There I was watching Netflix in the background while working, when I noticed a new Docuseries called "Broken". I LOVE documentaries and docuseries shows, so I was intrigued. First episode was about counterfeit cosmetics. If you have not seen this episode and you are a beauty enthusiast, you should.
With my clients, co-models, and students, I have always shared awareness about purchasing "knock-off" products. You never know what ingredients and chemicals are in them and how your skin might react. There are also high risks of infections and injuries that can permanently damage your skin, cause disfigurement, infertility, and other medical conditions.
Since the official beginning of the beauty industry, it has always been successful. People have been wearing makeup for thousands of years. In the beginning, it was used for special occasions, ceremonies, and status. People want to look good, people like to feel good, people like to feel empowered, people love to be creative, and have fun. Makeup has given people of all genders the ability to do and have those things. The makeup industry has become a huge multi-billion dollar industry and will continue to grow. Aside from counterfeit cosmetics, one thing that has also become a big business has been "dupes". Dupes are a less expensive/imitation alternative to the high end brands. Just to be clear, there are perfectly safe companies who create dupes or similar products that very closely resemble much loved designer products such as Chanel, Tom Ford, and Dior. There are people who simply cannot afford $25 for a lipstick or $85 for an eye shadow palette or foundation. Therefore, these companies create products with the thought in mind that they just want to put out a more affordable product. Which is perfectly fine. The budget conscious has just as much a right to look and feel good as anyone else. As long as the dupe creating company uses at least some different variation of ingredients and does not give the colors and themes the same name, there is no law that says a company cannot have the same raw umber colored eye shadow as Chanel. Creating an imitation of an item, is not a violation of intellectual property laws. Creating a product with subpar or dangerous ingredients and posing it as the "real deal" is illegal and dangerous.
Counterfeit makeup is created by companies who manufacture cosmetics in clandestine facilities. They manufacture makeup with dangerous chemicals such as urine, industrial chemicals that are used in construction, arsenic, beryllium, lead, and other dangerous chemicals. Most of the companies that sell counterfeit products are sold online on sites such as Wish.com. or some street vendors (not all). There are trusted sources and independent sellers to purchase products from, but at the end of the day it is up to the consumer to be educated. If you are unsure about the selling source, then your safest bet is to buy direct from the company website or from third party reputable sellers such as Sephora or Ulta.
Stay safe Crit-Beauties!
Lyn Stahl has been working with makeup since 1992 when she also first started fashion modeling. Throughout the years, she received an education in makeup artistry and became a Master Makeup Artist w/ over 40 certifications.