Dealing with Scammers on Carousell

source: shutterstock

source: shutterstock

Hey guys! Terribly sorry for the lack of updates. I have so many things to talk about yet so little time to do so ever since school started. Before laziness kicks in again, here’s one wordy post I’m sure many online shoppers can relate.

As the title mentions, it’s going to be about dealing with unscrupulous people online. What prompted me to draft this post was my close shave with a scammer on Carousell who nearly cheated me of S$19 for a piece of brand new romper that I doubt ever existed. I have successfully gotten back my money so I really hope by penning down my experience, it would serve as a reminder for everyone to be more cautious when shopping online. Of course, I’ll also be sharing some tips on how to avoid getting swindled and what to do if you are in that situation.

Yes, S$19 may not be a lot but it’s money I painstakingly earned from a month’s slog. Even if I had to part with that sum of money, I would rather give it to people who are worthy of it, and not to those good-for-nothing individuals who live off others’ hard-earn money. Freeloaders top my list of most hated people and they include those shameless ones asking for money when they are perfectly abled YET refuse to work. Scammers are no different but they are definitely worse than them in terms of morals and ethics.

What happened

I was searching for Rochette Romper (from Love, Bonito) on Carousell and I stumbled upon one for sale at S$20. Those who shop at Love, Bonito would know that the popular sold-out romper retailed for about S$35 on site and resellers typically sell them for about S$30. So S$20 for a brand new piece was really a steal! The price included normal postage and was even reduced to S$19 when I asked if price was negotiable. But what made it dubious was the fact that it was still available even after several hours of being listed when the romper was highly sought after everywhere. Later I read the listing description that there were two pieces (of the same size and colour) available. Partially also not wanting to miss out on a great deal, I gave the seller the benefit of the doubt as after all it’s not uncommon for items to be sold on a first-pay, first-served basis.  She perhaps practised that, I thought to myself. Within an hour, I had already made payment (via ATM) to that swindler. However I couldn’t make any offer through that listing because the item was already “reserved for someone else”. In other words, she had already accepted someone else’s offer, probably the buyer of the first piece. That was before the App allowed multiple acceptance of offers after its recent update.

For the record, text in pink speech bubble was written by me while the one in grey was by the scammer.

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Her attempts at tempting me

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Refused to provide video proof. I didn’t insist as I tried my best to understand that she was busy.

Before transferring the funds, I did do some background checks on that seller such as reading her ratings. At that time, she had 3 positive, 1 neutral and 1 negative. Loss mail and dishonesty were the main reasons for the negative rating. To be safe, I asked for a video proof of postage but was declined because she was “mailing many parcels alone” even though she stated that she’d provide that service upon request on her profile. She also “encouraged” me to opt for registered postage and quoted me S$3.80 for it when Singpost only charges an additional S$2.24 for local registered articles. I felt more discouraged than encouraged seriously :\ and that’s probably her plan to deter buyers from opting for registered postage. Didn’t want to be ripped off, I told her to send me a picture of the parcel before mailing it out via normal postage. Biggest mistake ever.

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“Video proof provided upon request” as stated on her profile

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Her only negative but very descriptive feedback

But on second thought, if she was really out to cheat, I think she would find all sorts of excuse to delay the delivery even if I were to opt for registered postage so I guess the best solution is to not buy from her altogether? Unfortunately I didn’t contemplate any further as my eagerness had already clouded my judgement. The deal was just too irresistible and I think that’s one danger of online shopping. We get so immersed in finding dirt-cheap bargains that we gradually lose our sense of rationality.

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The romper I wanted to buy from her

Since she was selling two similar pieces (later it became three), I wanted to make sure that the rompers were originally and brand new from Love, Bonito and not some replicated piece from Taobao. She assured me that they were indeed from Love, Bonito and even had the tag on (as shown in picture above). Also, her replies were rather fast before I made payment.

The interrogation

However, two weeks passed and still no sight of the parcel. The longest time I had waited for a parcel’s arrival was a week and it was because my envelope was tampered with and Singpost took the liberty to repackage it. On other occasions, my parcel was returned to the sender because my address was smudged by the rain. The past two weeks had perfectly fine weather so there was no reason for the delay.

If she had underpaid the postage, the parcel would still be delivered to me but I’d have to bear the penalty.

And most importantly, I had never experienced any lost mail. I know Singpost has a rather bad reputation of mishandling mails and I believe that mails do get missing from time to time as it happened thrice to my friend living at Jalan Membina. But the postmen servicing my old and current estates never fail to deliver my parcels successfully, rain or shine. People who know me would know how much of a shopaholic I am and I receive an average of three bulky parcels a week. I am such a frequent online shopper that even my Bukit Batok postwoman once personally delivered a parcel that had no unit number to me LOL. Furthermore, it’s a national postal carrier utilised by major companies that send out bills and letters in regular envelopes every single day. If such small items can be delivered without any problem, how would an A4-sized bulky parcel disappear? Well, unless someone stole the mailbag away during transit but that’s VERY rare.

I decided to confront the seller but of course, I started off with a more courteous tone.

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She said she didn’t receive my message. I totally believe ya.

I asked if other buyers had received theirs to which she replied that they already did. What a liar. The truth will always prevail.

I felt being polite was going to lead me to nowhere, so I jumped the gun.

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Notice how she immediately turned the tables and accused me of not opting for registered mail although she “encouraged” me to? Typical response of a scammer who attempted to cover her ass. I’m sorry but your ass is obviously too big ‘coz I totally saw through you.

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The altercation continued. Each time she tried to outdo me in the length of writing. Okay sure, bring it on!

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A case of the pot calling the kettle black. I am soooo pathetically equipped with general knowledge *_*

I bombarded her with lots of questions which she couldn’t answer, and her replies were extremely slow.

The investigation

Carousell admin was also taking a long time to get back to my complaint because of a major event over the weekends. I grew really impatient and eventually embarked on my own investigation. I couldn’t get anything by Googling her username, but I made a huge discovery when I searched for the DBS CURRENT account I transferred the S$19 to because I found out that it actually belongs to 65daigou.com. 65Daigou works as a forwarder for sites that don’t accept international credit cards like Taobao. To purchase from these sites, you’d have to first top-up your account with cash (via bank transfer, credit card etc.) and you can withdraw them anytime.

Does that give you an idea of the scammer’s plan? Yes, that loser had been making use of a third party’s bank account to receive funds because she obviously knew that it’d be too risky if she used her own bank account. She avoided using anything that would suggest her identity. Smart move, but there is no such thing as a perfect crime. You’re bound to leave traces of your misdeeds.

On top of that, I also managed to find out who she is, her age, where she studies and her place of residence despite her extreme cautiousness. But I never once threatened to expose her.. although I did plan to do so if she ultimately refused to refund. I’m cut out to be a detective, doncha think? People say that you need to have the mind of a criminal to know how a criminal operates. That’s absolutely true although I don’t scam. I just have lotsa tricks up my sleeve hehe. Or maybe I’m just overly analytical.

On the fourth day, I messaged the buyer that left her the negative rating to understand more about her situation. Apparently, in a bid to deter meetups, that deceitful seller charged her S$3 for meetup at her (the seller’s) convenience. How ludicrous. No one in the right mind would PAY to meet when mailing would cost also around the same. She opted for normal postage in the end but of course, the parcel never came and she never got her money back. She also mentioned that there used to be many other negative reviews relating to the same issues on her page, but somehow they got deleted!

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Her lies… they’re exposed.

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Ridiculous!

At the same time, I also made an appeal on Carousell marketplace in hopes of gathering other buyers of the romper because Carousell admin couldn’t reveal them to me (it has got to do with their privacy policy I believe). I did so without disclosing the seller’s identity to avoid sounding like I was defaming her and also… to sieve out the nosey parkers from the genuinely affected ones. The aim of this was to check if they had received their parcels.

The refund

In the end, THREE people approached me. That makes FOUR buyers of the romper including myself. Didn’t she only have THREE pieces? And didn’t she say that everyone else had received their romper? BAM! That confirmed my suspicion that she was scheming to cheat!

Out of the three buyers, one received hers after two weeks while another had been promised a refund because her parcel was “returned”. Upon receiving the returned mail, the swindler ripped it open to find the romper stained! And she totally blamed it on Singpost haha.

Ifyouknowwhatimean

“Stained” on a female apparel? Are you trying to tell me that there are perverts at Singpost?

Why she would tear the envelope and inspect the item again is beyond me. But one thing for sure is that she only had ONE piece and was trying her luck at scamming the others of their money on the pretext of lost mails. She honoured one deal and refunded another to make it seem more plausible that two other mails were lost. Brilliant plan, come I clap for you?

She probably felt that I wasn’t easy to mess with so she finally relented and refunded my money through 65Daigou.com, which she referred to as her “supplier”, because my parcel was suddenly in her letterbox. *scoffs* She took screenshots of the process but cropped out anything that hinted the actual source of the money. Gosh, I have never in my life seen such a blatant liar.

The last buyer, like myself, never received the parcel but with my guidance, she got her money back via ATM transfer (as doing so wouldn’t reveal her bank account number on the payee’s bank statements) after waiting for the parcel for three weeks. But it was through perseverance and endless arguments that she finally got what she wanted. Despite asking for a receipt of transfer, the scammer never provided any and hasn’t replied since.

