How To Spot The Difference Between Real and Fake Makeup and Beauty Products

Detect Fake Cosmetics

Using makeup has become an everyday thing to us. Be it a full face glam or a subtle kohl and lipstick look, imagining life without a touch of makeup is next to impossible. Not only makeup, we nowadays heavily rely on skin and hair care products as well. Now imagine using a fake product, loaded with harmful chemicals going into our skin, no matter how little we use. Even a stroke of fake kajal or a swipe of fake lipstick or a spritz of a fake perfume can prove to be very harmful.
The number of people falling prey to fake cosmetics, masquerading as original, are increasing day by day. Being in India, we don’t have much access to International brands and so we end up relying on various websites and Instagram sellers and other ‘importers’ to get our makeup fix. We trust them with our money, hoping to receive all genuine products. And that’s where the sellers play their hand and you knowingly or unknowingly fall into their clutches and get just knockoffs in the name of ‘100% genuine and authentic products’.

I get so many messages where people attach a picture of a product from a random seller or page and ask me about the authenticity of it. So today I'll taking about ways to detect a fake beauty product. This is a much requested post and I hope you all find it helpful.

Most of the time, a fake product will be a lot cheaper than their original counterpart. For example, a genuine HUDA Beauty Rose Gold Eye Shadow Palette will cost you almost 5000 INR, while you can get a fake HUDA Beauty Rose Gold palette for as low as 500. Huda Beauty Liquid mattes are available for 750/-, that too a set of 4, where an original one costs 1650 INR. Don’t succumb to the desire of getting a cheap copy. Buy the genuine products to get the best results.


There are many variations of fake products. Some are ‘A copy’, some are ‘A+’, some are first copies, few are second and some are even “true” copies. Such an oxymoron!! Some ‘genuine’ fake sellers actually have the decency to mention that on their posts. Remember, copy is just a polished word for fake here; and no matter how negligible the difference is, a fake will always remain a fake. So whenever you see ‘copy’, just run.


Look out for a difference in packaging. Counterfeit products will look and feel fake from every angle. Mostly fake ones will have uneven fonts, inconsistent or different patterns, misspelled words and incorrect shade names. Some powder products even have sponge applicators instead of brushes. Please compare them with pictures on the official website or on blogs where the products are reviewed. Some of the fakes are packed in a way that it would fool even the most experienced of eyes. Moreover, most of the sellers use pictures of the original products, either taken from official websites or stolen from blogs. So ask for current pictures. I even went to the extent of asking them to click original photos using a particular background or with a prop. That way I would know that the pictures were clicked on my request and then I can ‘judge’.
When you are buying something from a store, it becomes easier to spot a fake. They are housed in low-quality plastic or metal casings, often paired with ill-fitting mirrors and sponge-tipped applicators, instead of brushes. Pay attention to the logos and fonts.
In any case if you didn’t understand before and have realized it after buying them, then just do yourself a favor and don’t use them.

left ones are fake and right one is original

Just look at the quality. This screams fake.

Before purchasing, check on official brand websites to see if that particular product is actually manufactured by the brand. Look out for genuine reviews on the web. See the pictures below, neither MAC nor HUDA Beauty have a volt like that. MAC Cosmetics has the largest fake market in the world. (You click HERE to see how to spot MAC products easily. )

MAC doesn't have such product.
MAC doesn't have such product.
Dior doesn't have such product.

Like packaging, the quality of fake products are poor as well. Swatch them before buying. Fake eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks have drier, chalkier consistency than their original ones. For example, a Lime Crime Velvetine liquid matte lipstick has an amazing texture and a fake one which I received once had a very dry, flaky texture. So do your research well before using a product.

Swatch of fake LIME CRIME Velvitine

Last but not the least, be mindful where you are shopping. Don’t buy products, from any random stores. I would suggest not even to buy from your local neighborhood shop. They might not know that they are selling fake. Go to departmental stores instead, from the official counters or buy from MYNTRA or NYKAA or from the brand’s official website. There are a few trusted instagram stores / sellers through whom you can order.

Counterfeited products are more dangerous than you can ever imagine. There are thousands of instances where people were even been hospitalized after being affected by the harmful chemicals present in the fake products.
I have even faced statements that, “Oww, I am using this for quite a while now. Nothing has happened.” It didn’t happen today, doesn’t mean you wont be affected in the long run. Show some mercy to yourself; just to save a few bucks you are risking your own health.


  1. Terrific, super useful post!!! Seeing the fakes next to the authentic product was amazing. And when I saw the photo of the MAC Cream Shadow palette, I thought, hey they don’t have a cream shadow pallor I would own it! Definitely buyer beware

  2. I only buy from legit websites and retailers but this is very helpful to those who think they are getting good deals from other sellers

  3. It's so easy now for counterfeiters to replicate products now, it's kind of sad. I only buy from reputable shops to avoid this

  4. I have such a fear of fakes! That's why I only buy from trustworthy retailers. Really glad to see your tips here.

  5. When I first started buying on ebay I ended up with some fakes. That was it. I now only buy from the original source or a store I'm familiar with. Some of your examples are so obviously fakes but I know people fall for them anyway.

  6. I haven't seen a lot of fakes but I don't buy from Ebay and I live in a small town.

  7. I didn't realize fake cosmetics was such a large business. I've only bought from beauty stores (Sephora, Ulta) online and in stores. I had no clue what to look for! Great post.

  8. As much as I like saving money, I would rather spend more money for a product I know and trust to be an original than risk getting an infection or worse from a fake. Even skipping out on an eyeshadow palette because it is too expensive is much better than damaging my eyes!

  9. I'm pretty sure I bought some fake MAC pigments about a decade ago... I flat out don't buy from people anymore and only from established stores. Great photos to really show what's real and what's not!

  10. Fakes really frustrate me. I can't even imagine how the brands feel. The fakes are really convincing too.

  11. Wow, people really go to a lot of trouble to make these so close don't they!? Great post!

  12. This is such an informative post! I had no idea there were Maybelline dupes out there. I thought they were affordable enough to not be targeted by companies making fake product.

  13. So many great tips!! I refuse to buy fake makeup and always make sure that I’m buying it from a legit retailer.

  14. So many great tips!!! It's sad that so many scammers out there get away with knocking off our beloved beauty products!!

  15. Ugh, fakes are a growing problem. Usually, they fake high-end products, but now they fake even drugstore products! In Thailand, they have Urban Decay Naked 4, 5, 6, 7, and so on, and they haven't even released them yet!

  16. This is such a great post for Buyer Beware. so informative. I can't believe there are so many fakes on the market.


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