Please Be Very Careful!

Fake Counterfeit Makeup

You know how it goes…  You decide to pop on to eBay or AliExpress on a lazy afternoon because 1. You’re bored; and 2. You want to see what budget-friendly deals you can get your hands on.  And before you know it, one hour later you’re still looking at all the great deals available on those sites.  AliExpress is like YouTube, it’s a big black hole – time has no meaning, your bank balance has no meaning, and well…all rational thinking goes out the door too.

I recently made a new rule: I’m not allowed to log on to eBay, Amazon or AliExpress (my new obsession) during the day, because I spend way too much time looking at everything that’s available.  Although I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator, I know I’m supposed to be working during the day so that I can relax in the evening.  Blogging is probably supposed to be a normal 8am – 5pm job, but sometimes my work days are 12 or 13 hours long.  Anyway, so these days I’m only allowed to check out the latest ‘deals’ on 1 online shopping website, once during the evening (and not for longer than 30 minutes).

So, I was very innocently scrolling through a long list of makeup and makeup brushes on AliExpress this past weekend and was SO surprised to see so many counterfeit makeup brand products out there.  I’m talking NARS, Kylie Cosmetics, Limecrime, Too Faced, Kat Von D Cosmetics, MAC, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and the list goes on.  These brands are selling for dirt cheap i.e. R150,00 for a Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette.

Too Faced

I can hear a jackpot *ding*ding*ding*ding*ding* going off in your head, because you’re probably freaking out at the thought of getting your hands on all these amazing international brands at a fraction of the price.

Calm down.

Let’s take a long hard look at the facts.

Why am I writing this blog post?  I’m sure you’ve heard me say that, in my eyes, you and I are friends.  And I would never, ever want any of you to have to go through stress, anxiety or even physical pain because of makeup.  A personal friend of mine was recently taken advantage of by a third party reseller who sells Anastasia Beverly Hills, LORAC and Too Faced makeup products.  She ended up not only losing a lot of money, but also with a very painful eye infection.  But more on that a bit later in this blog post.  I think it’s important for me to make you aware of what is out there at the moment – I receive a lot of questions from my readers on Instagram and via email asking if I have any experience dealing with Instagram / Whatsapp makeup resellers.  For the record, my answer is “No”.  Most of the time I just can’t justify paying double (or even triple) the price of an eyeshadow palette, and truth be told, unfortunately I have a very suspicious mind.

You might think that fakes exist only in the realm of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs handbags, but let me tell you, there are counterfeit and black-market beauty goods too.  And these are actually a danger for your health!  I think I’ve previously mentioned on the blog that I will NEVER buy makeup off eBay because the dangers are just too high – the same goes for AliExpress.  Although you can find some good deals on all these e-commerce websites, fake merchandise is extremely prevalent.  You know I love a good bargain, so I’ve purchased makeup brushes (like this set and this set) on eBay in the past but I’ve also been taken for a few rides in the past.  While there are honest sellers out there, there are also quite a few folks who are out to make a quick buck – at the expense of their customers.

Long before I was a beauty blogger (and clued up on the way of the e-commerce world), I purchased a Benefit Cosmetics product on eBay.  This was before I knew a lot of the ‘discounted’ products you can buy on these sites are actually not the real deal.  I always thought the products came from authorised wholesale resellers who recently closed shop (and so they had to get rid of their stock, thus the low price) or perhaps an authorised reseller that wanted to get rid of old stock.  NEVER in my wildest dreams did I ever think the products could be harmful to my health.  Truth be told, when the product I bought on eBay arrived I could immediately see it was a fake – the packaging was flimsy, the product was mediocre in quality, and the colour just weren’t the same when compared to the original.  I bought a Benefit ‘Dandelion Blush’ on eBay because I hit pan on my original one and wanted to stock up on a replacement.  The fake blush was a very light peachy beige shade (not baby pink), the texture of the powder was chalky, the outer packaging was a lighter shade of green and had a matte finish (the original box has a glossy finish) and the blush itself didn’t smell like anything (the original has a subtle floral scent).  I was so disappointed.  Fortunately I immediately chucked it in the bin because the pigmentation just wasn’t on par with the original either.

Kylie Cosmetics

Why is buying counterfeit cosmetics a bad idea?  Well, first and foremost: Your health.  You don’t know where the product really comes from, or what ingredients are inside.  Studies have shown that some these counterfeit cosmetics contain ingredients that could (best case scenario) irritate your skin and (worst case scenario) cause permanent damage to your body and in extreme cases, your brain.