The aftermath

After everyone had received their refund, Carousell finally got back to me to ask for an update. Although I have no concrete evidence that she scams, I did manage to raise a lot of doubts about the seller which convinced the admin that she’s dishonest. They have since removed the scammer’s listings from the search engine and are now in the process of suspending her account.


avoid-scam

First, you need to be aware of the tactics that scammers deploy to hook their victims. It’s always the same modus operandi but people never fail to fall for them.. which I totally understand because we all want to get the best deals possible. I have seen many people avoid online shopping altogether because their experiences had been tainted by scams and frauds but these can be prevented if you are more street smart (it can be inculcated!). Keep your guards up if:

1. Prices are too good to be true

In order to get your moolah, scammers have to first manipulate you into their traps and one way to do so is set their prices as reasonably low as possible to avoid arousing suspicion. They are not priced too low but are definitely among the lowest in the market. This usually occurs for very popular items as they tend to attract more interested parties, thus pressurising everyone to make payment quicker. Also, if item (especially the popular ones which require immediate payment) doesn’t get “sold” within the day, it’s highly possible that seller is still waiting to defraud more people.

NOTE

I’ve noticed a rising trend in scammers using bank accounts owned by third parties, more commonly Freight Forwarders like 65Daigou, to receive money from unknowing users (which they can later withdraw without leaving a trace). To better protect yourself from scammers, do refrain from transferring money to the following bank accounts:

– DBS Current 054-903335-9
– OCBC 514-772680-001
– UOB 388-302-811-0

As Carousell is widely use by casual sellers, anybody who provides a CORPORATE bank account (e.g. POSB Current, DBS Current – these are typically operated by businessmen and organisations for commercial use) for money transfer should raise a red flag! 

2. Seller only mails and never meets

I know of honest sellers who practise this but it’s no doubt one distinctive characteristic of scammers who obviously do not want to be identified. They will never agree to your meetup requests even if you’re willing to travel to their convenience, or pay them to come to you. They give all sorts of excuses to deter you from opting for registered postage so that you’d go with normal postage in the end.

Yes, you can ask for mailing proof like a snapshot of the parcel with affixed stamps, or a Certificate of Posting (COP) but c’mon… envelopes can be reused, address can be overwritten with a new one. Who knows what the seller does with the parcel after sending you the so-called proof? She can just happily chuck it aside while laughing all the way to the bank.

And in case you didn’t know, a COP does not mean anything. You pay S$0.20 for that yet still have to drop the parcel into the post box yourself. I have first-hand experience so I’m definitely not writing rubbish. I was so appalled! Ridiculous right? What’s the point of buying a COP when I can just walk away without mailing out the parcel?

Hence, many people now prefer video proof (i.e. taking video of the mailing process), Make sure you ask for a clear still shot of the address on the parcel before he/she drops it into the post box. But think about it, if the seller is really out to scam, will this person send you any proof ultimately? No.

3. Seller denies responsibility for all lost mails

This is usually stated on the seller’s profile as part of his/her “terms and conditions” which I feel are heavily abused by so many people (especially the younger users who have zilch understanding of the law) these days. I know some people resort to doing this to protect themselves but if your parcels frequently go missing, don’t you think you should stop mailing and meet up instead? Or maybe just make registered postage compulsory? Why subject yourself to scrutiny when you know that your parcels will most probably get lost?

*shrugs shoulders* I do not have that silly clause in my terms and conditions, because my mails never go missing and I have absolute faith in Singpost lol. Plus, I take the initiatives to send mailing proofs even if I’m not told to do so. However if they do (which would only happen for low-cost/smaller items as they are strictly mail-only) get lost, I may, at my discretion, bear some responsibility by doing a partial refund or mailing out a replacement. But personally I don’t think parcels would be lost if you’ve duly written the addresses correctly and properly secured it. It’s not like you’re operating a blogshop business that you have to send out hundreds of parcel everyday. What’s the probability of losing the one and only parcel that you’ve mailed out?

Hence, I conclude that the term “Not liable for lost mails” are only used by people who always lose their parcels.

Just like the scammer I dealt with, not only did she not take the slightest bit of responsibility, she even pointed fingers at me for not opting for registered postage. That was her immediate reaction, like she had already planned to respond that way if someone confronts her about the lost mail. Pfft. Dishonest much.

4. Seller entices and reassures you unnecessarily

“I have many other interested parties!!”

“I have only one piece left!!”

“Don’t worry, I don’t scam!” although you’ve never hinted at any doubts about the seller’s trustworthiness.

Yadda, yadda.

These are some words commonly used by scammers to rob you the ability to consider. They make you go into a state of hysteria and worry that other buyers would beat you to buying it. Take a deep breath, read the seller’s reviews and access his/her credibility. Most importantly, trust your instincts. If you sense something amiss, don’t be afraid to reject the deal and do not succumb to temptation.

Also, do not assume that the seller is legitimate just because he or she had registered the business with ACRA. That does not prove the honesty of the seller. ACRA registration is not difficult at all as you’d only need your Singpass and S$50 for registration fee. I’m sure you’re able to name some registered dishonest companies. If they can cheat, why wouldn’t ACRA-registered Carousellers?

After the above incident, I am now more wary of people with negative and (sometimes) neutral feedback that write about mails being lost. I assess those without feedback as well by looking at their sold items and join date.

5. Seller does not have real-life pictures of product

Never believe if seller says that the item is “true to picture”. We all know that pictures can be digitally enhanced, and studio lightings (for stock photos) can saturate or brighten the colours of apparels. The only way to find out how they really look like before paying is by looking at real-life pictures (if you opt for mailing). How hard is it to take a simple picture of the item with your phone, seriously? There’s a reason why Carousell was developed, to ease the trouble of uploading pictures on the computer before you can finally post them up on a classifieds site! So it’s very strange if the seller can’t provide any additional pictures. Is he or she hiding something from you? Does he or she really have the item?

ohno-scam

Rest assured that you’re not alone as a typical (or veteran) scammer wouldn’t only strike once. They are so hard up that they would try to cheat as much money as possible so you can be sure that there are many other victims around. Do not 打草惊蛇 (act rashly and alert the enemy) and accuse anyone without evidence. If you suspect that you’ve been scammed,

1. Approach the seller

Ask questions that you know would contradict the facts and use this against him/her later. Like my example above, I asked if everyone else had received their romper and she said “yes” when it’s not the case! However this only works if the seller doesn’t disappear into thin air.

2. Conduct underground investigation

Lol, this sounds like some crime show (which I’m so obsessed with right now yay Hong Kong drama) but it’s totally necessary because you cannot expect the authorities to do everything for you. Start by Googling the scammer’s username which won’t give you results 99% of the time because they can assume a different identity each time they plot to cheat. The only thing that DOES NOT change is the bank account number. Other details which you can try searching are telephone numbers, e-mail and residential addresses (for trades). Document your findings and use them to support your case later.

3. Gather as many victims as possible

Some people may not be aware that they had been scammed because they chose to believe the conman, that the parcel was lost. It’s only after you’ve semi-exposed the scam (without revealing the scammer yet) would they realise the truth. Take this opportunity to talk to them and gather as much evidence as possible. Get someone to head the discussion on how to deal with the scammer. Once you feel that it’s enough, you can confront the scammer or bring it up to the relevant authorities. If you know where the scammer studies or works at, lodge a complaint to the management (that was what I intended to do until I received my refund). If you have the scammer’s address, better yet, pay her a visit as a group. But please, no violence!

4. Report to Carousell admin

Honestly, they can’t do much because the conduct of sellers is beyond their control. The most they can do is to e-mail the seller to ask for a follow-up, and/or suspend the seller’s account. If the seller doesn’t reply, I’m afraid their effort ends there.

5. Make a Police report

Only escalate the matter if the scammer refuses to do anything. But making a report is a long and tedious process which doesn’t guarantee results (much to the advantage of the scammer) unless it involves a LARGE amount or many victims. Encourage everyone to file a report using the same reference number to show that the cases are related. An alternative would be to lodge a claim with the Small Claims Tribunal though this should be the last resort if all else fails.

That’s all I have to say! I hope this post serves as a helpful guide to anyone who has fallen prey to scams. As much as I’d love to help everyone, time does not give me the luxury to be involved in your investigation. However, I’m open to any questions so please feel free to drop me a message if you have any queries. Please also acknowledge that I am not an expert in this area so do consider thoroughly before heeding my advice. I won’t be responsible for any undesirable outcome.

Thanks for reading everyone! ❤

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April & May Carousell Beauty Haul + Freebies

Hey fellow beautyholics!

I actually planned to have quarterly updates on my Carousell beauty haul but I guess I couldn’t resist not sharing my great bargains any longer! Furthermore I’ve bought quite a number of stuff so if I don’t blog about it now, I’ll probably take forever to get this up LOL.

Scroll all the way down for some exciting freebies!

Click here to read my January-March Carousell Beauty Haul or
here to read my Carousell Beauty Haul 2013.

I’m actually pretty excited to write about my latest haul as I recently bought a new camera (not through Carousell la as I prefer to get gadgets from authorized retailers). In fact it’s a mini DSLR which I hope can capture every minute detail of the stuff that I’m photographing. Let me say first ah, that I’m not a professional photographer so please don’t expect super amazing pictures. But I will try my utmost okay! Haha.

Ok ok I’m yakking too much let’s get started! Once again, let me reiterate that everything I buy from Carousell is 100% authentic. My skin is rather sensitive so I CANNOT use fakes!

I shall begin with blushes and highlighters ‘coz those are the least exciting products of all hahaha. One of my favourite weird pastimes is going to Sephora to swatch everything I see on my hand and ever since owning my first Tarte blush in Blissful, I’ve been going back to test out all the other different shades. I do not have a particular favourite as everything seems to go well with my skin tone but I definitely prefer matte pink to peachy ones. However, you know the prices at Sephora can be really crazy… S$42 for one Tarte blush?! Na-ah, I’d rather spend my money on something else if there ain’t discount. So I turn to Carousell for all my beauty needs!!

Tarte Amazonian Clay in Blushing Bride (top) and Natural Beauty (bottom)

Tarte Amazonian Clay in Blushing Bride (top) and Natural Beauty (bottom) at S$20 each (RTP: S$42)

Tarte Amazonian Clay in Blushing Bride (top) and Natural Beauty (bottom)

Sorry for the poor lighting! Natural Beauty is a little darker than pictured.

