Yep, you read that right. I bought a counterfeit makeup. A fake Naked palette, to be exact. It came with the best of intentions, but that’s what happen when you assume, incorrectly, that you’re buying from a legit source. To be fair, after hitting “order now” I had my doubts. But when I tweeted this out, I’d already purchased it, and it was too late:
So… LivingSocial has what appears to be the UD Naked 1, 2, & 3 for $20. 15% with LS15OFF. You’re welcome: https://t.co/3W9IE2MeQw
— Jenn Haskins (@hellorigbyblog) July 22, 2015
If only I had known what I really would be receiving was potentially dangerous.
You see, I didn’t know much about the counterfeit cosmetics “industry”. Apparently, manufacturers make palettes almost identical to the most popular ones (think Urban Decay Naked, Too Faced Chocolate Bar, Lorac Pro, etc.) and label them identically. Every seemingly minute detail is copied. Even down to the last ingredient, or not including ingredients at all. Do you see the problem here? They’re not telling you what’s ACTUALLY in the shadows, only what the original manufacturer has listed on the packaging.
Now back to the tweet and how I ended up finding this in the first place.
I had been scrolling away on Twitter and noticed someone tweeting about so-called Naked palettes for sale on LivingSocial. (No shade here, the blogger didn’t know either!) I had been thinking about buying the Naked 3 for months, but didn’t want to spend $54 on another palette. Don’t I have enough?! But, this was only $20! What a deal. And the photo in the listing even had the Naked 3 Logo on the brush, so of course it must be real!
(Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.)
But then, imagine my shock when this is what arrived.
What I received on the top left. The real thing on the bottom right.
Um, that’s not an Urban Decay palette. No, what I was shipped was probably one of these by “Weksi” or “NK 3,” whoever that is.
Or one of the many, many other counterfeit Naked palettes for sale from third party sellers on Amazon.
But what was worse is mine came with absolutely NO label and NO ingredients list. None. But guess what? That’s illegal. The Federal Drug Administration protects US consumers in that all cosmetics sold are required to be labeled. This wasn’t.
Sure, I could risk it and assume it’s fine… but my eyes are important to me, so I didn’t. And seriously, what on earth is that black stuff in the cream eyeshadow?!
Instead, I called LivingSocial, and they were great. I spoke to Brandon, who processed my return in a few minutes and was off the phone. I can’t say enough good things about how they handled this issue. If you were affected by this or a similar other misleading product listing, I highly recommend you do the same. The safest place to purchase makeup is from authorized retailers: Sephora, Ulta, home shopping networks like QVC, and department stores like Macy*s and Nordstrom. This varies by brand so be sure to do your research.
(Note: These are being sold by third-party sellers on multiple websites from LivingSocial to Groupon to Amazon. Many times the sellers are using stock photos from other websites to make you think you’ll get the real thing. Unfortunately, the counterfeit market has seemed to move from eBay to other places.)
So, PSA over. If you own a counterfeit makeup product, I highly recommend for your safety you think twice about using it. These horror stories and scary allergic reactions are enough for me to toss this thing in the trash. If you want a higher end makeup palette but are on a budget, try a dupe from an established brand like Makeup Revolution or LA Girl.
Did you know about counterfeit makeup? Have you ever unknowingly purchased a fake? I’d love to hear about your experiences (and hopefully no horror stories!)
I’m always so leery about buying from online sellers for this very reason. Love that LS was so good to work with on the return!
I usually am too, but just got caught up in the moment I guess! I was too, thanks Heather!
I knew there were a lot of similar-looking items, but didn’t realize there was a whole counterfeit market for it. Crazy! I’m glad you were able to return it!
I know right? I knew about palettes that were similar, but didn’t realize people made exact replicas with shady ingredients. Thanks Rachel, me too!
It’s scary how easy it is to end up being tricked into buying fakes. I’d never buy any makeup from Amazon or eBay because you just don’t know. I’m really wary about websites that claim to sell makeup at ridiculous prices. Though it costs more, I prefer to buy direct or from a big, reputable site because you can never be too sure, especially when it comes to the potential damage the fakes can cause. We all like to save money, but not at the cost of hurting ourselves.
Couldn’t agree more, Roise! Typically I don’t buy from 3rd party sites either, but for some reason I fell for this one. Never again!
how annoying! at least you managed to get a refund and realised before risking your health!
Totally agreed, thanks Kirsty!
Whoa! The one you got looked totally fake! Thanks for sharing this very important information, Jenn!
I know right? It looked nothing like the original photo used in the listing…
Oh wow! SO sad that even a company like Living Social is susceptible to fraud. Thanks for letting us know!
