Note (1): This is going to be an informational entry about Urban Decay products (more specifically Naked 2 palette since it is the hottest thing around in Sephora) mainly for girls but guys can also read on to advise their girlfriends/sisters when it comes to purchasing cosmetics online.
Note (2): This applies to the latest Naked 3 palette as well! Now counterfeit makers claim that they are Urban Decay factory rejects because they have alignment problems, warped mirror, etc. Ridiculous! Please don’t fall for it!
Hey guys, I’m back again with another update. However it’s still not going to be about my life but on something I think is going to be really useful for everyone.
Before I go on about the main subject, let me give a mini introduction and review about the Carousell App. Do skip the part in blockquote if you’re not interested to read! Lol.
Like many ladies out there, I’ve been frequenting Sephora and tempted to buy many of their products but somehow I knew my limits and managed to curb my spending. Last year, the founders of Carousell (a Singapore-based mobile marketplace) e-invited me to join its community but I was too lazy to download anything on my phone so I regrettably chucked that e-mail aside. Then, seeing that I hadn’t registered they invited me again 4 months back so I thought, OK these people are so sincere.. maybe I should give it a shot? After all if I don’t like it I can always delete it, right? And wow, the moment I went into the App, I knew I wouldn’t be exiting it so soon. There were just too many great deals around! You can easily get a product worth $80 at Sephora for just $65?! I could’ve possibly saved a lot of money if I had joined earlier -_- But since this post is not about Carousell, I shall do a more in-depth review on it some other time! (full review here)
So anyway Carousell, being extremely user-friendly and organised, has a “Beauty Products” section for users to sell mainly their (brand new or used) cosmetics, nail polishes and other stuff which you’d apply on your body parts. When I first joined I was still pretty new to (high-end) make-up but I definitely spent time long enough in Sephora to know the price ranges for the brands like Benefit, Urban Decay, M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown. An Urban Decay Naked Palette 2 is sold for $80 in local Sephora stores. So imagine my joy when I saw this:
Naked 2 for $30?! How not to be tempted? For your information, this user actually posted about the same item TWICE with the other one stating his/her contact number for quick replies. I was enticed by that listing but I shall not be ruthless and reveal his/her personal information here. (But if you’re interested to know which username you can always ask in the comments below)
Though it was a really attractive deal, common sense told me that something was amiss. It does not make monetary sense for someone to sell something worth close to a hundred bucks for less than half the price? I texted the seller immediately and verified its authenticity with him/her (ok this is getting tiring. Let’s just assume that it’s a her). I do not have the SMS conversation with me already but she replied along the line of, “It’s close to authentic… Minerals are directly shipped from the U.S… I have sold hundreds of it already… You can check my Facebook page for reviews..” FUNNILY she didn’t leave her Facebook link for me to see. Trying to smoke me with the “shipped from the America” gimmick ah? Not so easy babe!! And notice she didn’t mention outright that it’s NOT authentic? Close to authentic my foot! If it’s not authentic, it’s NOT authentic. There’s no such thing as close-to.
Of course, upon knowing that it’s a fake, I rejected the deal albeit very nicely. However I was still very concerned that others may be duped into believing that it was a real deal. I went back to the listing and saw a comment posted by a potential buyer, also asking if it was authentic (pictured above). It was a simple yes or no question but this seller didn’t want give a direct answer and chose to reply with the same minerals-shipped-from-US phrase again. On another listing (MAC blush), a user saw through her and commented, “So it’s not authentic..?” and this crook responded that “…imitate sounds a bit too weird. It’s a graded one, stocks taken in directly from the U.S. Minerals and products are authentic..”. Seriously, does she know the meaning of “authentic” or not?!?! *roll eyes*
Because it is a marketplace, I didn’t want to appear like I’m breaking her rice bowl by exposing her misdeeds. But I really hope people were smart enough to see that the UD palettes were fake and probably NOT shipped from the U.S. If not, I don’t know… I guess that’s the price to pay for being so gullible.
I skimmed through her other listings and saw many more unoriginal products for sale (e.g. M.A.C, Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy perfume, Marc Jacobs wtf…), some which she blatantly claimed were authentic under the Comments (can be seen by everyone) when she had clearly told me they were near to authentic through private messaging. What a downright despicable and greedy liar!! I despise you!
More examples of fake UD palettes for sale on Carousell and also evidently showing sellers being delusional themselves.
And the item above is already SOLD. Who bought it? Hallelujah to you my dear! $55 for an imitation product is definitely.. wow, so-worth-it.