Photo credit: shopping-district.net

Photo credit: shopping-district.net

I wore Blushing Bride (totally unintentional ok) for my cousin’s wedding and I absolutely loved how it flushed my cheeks! It looks very pigmented on the pictures but it definitely isn’t 🙂 It comes in a slightly bigger than palm-sized tub but it goes a long way! I’ve been using Blissful almost everyday since last November and I still haven’t hit pan yet LOL so it’s really worth every penny!

NARS in Orgasm

NARS in Orgasm at S$18 (RTP SS$42)

Whoop I finally found Orgasm at a super affordable price as others were selling at close to retail price for a brand new piece. I got this, BRAND NEW AND AUTHENTIC, at only $18 wtf!! Anyway people on beauty forums have been raving so much about this so of course I HAD to lay my hands on this baby! At first glance, Orgasm seems like a shimmery blush but it does not make my face sparkle after application. I would be SO disappointed if it’s really shimmery ‘coz I have oily skin. But it’s actually pretty matte, with very minimal shimmer enough to give your face a healthy glow!

Benefit Rockateur

Benefit Rockateur at S$25 (RTP S$46)

Benefit Rockateur

I am a terrible photographer. I hope you can see the shade haha.

Rockateur is a blusher in rose gold shade but to me it looks like a cross between a blusher and a bronzer because it contours and flushes my cheeks at the same time y’know what I’m sayin? 😛 It doesn’t give you very rosy cheeks for sure (unless you apply multiple layers la) so if you’re looking for a subtle blush for a mild sunkissed cheeks, this is an ideal choice!

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Pink Quartz

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Pink Quartz at S$20 (RTP US$42)

The shimmer brick acts like a highlighter not too harsh on my face (Benefit’s High Beam can really turn my face into a freakin’ disco ball if not careful). Sometimes I tend to use too much foundation which makes my face look too matte. Instead of reapplying the foundation, I find it way easier to give my face more glow by applying powdered highlighter (the shimmer brick in this case) on the top of my cheekbones, forehead, brow bones, cupid’s bow (the middle dip above the lips) and of course, the nose bridge to make my nose seem more defined and sharp 😀

Benefit Watt's Up!

Benefit Watt’s Up! at S$11 (RTP S$48)

Benefit Watt's Up!

Benefit Watt’s Up! sponge applicator

I guess the packaging is made to resemble a light bulb. Haha so cute hor?

I’ve reviewed the deluxe-sized Watt’s Up before and I was really satisfied with the end result. It’s a stick highlighter but the smaller version doesn’t come with the sponge applicator which is TOTALLY fine with me!! Coz I’d rather use my index finger. People who own the original size would understand – the applicator is completely useless, doesn’t blend the highlighter well like what it’s supposed to do especially when there’s foundation beneath it. Acts more like an eraser instead haha. Anyway, I use this instead of the shimmer brick when I’m in a rush because I’d need a brush for the latter! So yup, easy to apply and lasts a long time!

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl at S$10 (RTP S$48)

Another Benefit product which I got because it was cheap. This is like a sister (or maybe a twin) to High Beam and Moon Beam because it’s also a shimmery liquid highlighter. I read the description several times on Benefit.com and still don’t know what sets it apart from the Beams. Perhaps it’s only the tone – this gives a warmer tone than the rest.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Beige

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Beige at S$8 (RTP US$24)

It was brand new but I used it before I photographed it. I admit this was an impulse buy because it was only 8 DOLLARS. I’ve seen someone selling the same product at $40 la so of course when I saw this listing, I immediately grabbed it! Obviously shade is a little too light for me (I’m an NC35) BUT I found another way to use this! As an under eye concealer!

I’ll go back to basics and talk about my face make-up products!

Urban Decay All Nighter

Urban Decay All Nighter (old packaging) at S$30 (RTP S$48)

Urban Decay All Nighter (old packaging)

“..won’t budge for 16 hours..” “makeup … always looks just-applied.”

Singapore, as most of you know, is such a HOT and HUMID country and the scorching sun can literally melt every single product on your face – how sickening! It gets really problematic and embarrassing for me when I had to be outdoors most of the time because at the end of the day, all my pores and blemishes would show, and my liquid foundation would turn patchy and flaky. I also do not like touching up my make-up in public. Thus I knew I HAD to get a face primer to hopefully retain 70% of my make-up.

Then I came across this product! The Carouseller was selling both All Nighter and De-slick at S$30 each. Getting both would burn a huge hole in my pocket so I read reviews and decided on All Nighter in the end. It is a face primer which helps to retain the make-up for up to 16 hours and so far, it’s been working really well on me! I’d say, about 75-80% of my make-up stays the same after 11 hours.

Urban Decay De-Slick (old packaging)

Urban Decay De-Slick (old packaging) at S$15 (RTP S$48)

Urban Decay De-Slick (old packaging)

“…ally against oil and shine!”

Then a few days later, another seller was selling this (used lightly twice but strangely it felt like a brand new one to me coz I had to pump several times before the product came out) at half of the price of my All Nighter! Yay a blessing in disguise!

De-slick is formulated to prevent your face (especially the T-zone) from becoming too oily which is also another essential to survive in this humid country. #woesofasingaporean

I use both before applying my make-up now and the result speaks for itself. Very satisfied with both products!

(Saw someone selling brand new All Nighter at S$15 argh, heart pain. Stopthinkingaboutitstopthinkingaboutit)

Moving on to the eyes! Whoop, my favourite section because it’s gonna be mostly about eyeshadow palettes! COLOURS ARE MY DRUG.

But first, let me show you what I bought for my brows!

Anna Sui Eyebrow Color Compact in shade 03

Anna Sui Eyebrow Color Compact in shade 03 at S$12 (RTP US$28)

Anna Sui Eyebrow Color Compact in shade 03

Very easy-to-use brow kit!

I had everything I needed to enhance my facial features EXCEPT for my brows! Honestly I was looking for Benefit’s Brow Zings (still looking for one.. hit me up if you’re gonna sell me one cheap cheap lol) or Gimme Brows but sigh, they’re more pricey than eyeshadow palettes on Carousell O_O Nonetheless, this Anna Sui one works pretty well too but the extreme left shade, which is supposed to define my brow shape, isn’t really pigmented so I had to “draw” several times before I could see the faded outline.

Anna Sui Mascara Base

Anna Sui Mascara Base/Primer at S$18 (RTP US$25)

Anna Sui Mascara Base/Primer

Pretty in purple

I first learnt about this product during my Anna Sui makeover last year. My eyes were semi-shut but I could feel the salesgirl-cum-makeover-artist using a mascara wand twice! So then I asked her what the first time was for and she told me that it was meant to make my lashes stay curled and mascara stay longer. I was impressed with the product as my lashes really remained curled the entire day! Not wanting to fork out money for the full price, I bought one from Carouseller who only sells Anna Sui stuff ZOMG (no negotiation allowed though sianzzzz but it’s still cheaper than retail) and when I met her she even handed me her name card with a big “ANNA SUI” printed on the front!! YES, LEGIT BUSINESS ON CAROUSELL OK! So who needs Isetan/Tangs when you have Carousellers that sell authentic and brand new products at a fraction of the price?!?

Anyway the primer itself is like an adhesive liquid to hold your mascara and is purple in colour. But no, it does not make your lashes purple! It kinda melts and blends into your lashes. *IF* it doesn’t, you can always coat it with a layer of mascara coz that’s ultimately what you’re gonna do right? Also, I feel that Anna Sui should improve on the packaging… Not sure if it’s me but it looks a little unfinished, like an outer layer has been torn off.

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette at S$32 (RTP US$55 / S$80) comes with a velvet-lined box

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette

Gorgeous! I love Junkshow, M.I.A, Evidence, Midnight Rodeo and Deeper!

First impression: very luxurious, even came with a velvet box and the palette itself is made of heavy metallic material! I think this is probably the most value-for-money eyeshadow palette of all because it’s $32 for 15 BRAND NEW shades! I haven’t tried to do a look with this yet as most of the shades are rather bold and they are very inappropriate for my work (as a part-time tutor.. don’t want my students to get distracted by my eyes LOL)! I am very eager to try this though! Perhaps I will utilise this tomorrow since it’s my free day!

Urban Decay Smoked Palette

Urban Decay Smoked Palette at S$35 (RTP S$78)

Urban Decay Smoked Palette

All the dark shades you need to create heavily smokey eyes can be found in this palette!

Pro: Very pigmented. Con: Also very pigmented.

I love smokey eyes but this is unfortunately too dark for my liking. My eyes are rather small (typical Chinese la haiz) and the colours tend to make them look even smaller 😦 It’s also quite hard to control how dark you want the colours to be because they are SO PIGMENTED! I swear, just a slight dip (and I’m just dipping 1/4 of the brush into the shadows) is enough to turn your eye into a black pit.

Though I’m not very fond of this palette, I’m still keeping it because I believe I’d need it one day (deceiving myself) LOL. Actually it’s coz I like to collect palettes which I think you should be able to tell by now HAHA.

Urban Decay Alice in the Wonderland Palette

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette at S$54 (RTP S$88)

Urban Decay Alice in the Wonderland Palette

This picture doesn’t do justice to the palette. Trust me, it’s really very pretty in real life!

NOT an impulse buy because I actually contemplated for more than a month! Also partly due to the price la… I seldom spend so much on a palette one 😦 But the shades are just too irresistible. Now I understand why so many people requested for the comeback of this palette on Urban Decay’s Facebook page! It’s really that gorgeous!

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette at S$60 (RTP S$88)

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette

Vice 2 contains more smokey, neutral yet versatile shades very suitable for a classy night out. My personal favourites are Prank, Madness, Toxic and Ambush from this palette.