I’ve read articles mentioning that some of these fake makeup products contain a cocktail of potentially harmful ingredients i.e. lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium (a metal which is extremely dangerous).  For example, a counterfeit MAC eyeliner sold on Amazon for a fraction of the original price contained 46 times the permitted level of copper, making it unfit for use on eyes.  Paint stripper and nail polish remover has been found in fake mascara and liquid eyeliners – imagine applying that stuff to your eyes!

Take a look at this article from Daily Mail Online.

The manufacture of genuine cosmetics is strictly controlled and products go through rigorous tests before they are allowed to go on sale to the public.  The cheap versions, however, do not abide by any of these rules / standards.  These counterfeit products may not have been made in a hygienic or sterile environment, and even worse, they could very well contain carcinogenic ingredients that are actually banned from use in cosmetics and could cause long-term harm.  Carcinogenic = something that could potentially cause cancer.  Eye makeup products may trigger rashes and eye infections and lip products may cause lead poisoning.  Whether you like it or not, we do ingest our lip products while we eat, speak and drink.

Eeeeeek!  Just the thought of it sends shivers down my spine!

Please note: I am definitely not saying ALL eBay or AliExpress sellers are shady, I’ve actually bought quite a few original beauty products that were the real deal i.e. limited edition OPI nail polishes, and a Hot Tools hair curling iron.  I’m also not saying all fake makeup products will cause an allergic reaction – but why take the chance, right?  And you may not have a reaction immediately, but who knows what could happen a year down the line when a specific ingredient has built up in your system?

I know what you’re thinking: “But Luzanne, I don’t buy makeup from overseas…I only buy makeup from South African resellers who import all these amazing brands for me.”

Hear me out – you still need to be extremely cautious!

I’ve recently seen A LOT of local third party resellers pop up on Instagram and the web (South African online stores).  When I see they’re selling products for less or even the same price as the original products in the US / UK, I can’t help but question the authenticity.  I question how they are able to make a profit if they’re selling the products at the same price (not to mention a lower price) when one still has to take import duties, shipping charges and the fluctuating exchange rate into consideration.  I’ll take it one step further – even if you are paying 1,5 or 2 times the value of the product, how do you know the product is genuine?  Especially if you don’t have anything to compare it to?  I’m not saying ALL resellers are selling fakes, and I’m not trying to take any business away from anyone – but I have a responsibility towards my readers, as I know there are many ladies out there who don’t even know purchasing counterfeit makeup products is an option.

The way I see it, there are 2 scenarios here:

Either the third party reseller doesn’t know they are selling counterfeit products i.e. they bought large quantities on eBay / AliExpress and was reassured by the overseas seller that the products are authentic.


The third party reseller knows they are selling fakes, and they’re okay with adding a 200% or 300% price markup to make it look more authentic.  I’ve dealt with these types of resellers before, and one of my friends recently bought a Too Faced Chocolate Bar, Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick and LORAC PRO Palette from a local reseller.  She asked the seller if the products were authentic, since the prices were just a little bit less than the converted prices in the US.  The lady assured her that the palettes were originals (she apparently bought them on sale), and even said she would offer a full refund if my friend wasn’t happy with the quality.  In the end my friend lost over R1000,00 because the palettes turned out to be really bad fakes (we compared the palettes, as I already own the originals) and what’s even worse, my friend suffered from a serious eye infection after using one of the palettes and has had to pay for a doctor’s appointment and medication to get it sorted out.  Plus, she’s also had to take leave because she’s too embarrassed to go to work (her eyes are bloodshot red, swollen, and won’t stop watering).  Even though my friend has phoned, left messages, and sent emails, after 3 weeks the seller still hasn’t replied to any of the messages.


It’s a sad world we live in – and it truly sucks that South Africans don’t have access to so many of the amazing beauty brands out there.  BUT fortunately Benefit Cosmetics (click here for stockists) and theBalm are now available in SA, Urban Decay is opening their first store in South Africa on the 9th of July 2016 (click here for more info & product pricing), and beauty brands all over the world are now slowly starting to ship to South Africa i.e. Tarte Cosmetics.

