August 03, 2015

Keepin' It Real: Why fake cosmetics will never be worth it

As I was browsing around the internet one night looking for some writing inspiration, I came across this relatively recent article that simply horrified me.

In summary, a woman purchased what she thought was a genuine Dior eyeshadow palette from eBay. It was surprisingly (and significantly) cheaper than the actual retail price. According to the "reputable" seller, the price was lowered because the palette was opened just so the colors could be swatched. The next day after trying out the eyeshadow, she found that her eyelids were STUCK TOGETHER. When she finally managed to get them open after rinsing them with water, they were red, swollen, and irritated. If you ask me, she's lucky she wasn't left blind! What's even more horrifying is that this isn't an isolated case. Just hit up Google and you'll find that many women out there have suffered the effects, some of them permanent, of using fake cosmetics.


Now I won't heap blame on the woman because let's face it, she's suffered enough and learned her lesson. But it makes me wonder why, despite the various warning signs (the low price, the presence of Chinese customs stickers on the product, the product arriving with no box like it should, etc.) she still decided to try it on? The stickers alone would immediately set alarm bells off for me that the product was a fake and I'd refuse to even swatch it! I'll just chalk it up to naivety. This woman was still deceived, plain and simple. However, there are an alarming amount of women who frequently and willingly purchase fake cosmetics with full knowledge that they're not authentic products. I won't touch upon those who buy them without this knowledge, believing them to be authentic products, because that's a whole other topic entirely and it comes down to simply being aware of and teaching yourself how to spot fakes. There are tons of websites and other blogs out there that'll help you do just that, even for specific brands, so I highly suggest reading up if you're still inexperienced in that field!


So, why do people even buy fake cosmetics in the first place knowing they're well...fakes? I've found that it can be boiled down to three, particularly common reasons:

"It's cheaper. I get to save money!"

Yes, it's cheaper. You can save anywhere from $20 to $100 dollars, sometimes even more, by not buying authentic cosmetic products. But you know what isn't cheap? Hospital bills, medicine, and doctors appointments, just to name a few. Is that cheaper "Benefit" mascara worth losing your eye over? Or how about irreversible skin damage from that "Max Factor" foundation you've been wanting to get? Liz from Project Vanity explained it best in her post as to why fake cosmetics are priced so low compared to their authentic counterparts. To put it simply, these knock off products are cheap because they make use of low-grade and most likely harmful ingredients. They don't pay for the proper lab research and testing for those ingredients, and they certainly don't pay to get them approved as safe for consumers. The shady manufacturers that come out with these products don't care if you end up scarred both physically and emotionally. Frankly speaking, they don't care about you.

"Fun" fact: Did you know that rat droppings, cyanide, arsenic, as well as human urine have been found in a lot of fake cosmetics? (source) Tell me, are you still willing to shell out your money now?

"I want to impress my friends and/or co-workers!"

Sweetheart, you either need better friends/co-workers or a better attitude. For anyone to look down on you because you don't use high-end makeup or purchase from 'popular' brands is completely shallow of them and trust me, you don't need people like that in your life. In fact, don't ever feel the need to impress anyone based on what you buy, whether it's makeup, clothes, shoes, etc. It's your money and you are the only one who can dictate what can be done with it.

After all, it's not about what you have, but more of what you do with what you have. I've met and know too many girls who exclusively use only high-end cosmetics and they don't even know how to apply any of them properly. I'd be more impressed to see someone rock their well-applied drugstore makeup, compared to someone else slathering on makeup from Chanel or NARS that's too caked on and unevenly blended.

"It's Singapore Authentic/Dubai Authentic, so it's fine!"

No, no, and no. I'll give it to you straight: there is no such thing as both "Singapore Authentic" and "Dubai Authentic". If a product is labeled as such, it's a fake. Period. No seller can tell you otherwise! Slapping the word "authentic" onto it won't make an ounce of difference and you'll still be buying a product that could potentially cause yourself serious health risks. At the same time, your purchase will continue to support this kind of illegal and dangerous business.

Aside from the three reasons I've highlighted, not only are fake cosmetics health risks on their own, but all in all they're still low-quality products all around that won't perform nearly as well as an authentic one would. Sure, you save a significant amount of money, but why would you pay any amount at all for a sub-par product in the first place? I would happily shell out more for a product that will perform better by leaps and bounds. Don't deprive yourself, especially if you worked hard for the money you're going to spend. Continue to save up for that expensive blush or lip gloss you've been lusting over for months. In the end, once you finally have it, you'll be so much more satisfied - especially knowing that you didn't cut corners and endanger yourself by settling for some inauthentic version of it you found on eBay or Instagram instead.

Lastly, to those who SELL makeup even if they know they're knock-offs, I beg of you to take your customer's safety into consideration. I understand and respect that you're trying to make a living, but don't do it at the expense of harming others. There are, without a doubt, other ways. In the same manner that your customers have to, educate yourself on how to tell the difference between authentic and inauthentic cosmetic products. Pass on that knowledge to other sellers. REFUSE to profit from those types of products, and encourage them to do the same. This world has enough atrocities on its own; health-risking, fake cosmetics shouldn't be one of them.

Image sources: (1) (2) (3) (4)