Of course, Brittany! Glad it was helpful!
ugh that sucks girl! i saw your tweet and told my girlfriends, in case they wanted to snag one, but one of them alerted me about the fact that it was counterfeit. definitely not worth the risk, your eyes are very important!
So true, eyes are super important and not worth the risk of “bargain” fake makeup!
Yeah, I’ve literally done this exact same thing. More than once. I’m a sucker for knock-offs apparently.
Oh no! I definitely see how that can happen. It seems like it’s getting easier to find these knock off make up products, as a couple of people have linked me to other places these fakes are getting sold too.
Ugh, I’m sorry you had to deal with this! Im glad Living Social was cool about it.
Sooo… does this mean that you caved and bought the real thing? :D Are you loving it?
Thanks Sarah! Ha, yes, I did buy the real thing and yes I do love it!
Holy shoot, that is terrifying! Glad that LS handled it really well. I’m honestly surprised that they didn’t investigate further in the product before bringing it to their customers…
I wondered about that too! I had no idea they allowed 3rd party sellers now…
It peeves me to read this post. I could understand if you bought it from some shady site, but if you’re buying it from a well known site like Living Social, Groupon, or Amazon why aren’t these big companies protecting their customers?
It is pretty shocking! I suppose any company that opens their site to a marketplace/third party sellers will have this issue if things aren’t properly regulated. I’m glad they handled it so well, however!
That sucks! I think I saw that on Living Social and was wondering why it was so cheap. I’ve never been a victim of counterfeit makeup, but I have received a fake CHI hair Straightener before.
Oh I’ve heard about those too! So bizarre how many fakes of things are out there!
So I bought one for a better price as well and it seems legit – even the labeling. I guess I can’t know for sure. Bummer.
Yeah, it’s definitely tough to know as it does seem like some people do resell real palettes that they’ve purchased at a discount! If it hasn’t caused you any issues thus far I’d assume it was okay?
I saw the same advertisement for something similar on groupon. I was skeptical because it didn’t say Urban Decay and so I chose not to buy it.
Definitely a good choice, Karen!
l saw that same deal but got a bit freaked out, youtube has tons of videos on “dupes” for popular palettes like that, from reputable companies, sometimes even parent companies of the original manufacturer, like UD and L’oreal :)
So true! With so many great dupes from reputable companies it’s a shame people get caught up in these scams (even me, haha!)
I remember you tweeted that and I ALMOST bought it. No joke. I’m so glad Living Social was able to fix everything. Thanks for this reminder!
Of course, so glad you didn’t end up purchasing it, Rachael!
Bummer that you got sold a fake, but good to hear that Living Social promptly rectified this. And yeah, am always weary of buying make-up from places like this…!!!
Definitely! I should have been much more skeptical but I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in a “bargain”!
I’ve seen these quite a bit on Ebay but wouldn’t have thought that they’d be on Living Social. No wonder you believed it. In the end, any high-end purchase at such a low price (that isn’t discounted by the actual company) is most likely fake. I’m glad they were good about it.
Thanks Natalie, me too! When I purchased I didn’t know that LivingSocial allowed 3rd party sellers so it definitely makes sense to me now why this happened. Definitely a good reminder to only buy from reputable companies!
I can’t believe Living Social would sell something that wasn’t approved. I will keep my eyes out for something like this in the future. Scary!
Definitely scary, and would recommend avoiding any place that allows sales from third parties! Never know what you might get.
Oh wow, I didn’t even know there was such a big market for counterfeit makeup! I’ll have to keep that in mind if I ever do decide to buy a Naked Palette. I’m kind of surprised Living Social was kosher with selling that.
Agreed, I really didn’t know how serious the counterfeit makeup business really was! There’s definitely a fine line between “dupe” and “counterfeit” when it comes to some of these “inspired by” palettes, but the fact that this was completely unlabeled was off putting.
Oh man, how scary! And although I’m glad LS was great about your return, it makes me wonder why they were willing to sell fake stuff in the first place? I guess they don’t know?
Apparently not! The item was shipped directly from the third party seller so my guess is that they just faciliate the “marketplace” and leave the seller to do whatever they want. Pretty sketchy!
Wow I didn’t even know about counterfeit makeup. At least they were so good about the refund!
Agreed, it definitely opened my eyes and I’m going to be much more careful when purchasing makeup!
That’s crazy! I never would thought of that happening. On Amazon there are usually reviews that warn people from buying that kind of stuff – like I was trying to buy some sheets but all of the “great deals” were shams. That’s great that they gave you a refund. I always think of fake bags/make up/etc being sold in back alleys, not through a reputable site with a fake stock photo!
I know right? I didn’t realize LivingSocial even allowed third party sellers, hence why I thought it was somewhat legit. Oh well, live and learn!