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How to Spot Fake MAC Cosmetics Products

If you are looking to save a bit of money on your MAC makeup addiction, you might be tempted to take advantage of some of the deals you can find online. While it is possible to find some good bargains on MAC on places like eBay, counterfeit MAC is becoming increasingly more common. Here are a few tips on how to identify counterfeit MAC Cosmetics and avoid buying fake MAC items.

First, trust your instincts. If a price sounds good to be true, you should look at the item with a very skeptical eye. It’s extremely difficult to find true bargains on MAC Cosmetics products these days. If it’s just a few dollars off of retail, it is more likely to be legitimate. If it’s a limited edition pigment from 1999 being sold for $2 new in box, you can rule it out right away.

Train Case
Creative Commons License photo credit: iferneinez

In order to determine the validity of the item in question, you need to examine it closely. If buying online, you should request pictures from the seller of the item from several angles including the top, bottom, side view, inside of lid, and the box. You need to compare these with original items either from your own collection or using pictures found online. There are a lot of subtle differences that fake MAC makeup products carry.

The packaging is one area where fakes tend to stand out if you know what to look for. For example, many counterfeit MAC eyeshadows come in a pot that looks suspiciously like the real thing… until you notice the compartment with the mirror and applicator underneath. MAC pot shadows never come with applicators or mirrors yet somehow this is very common on fakes. Also, the lid on many fake MAC shadows has a higher dome and opens at a smaller angle than real MAC shadows.

The packaging can offer several clues as well. Often counterfeit MAC boxes will have a very convincing MAC logo but the font on the rest of the box is very different from that of legitimate MAC boxes. Because many of these fakes are manufactured in other countries, you can often spot misspellings on the packaging as well. In some cases, the dimensions of the boxes might be different than real boxes too. If you suspect an item is not real MAC, pore over it very carefully before committing to buy it. Compare the item in question with one that you know is real and scrutinize the size, shape, writing, color and finish of the lid, weight, and scent.

Another tip-off to potentially fake MAC items is the source. Legitimate MAC products can be purchased from MAC counters, MAC stores, MAC’s official website, and Cosmetics Company Outlet stores. Sometimes individuals will sell their MAC items secondhand for extra cash online. eBay is a overrun with MAC items but the sad truth is that many of these are counterfeit. When shopping for MAC on eBay, look at the seller’s history. Check their feedback carefully for complaints of counterfeits. Look at the other items they are selling. If they have hundreds of new MAC items up for sale, especially without boxes, there is a good chance what they are selling isn’t MAC at all.

Unfortunately, you have to do a bit of detective work when you are buying MAC from unofficial sources. Counterfeit MAC makeup items are not just poor quality imitations of the real thing. Some of these items might even contain ingredients that can irritate your skin or eyes. Truly good deals on MAC are few and far between but if you look very carefully, you can still find a few bargains.


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3 Responses to “How to Spot Fake MAC Cosmetics Products”
  1. Ruby says:

    Hi Can you help me? I have a MAC Palette and I think is is fake. Could you help me determine if its a fake or real.

    thanks a bunch!

  2. Amy says:

    I just recieved a fake MAC Hello Kitty Palette from ebay. It was very obvious when I saw it in person. Here are some tips to know if its real or not.

    1). Pigments on Ebay are usually fake. If you can buy 50 pigments from one seller and they have 15 other auctions with pigments. Chances are they arent real.
    2). My palette had a “disposable” applicator…I have never seen a MAC palette without a mini 213E brush or different mini brush.
    3). This same palette had MAC written on the box and hello kitty logo on the compact. The lettering was stretched left to right.
    4). The eyeshadows were also not evenly layed in the palette, you could tell it was poor quality.
    5). The name of the eyeshadow colors were not on the palette, only the ingredients. All MAC palettes have the colors named even on holiday collections.
    6). I have also seen fake MAC brushes. All MAC brushes are numbered, the ones on Ebay are not. Also MAC brushes are a miniumum of $10/brush. They are not 34 brushes for $49.00. You can also tell by the MAC logo if it is stamped on or stamped in. The quality is also very noticeable with or without numbers.
    Also I called the seller out on selling fake MAC. She returned my money.
    Just to mention she had a score above 100, 100% feedback, no other MAC auctions until the current ended. Then she had a ton since then. Hello, How many people have 20 of the same palette????

    Should I turn her in to EBAY? It is fraud isnt it ???

  3. olga says:

    Is MAC makeup with zebra casing fake or real? How can I spot if fake?

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