Be careful buying makeup off eBay, some of it may be counterfeit. Here’s how to spot a dodgy Benefit They’re Real! Mascara from the real thing.
A friend of mine recently said how disappointed she was with They’re Real Mascara by Benefit. I was taken aback. They’re Real is one of my all time faves- great volume, separation and lasts all day, what’s not to like? Could I be wrong about my favourite mascara? My spidey sense was twitching.
When my friend showed me her They’re Real, it was different to mine. The packaging is a pink metal whereas mine is matte black (the crystals on mine are a special edition). I had seen silver and blue packaging before but not pinky purple. It didn’t look right. It looked to me like my friend had a fake mascara.
Counterfeit makeup is bad news. Interpol have raided counterfeit makeup labs and they were filled with dodgy people making dodgy makeup in unsanitary conditions with dangerous chemicals. Counterfeit mascara has been found to contain dangerous levels of lead and arsenic, among other nasty things. So if you buy fake makeup not only are you funding criminals, you’re also receiving an inferior product which will put your health at risk.
My friend’s mum had bought the mascara off eBay for her. A quick search showed dozens of sellers with good feedback selling convincing looking products at super low prices. It all looked kosher, I can see why anyone would be taken in.
Here are some things to look for if you suspect a product is counterfeit-
- Weight- The fake They’re Real felt light and insubstantial.
- The Colour- I google imaged They’re Real and I couldn’t find a version in Pink with a Silver lid. If you see a mascara on EBay, check the manufacturer’s website to see if it matches.
- The Packaging- Some fake mascaras have a join in the packaging, as if the bottle was made in two sections, real Benefit mascaras won’t be like that.
- The Wand- The wands look really similar in the photos but in reality the difference was marked. The fake felt really flexible and thin, it also had fewer bristles.
- The Product- On removing the brush you could tell something wasn’t right. The mascara was gloopy and stringy. Apparently it was really clumpy on, I wasn’t about to try it because of the poisonous chemicals.
- The Sticker- The fake sticker was really convincing. Some fakes don’t have stickers at all which is a tell take sign- all real mascaras will have a sticker for authenticity. Also check for a number printed on the base which will match the serial number on the box. Our fake sticker doesn’t have is a serial number printed over it.
- The Print- Again, the Counterfeit one’s print isn’t all that different. It just looked slightly less quality, the orange is less vibrant. Also check the box- the image quality won’t be as good, the print might be fuzzy or wonky.
- The Price- I found loads of mascaras on eBay for 99p. You’re not going to get a £20 mascara for a quid. Bargains like that don’t exist.
- The EBay Advert- Check for bad English and spelling mistakes. Read the small print, read between the lines. If it doesn’t say anywhere that the product is genuine, or give a good reason for the low price then it’s likely to be a fake.
I would be very wary about buying any makeup on eBay. You just can’t see what your getting and you could be buying a very convincing fake that might damage your health. It’s just not worth the risk. It took us several minutes of examining our counterfeit They’re Real before we were sure it was a dud. You’re better off getting a genuine product from a reliable source, it’ll cost more than 99p but at least it won’t damage your eyesight.