This was only released last September? I remember receiving a newsletter from Sephora about its launch at Ngee Ann City. Now you can hardly find any in stores! I think they discontinued the product or it’s entirely sold out since it’s a limited edition palette.

Got this from a really friendly person who just lives across the road hehe. It was brand new with box so it felt like I bought it from Sephora. You can create quite a number of looks with this palette. Will blog about my looks one day if I remember to take selfies -_-

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette (2014 version) at S$30 (RTP US$36 and not available in Singapore yet. Previous version retailed at between S$60-70! The tin is supposed to be in pinkish hue lol. My colour correction made it blue omg sorry.

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette

Like the previous version, it comes with 3 sets of shades catered for different styles. Have tried “Fashion” (last row) and loved the look!

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette

A closer look.

Another really gorgeous palette of neutral colours suitable for everyday look. It comes with a guide that teaches you how to create a look for “Day”, “Classic” and “Fashion”. I did the “Fashion” one and it transformed me into a model. LOL ok very lame please ignore.

But yes, if you’re looking for a small and compact palette besides Naked, buy this (when it’s launched in Singapore, or just buy online la easy)! It’s also good for vacation as it definitely won’t take up a lot of space in your make-up bag!

I will find time to review this properly one day because I really recommend this to everyone!!

Too Faced Pretty Rebel Palette

Too Faced Pretty Rebel Palette at S$28 (RTP US$46 / S$60+ if I remember correctly)

Too Faced Pretty Rebel Palette

REALLY PRETTY SHADES!!! (Colours enhanced to show true colours)

Too Faced Pretty Rebel Palette

A closer look…

Another palette that was launched not too long also and is no longer available in Sephora omg WHY?! But doesn’t matter la I will only get it from Carousell anyway. Hahaha!

Rebel 9 to 5

Rebel 9 to 5

Too Faced is probably the best high-end palette for make-up beginners or barely intermediates because so far all the TF palettes I own come with an instruction manual! So of course, this has one too (forgot to photograph) and it also teaches you to do 3 different looks: Rebel 9 to 5, Pretty Rebel (the only look that makes use of the very outstanding Totally Fetch) and Rebel Rocker. I followed the steps for Rebel 9 to 5 and got a really nice smokey look!

Lorac Pro Palette

Lorac Pro Palette at S$60 (RTP US$42 and not available in Singapore)

Lorac Pro Palette

Upper row are matte and bottom are shimmery

Probably my most expensive purchase from Carousell to date together with the Vice 2 palette (not counting the Nintendo Wii I offered and paid for by my boyfriend but that’s another story Lol) but yet the most used and versatile one by far. I absolutely love this palette, even more than my Naked palettes (1, 2 and 3 combined sigh) because it has all the neutrals I would use in one. Furthermore it has an entire row of MATTE shades! Nowadays you can hardly find any palettes even with 30% matte lor!! And the shimmery ones are also very pretty!! Just look at Gold and Pewter!

I was reluctant to pay for this at first but I succumbed to temptation in the end because as mentioned, it’s not available anywhere in Singapore and other Carousellers were previously selling it for at least S$75 with absolutely no negotiation, bitches. Yet were able get buyers within days. With this kind of demand, confirm plus chop must be a very tokong (awesome/powerful) palette. It’s also a pretty rare find on Carousell.

However it’s S$60 without the primer and box. It’s 一分钱一分货. Seller (not a very pleasant experience as well but she appeared apologetic so I’ll let it go~) claimed that it was brand new but looking at the exterior (it’s the same rubbery material used in NARS product, very easily dirtied), I doubt so but the shadows looked untouched when I got it. I’ll just think positively and consider it to be brand new lor.

Ultimately, this palette rocks and that’s all it matters.

Now, for the lips… Also tied with the eyes for my favourite category. Too many pictures so I’ll just spam them from this point onwards lol. All the MAC lipsticks should retail around S$29.

MAC Ruby Woo

MAC Ruby Woo at S$23

MAC Russian Red

MAC Russian Red at S$20

MAC Ruby Woo (left) and Russian Red (right)

MAC Ruby Woo (left) and Russian Red (right) for a matte finish.

You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Ruby Woo and Russian Red just by looking at the pictures to be honest, coz they are really similar. You need to swatch it to see the contrast. Russian Red is a lot darker and deeper whereas Ruby Woo has slight blue undertone and is also brighter than the former. I love both! They give me the very sultry look and fuller lips hahahaha.

Sadly boyfriend doesn’t like it when I apply lipstick and he used to forbid me in doing so. It took me AGES to convince to revoke his ban. He now allows me to wear lipstick BUT only in nude shades -_- So all these bold colours can only be used when I’m not with him.

Guys… *shakes head*

MAC Saint Germain

MAC Saint Germain at S$15

MAC Morange

MAC Morange at S$15

MAC Saint Germaine and Morange (Amplified Creme)

MAC Saint Germaine and Morange (Amplified Creme)

Saint Germaine was an impulse buy coz I’m a sucker for anything pink and true enough it doesn’t really go well with my skin tone. 😛 I’m waiting for the day I get fairer so I can pull off such bright colours 🙂

I got Morange because I plan to do an oriental look one day (maybe next Chinese New Year) and orange hues are a must!

MAC Innocent, Beware!

MAC Cremesheen – Innocent, Beware! at S$15

Got this since it’s nude a.k.a Boyfriend-approve.

MAC Ultra Darling

MAC Sheen Supreme – Ultra Darling at S$18

This has a very glossy finish and thus very moisturising on the lips. I’d say this can be considered as a My Lips But Better (MLBB) lipstick!

MAC Paramount

MAC Satin – Paramount at S$18

I LOVE, LOVE THIS. This maroon with a slight hint of deep plum lipstick is one of my favourite lipsticks for this haul! It is also semi-shimmery. Actually I’m starting to like anything that has purplish/deep plum tones because I feel that dark colours really complement my skin tone! And it shows who I am as a person. I’m an introvert with unfathomable thinking *cackles*

..Which reminds me, who is as excited as me for Lorde’s MAC collection??! I AM OMG I HAVE TO GET HER LIPSTICK.

MAC Infused With Glam

MAC Dazzle – Infused With Glam at S$10

Love the colour but too much “dazzle” for me. I would only apply it once and spread it all over my lips with my finger or brush to even out the shimmers.

MAC Candy Yum Yum

MAC Matte – Candy Yum Yum at S$22

Another very daring colour like Saint Germain.. Well, you know why I bought this. But I prefer this to Saint Germain coz the pink in this is really cute!

Mac Relentlessly Red

MAC Retro Matte – Relentlessly Red at S$17.50

Relentlessly Red is a “bright pinkish coral matte” lipstick. Gives you a very cheery colour, see also happy. It’s a perfect combination of red and pink – very gorgeous shade!

MAC Flat Out Fabulous

MAC Retro Matte – Flat Out Fabulous at S$17.50

This is a flat out purple lipstick for adventurous days! I actually need more guts to put this on than super red lipsticks. How common is it to see people wearing unusual coloured lipsticks on the streets?

MAC Lady at Play

MAC Mineralized Rich – Lady at Play at S$19.90

With Lady at Play on

With Lady at Play on

Another MLBB lipstick and also very moisturising! The lipstick tube is also very cool coz it has a magnetic closure!! I love it when manufacturers put effort in the packaging.

MAC Delectable

MAC Mattene – Delectable at S$15

Another MLBB lipstick! Wore this out to meet boyfriend and he didn’t notice anything so I guess it’s also boyfriend-approve.

MAC Dazzle - Sheer Seduction

Limited Edition MAC Dazzle – Sheer Seduction at S$18

MAC Dazzle - Sheer Seduction

So pretty!!

This was from the Temperature Rising collection and probably retailed at more than S$29 coz the box and lipstick tube are really different from the others. Tube is made of rubbery material a la NARS! As this also has “Dazzle” finish like Infused With Glam, I’m just gonna apply once on my lips.

With covers

Some with covers

Bobbi among the Macs

Bobbi among the Macs

Bobbi Brown Fall Lip Palette

Bobbi Brown Fall Lip Palette at S$18 (RTP unknown)

Me

Me

Yup

Yup

Looks like nothing on my lips

Looks like nothing on my lips (and yeaaa my hair damn nice here. If only it’s this nice every day)

Another impulse buy and kinda regretting it. Don’t know what made me buy this since I’m not really fond of Bobbi Brown lip products. Upper row is gloss while bottom row is cream and I’ve tried it once. Not really fantastic. Even the darkest shade didn’t quite show on my lips.

Limecrime in Poisonberry

Lime Crime in Poisonberry at S$14 (RTP US$18)

My FIRST Lime Crime lipstick. Seriously if you guys want to know what’s trending, just take a look at the listings on Carousell. Popular items tend to be listed up a lot and Lime Crime is one of them, even though this brand is not available in Singapore at all. Can you believe that I didn’t know of Lime Crime’s existence before joining Carousell? I don’t! Because Lime Crime lipsticks are really amazing even though I don’t use bold colours often. It’s VERY pigmented and long-lasting! Now only if I have the guts to pull off bold colours! I should go pluck up my courage!

Topshop in Whimsical (left) and Brighton Rock (right)

Topshop in Whimsical (left) and Brighton Rock (right) at S$10 and S$5 respectively (RTP S$19 each)

Topshop has some nice colours but they are rather dry! So I’m just gonna stop at 3 (I have one more which I don’t bother featuring).

NARS Damage

NARS Damage at S$18 (RTP US$24)

This looks matte but it’s actually glossy! I incorporate this into my daily look.

Anna Sui Lip Rouge G in shade 500

Anna Sui Lip Rouge G in shade 500 at S$6 (RTP US$27?)

Yes, I bought this brand new lipstick for only S$6! This also gives a glossy finish. I usually alternate between this and the NARS lipstick above on my neutral days.