When it comes to products that I apply to my skin and eyes, I’d much rather play it VERY safe and buy from a brand directly i.e. their own online store OR from a very reputable seller i.e. Beauty Bay, Feelunique and Look Fantastic.  Even if it means I have to wait longer for my order to arrive.  For the record, the only products I buy off eBay and AliExpress are sunglasses, makeup brushes, kitchen tools, limited edition nail polish mini sets, and things like iPhone / iPad covers.  Definitely no skincare products, and no makeup.

If you’re not sure whether you should buy a product online – think about it this way: Common sense should guide you – if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!  Trust your gut.

Top Tip:  If you’re not sure what to look for to see if your product might be a fake, the first thing is to look at the packaging.  Counterfeit products FEEL very light in weight, the packaging looks flimsy (low in quality), and sometimes there are spelling mistakes on the labels.  When it comes to eyeshadows or blushes sometimes the metal ring around each shadow (the pan) is much more noticeable, and the edges stand out a lot more.

I initially didn’t want to link to some of the products on AliExpress because I know some people might be tempted to buy them.  On the other hand, I’d like to show you that there ARE fakes out there and that you should keep it in mind next time you decide to look for a good deal on eBay or AliExpress – you can click on the images above and it will take you through to the listing on AliExpress (please note these links won’t be active forever as I have found the sellers change the listings on a regular basis).  Here are other examples:

Urban Decay Naked 3 Brushes

Don’t be fooled, ladies – Urban Decay has never released a Naked 3 Makeup Brush Set.  If the local seller is charging you a premium price for this makeup brush set (because it’s ‘Urban Decay’), then you’re better off purchasing a no-name brand like this one.

Kat Von D

I’ve always wanted to own a Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette, but I’d rather wait until I can get my hands on the real deal.


Trust me, these dupes are NOTHING like the original Beautyblender makeup sponge!  They’re dense, hard and soak up so much foundation & concealer.  Definitely not worth the bother!  You can now easily get your hands on original Beautyblender makeup sponges – check out this blog post for all the details.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow

Not going to lie…I would LOVE to own an Anastasia Beverly Hills GLOW Kit, but I won’t take any chances with the above listing unfortunately.


You can purchase original theBalm products in the Retail Box online store – 100% authentic.


Don’t even THINK about taking a chance on something like this, ladies – since it goes on the lips, you are definitely ingesting it to some extent.


If you follow MAC collections, you’ll know the above lipsticks are from the MAC Giambattista Valli collection (and the lip swatches you see in the photo are taken from Temptalia’s review of the original collection).


The above seller is based in China, and yet ColourPop Cosmetics products are all made in Los Angeles (USA).  Original pricing for a ColourPop eyeshadow is $5 and yet this seller is selling it for $3 a pop?  Nah…

Again, let me reiterate: I’m not saying all eBay / AliExpress / local South African resellers are selling unsafe counterfeit makeup products.  There are definitely honest people who are selling authentic makeup, and to be honest, they are making life a whole lot easier for South Africans by taking all the stress of online shopping / customs / shipping fees off our shoulders.  I wrote this blog post to share my thoughts and concerns with you, because I don’t want anyone to be taken advantage of.

Now I want to hear from YOU – have you ever bought a fake makeup product thinking it was 100% authentic?




  1. Tammy
    13 June 2016 / 13:09

    I haven’t purchased makeup yet but I have a NYX matte cream on it’s way. I’ve purchased a brush egg and some brushes and have enjoyed my experience thus far. I went through so much effort finding one that it legit so I bought 1 NYX product that raved about being authentic and it’s on it’s way. Apart from brushes, I am apprehensive about purchasing on the site. Definitely report back on the quality, consistency, smell, etc.

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 20:01

      I’ve ordered a bunch of non-makeup items off AliExpress lately, and can’t wait for my goodies to arrive. Looking forward to doing a blog post on my experience ordering from the site, as it’s my first time.

