How to spot fake cosmetics on eBay

This is an old post from the old Project Vanity blog. Thought to put it here in case you haven't read it yet - I think it's useful!

Good makeup is usually expensive. Of course there are exceptions, but any make-up guru will tell you that it’s often a safe bet to invest your money on high-priced, but quality products out in the market (like MAC, Shiseido, Shu Uemura, and so on). But then, there’s eBay! It’s like you died and went to make-up heaven, with all the cheap but branded stuff they’re selling over there. All you need to do is browse, click, send your payment via your cellphone or computer, and voila! Your order is at your door.

You have to realize, though, that buying online is risky business. For one, you can never really know if the product that looks so pretty on the computer screen is authentic. Buying cosmetics online is not like buying a shirt—if it doesn’t fit, no biggie, no harm done (unless it’s to your pocket). But once you buy bad makeup and use it on your face, terrible things like zits, allergies, skin darkening and peeling may occur. Ugh. It might take days or weeks before you can get your face back to normal, and all because you were easily misled into buying cheap, fake, AND dangerous cosmetics on eBay. We can’t even guess what they put in there.

So now ladies, here are some tips on how to spot fake makeup on eBay:

1. If you like a product, don’t bid immediately, even if it’s super cheap. Do a little research on the stuff—using Google should do the trick! Look for reviews, pictures, and the official website of the brand. If there’s no available info, chances are, the thing is fake. Google is almost omniscient.


 Weird logo


 MAC Cosmetics do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT sell makeup like this. (up for auction right now by a4dauthentic on

2. If you do find info about the product, ask the seller for more pictures and compare. Pay attention to details.


Fake MAC Studio Fix Foundation 


 Authentic Studio Fix Foundation. Notice the shape of the compact.


There are no applicators included in the MAC blush compact

3. Ask the seller some important questions like where he or she bought the product, why the low selling price, etc. You can’t really know if the seller is telling the truth, so you’re on your own here. I learned that one the hard way. I once bought a compact from eBay. it was cheap, the seller said it was a Christmas gift, there even was a Rustan’s price tag at the box. When I got it most of the eyeshadows don’t COLOR at ALL. The next week, the exact same product was up for auction—so no, it wasn’t a Christmas gift. Anyway, don’t be shy to ask questions. As they say, trabaho lang, and you’re the one paying.

I hope this is helpful. If you have more tips or horror stories to share about buying fake makeup from eBay, tell us all about it! 

Also visit HERE for further info on fake MACs.