Tarte FRXtion Sugar Exfoliator and Lip Balm

Tarte FRXtion Sugar Exfoliator and Lip Balm at only S$2.50 (RTP US$15)

Another impulse buy but it’s just $2.50. I’ll take it as a trial fee hahaha. This Tarte product has in fact already been discontinued. Maybe that’s the reason for the low price.

Surprise, surprise! No Urban Decay this time round.. coz nobody’s selling it 😦 So I bought 3 from Sephora HEEHEE. Share them with you another day!

Last but not least, fragrance!

Benefit Laugh With Me Lee Lee

Benefit Laugh With Me Lee Lee 30ml EDT at S$15 (RTP US$36 / S$50+)

My second favourite Benefit EDT after Ring My Bella. I love how Benefit named their fragrances after girls – how cute! This has a very nice jasmine scent and is also very versatile. I alternate between this and Bella when I run errands.

Benefit My Place or Yours Gina

Benefit My Place or Yours Gina 30ml EDT at S$15 (RTP US$36 / S$50+)

This EDT really lives up to its name coz the moment you spray this on, you feel like a complete vixen LOL. This fragrance makes you feel like a slut (in a good way.. or should I say seductive. Ok wrong choice of word) and if your man is a frequent clubber and the easily-turned-on kind, he’ll definitely love this. Unfortunately… I’m such a good girl so I rarely reach out for this perfume.

Anna Sui Forbidden Affair

Anna Sui Forbidden Affair 50ml EDT at S$18 (RTP S$74)

Anna Sui Live Your Dream

Anna Sui Live Your Dream 30ml EDT at S$20 (RTP S$37.50 on sg.strawberrynet.com)

Other day-to-day fragrances I’d use to preserve my Benefit fragrance. I’ll be so sad if my Benefit EDT runs out!

Marc Jacobs Daisy

Marc Jacobs Daisy 50ml EDP at S$35 (RTP S$132)

THIS is the ultimate great deal. You guys know how expensive Marc Jacobs perfumes are. Last year there was this hype about Daisy and practically everyone on Carousell was searching for it (hence many fakes appeared). I think the craze has died down now so when the seller listed this up, not many people offered! I was very surprised to see it still available after 45 minutes. QUICKLY grabbed it as a back up for my existing EDT which Boyfriend bought for me at the airport. I shan’t elaborate much on this fragrance. It’s really nice-smelling, like daisies 😀

Vera Wang by Vera Wang

Vera Wang by Vera Wang 50ml EDP at S$15 (RTP S$80)

Another high-end fragrance which I was really surprised to see on Carousell at such a low price. Apparently the seller (a very nice working lady) got this as a wedding gift and she sold it cheaply coz she didn’t want to switch fragrance. Ok so YAY another luxury perfume added to my collection!

That’s all for this batch of haul! I know your mouth must be gaping in horror. HOW MUCH IS MY DAMAGE? Don’t know, don’t bother calculating. I believe in #yolo hahaha and I believe in retail therapy! Probably the reason for being so happy-go-lucky and sane in this stressful society is that I shop a lot! 😛  If I’m not shopping for cosmetics, I’m probably shopping for clothes. Of course, you gotta know your limits.. or get a naggy and observant boyfriend like mine.

I do look like I camp on Carousell 24/7. Nah I only camp 12/7. LOL Ok not at all, only access the app when I’m on the go (which is very often) or when I’m bored. I guess I’m just very lucky to be able to clinch so many great deals when I’m on the app!

* * *

OKAY here’s the highlight (yeah after a kazillion images I’M SORRY).

(ADV) ARE YOU STILL WITH ME??

3-for-3 Giveaway

I hope my purchases (all real one hor I can show you my depleting money in my bank HAHA NO I’M JOKING) have enticed you to join Carousell (review here) if you haven’t! If you aren’t a member yet, GREAT! Coz this is the RIGHT TIME to join to attract hungry shopaholics like me! Can you imagine how much you’d earn from me if you were the one selling everything above? LOL.

If you’re already a member but have been inactive all the while, it’s time for you to GET BACK ON!

Carousell is giving away FREE 3 months’ digital subscription to any of SPH Magazines’ fashion and beauty magazines (Her World, CLEO and more!) if you post 3 listings!

Simply follow these 3 simple steps:

3-for-3 Giveaway (Open to Singapore users only)
1. Download the Carousell app + Sign up for a Carousell account (or Log in)
2. Upload 3 listings* in the ‘For Her’ or ‘Beauty Products’ category
3. Wait for your redemption code & instructions on how to redeem your free subscription!

*Listings must be uploaded by 28 May 2014 11 June 2014 (extension granted!). Redemption code and instructions will be sent to users after 11 June 2014.

This is a giveaway okay, not a contest, which mean you’d definitely get it if you do as instructed!

carousell2

Do you have any Carousell hauls to share? Leave your blog link below! I’d love to see it too 😀

Thanks for reading!

(I won’t be revealing my Carousell username any time soon since I buy more than I sell. But if you recognise your item here and know who I am, feel free to say hi! :D)

Read also:
Carousell Review
How to Spot Fake Urban Decay 2 Palettes on Carousell
How to Spot Fake MAC Lipsticks on Carousell
Exposed: Urban Decay Palette Counterfeit Preorder

How to Spot Fake MAC Lipsticks on Carousell

Hello guys! I’m back with another “How to Spot Fake” post specially for the Carousell community but I reckon this will also come in handy for the penny-pinching online shoppers who buy frequently on eBay and Duriana.

Click here to read How to Spot Fake Urban Decay Naked 2 Palettes on Carousell.

If you had read my last haul post, you should know how much a lipstick junkie I am lately. But I only use certain brands such as Urban Decay (you guys know that I’m a UD fanatic), Benefit, Anna Sui and MAC, especially Urban Decay and MAC lipstick as their shades are to die for. I have no issues with buying Urban Decay lipsticks off the net because their Revolution line is probably too new in the market to spawn fakes. However the problem comes when purchasing MAC ones because counterfeit MAC lipstick sales is so rampant on Carousell! I had to be extra careful when buying them and thank god I haven’t gotten any fakes so far (I hope).

Singaporeans! Find out how to buy from maccosmetics.com here!

I have personally seen some users ignorantly buy fakes because the seller assured that they are authentic. And if these buyers don’t like what they bought, they resell them and pass them off as authentic ones again. It’s like a vicious cycle. Many a time, I wanted to leave a comment to clarify, but I guess many users take offense to that so I held back most of the time (except for a few occasions when I was terribly moody and wanted to confront someone lol gangsta). So instead of leaving truthful comments on every misleading listing, blogging about it seems to be more feasible since I know many Carousellers visit this site.

Google “fake mac lipstick” and you will get more than 2 million results but I will skip the size and swatch comparison since you most likely are going to pay before touching or viewing the product, and only list and elaborate on 2 simple steps to avoid purchasing counterfeit MAC lipsticks on Carousell.

1. Ask where the product was purchased from

To me, it is more credible if the seller elaborates on which MAC outlet she bought it from, and when. Highly unconvincing if seller claims that she bought it from a reseller who does preorders. Once again, NEVER buy branded stuff through preorders if you don’t know the source as 99.9% of the time, the products are inauthentic! Sellers can assure its authenticity all they want (but it’s always along the lines of “Supplier claims authentic”) but at the end of the day, when you realize that the product is not the real deal, are they going to refund you your money? Of course not, who are you kidding? Maybe half the amount for the nicer sellers, but definitely not the full sum.

However, if seller honestly tells you that she is unsure of its origin (because it was a gift), you can still probe further by asking for a…

2. Picture of the bottom label

The label is a round sticker found at the bottom (duh) of the lipstick. It is not a demanding request so go ahead and ask for this very important additional picture. Some ethical sellers would have probably known about this as I have also seen some voluntarily attach pictures of it on their listings.

For a clearer explanation, I am going to use my own MAC lipsticks to compare against some blatantly fake ones on Carousell.

Images are for illustration purposes so please don’t get offended if yours is used here. Please note that I am only familiar with MAC lipsticks so please do not use this guide to identify fake MAC foundations, blushes, etc, as they may differ in terms of packaging.

On Carousell:

@noor.shahirah.5 but seller makes known the inauthenticity of product so kudos to her!

@n**r.sh****ah.5 – Seller makes known the inauthenticity of product so kudos to her! This is one of the more obvious ones.

@shoppingcart - "Bought from another carouseller, she claim that this is ori(ginal)"

@sh**ping**rt – Description reads “Bought from another carouseller, she claim that this is ori(ginal)” – A classic example of blind reselling as mentioned above.

@rugrat - Another user who also makes known the inauthenticity of the product.

@r**at – Another user who also makes known the inauthenticity of the product.

Apart from the first picture, you can’t really tell the authenticity of the lipsticks unless you compare it with a genuine one. For my example, I’ve included one of different finish to give you a better idea.

Finishes from left to right: Dazzle, Mattene, Amplified, Sheen Supreme, Cremesheen, Retro Matte, Matte, Mineralize Rich, Satin

Finishes from left to right: Dazzle, Mattene, Amplified, Sheen Supreme, Cremesheen, Retro Matte, Matte, Mineralize Rich, Satin

Just a close-up

Just a close-up

Another close-up

Another close-up

Can you spot the difference?

Well, first of all, the genuine ones do NOT have the brand “MAC” printed again on the bottom label and this is consistent throughout different finishes. Even with some difference in the lipstick packaging (i.e. Mineralize Rich comes in a more luxurious tube), the bottom label still does not bear the brand name. What it has are just the name of the shade and the finish.. which brings me to my next point.