      Thanks – please do let us know about the quality etc. of the NYX Matte Lip Cream. 🙂

  2. Candice
    13 June 2016 / 13:13

    Hi guys. I buy from Muse sa and onlyxiiaah on instagram.they get their products straight from the source.please confirm for me 🙂

    • Cindi
      13 June 2016 / 13:42

      I’d also like to know . I bought the Morphe palettes and a NYX contour palette from Muse SA . I hope it’s legit 🙂

      • Luzanne
        24 June 2016 / 20:03

        What are your thoughts on the Morphe palettes, Cindi? I’m very keen to get my hands on a Morphe eyeshadow palette, but want to be sure it’s 100% authentic. 🙂

        • Aarifah
          28 June 2016 / 16:46

          If you do, try the Morphe 35O. I got mine from Muse.SA and I love it! ☺

        • Candice
          30 June 2016 / 15:20

          ONLY_xiiaah IS legit and she also has proof on her instagram account

          • Luzanne
            26 March 2017 / 18:53

            I’ve never ordered from Samika – thanks for letting us know, Erin. I’ll check them out. 😉

    • Rabia Osman
      13 June 2016 / 19:06

      Hey Candice
      I shop with on a very regular basis and I am happy to say I have never been disappointed with service or authenticity

      • 14 June 2016 / 12:16

        I’ve bought from and onlyxiiiaah and can attest to the authenticity of the products they sell.

        • Luzanne
          24 June 2016 / 20:04

          That’s great news – thanks for letting us know, Vuyelwa. 😀

      • Luzanne
        24 June 2016 / 20:04

        Thanks for letting us know, Rabia. 🙂

    • Arifah
      16 June 2016 / 11:53,, @makeupbowtique, @makeup_shmakeup, @only_xiiiaah on instagram are all completely authentic, no doubt about it. I have, and I know of other people who have, purchased from them without disappointment.

      • Luzanne
        24 June 2016 / 20:05

        Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know, Arifah – I really appreciate it. 🙂

      • Erin
        23 March 2017 / 21:33

        Yup, ordered from them as well as @samika_store. Think they have a website as well

    • Belinda
      19 June 2016 / 13:04

      I have also bought from as well as makeup_schmakeup…I was very happy with what I received

      • Luzanne
        24 June 2016 / 20:05

        Awesome – thanks for letting us know, Belinda. 😉

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 20:02

      I’ve only heard great things from on Instagram, but I haven’t personally bought anything from them thus far.

      I might place an order, just to check it out.

      • Rachael
        1 August 2016 / 10:03

        Will you let us know about your results from ordering from Luzanne?

        • Luzanne
          2 August 2016 / 20:55

          I will most definitely. 🙂

  3. Valencia
    13 June 2016 / 13:22

    Once got sold a fake Mac lipstick.Lol never again

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 20:06

      Ah no, that’s so disappointing!! 🙁

  4. Svetlana
    13 June 2016 / 13:30

    I once bought a UD Naked palette from a Durban reseller on bidorbuy for about R500 – about 5 years ago so the price was more or less comparable given the exchange rate back then. It looked pretty legit and I used it happily. Until a friend gave me a 100% authentic UD Vegan palette which had some of the same shades. Swatched next to each other, there was a world of difference in the fallout, pigmentation, intensity – everything!

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 20:07

      This is exactly what I’m talking about – it’s so frustrating when something like this happens! I’m so sorry this happened to you, Svetlana. 🙁

  5. Sim
    13 June 2016 / 13:30

    Thank you so much for this blog post! I’ve seen numerous Instagram accounts that sell make-up products. I haven’t bought make-up products from these accounts and I don’t think I want to, especially since their prices are ridiculous. I’ve checked around on ebay and it’s quite easy to spot the fakes. Also, because so many amazing products are not available in SA, it’s very easy to tempt people into spending so much of money (e.g. R250 for one Colourpop eyeshadow or charging over R1000 for something that’s only $30). It’s sad that some of this Instagram accounts exploit this, so I am extremely grateful that you have written this post.

    • Micaela
      13 June 2016 / 14:18

      I’ve also noticed this!! I bought the shaaanxo palette from the BH cosmeticssite for R380 (excl. custom fees) and I see different Instagram pages selling it for R600-R650

      • Leona
        21 June 2016 / 22:49

        Hi Micaela, how was the delivery of the products you purchased from BH, quick? shipping? I really want to get some stuff but I’m just waiting to save up abit first.

        • Luzanne
          24 June 2016 / 20:11

          As far as I know it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for a BH Cosmetics parcel to arrive in South Africa, Leona, but don’t quote me on that. 🙂 I haven’t ordered from them in quite some time though…

      • Luzanne
        24 June 2016 / 20:10

        I really don’t like it when I see someone charging double or triple the price. I’m all for making a profit, and having to pay for shipping and / or customs…but I don’t think it’s necessary to charge so much. 🙁

      • Nthabiseng
        17 May 2018 / 12:08

        Hi micaela, im also interested in buying straight from the bh cosmetics websites but i dont know how much customs they are gonna charge. How much did they charge you?