This seller foolishly thought she had the real UD palette as her friend “bought it from the shop (I’d guess it’s Sephora?)” Her friend also one kind ah, made this kind of lie.
I’m definitely not trying to deter anyone from buying cosmetics online. You can still get the real deal on Carousell at a fraction of the retail price, in BRAND NEW condition, but you just need to be more careful and alert. Now, let me show you how mine looks like:
You can already see a vast difference. I’m not going to open up my palette at this hour (it’s past 1 am here) and swatch all the colours for you since I do not own a fake palette to compare with. But I have done numerous research and watched too many fake-vs-real YouTube videos that I can tell at one glance if it’s authentic. To make everyone’s life a lot easier, I shall do a quick summary on how to spot a fake UD on Carousell (applies to eBay and other online marketplaces as well).
Fake UD Naked 2 in Appearance and Packaging
- (Old packaging) Usually does not come with the mini lip junkie (a lip gloss) which is pictured together with my own palette – the red stick-like thing on the right. For UD Naked 1 palette, it comes with a primer potion. You can tell from the imitations above that the palette fits into the box nicely with no space for the lip junkie. However some fakes nowadays do come with it hence this is not the main determinant anymore.
- (New packaging) Does not come with primer potion samples
- (Old packaging) Does not come with clear hard plastic box because it is cheaper to use one made of paper.
- (New packaging) Does not come with good quality, thick paper box. This is a little hard to tell so if in doubt, please refer to the rest of the guidelines.
- See below:
Fake UD Naked 2 Palette (pre-2014 exterior)
- (Old packaging) The brand “NAKED 2” is printed on it in a darker font (almost like black).
- (New packaging) “Naked 2” is gold embossed. REMEMBER THE FONT (thickness, kerning between characters etc.) because even though counterfeit makers can make copies very well, there are bound to be some dissimilarities!
- Feels less heavy or very light, about 5.7g as compared to the authentic one which weighs more than 7g.
- Does not come with a batch number (e.g. A046) printed on the lower back of the palette itself.
Fake UD Naked 2 Interior and Eyeshadow Colours (applies to both old and new packaging)
- Mirror looks warped and your reflection appears stretched or distorted.
- Mirror is hence of low quality and looks like it’s going to come off any moment.
- The names of the eyeshadows are not aligned to the centre and some may also be misspelled (e.g. ‘D’ typed as ‘O’ and vice versa, so it’s printed as “HALF BAKEO” instead of “HALF BAKED”).
- Colours generally look less shimmery (for shimmery colours), dull on the overall and less pigmented (i.e. you need to apply many layers over another to make the colour “appear”)
- Fake Good Karma brush has darker-coloured bristles and when you lay it in front of you with the fluffy, rounded-tip brush facing towards your left, the brand “Urban Decay Naked 2” should also face nicely towards you (i.e. not inverted)
Fake UD Naked 2 Sellers (!!!)
- Usually sell these palettes through preorders. A high-end brand like Urban Decay do not sell in bulks unless you personally visit authorised resellers like Sephora, Ulta and Urbandecay.com and purchase many of them (but rarely anyone does that because it’s about the same price if you include shipping charges)
- Having said the above, DO NOT BELIEVE 100% even if the seller has a receipt (proof of purchase that she bought it from “authorised resellers” overseas). Always scrutinise these “evidences” THOROUGHLY, bearing in mind that these may also be fabricated (I mean, how hard is it to forge a receipt with Photoshop nowadays?). But if item looks exactly like the duplicates above, do not buy. See example below from lowyat.net.
Lo and behold, cheated Malaysians lamenting on Lowyat.net bought their palette from deal sites like Groupon, deal.com.my and other similar pages. So people who like to purchase coupons from deal sites, beware and be extra careful.
- Obtain their stocks from unidentified suppliers. THIS IS A GIVEAWAY and applies to any other luxury/high-end goods. No luxury brand, I repeat, NO LUXURY BRAND will allow sale of their products to unauthorised resellers like… you and I? I mean, who are you to represent the brand? JUST WHO ARE YOU? Lol. Sorry if I sound very agitated.
Ask “Where did you buy it from?” and if answer is “supplier” or “another Carouseller”, it is highly unlikely that it’s authentic.
- Believe everything suppliers say, for instance like the above, “FACTORY REJECTS”. High-end brands like Urban Decay, M.A.C, Bobbi Brown do not release defected products (or also known as factory seconds) for sale. Why? Obviously it will TARNISH their reputation if they don’t work well on UD users, duh! Wake up your idea, people!! THINK!