Fakes do not tell you what finish (e.g. lustre, matte, satin) the lipsticks give you. They just have the shade name and the serial number. Hence, do not assume that the lipstick is authentic just because it has a serial number as ALL fakes have one! It’s not that difficult to print some random numbers on the sticker after all! On top of that, genuine serial numbers seem like they are embossed on at random places, unlike those on the fake ones which are typed and aligned according to the shade name. Also, the serial number of genuine MAC lipsticks changes from time to time depending on their batches so don’t be alarmed if yours doesn’t match with those on Google Images!

I’m not sure if you can tell.. but the typeface used on the fake label is also rather tacky and lazy. It’s something that I’d notice at the first glance. Obviously the manufacturers couldn’t be bothered to bold and reduce the size of the serial number. It’s in the default Arial font.. a font which is used mostly by fake factories.

However, counterfeit factories are raising their game these days. They are able to make 1:1 imitation, so close to the original item that even I got deceived! Check out the fake MAC lipstick I bought off Carousell below for (thank goodness) S$5:

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I bought “Viva Glam Cyndi”. Dang, even the box looks exactly like the original. How not to be duped?!

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Wow, seems like these people no longer use stickers! They PRINT the names on the box instead! Just like the original!

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On the other side of the box

The sticker shown above got me a little suspicious, but I’ve seen authentic MAC products sold outside of Singapore with silvery stickers like this pasted on the box, so I closed my eyes on that. The exact same sticker is also pasted at the bottom of the lipstick casing! Furthermore, the sticker satisfies all the criteria of an authentic MAC lipstick: (1) it does not have a MAC logo, (2) the finish of the lipstick is stated and (3) batch number is emboldened and aligned differently from the rest! OMG WHAT. OK IMITATORS, YOU WIN.

By the way, I am not blaming the seller for selling me an imitation. In fact, she did express her uncertainty about its authenticity since it was gifted to her but I took the risk and bought it anyway! I’m actually glad to have bought it because only then would I be able to see and touch a fake MAC lipstick. This post lacks credibility without firsthand experience right?! So here I am, with a fake MAC lipstick that cost me S$5! Ouch. That’s two packets of chicken rice.

It was mailed to me and when I tore open the envelope, the box was already distorted even though it was carefully bubble-wrapped! This never happened to me before. Ignoring those minute details, I excitedly removed the lipstick from the box. Then, I took off the lipstick cap and immediately, I was greeted by a strong plasticky smell and a DISLODGED lipstick bullet! I was like wtf?!?!

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How the dislodged bullet looks like and it’s VERY DISGUSTING AND SMELLY. I tried to put it back into the casing but it was too soft to withstand my touch/grip/whatever (I swear I held it gently enough), thus making a dent on the bullet!

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The lipstick casing isn’t of very good quality too! Look how easily they can be detached from each other! It’s made of thin, light plastic.

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A closer look at Cyndi’s signature. Quite convincing, dotcha think?

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The bullet fell out NICELY and definitely wasn’t pulled out because why? There isn’t any trace of lipstick in the casing! Omg, use a better and stronger glue, won’t you?!?

Now, let’s do a quick comparison between this and an authentic MAC lipstick! I know one common way to distinguish a fake is to compare its weight and size against an authentic one. But I’m really all about convenience and that method is definitely too troublesome for me. So I did something else which could tell me the results in a snap of the fingers!

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Fake on the left, real on the right. You won’t be able to tell which is fake just by looking at their sizes!

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The cap! Clearly, the logo on the fake one is fading.

fakevsrealmac

Watch the animation! I’m sorry that it’s a little slow-mo but I can’t seem to change that on Photoshop.

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In conclusion, the cap of a fake MAC lipstick would not be able to fit onto a real MAC lipstick nicely as it is too loose. On the other hand, the cap of a real one will not be able to fit onto a fake at all. Fakes are made a little bigger than the genuine ones!

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In general, this is the crap I bought.

Hope this is useful information to you! If you have other ways to spot fake MAC lipsticks online, do leave them down in the comments below 🙂

And yes, most of the lipsticks shown in my collection above are my latest haul 😛 Will do a review on them in my next Carousell haul post!

January-March Carousell Beauty Haul

Hey guys! Before the next school term begins next week (and things start getting crazy again), I want to post about my hauls from Carousell! Yes, my addiction didn’t seem to wear off *guilty* but I think I bought lesser stuff this time.

Recently I’ve been obsessed with lipsticks because I find my lips really pale and lacklustre. It wasn’t my first time wearing lipstick excessively though as I used to own lipsticks from Silkygirl (running on a low budget last time as you can see) and Maybelline. Somehow I stopped using them altogether because they made my lips really dry and they didn’t last very long. I got tired of wearing it for an hour and then seeing it on my serviette after meal. I’m also one who doesn’t have the habit of touching up my make up outdoors so I felt putting on lipstick a little pointless.

That was until I discovered Urban Decay’s Revolution Lipstick! I heard and read so much great reviews about it that I knew I had to get it. Back when it was first launched, no one sold the lipstick on Carousell so I went to shop at Sephora for one. I wanted Turn On though but it was out of stock at the Jem outlet. In the end, I got myself Catfight instead. I tried it for the first time on the day I was supposed to attend a friend’s wedding.

And I was blown away!

The lipstick is not only moisturising (bye to dry, chapped lips!), it is also very pigmented and long-wearing! I was pleasantly surprised to see my lips still stained with the lipstick colour after wiping my mouth. Having said that, it also means that it can be rather difficult to remove it entirely.. which happens, but I don’t mind at all. Furthermore I have make up remover wipes which work pretty well so this is no biggie! Since then, I had gone on a search rampage for more Revolution Lipsticks in other shades.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks

My Revolution Lipsticks collection.. crazy I know. BUT IT’S SO WORTH MY EVERY PENNY!! Every one of these was gotten from Carousell except Catfight. Price range between $15-20 each (U.P. $33)

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Swatch

My Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Swatch

I particularly love Protest because it’s the ideal MLBB (My Lips But Better) shade for me. I’m always very worried that I’d look too caked for school but Protest tones down my make up a little. On top of that, my anti-lipstick (for obvious reasons) boyfriend also felt that the colour isn’t too exaggerated and he warned me to only wear this colour when I meet him or else he’ll wipe the lipstick off my lips on the spot -_-

Before I took a picture of the swatches on my hand, I did something really crazy (and silly now that I think of it) but I am still going to include it in this entry anyway because of all the effort I put in…

Swatch on my lips!

… getting all 7 shades on the lips. Well, at least you know how they look like on real lips now. Sadly I can’t really remember which are which LOL. Maybe except for F-Bomb which is obviously the darkest one, and Protest the lightest one.

Urban Decay Protest on me!

(Pardon my eyes) Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Protest on me! It goes really well with my lips.

Protest again

Protest again but without sunlight this time. Somehow it looks a little darker.

Apart from Urban Decay, I also tried lipsticks from other similar high-end brands like Benefit, Anna Sui and Dior which I absolutely adore! No offence to anyone but from this experience, I learn never to buy drugstore lipsticks again! They really pale in comparison in terms of quality. But I guess if money is an issue, you could try lipsticks from Revlon as I’ve also read good reviews about that brand. (And their speciality is supposed to be lipsticks, I heard?)

Benefit Hydra-smooth Lip Colour in Juicy Details

Benefit Hydra-smooth Lip Colour in Juicy Details, at $18 (U.P. S$24 on benefitcosmetics.com)

Benefit Hydra-smooth Lip Colour in Juicy Details

Benefit Hydra-smooth Lip Colour in Juicy Details – swatch

Juicy Details on me!

Juicy Details on me! The wind made me look good LOL.

As suggested on its name, Benefit Hydra-Smooth is a really moisturising lippy which never dehydrates my lips. As you can see from the picture above, Juicy Details is a translucent nude shade which is perfect for dress-down occasions. However it’s not very long-wearing so I’d apply a layer first, then dab my Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (in Translucent) with my foundation brush through a facial tissue over my lips and then reapply the lipstick again to make it last longer.

Rouge Dior Nude in Shade 418

Rouge Dior Nude in Shade 418, at $20 (U.P. S$48 on sephora.com). As you can see I’m constantly looking for nude lipsticks.

This lipstick by Christian Dior is very creamy and pigmented! The shade complements my slightly-tanned skin tone. I know, I only have a pair of lips but I have so many lipsticks! Honestly I’m spoilt for choice but I enjoy trying out new stuff. Trust me, I rotate my lipsticks everyday.

No real-life pictures for the Dior one as I just received this last Wednesday and I was in a mad rush when I wore it on Thursday! By the time I remembered, it was already in the evening and the stain was partially gone. -_-

Anna Sui Lipstick in Shade 301

Anna Sui Lipstick in Shade 301, at $18 (U.P. US$30 on beautylish.com)

Anna Sui has become one of my favourite cosmetic brands for its scented products and floral designs (my weakness). Some of the make up products I own have this strong chemical smell which makes me feel so paranoid about putting them on my face.

This Anna Sui lipstick shade is also approved by my boyfriend but is slightly pinker than my other nude lipsticks (i.e. Protest). Still, I LOVE IT because it gives me healthy-looking and nice-smelling lips. I feel so much happier whenever I use Anna Sui’s products! What’s worse than looking caked? Smelling like make up!

MAC Cremestick Liner in Softwood

MAC Cremestick Liner in Softwood, $7.50 (U.P. US$15)

MAC Cremestick Liner in Softwood swatch

MAC Cremestick Liner in Softwood swatch

On top of lipsticks, I also wanted to own a lip liner to save the trouble of having to manually draw my lips with lip brush (I use the one from Sephora) and lipstick. Then one day I saw someone selling this like more than half of its retail price and I immediately bought it! (I reiterate: I am 100% sure what I bought on Carousell are authentic because I’m like a secret agent on the app who scrutinises every user’s profile)

MAC Cremestick Liner in Softwood on me!

MAC Cremestick Liner in Softwood on me! Lined my Protest with it.