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 20:09

      You’re most welcome, Sim. 🙂

      I totally agree with you, unfortunately there are a lot of South Africans who so desperately want to get their hands on some of the international brands, they are willing to pay an arm and a leg for a product. OR they think they’re getting a great deal when a product is half the price, not knowing the product is probably a fake.

  6. 13 June 2016 / 13:50

    It is really dodgy, I also see all these sellers popping up. Firstly, I would never buy a product that is more than double its price, regardless of whether it is real or fake, I would rather order from overseas. Secondly, I wouldn’t trust the products are real, I mean they very well might be, but I am not taking a chance. The only things I buy from ebay would be makeup brushes and limited edition OPI since we don’t get many of them here. Also, buyers should do their research on the seller and on the product before spending their hard earned money, even when it comes to local sellers.

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 20:15

      I also wouldn’t pay double the price for something – as mentioned to Sim above, I totally understand someone needs to make a profit & pay shipping / customs BUT I don’t think it’s always necessary to charge so much.

      I’m also VERY wary of ordering my products from just any website, I’d rather order directly from the brand’s website or from a very reputable (and well known) online store.

  7. 13 June 2016 / 13:53

    Hello Luzanne

    Thank you for the blog post!

    I am thinking about purchasing make-up brushes on eBay. I want to buy them online as it is very expensive to purchase from MAC, Real techniques stores in SA.

    After reading this article, I think I will continue saving for the real brushes as I have never used eBay before and I don’t want to buy fake brushes.

  8. Simone Cameron
    13 June 2016 / 14:10

    Luzanne I’m so glad you posted this!! I’ve also seen this upsurge (is that a word?) Of 3rd party sellers on instagram. Recently a friend told me she had a friend selling MAC. I was like..who sells MAC that isn’t at a make up counter. She bought a bunch of stuff…she’s happy with it, but I’m very cautious and as cheap as it sounds…I know you always warn us about this stuff and how bad it can be for our skin and eyes, etc.

    Will be sharing the heck out of this post!

  9. Micaela
    13 June 2016 / 14:11

    I remember 6 years ago when I was in Matric one of my then friend told me how we could get MAC lipsticks for only R60, so the one weekend I slept over at her house and the next day her mom dropped us off at the Bruma China Market, and off I went to buy my first MAC lipstick from a little Chinese shop and there I thought it was the real thing, until I had my makeup done for my matric dance at the MAC counter and realised a lipstick was actually R110(at the time) and not R60!!

  10. Natalie
    13 June 2016 / 14:29

    I once bought a Lorac Pro palette from one of South Africa’s large and reputable online retailers, I was a bit concerned about buying online but because it was such a well know site I went for it. In researching the palette I bought I came across a site that showed in detail the differences between a real and fake Lorac palette and when my palette arrived it was clearly fake. Even if I hadn’t read that article I think I would have been able to tell something was wrong, the palette just felt disappointing overall. Luckily the retailer gave me a full refund and collected the product from me.

    • Mia
      16 November 2016 / 10:13

      Hi Natalie,

      Which site was this if you don’t mind me asking? I’m eyeing a Kat Von D palette from because officially it’s only stocks in Sephora, Debenhams or from Kat Von D herself. None of these stores ship to South Africa other wise I would have just bough it directly from the source.

      • Luzanne
        16 November 2016 / 12:24

        Hi Mia – Muse Beauty is 100% reliable, they sell only authentic makeup. I’ve bought Morphe and Anastasia products from them and have compared the products I bought to other products from the same brand that I know for a fact is authentic because I asked a friend to bring back for me from the US. You can definitely trust Muse Beauty. 🙂

  11. Ada
    13 June 2016 / 14:40

    Great post Luzanne!! Yes, no fake makeup for me thanks

  12. 13 June 2016 / 14:48

    I ordered an Urban Decay Naked palette from Zando once. I immediately noticed the packaging looked different to what I had seen online. I contacted them, returned the item and got a refund. They said they were aware that the product was not authentic. I was a bit disappointed that they hadn’t contacted me first though.

  13. Daphne
    13 June 2016 / 16:50

    THANK YOU FOR THIS BLOG POST!!! I am so happy you wrote about this!