- Priced their palettes ridiculously and unbelievably low, but that does not mean that a $50, $60-ish UD Naked 2 is authentic either. Refer to the points above again!
If you wish, you can also ask why they’re selling them at such a low price. You’ll probably get a crap answer but it’s entertaining to see how they react 😛
- Are likely to sell other fake stuff as well. Always, always check his/her listings when in doubt. If you spot one imitation product, STEER AWAY FROM THIS USER. Ok maybe not so serious, but exercise precautions alright? I’d never trust anybody who sells fake stuff. That’s so mean! How could you bear to sell something HARMFUL to someone else?
- Do not have real-life pictures of the product. Either the user has something to hide or truly does not have any because the items are obtained from his/her “trusty” suppliers (hence pictures are also provided by them).
- Are not very sure of its authenticity. If they’re not sure, then they probably didn’t get it from an authorised reseller. Likewise, stay away unless you have all the time in the world to verify. (Why bother? Patience is a virtue. Just wait for the real deal or get it from Sephora if you can’t)
Ask “Is this authentic?” and do not stop questioning if they say “yes”. Probe further! Ask where they got it from 😉
- People who buy from the ultimate counterfeit cosmetics wholesale centre called VogueMagic (originates from China). No matter how many A’s they claim the grade has, DO NOT BUY.
Always keep a list of sellers who sell counterfeit products. I have mentally blacklisted some and reported many of them.
Identifying Ethical Carousellers (who only sell authentic products)
This is just my observation so please don’t blame me if I’m wrong..
- Usually have a profile picture of themselves (ok not 100% true because I don’t put a picture of myself hahaha..) because they are proud of the authentic stuff they put on their faces 😛
- To reiterate, they sell other authentic products too. No sight of unauthentic items for sale. These people are damn atas (high class).
- Usually indicate that everything on sale is 100% authentic on their description box. I once saw a seller semi-lashing out at doubtful buyers that she does not buy and wear fake make up and “neither should you”. How awesome is that? I like her.
- Usually provide real-life pictures of their products on their listings automatically (without having you to request for any). Unethical sellers only know how to use low-quality pictures grabbed from Google or from their beloved suppliers.
Likewise, keep a mental list of sellers who only sell authentic stuff by perhaps, following them? Keep a lookout of their listings because that’s probably where you can find real deals at reasonable prices!
I think my brain has stopped working for now.
5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy Counterfeit Make-up
Just a quick summary once again…
- Fake cosmetics are made of HARMFUL ingredients that are likely to worsen your skin conditions and cause you to break out. Or even worse than a pimple outbreak.
- Unlike fake branded bags and apparels, you are applying them DIRECTLY on your face which will then get absorbed into your body. And then what happens? I don’t know. Why don’t you try and let me know? Ha, just kidding.
- The money earned from selling fake make-up (I’m referring to the original sellers like the “SUPPLIERS”) is used to fund illegal activities like drug trafficking, people smuggling and robbery. Gasp, gasp! Why would you want to support that??
- You want to buy Urban Decay products because you’ve heard great things about them. If you buy a counterfeit one, you are definitely not going to experience what beauty bloggers and product critiques went through! You’re better off buying Watsons/NTUC/Drugstore cosmetics that way.
- Give Urban Decay credits where it’s due! Why are you supporting imitation? UD spent so much time and money perfecting the formula and yet you’re paying someone who is not involved in all these hard work at all?
OKAY hopefully I have knocked some sense into people who think wearing fake make-up “is no big deal as long as it does its job”. Well, if you still think it’s no big deal then I guess it’s your choice? You got problems later don’t regret ok?
There’s another fake Naked Product in the market! Wanna guess what it’s called? It’s no brain teaser I swear because counterfeit makers don’t have much creativity, do they?
Alright, let me unveil the name! It’s…. *drums roll*
Those are screen captures from Carousell, by the way. I can’t remember if the seller actually indicated that it’s authentic but I think she did. Otherwise I wouldn’t have screengrabbed these. But seriously, if anyone bought this thinking that it’s authentic, then gosh you deserve to be conned because there is no such thing as Naked 4 (yet)! There were however quite a number of enquiries about its authenticity in the comments section. *face palm* Please leh, can you girls not be so gullible and naive?!
Ok ladies, that’s about it! 🙂 Thanks for reading and good luck in finding great deals on Carousell!