoff J'Adore by
"Cristian" Dior (Here's the authentic one by Christian Dior, btw!).
There are some things you just shouldn’t fake.
Some may argue that fakes are okay because popular brands often come with astronomical price tags. After all, we live in a world where you can always find a cheaper alternative.
You may think that Kylie Jenner doesn’t really need any more money (but really, we still can't get enough of the Kylie Cosmetics) and you’d rather support someone’s small business. While you get points for taking a powerful consumer stand, you’re not really doing yourself any favors.
And while you might get away with replica leather goods, with beauty products, you are risking more than just social embarrassment when the authenticity of an item comes into question. You’re risking your health, girl! Don’t review that fake lipgloss, full stop.
For safe, quality, and authentic products, check out the iamClaire. Shop, and tag us on your product reviews on Facebook or Instagram @iamclaireph!