    I bought a “Naked 2 palette” and “Too Faced palette” from a third party seller (south african) and both palettes were so low in quality. I immediately knew that I had been taken advantage of because a reputable company like Urban Decay would never produce something of such crap quality. I was devastated because like your friend, I never heard from this woman again. She stole my money, and I also asked her if they were authentic.

    Thankfully Urban Decay will be in South Africa soon, and I can stock up on originals. I would much rather save up and know I’m getting the real thing.

    Thank you for always having your readers’ backs, Luzanne.

    So much respect!

    • Mia
      16 November 2016 / 10:15

      Hi Daphne,

      Which site was this if you don’t mind me asking? I’m about to make quite an expensive purchase and I would like to avoid this site if possible? Thanks

  14. Estee
    13 June 2016 / 16:56

    Yaaaaasssss!!! So glad to see a blog post like this, people need to know that low budget replicas are extremely dangerous!

    Same thing happened to me a few years back, I bought MAC makeup from ebay for cheap cheap and in the end my skin broke out so badly from all the chemicals. It took a good 2 months for my skin to get back to normal, and I only used that makeup twice. Such a waste. 🙁

  15. Kelebogile
    13 June 2016 / 17:18

    I have always wondered about these sellers on Facebook, there is also a website from south africa she sells the Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks for R220 on her website but the real ones retail for $20 (R300). How can se make a profit if she’s selling it for R80 LESS!?!?! I checked and she still has them on her website now.

    People disappoint me sometimes. 🙁

    Thank you, Luzanne, you have educated me. I will rather save up or buy things from Clicks and Dischem if I cant afford luxury brands. 🙂

  16. Ayesha Bhayat
    13 June 2016 / 18:36

    I bought 5 mac eye sticks for R100. The guys promised me up and down that they were real and that they were just old stock that need to get rid of to make place for new stock. They even had plastic wrap on them . When I Google it is realised it is all fake.

  17. michelle walker
    13 June 2016 / 18:57

    Thanks for a great blog post Luzanne!!

    Does anyone know if is legit?

    • Mia
      16 November 2016 / 10:16

      I’m also wondering about this site now :/

      • Ntombi
        2 October 2018 / 14:51

        Muse beauty is legit. I’ve purchased a few products from them (morphe) and it is the One!

  18. Rozanne
    13 June 2016 / 19:18


    Thank you for writing this very detailed and informative blog post, Luzanne. I for one have been tempted to buy from the sellers who sell branded makeup for half the price, but now I won’t. The risk is just too high, and I won’t put my health on the line for makeup.

    Rather save up, or buy drugstore makeup. There are so many affordable legit brands at Clicks and Dischem that have very good quality makeup.

    Thank you for always having our best interests at heart, we appreciate it. 😀

  19. Trish
    13 June 2016 / 19:19

    This blog post should be shared with everyone in South Africa – there are too many scammers out to make quick money, and to the detriment of others’ health!

    Thanx, Luzanne

  20. R Fourie
    13 June 2016 / 20:25

    Thank you for this valuable information. Luckily I buy with my eyes when browsing third-party-sellers goods 🙂

  21. Nadia
    13 June 2016 / 20:36

    Thank you for keeping us informed, Luzanne. I love your blog!!

  22. Qondiswa N
    13 June 2016 / 20:40

    I am so glad you are addressing this issue, Luzanne.

    Thank you for trying to help us, your readers. 🙂

    You are one in a million!!


  23. 13 June 2016 / 20:43

    YAS!!! this post is so on point!
    I’ve seen SO many Instagram accounts selling makeup at ridiculous prices. Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit for R349??! what? of course that’s fake.
    anyways, thanks for this ppst Luzanne! you rock!

    P.S. does anyone know which legit website I can purchase Ben Nye Banana powder from?

    • Svetlana
      14 June 2016 / 11:53

      Not sure where you are based but there is a special effects make up shop in Cape Town (close to parliament building) called Masque FX Warehouse. Have seen banana powder there.

  24. Melissa
    13 June 2016 / 21:00

    Hi Luzanne

    I have been one of the lucky few. I bought an hourglass blush palette on ebay and was able to compare the quality with an original powder. I also bought a Lorac Megapro palette and have the original Lorac pro palette to compare. Both these buys were originals and I have been very happy with the quality. I normally buy from the US from reputable sellers that have good reviews and have been lucky so far. I never buy something that is ridiculously cheap or comes from China. Hope that helps the ladies that want to give it a try.

