Stranger danger! – don’t risk fake cosmetics!

So a short and definitely not so sweet one…but I do feel all too necessary unfortunately none the less, especially at this time of year! Unsuspecting Christmas shoppers on the hunt of a bargain, may get way more than they bargained for and not in a good way! You would all have guessed by now from the title, but beware the fake!

Now before I get started, I do like to keep my blog an all round positive and hopefully fun makeup related place to be. This is a far from negative post, just a heads up. I see so many clearly counterfeit cosmetics around, mainly online and am sure that the majority of you makeup loving folk would be equally aware, but not everyone is, or there wouldn’t still be a market for such bad quality and potentially dangerous products! (This post is also going to be light on photos, as I do not and will not own anything like to photograph examples!)

Basically, bottom line…if it looks too good to be true…it is! Same principle can be applied to pretty much anything, but when it comes to cosmetics, it’s not just the possible waste of hard earned money on substandard, bad quality products, it’s the risk of using something that has the potential to cause harm! It may look like the product you’ve been lusting after for ages (some fakes truly are pretty much original identical to the untrained eye!) but as well as not being the same quality and pigmentation, it could have been manufactured in far from sanitary conditions and could also possibly contain all kinds of nasties, including dangerous levels of lead, arsenic, mercury and even rat droppings/ traces of poison according to official Police/ Crime Stoppers anti counterfeit social media campaign…eww!!

So here are my top tips on how to spot and avoid the fakes!

➕ First and foremost…trust your instincts! As I said before, if an offer looks too good to be true, it most likely is! Legitimate high end cosmetic brands rarely discount their stock, especially limited edition products that are high in demand. Nor do they sell to anyone other than official stockists and especially not in bulk.
➕ That brings me on to my next point…only deal with reputable sellers/ stockists! By that, I mean either the brand’s official website and sites like Beautybay* and Cult Beauty* and go by recommendation…if you haven’t bought from somewhere before, do your research and look up online reviews.
➕ If you do buy makeup/ cosmetics from places like Ebay, there’s always a bit of a risk involved in my opinion. If you do decide to buy, do your research! Check out online swatches, shade names, how the packaging should look, seller reviews…all the things!
➕ Look after your online self too! Find out where the trader is based and if they provide a postal address (just a PO box or email should be alarm bells straight off), check the website spelling and grammar (fakers often cut corners here), find out about their returns policy/ guarantee and check that the website address begins ‘https’ at the payment stage, which indicates secure payment.
➕ If you’re not sure, for whatever reason if a product is genuine, don’t bother! Save yourself the hassle and possible health issues! With non genuine products, you don’t have a leg to stand on basically if anything does go wrong and do you really want to apply something potentially dangerous to your eyes or skin? I definitely don’t!

Like I touched on before, a lot of fakes are really hard to identify, but some are just laughable! Take the Urban Decay Naked 5 palette (which obviously doesn’t actually exist in the legit UD world) or the ‘MAC’ palettes with sponge tip applicators and cheap plastic packaging that would never be found in a MAC store or their website, ever!

My advice…if you’re looking to pick up a limited edition or cult product that sells out fast, sign yourself up to email alerts from either the brands official website or reputable stockist, so you don’t miss out. Keep an eye out for discount shopping days at department stores/ online beauty stores and pick up your products in store or online when the discount is offered. If you’re on a budget, check out @dupethat on Instagram or websites like, who have extensive dupe lists and swatches (Temptalia also has a ‘foundation matrix’ which is a great tool for colour matching foundation if you need to buy online and haven’t used it before), you may find a more affordable and even better dupe for the product you want. Lastly…there are so many amazing affordable brands out there now. Why risk an expensive fake when you can pick up something of comparable quality from a more inexpensive brand that you know is 100% genuine. The likes of Makeup Geek and Morphe Brushes are among my own personal favourites as well as NYX, which is now available widely at Boots*. I value my eye health and not having skin reactions above using the unknown to save a few £/ €!

Let me know if any of you guys have been unlucky enough to have been caught out/ affected by any stranger danger fakes or…if anyone has any recommendations of any favourite places to shop genuine products online for others to check out too, stick them bellow in the comments!

Lyd x



I’m now based in Cork, Ireland. Although I do still take select bookings for North Wales/ Cheshire and Dublin (get in touch for more info) and am available to travel country wide…I’m mainly taking makeup bookings for Cork City and surrounding areas. 

As a bridal makeup specialist, I do get booked up well in advance so if you’re looking for wedding makeup in Cork contact me asap to check availability, secure your date and avoid disappointment! I’m freelance and travel to your home/ venue of choice.

Also available for makeup for any occasion/ event, lessons and master class makeup…find more information and a full list of services here.

Contact us for enquiries/ bookings and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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2 thoughts on “Stranger danger! – don’t risk fake cosmetics!

  1. This happened to me Lyd! I stupidly bought Mac Humid eyeshadow off Ebay and I knew straight away it was fake as the colour when swatched was almost black rather than a shade of green. Needless to say it went in the bin! What was most scary is that the packaging etc. was identical to Mac’s so I can understand how easy it is to be conned.

    1. Really Beth? Ugh, it’s the worst! And yeah, so easy to get caught out! ?
      (That aside, actual Humid is such a gorgeous colour, good choice!)

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