Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to Spot a Fake - Episode 2, MAC Eyeshadow Palettes

Here is a sample of a real MAC palette that I own from a holiday collection (Devil May Dare).  It's packaging is sturdy, it has a full mirror, color names are listed on the back, there is a small brush included.
 Now here is a fake I purchased off of eBay from a seller announcing "authentic MAC products".

How to tell it's fake:
  1. It says it's cream eyeshadows...MAC cream eyeshadows don't come in this format.
  2. It's not even cream eyeshadows.  When you open it, it's powder.
  3. The Fantastic color-land quote.
  4. The back is plain black.  A real MAC palette will tell you what names the eyeshadows are and have a name itself. Mine has a sticker with a #6.
  5. There is nothing about the product size, where it's made, nothing.  Essentially the palette was only printed on the front.
How to know it's fake:
  1. You just aren't going to get 12 MAC shadows for about $12.  It's just not going to happen
  2. Double sponge-tipped applicator, what?
  3. Beware the mirror.  Some MAC palettes will/will not have the full mirror.  For example, some holiday palettes will.
  4. Look at the quality of the shadows.  You can tell my brown has a huge chunk out of...which was from part of falling apart as I was using the awesome sponge tipped applicator.
  5. The colors they are meant to mimic are not comparable.
And now the Swatches:
 How to tell it's fake:
  1. Look at the quality of what you have.  If alot of the shadows seem sketchy, it's most likely too good to be true.  The purple for example has horrible pigmentation, it's chalky, and it doesn't stay put.  The black (which I assume is meant to be "carbon") is the same way.  The light blue and brown are decently pigmented, but that is the thing, the quality will vary because it's so inconsistent.
You may ask who would even think that was real.  I did when I first got into higher end makeup.  I didn't know that these palettes weren't real and actually came from China.  I do recommend checking out Asian whole sale sites to see what is commonly copied (MAC, Benefit, anything). Look and see what is being offered.

Also, question the seller.  I once saw someone with a Liberty of London collection lipstick b/c I was looking for Peach Stock and the colors she had listed were not in the collection at all.  Look up what was in the collection to see if it is even remotely close to what was offered by MAC.  Also, that seller never answered my question. Answer: it's fake.  If you come across fakes, report them to eBay.  You can also file a claim through paypal to protect yourself but with some sellers, be ready for a battle.

Also, common lies:
  1. No the person does not work at MAC and gets this stuff to sell
  2. The person did not get a shipment that "fell off a truck".
  3. It is not the "Asian version of MAC". It's called counterfeit.
  4. I don't know where it came from (how do you not know where the products YOU are selling are from)
Other locations to be aware of: Any auction sites, store websites selling discount cosmetics (be careful where you shop), Flea markets, any type of stand sale.

Above all else, If it's too good to be true, it probably is.


  1. I hate these frauds! Now that I know, I would never buy MAC from the street or from ebay! Ew!

  2. wow thank for the information i love these post and there are lots of fake mac brushes!!

  3. This is a great post. I hate hearing about people being taken advantage of and also not being well informed about purchasing makeup on Ebay!!

  4. Thanks for the great info. I almost bought a MAC brush set off of eBay last year but a friend told me MAC does not sell brushes in sets. So I probably saved myself a big headache! Thanks

  5. I do too, but I love them blended together =)

  6. Wow, very informative, thank you!

  7. Thanks for the great post! I was just researching because someone here is selling MAC that looks to be fake and now after reading your post I am 99% sure it is, so I'm going to steer clear and warn my friends! Thank you!

    The Crafty Military Wife