Shopping online is so great — no crowds to push your way through, no messy sales floors full of unfolded clothing, no long lines at a cash register — just a few simple clicks… and you don't even have to schlep heavy bags all the way home. Plus the bargain hunting is great too.
Then there's eBay, the ultimate place to look for a designer steal (and with the way the economy is going, it might be the only place I shop). But unfortunately, the great savings often come with greater risk. When you're buying items you can't see from people you don't know, it is easy to get taken advantage of. Recently, I've been reading about people getting ripped off buying M.A.C. makeup on eBay. After further investigation, and seeing people on YouTube acting almost shocked that what they received in the mail all the way from Hong Kong or Taiwan was not genuine (hmm, the country of origin might be a hint right there…), I am truly disturbed — not only at people's lack of online shopping savviness, but the potential harm that they could inflict on themselves by buying fake makeup: you don't know where this stuff is really coming from, what's in it exactly, and you're going to be putting it on your eyes and mouth? Come on ladies, be smart.
After checking out some of the guides on eBay and taking a look at my own M.A.C. makeup (I'm a huge fan), I've compiled a little list of things to look for to make sure that these popular items are genuine:
Lip Glass ~ Fake Lip Glasses tend to be much longer than a genuine one would be. A real M.A.C. Lip Glass is just short of 3.5" long and is 5/8" thick. All (20) of mine have a silver circle sticker on the bottom that says the NAME of the color and it's number. When it comes to the name, "red" or "pink" doesn't count. M.A.C. has specific names for each of it's colors so I would always check the name against the ones listed on M.A.C.'s website. And remember, the only ones that come in tubes are the Clear Lip Glass and the Gelée.
Eye Shadow ~ A M.A.C. eye shadow does not ever have a mirror and applicator. M.A.C. eye shadows have flip tops while paint pots and pigments have screw tops. And again look for the sticker on the bottom — this one will be in black with silver writing (except for the product number, which will be in black). Always make sure it has a color name! Eye shadows are also never separated into compartments.
Pigments ~ When you unscrew the cap of a M.A.C. pigment there should be a removable protective plastic lid across the top. This lid will never have a hole or a little spout for easy pouring. The easiest way to tell if a pigment is genuine is by testing some out on your hand. Real M.A.C. pigment is top notch quality and just a little bit of it will leave a rich color on your skin. It should also be difficult to rub off without makeup remover. (I even gently rinsed my hand under cold water and there was still a light color stain.)
Lipstick ~ A new M.A.C. lipstick never has a rounded shape that comes to a point in the center like most cheap lipsticks you find at the drugstore. A genuine one is cut on a slant that will easily glide across your lip — the one exception is the Slimshine Lipstick, which is just completely flat. As usual, check the name and number on the silver sticker.
Brushes ~ The black handle on a M.A.C. makeup brush is always matte, never shiny. The brushes will be labeled only with "MAC" followed by a three-digit number. The letters on a real M.A.C. brush are not engraved and so they should easily rub off. (The letters on my foundation brush are already completely gone.)
Hope these few little tips help. But I strongly urge you to purshase your M.A.C. makeup from Maccosmetics.com or a verified M.A.C. seller like Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Nordstrom — it might cost a little extra, but the quality is so great that the products will last you a long time.
And check out our post on how to spot fraudulent beauty sites.