Makeup or Fake-up?
The age of digitalisation has brought us the ease of ordering almost everything at the tap of a button, but with that comes the issue of having to navigate an entirely different breed of scammers. Currently, one of the major money making schemes of these scammers is selling counterfeit makeup on Facebook pages.
Fake makeup or "fakeup" may look exactly the same on the outside as our beloved luxury items with the Huda Beauty glam eyes or that sleek Anastasia Beverly Hills logo but the inside is filled with harmful toxins. The ingredients sections often list the same components as the authentic products, however, many of these fake ones have been found to contain chemicals such as aluminium, mercury, arsenic and cyanide clearly deeming the listings as false. These toxic ingredients could cause eye infections, skin rashes, allergic reactions and even chemical burns. Some fake liquid lipsticks have been found to include glue which can cause swelling and peeling of the lips. By using these items frequently, users could potentially be putting themselves at risk of long-term health concerns such as skin cancer.
Who is buying all these harmful products and why?
Well, a large number of consumers are unaware of the counterfeit market and assume they are receiving an original item because not only is the packaging similar, the product itself is a complete lookalike. For instance, the eyeshadow or highlight colours in a palette are replicated and placed in the same order. A casual makeup user would, no doubt, mistake them for the real deal.
The most alluring factor is the price point. The knockoffs are a fraction of the cost of the original and buyers snatch it up thinking they're getting a really solid deal. People think they're getting a six grand Naked Palette by Urban Decay at six hundred. Buyers who do not usually seek knowledge regarding makeup brands fall into the trap where the scammers label them as 'middle-aged parents looking for presents' or 'gullible first timers easily succumb to these pages'. A few sellers have even resorted to naming their counterfeit goods (if it can even be called that) "A grade replica." They will admit the fact that they're selling replicas but still attempt at legitimizing their scam.
Here are some ways to exercise caution and avoid falling into their trap:
Brands usually have a similar price point everywhere as they regulate the pricing on their products. Use the absurd price difference to your advantage. Look up the products online on the brands' pages and convert the prices to BDT. If the asking price is suspiciously lower than the ones listed in the official pages, it is most likely a fake.
Understand the Minute Differences
There are tiny details the counterfeit products will have missed. Such as an embossed logo will simply be a printed logo or a holographic packaging will only look slightly shiny. The font could be slightly off or words will be misspelled altogether. You could search up the product on YouTube adding on "Fake vs. Real" to get a specific overview of what exactly you are looking for.
Look For Dupes Rather Than Knockoffs
"Dupe" is a popular slang term for products inspired by the high-end brands but perfectly legal and made under safe conditions. There are many great alternatives to the big names, so to speak, and many of them offer high quality at an affordable price. Aptly named "drugstore brands" due to their price ranges which make them an easy buy at any western drugstore, they can give you value for your money and beautiful looks without harming your skin.
A clichéd and useful general rule of thumb is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It might be incredibly difficult to resist the thought of getting an ideal product at an inch of the price but the reality is we might be setting ourselves up for medical bills in the future. It is important to take care of one's health before one's appearances. Let's try to spend our money wisely so that the benefit does not go to unethical businesses'.