  25. farzana
    13 June 2016 / 23:02

    I dont trust anyone these days unfortunately..people are getting too greedy for their own good.

    Thank you for opening up people’s eyes to the reality of counterfeit makeup, Luzanne. We all appreciate it so very much.

    Much love,


  26. Hannah
    14 June 2016 / 09:58

    Ive seen way too many of these insta stores pop up lately, and theres no way of knowing whether the goods are real or fake. I think there should be a public list of all the sellers who sell fakes – it will prevent anyone from losing any more money. Like you said, its a sad world we live in but fortunately we have honest people like you who want to warn and protect your readers. Kudos to you, Luzanne!

  27. Mithi
    14 June 2016 / 11:28

    Thanks so much for the heads up, Luzanne!
    I unfortunately did get fooled by fake MAC blushes and powders by a 3rd seller in SA 🙁 it’s just heart-breaking when you realise you spent you hard-earned $$$ on a fake!
    But about 2 years ago I was able to purchase a UD Naked Pallette 2 from rubybox. It is the real deal and remains my favourite palette.
    very happy that UD is coming to SA, and hang on!, did you say Tarte Cosmetics is now delivering to SA??? 🙂 *happy dance 🙂

  28. 22 June 2016 / 00:32

    I am someone who brings US products in and resells them. I buy my items directly from Morphe, Colourpop, BH Cosmetics and as of late Wallgreens. There is no question about the authenticity of my products but I have had many buyers asking if My items are authentic. Apparently there is someone from Durban who sells stuff and they are fakes. I have no clue who, but when I heard that I got a bit nervous. Because here I am paying full retail price directly from each brands online store and after postage and customs, I set my price. I market and I go about my business in an open, honest and fair way. To hear that there are those who don’t share the same values when sourcing and selling items – makes my blood boil. Just the other day I saw someone selling colourpop super shock shadows for R110. I want to know the details of how they get to that price. Mine that I purchase directly from colourpops website works about about R155 each after shipping and customs charges are included. Unless they are dodging the system, there is just no way that price is accurate. But… Now I sit and think to myself that this is rubbish! It hurts those who genuinely are doing things the right way. It takes away from a customer who bought that product and didnt love it because it is a fake and the formula is nowhere as awesome as the real deal pots. So now, not only has that fake reseller lost a customer, those of us who have genuine items with genuine quality formula have potentially lost one too because that customer is thinking that the brand is rubbish or all resellers sell fakes… I’ve tried to do my thing and actually link it with me as a person so you can see who I am. Many resellers are faceless and thats a big warning sign. (In my opinion) Oh well.. My new strategy is just to provide a wonderful service while selling my genuine band products and hope that’s enough to get customers to come back for more. X

    • Melissa Page
      14 January 2017 / 14:20

      May I ask what your business is called?

    • Jess
      18 January 2017 / 11:54

      Please could you give the name of your business

  29. Shantel Govender
    24 June 2016 / 10:26

    Thank you Luzanne for a very informative read , and the dangers of buying fake make products goes far beyond us supporting the “the illegal markets” but the long term damage to our skin and eyes can leave one scarred for life . I have always looked at make up online but never cough up the courage to buy . Since Urban Decay is launching in SA soon , I am more excited to buy the originals .

  30. 5 July 2016 / 12:48

    Hi Luzanne,

    Thank you so much for this article. This was very informative. I was once fooled into buying a fake Urban Decay Naked 3 palette from a Durban reseller. Not only did I have to wait for about 2 months to receive it, when I did receive it the quality was sooo bad that I can’t even use it. And I only received it after I had written a complaint on Hello Peter, only to find other several people who had been scammed by the same people. Thank God they are finally launching in SA, I can’t wait to get the real thing when they open. Thanks to your blog I know that I can get can some products directly from the suppliers. I think often times we are scared off by the delivery times and duties etc but I can honestly say that I prefer getting my makeup direct from the makeup company than buying from a 3rd party. I signed up with Aramex and have used them twice. Their service is very good. The first time there was a bit of a delay as some of my items were not eligible for shipping (after all the hype on the Pixie Glow Tonic I had to get one! But decided on an alternative which was the Freedom Makeup London Glycolic Radiance Tonic which is supposedly a dupe. Turned out it was not eligible for shipping as it’s a liquid form.) Last month as I was browsing on the Morphe website I was sooo excited to see that the 350 palette was back in stock and I just had to order it. Because I had to pay for the Fedex shipping as well I think I paid R402.00 and Aramex shipping charge was R274. I’ll be ordering from Colourpop soon and would also like to try the Sephora giftcard thing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying fake makeup KNOWINGLY. The problem is paying R600 for a MaryLou that someone got off Aliexpress for $4 and selling it as authentic. That’s just wrong. Personally I have purchased dupes (not fakes) of high end brands from reputable companies. I have Makeup Revolution’s I heart Chocolate and salted caramel palettes, dupes for Too Faced Chocolate bars, and I also have their Iconic Pro palettes which are dupes for Lorac Pro palettes. The quality is good and I like that they are cruelty-free. So if anyone is on a budget but would like to buy a chocolate palette, I’d recommend checking them out.

