There are a lot of fake MAC products sold around the wold. Even in our country, you could easily get your hands on counterfeit MAC in local stores and online as well. You see eyeshadow palettes (that MAC doesn’t make unless it’s LE), lipsticks, blushes, all for a reasonable cost, not exactly cheap because they wouldn’t want you to speculate the authenticity of these products. My personal experience with one such store was when I asked them if the MAC lipstick they had was 100% authentic and they confirmed it was totally genuine imported from Thailand. I don’t think I need to mention how people have been duped into getting fake MAC makeup on their trip to Thailand. Upon further inquisition the seller spilled it was first copy or ‘best' replica which they were selling for PKR 1500 (a supposedly great bargain) which is three fourth the cost of original MAC lipstick that's retailed at trusted stores out here. Total rip off!
There are several posts on the internet mocking the wacky mirror-brush-packaging of MAC eyeshadows, the adorable MAC Hello Kitty Collection, MAC lipsticks and blushes that clearly conveys those are FAKE but how to tell the difference when the packaging seems fully convincing? How to tell if it looks close to real? That’s only possible if you compare the real and fake side by side. Many YouTube gurus and beauty bloggers have done comparison posts (which are extremely helpful) and now it’s my turn to share some of my findings on how to tell apart the REAL and FAKE MAC blush so you don’t end up getting cheated.
I have got MAC Sheertone Blush in Blush Baby which I mistook as genuine at first sight. I didn’t know it was faux until I closely compared it to Sheertone Blush in Peaches that I bought from Agha’s supermarket a while ago. So let’s bust the fake one, shall we?
What to look for?
The font is different both in front and on the back.
In front: The real one has a thicker font compared to the fake one which is way too thin.
On the back: Not only is the font style different but it also appears a little brighter and bolder on the fake one. Besides, the font color is pale yellow instead of the standard light grey tone.
The batch code
The batch code of authentic Sheertone blush is almost invisible in the photo (in real life as well) and the font color is sheer black. On the contrary, the fake one has quite an obvious batch code.
The packaging screams it’s a fake. MAC products have a high-end feel to them, if you know what I mean. After all, it’s 'MAC' we’re talking about. The company would never have its products manufactured in haste. NEVER! All MAC is same everywhere no matter where you go. The fake one clearly lacks that immaculate finishing. It’s also somewhat lighter in weight comparatively. You could easily tell it’s cheaply made if you zoom in a bit more.
The qualities of the fake blush are:
- Ugly dents/the compact is prone to scratch
- The lid doesn’t lock seamlessly
- The lid feels loose (the real one has a firm grip)
- On the inside, the lid show prominent protrusions
- Notice the flip connector and the large gaps
- The oval depression on the fake one is smaller compared to the real
This is another VERY reliable way to distinguish between the two. The fake one has a bitter, waxy, weird smell typical of China-made copies. The real one virtually has no odor. Blindfold me and I can tell you which one’s fake.
The texture is remarkably different. Now I know it’s a Sheertone Blush which is supposed to impart a natural finish BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t build it up – it’s very much buildable!
The texture of the real blush feels supremely silky to the touch. The fake one is nothing close to it; it may seem soft on first swipe and you may be fooled but after just a couple of uses it ultimately reveals its true identity. You can spot bits of fiber on the surface, visible to the naked eye, that gives it a gritty feel. Not to mention, the fake one develops a hard crust which makes it difficult to swatch or pick up with the brush. No matter how much I build, the fake one remains the same flat color throughout.
MAC Sheertone Blush currently costs $20 (PKR 1940) on the website. I bought mine for PKR 2895 inclusive of shipping/customs Agha’s supermarket had to pay so the price is absolutely justified. Do you think a genuine retailer would put it up for a price a lot less than the normal $20? Could they be SO generous to drop all the duty/customs charges they had paid and give you a whopping discount while they being in loss? No way! Think. We all love bargains but what about bargain on a product that actually costs one-fourth the price you paid while deeming it was REAL? You paid $15 for a $5 fake. Cheated, right?
Note: The counterfeit product may be priced same as genuine product in some cases.
Selling a dupe while mentioning it is one thing but claiming that the fake product is the REAL deal is utterly wrong in my books.
My advice, only buy MAC products from MAC’s official store/counter (which we currently don’t have in Pakistan) or trusted supermarkets like Agha’s and EBCO in Karachi. It’s not just MAC, there are many other brands out there that have unbelievably close-to-real counterfeits -- brands like NARS, Bobby Brown, CK, Benefit, Urban Decay, Too Faced, and even high street brands like Revlon, L’Oreal, Rimmel, Maybelline have fakes that are sold very cheap at local shops/online stores. Watch out!If you wish to purchase genuine products online in Pakistan, follow my post here for the stores I approve of.
I hope you find this helpful. If you suspect you've bought a fake product, you can go through many YouTube videos and blog posts to confirm so that you don't get ripped off again.