I absolutely love it! It gave me fuller and a more complete-looking pair of lips. It also acts like a guideline for lipstick application LOL. Without my brush, you don’t know how many times I had to wipe off the excess lipstick that bleeds out of my lips. (Blame my shaky hands). Also, can you see that it gives me ombre and two-toned lips? LOVE.

Now, moving on to other parts of the face…

Benefit Benetint

Benefit Benetint, at $25 (U.P. $51 at local Sephora stores)

Benefit Cha Cha Tint

Benefit Chachatint, at $15 (U.P. $51 at local Sephora stores)

Benefit Posietint

Benefit Posietint, at $15 (U.P. $51 at local Sephora stores)

Benefit Posietint and Cha Cha Tint

Benefit Posietint and Chachatint

The “tint” range from Benefit isn’t just for the face but also for the lips as well. It has a dual function as it’s both a lip and cheek stain – like blusher and lipstick in one. I bought Benetint first and I fell in love with it because firstly it’s ROSE-SCENTED (shut up and take my money!!) and secondly it stains really well on my cheeks and lips. If you’re always in a hurry and have no time to apply blusher and lipstick separately, this is the product you need to get! Benetint is in a redder shade and smells like bandung LOL.

Since I was so satisfied with Benetint, I bought the other two tints. They were in funkier shades – pink for Posietint and orange for Chachatint. Not sure if it’s me but both tints aren’t scented 😥 Anyway, Posietint looks rather weird on my tanned skin tone so I reckon it’s meant for fairer people (as Google Image implies to me) but I see myself wearing Chachatint in the future! It’s in this rather oriental orange shade which is perfect for Chinese New Year! 😛 But really, it surprisingly complements my skin tone!

Benefit (Singapore) is launching Lollitint. The name itself is already so appealing please, and it’s in a purplish shade! I’m so gonna get my hands on the new product.

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow in Shade Honey

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow in Shade Honey, $35 (U.P. $55 at local Sephora stores)

Remember I had a sample size of this in my previous haul entry? I received compliments from my hairdresser that my skin looked flawless when I was wearing it. WOW! (no pun intended) That compliment meant a lot to me because as you guys might have already known, I have troubled skin. So I knew I HAD to get the full-sized one. It wasn’t easy finding this shade on Carousell because Singaporeans are generally very fair so most of the time only the Petal/Ivory shade is put up for sale. This is probably the ONLY full-sized Honey shade that was on Carousell so far.

Anna Sui Liquid Foundation in Shade 103

Anna Sui Liquid Foundation in Shade 103, at $25 (U.P. US$38 on beauty.com)

I received sample sizes of this Anna Sui liquid foundation in shade 102 in my Love, Bonito goodie bag last year at their sale event and had already used up both bottles! Same reason as the Anna Sui lipstick, I love the foundation coz it’s scented and somehow covers up my pores and blemishes rather well. I wanted to get a full-sized bottle in a shade darker at Taoyuan Airport last December but they ran out of stock for it 😦 It’s fine though, because Carousell had it at a waaaay lower price hehehe.

Benefit Agent Zero Shine shine-vanishing PRO powder

Benefit Agent Zero Shine shine-vanishing PRO powder, at $30. (U.P. $47 at local Sephora stores)

I got this from a fellow Carouseller who works at Sephora *yay* so this is guaranteed authentic (I had no way to verify it since it was the newest product from Benefit). I participated in Benefit’s Guess-The-Price for this new product on Instagram but didn’t win because I over-estimated it by $2! It’s quite strange though, that both POREfessional and Agent Zero Shine are priced at US$30 on benefitcosmetics.com but the former is $2 more expensive than the latter here. So I guess S$47 is only a promotional price and will eventually inflate as time goes by.. just like POREfessional (was S$48 last year but has gone up by a dollar the last time I checked last month).

Anyway, I was looking for an alternative to my Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (from ASOS) so the launch was a timely one. I haven’t tried it yet but looking at the reviews, I don’t think it’s gonna disappoint me!

Anyone wants a review on this? Drop me a comment!

Benefit Dr. Feelgood

Benefit Dr. Feelgood, at $28 (U.P. $49 at local Sephora stores)

Benefit Dr. Feelgood with sponge

Benefit Dr. Feelgood with sponge. I accidentally deleted the pictures of its brand new state. The balm was actually covered with a seal before it was broken my me.

I have been raving about this face balm ever since my previous haul entry and I had already finished TWO sample tubs. When benefitcosmetics.com had a sale a couple of weeks ago, I contemplated carting this out because Dr Feelgood is really pricey here. But I removed it in the end as my total bill had already come up to close to US$100 T_T See that huge hole in my pocket? THANKFULLY, it was a blessing in disguise because about 2 weeks later, some kind lady sold this BRAND NEW piece at a lower price (only a few bucks cheaper than that on benefitcosmetics.com but meh.. still money okay). The full-sized one comes with a sponge which I find totally redundant.. Maybe it’s just me but the sponge made me feel that I’m not applying any product on my face so I tend to apply numerous times ’til I feel something y’know :\ So nowadays, I just use my fingers.

TheBalm NUDE'tude

TheBalm NUDE’tude, at $33 (U.P. $50+ at local Sasa outlets)

TheBalm NUDE'tude close-up

TheBalm NUDE’tude close-up

Many people say that this is a dupe for the Urban Decay Naked palette but I beg to differ. The Naked palette is obviously better but this is also awesome in its own way because it has very pretty and usable matt colours (love Sultry and Sexy)! However when I first opened it up to inspect the colours, I found the mirror dusted with the eyeshadow (I can’t remember if it came with a protective sheet. Highly unlikely). Cleaned it and it happened again the next time I opened it, as you can see on the above picture. Zzz! I’m one who uses the mirror that comes with the palette (minus points for those that don’t) because I’m lazy to walk to my full-length mirror which is attached behind my wardrobe door sometimes (and I don’t get the best lighting behind the wardrobe door) so this is definitely unacceptable to me. Furthermore, the packaging is made of paper so I’d have to be extra careful not to touch it with my wet hands. On the overall, it’s a pretty decent palette to own and definitely more travel-friendly than the Naked palette since it’s lighter and thinner. If you on a tight budget, this is definitely a good alternative 🙂

Urban Decay Vice Palette

Urban Decay Vice Palette, at $30 (U.P $88 at local Sephora stores)

I know Vice 2 was already released but I feel that the shades on the first Vice palette were much prettier. Okay yeah actually I prefer the first Vice because of Noise, the electric punch pink colour because I love pink. But don’t you guys agree that the shadows in Vice 1 are more exciting? Anyway, I’ve dipped into every shadow already and I’m relieved that I could pull off the look (or so I thought) because I’m always worried that shimmery colours would make me look 2 times my age :\

UD Love NYC Palette

UD Love NYC Palette at $25 (U.P. unknown but should be around $88 locally back then when it was launched. This is no longer available in stores now)

UD Love NYC Palette Pop-up DIsplay

UD Love NYC Palette Pop-up Display

UD Love NYC Palette shadows

UD Love NYC Palette shadows

The palette is SO GORGEOUS! I’m a design junkie and I wouldn’t mind paying just a little bit more for pretty packaging! This definitely is the prettiest palette I’ve ever owned (the next being Book of Shadows). The pop-up display lights up (you can’t really see from the pictures) when opened and the shadows are really amazing! My go-to shadows from this palette are Perversion, Loaded, Rockstar, Smog, Bordello, Radiuh, Suspect and Psychedelic Sister. Oh yeah, if you haven’t realised, most of the shades here part of the permanent range of UD’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil.

Urban Decay Oz The Great & Powerful Palettes (Front View)

Urban Decay Oz The Great & Powerful Palettes (Front View) at $35 each (U.P. $78 in local Sephora stores)

Urban Decay Oz The Great & Powerful Palettes (Back View)

Urban Decay Oz The Great & Powerful Palettes (Back View)

Urban Decay Oz The Great and Powerful Glinda Palette

Urban Decay Oz The Great & Powerful Glinda Palette. Also includes a Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Glinda which I forgot to take out from the box at time of photo-taking.

Urban Decay Oz The Great & Powerful Theodora Palette

Urban Decay Oz The Great & Powerful Theodora Palette. Also includes a Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Theodora which I forgot to take out from the box at time of photo-taking.

We have to give props to Urban Decay for coming up with palettes inspired by fantasy films. If I remember correctly, these Oz The Great & Powerful palettes were released alongside of the Disney’s movie. They also tied in with Disney/Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland 4 years ago to launch a palette with the same name.

I bought both limited edition palettes (yup, no longer in stores already) because of their different functions though I have to admit that the packaging plays a part as well (Theodora’s one is really nice). The Glinda palette leans more towards the neutral and innocent look while the Theodora one gives a more dark and sinister appearance. I personally prefer the Theodora palette because I like Mila Kunis it flatters my darker skin tone better. Also, both palettes come with a step-by-step instructions booklet for you to recreate Glinda’s and Theodora’s looks! AWESOME!!

Urban Decay Black Market 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set

Urban Decay Black Market 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set, at $26 (U.P. $60 at local Sephora stores)

One of Urban Decay’s latest products and I’m so glad I chose to wait instead of getting it off the shelf at Sephora when it was released. As compared to the Ocho Loco set, this comes in shades that I would use. I love the eye pencil series from Urban Decay (already have 2 regular-sized ones in Demolition and Rockstar) because they glide on smoothly and no matter how much I sharpen them, they do not poke nor hurt my lids. I have an eyeliner-cum-eyebrow pencil from Wet N Wild and it pricks! So I had no choice but to use it as an eyebrow pencil. My favourite colour from this set is Desperation.. and can I have another one? Okay, and Black Market.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

This isn’t my first They’re Real! mascara as I previously bought a deluxe-sized one. It really volumises my lashes and opens up my eyes. With this, falsies are totally pointless (saying this coz I don’t wear falsies myself at all Hahaha). However being mascara, it also has the same problem of clumping. When oh when will there be a non-clump mascara? But anyway I learnt that if you apply a waterproof mascara on your lower lash, it will solve the problem of clumping. So I tried the other day with my Urban Decay Cannonball waterproof mascara and IT REALLY WORKED like magic!

