Forget dodgy counterfeit makeup - here are six bargain versions of the originals
Fake versions of a beauty product are no substitute for a cheaper alternative
Counterfeit beauty products seized during the week. Photograph: Maxwellphotography.ie
A recent article explored the health risks of buying and using counterfeit beauty products, which have become increasingly available online and at market stalls across the country in the lead-up to Christmas.
Revenue has seized what is described as “significant quantities” of counterfeit beauty products recently. But far from being simply a customs or tax-related issue, there are significant health concerns associated with counterfeit beauty.
Popular counterfeited beauty products include imitations of Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics lip kits and eyeshadow palettes, as well as versions of the hugely successful palettes from Urban Decay.
The HSE recently carried out tests on 728 false or imitation versions of popular beauty products (almost all of which were eye and lip products). Among other undesirable and toxic ingredients, they were found to contain arsenic and lead, both of which can cause severe damage to health with prolonged exposure.
Regulation within the beauty industry is rigorous. Lip products need to be safe to ingest in small quantities, and eye products are thoroughly tested to ensure their safety.
Counterfeit products available to buy through social media or on market stalls contain whatever ingredients make them look most like the original product at the lowest cost to those making them. There is absolutely no accountability or sense of responsibility toward the health of the customer.
Customers have no way of knowing precisely what they are applying to their skin, and even with short-term use, many counterfeit products risk causing eye infections, skin irritation or allergic reactions to what are essentially mystery ingredients.
It's easy to see why people want to have branded make-up for cheaper prices in the same way some people can't resist the temptation of buying a knock-off designer bag for a fraction of the price of the original. The truth is, counterfeit makeup simply isn’t worth the hassle or the risk to health.
Luckily this stuff is very easy to spot. If the price looks too good to be true, it usually is. If luxury branded makeup is being sold anywhere but standard stockists such as department stores or official websites, it simply isn’t the real thing. If the texture, colour or smell of the product is not right, then it isn’t genuine. You are paying for something that looks like the original, but certainly won’t wear like it.
Fortunately for consumers, there is a difference between a fake version of a product and a “dupe”. Dupes are essentially identical or similar versions of bestselling luxury products made by mainstream (and regulated) companies.
Other, more affordable beauty brands will create a similar product to a popular luxury item, but market and package it under their own brand. Discerning customers will figure out quite quickly that what they are getting is a more affordable version of an expensive beauty product.
Some casual online research will easily throw up the best and latest alternatives on the market. These products are rarely completely identical in every detail, but a good alternative, and once applied, should mimic the original.
Of course, since these alternatives are almost always from more affordable brands, they might offer less in terms of shade range, particularly for products such as foundation or concealer. However, they are worth researching for the potential savings, and are completely safe and reliable.
To get you started, here are some great alternatives to products that you may be offered at prices too good to be true:
Kylie Cosmetics Exposed Matte Liquid Lipstick (€14 plus shipping)
Alternative: NYX Professional Makeup Soft Matte Lip Cream in London (€8)
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner (€25)
Alternative: Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner (€11.99)
Beauty Blender Makeup Sponge (€18)
Alternative: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (€7.99)
MAC Strobe Cream in Peachlight (€34)
Alternative: Boots Botanics All Bright Radiance Balm (€9.99)
Original: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation (€39)
Alternative: Revlon Photoready Airbrush Effect Makeup (€18.99)
MAC 217 Eyeshadow Brush (€26)
Alternative: Zoeva 227 Luxe Soft Definer Brush (€10.50)