  31. Shazia
    7 July 2016 / 14:08

    a few years ago I had ordered an urban decay naked 1 palette. This was before urban decay was all the hype here in SA. The palette cost R600 at the time which was slightly more than what it cost in the US, I had asked the seller on numerous occasions whether it was original which she confirmed, after looking at the price I thought it had to be original, so I ordered it. The palette took months to come, and once it arrived I thought it was original as I had never seen an original palette in person and had nothing to compare it to. But the packaging was different to the pictures and there was no primer potion included, I questioned the seller and was told that the primer potion was a limited edition add on and that I had to pay more for that (which was a lie because all urban decay naked 1 palettes came with a primer potion) I asked for a refund because I knew that it was fake after researching a little more and was told that they state that some of their items are replica and that the “agent” that sold it to me was no longer with their company and that they can’t be responsible for their “agent” lying to me about the authenticity. There were NO agents in this “company” I had dealt with the owner of the Instagram profile. Ended up ordering my palettes from beauty bay and purchasing from Sephora in dubai after that so I know that I have originals. Some resellers here in SA do sell originals, muse beauty is one of them and the service that you receive from her is amazing! Only xiah also sells original items however the waiting period for delivery is quite long so if you don’t mind that then go for it, her prices are also very good. As for getting a list on Instagram profiles that sell fake items, there is a profile on Instagram “Reviews4U_SA” – people review Instagram resellers and rate their customer service after purchasing from them, it’s a great profile to go through when you are unsure of purchasing from a specific seller.

  32. Alexandra De Canha
    4 October 2016 / 22:31

    Thanks for the great article Luzanne. I wish there was a way that the known sellers of fake makeup could be named and shamed so that none of us are scammed. I bought some items today which seem legit but were NOT cheap and now I’m questioning whether they are genuine?

      • Alexandra De Canha
        13 October 2016 / 22:51

        Thanks Ndapewa! I will go and look right away 🙂

  33. Jess
    18 January 2017 / 11:58

    Hey Luzanne
    I was just wondering if you knew of any good websites that ship Kat Von D make up to South Africa? I love your Blog and thanks for the warning!

    • Luzanne
      24 January 2017 / 17:10

      Hi Jess! Check out Muse Beauty SA ( – she imports authentic international brands and she has a couple of Kat von D products in stock. I’m sure you could ask her to source something specially for you. 🙂

  34. Chanel
    2 May 2017 / 23:44

    I’ve purchased from @hellogorgeousza on Instagram. Products are 100% authentic she was even kind enough to supply proof of where it was purchased. Great service and such a speedy overnight delivery. I was totally impressed and will def be buying again

  35. Mary McCauley
    28 June 2017 / 21:46

    Muse Beauty SA ( is not on the “authorized sellers” list at Anastasia Beverly Hills website. You can check the “authorized sellers” list at the Anastasia website, by going to their home page and at bottom of page you will see an area with choices, select “Counterfeit” and they will tell you every company they provide their products to. Muse Beauty is not one of them. Also, the fact that Muse Beauty is selling Anastasia glow kits that have been discontinued long ago.

  36. 30 January 2018 / 15:11

    I have just purchased a lorac palette from a reseller going as makeupchicksa.Charged the normal price as you would expect for an original and when it arrived,it was so fake.

    Waiting now to see if I can get my money back or I’m going to report them on hellopeter.

  37. Jean-Marie Botha
    12 February 2018 / 20:06

    Don’t purchase from Makeup Chick SA. They sell very obvious fakes and then refuse to refund your money

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