New addition to the brush family!

New addition to the brush family! Sigma Eyeliner E05 brush at $5, Tightline Liner (E16) and Waterline Liner (E17) brushes at $9 each. (All retail at US$12 each on sigmabeauty.com)

I first learned about Sigma brushes from Frmheadtotoe but I didn’t really bother as I thought they were only available in the States (silly me, nothing is impossible with the internet these days) but I was surprised to see people selling them on Carousell! They usually buy in a set from US and sell those brushes that are of no use to them (but have to be careful too because apparently, there are also FAKE Sigma brushes -_-) I personally have an angled eyeliner brush from Sephora but I felt that it wasn’t doing its job well after some time. Perhaps it’s only good in drawing cat eyes but not in lining my upper and lower lids.

Apart from make up, I also ventured into fragrance. I’m not really a heavy perfume user to begin with but I’ve been using Body Shop’s Dreams Unlimited EDP for a longggg time (ok la only 2 years hahaha) and I grew sick of the scent already. That was also my first expensive one as I had never paid more than $15 for perfumes. Boyfriend also recently bought me Marc Jacobs’ Daisy Perfume EDT (tsk, wrong kind) at Changi Airport when he arrived from Bangkok and I totally fell in love with the floral scent!!

I’m not being a snob here (for the record, I still use Rexona deodorant on days when I have to run errands. Rexona okay. Sometimes Dove) but there’s some truth in the Chinese saying “一分钱一分货” which means “the more money you pay, the better quality you get”. Just like how Silkygirl products pale in comparison to my Urban Decay babies. It’s the same for perfumes. If you’re too broke to get from retail stores like me, just Carousell.

Juicy Couture EDP Spray Vaporisateur (50ml)

Juicy Couture EDP Spray Vaporisateur (50ml) at $25. (U.P. $Idon’tknow)

The above EDP was left out from the previous haul post! It was actually bought last year, brand new and sealed. Look at how much I’ve used it already! BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME. I see people going crazy over Juicy Couture (*cough*Xiaxue*cough*) products and I didn’t know why until I bought this perfume. It’s really damn nice sia. I wore it almost everyday until…

Benefit Ring My Bella EDP (30ml)

Benefit Ring My Bella EDP (30ml) at $18 (U.P. US$36 on benefitcosmetics.com)

THIS came into my life! I haven’t personally tried all the Benefit scent but this has all the smell I’m looking for: baby shampoo, sensuous, womanly.. As it’s only 30ml, I’m trying to reduce my usage of this perfume but I fail very miserably every morning. LOL Heck it, finish then finish lor. I’ll buy a new one from the flagship store at Westgate if this empties. (*prays someone sells this on Carousell before it really happens*)

This is off-topic but I believe the name was derived from this song:

RING MA BELLLL

Okay that’s about it! Hope you guys enjoyed my second haul post. Maybe Carousell should appoint me as their ambassador haha.

Before I sign off, here’s another #muotd picture from me:

#muotd

#muotd but not of today. It was like a few days ago LOL.

Thanks for reading!

Exposed: Urban Decay Palette Counterfeit Preorder

Hello guys! 🙂

This is a little late but, thank you for all the support in my How to Spot Fake Urban Decay Palette 2 on Carousell post. Honestly, I had my reservations about posting such a controversial entry because I knew it would stir up anger in the sellers, especially those that I featured (and censored). But your encouraging comments made me feel that posting it was a right decision. Hopefully it had prevented many people from being conned on Carousell, the recently-launched Duriana as well as other online marketplaces like eBay and Groupon (if it did, please do let me know in the comments! 🙂) I do see more sellers stating their uncertainty in the authenticity of their UD palettes in their listings instead of blatantly declaring that they are genuine without first verifying them.

Today’s topic is going to be somewhat a continuation of the fake UD Palette 2 post. I believe this is a prevalent problem not just in Singapore and Malaysia but in other parts of the world as well so I hope I’m doing good for the community.

As you guys know, I’m pretty active on Carousell. Recently I noticed some sellers (can count with one hand) carrying out preorders for all sorts of Urban Decay palettes such as the Basic and Flushed palettes and also outrageously claiming to have a certificate to prove their authenticity.

orly

Soooooooo certain ah?

As those listings were posted quite some time back, I had to do a search for “Urban Decay Authentic Cert” and “Urban Decay Authentic Preorder” to retrieve them. I will be censoring the usernames so if you’re interested to know who these people are, feel free to search for the same keywords. It’s usually the first few results with many likes.

Example 1

Example 1

Example 2

Example 2. This particular listing makes me rage because of the price.

I knew from the start that their palettes were fake but I was really curious about the certificate. So I private messaged one of the sellers above on the pretence of being totally interested in their stocks and I received this image upon request:

The so-called "Certification of Authenticity"

The so-called “Certification of Authenticity”. Never mind if you can’t read chinese because a NAKED 3 stamp is sufficient to make it “authoritative”. And sigh, I want to protect her identity also cannot ‘cos it’s all over the image! I’m sorry, I tried.

Let me get this straight: I can understand and read Mandarin. But I wanted to know what is stated on this certificate personally from the seller so that I won’t come across as being a bully who goes around accusing the innocent and saying mean things about these people on my blog (*cough* refer to one of the comments in my previous fake UD post). So according to the seller, this certificate is “from the china authority certifying that our factory is the only factory outsourced by urban decay to manufacture & distribute their products. Which (sic) includes the ones selling in sephora & several asia country“.

Wow, very convincing hor. Sadly girl, I can’t just listen to one side of the story when it’s also from YOUR factory. Plus, China is such a HUGE country. I’m sure the Chinese authority has better things to do than to meddle in the beauty business. Furthermore, why is the Chinese authority doing the verification instead of Urban Decay themselves?

Thus I shot an e-mail to Urban Decay (yes, as in urbandecay.com, the headquarters) to clarify and this was what they replied:

urbandecayreply

Their official reply. They were very kind enough to respond to my question but please don’t go and disturb them and ask them questions like if your palette is authentic. If you didn’t get them from authorized resellers, chances are they are not.

I guess their reply is self-explanatory. This also means there’s no such thing as “REJECTED GOODS” or “FACTORY SECONDS”. People who had bought their palettes from these sellers and are still very insistent that they are authentic, you can bring your palettes down to Sephora to get them verified.

I have to laud Urban Decay for their VERY swift response to my query too. I got a reply within 3 hours of sending my first e-mail which also showed how concern they were regarding this matter.

People say imitation is a form of flattery which I guess is pretty true for popular and widely-used brands like Urban Decay, Benefit, NYX, MAC and Bobbi Brown. Sadly this flattery results to great loss in profits and misconceptions among consumers who use counterfeits without realising that they pale in comparison to the real ones. Please don’t believe counterfeit sellers who claim that their fake products work as well as the real one (and that using a fake one is a good way to decide if you should buy the genuine one) because obviously they don’t! I mean c’mon, comparing a fake which costs $10 and an authentic one which costs 8 times more, you dare tell me they give the same results?!?

Also, before I conclude this entry, never believe testimonials especially those that “vouch” for the authenticity of the products. Frankly, only the ones who work for Sephora or Urban Decay are able to tell, not even myself. Trust your instincts. Many times, your intuition doesn’t fail you.

*Updated*
Some websites that you should be wary of when purchasing branded cosmetics:

1. Groupon.sg and other deal websites
2. Honeybay.com
3. eBay.com and other online marketplaces
4. Carousell and Duriana
5. qoo10.com and Taobao

These sites MAY have authentic products for sale. You just have to be extra careful when purchasing them.

I don’t know how to put it but no proper beauty sites would explicitly indicate that their products are “AUTHENTIC” in the description if they are really authentic. Look at ASOS and Beautybay, do you see them making their products’ authenticity known?

Carousell Beauty Haul 2013

HELLO AGAIN fellow shopaholics as well as beauty addicts! Hopefully my increased blog posting frequency is able to make up for the lack of updates during my school term. It’s quite sad to know that I’ve only published 49 posts despite being on WordPress for more than 3 years already.

Anyway that’s beside the point! I’ve been really eager to share what I have bought on Carousell ever since penning my review on that awesome app. I have spent way too much that Boyfriend has to monitor my Carousell usage lol. I seldom buy from Sephora now because you can snatch up brand new (or barely used) products at more than half the retail price. So far I’ve been really lucky to see stuff I wanted to buy from Sephora appearing on Carousell. You’re also able to haggle the price down if the seller allows so can you imagine how much money I’ve saved by Carousell shopping instead?

As it is another form of online shopping, there are risks involved in buying cosmetics through Carousell such as receiving counterfeits (even though seller claims otherwise), expired products and the uncertainty of the actual product condition because you’re unable to touch nor see it before purchasing. Real-life pictures can also be deceiving at times. I once bought a MAC foundation and was planning to use it after I was done with my Benefit Hello Flawless!. I’ve heard good reviews about the MAC foundation and was thrilled to find someone selling a barely used/brand new one for $15. I met the seller, inspected the bottle and found nothing amiss about it. As it was bought as a backup, I didn’t try/swatch it until one day when I decided to use it. When I saw it again, I was shocked to see a layer of translucent liquid lying on top of the foundation. It seemed like water. I shook the bottle and pumped once on my hand. I could feel that the foundation was so runny/diluted that it could hardly stay on my hand. I deduce that the seller added water to it and passed it off as new to me but I couldn’t do anything about it since I had only realised this after several weeks.

Other than that, my Carousell experience has been nothing short of awesome and all the setbacks obviously didn’t deter me from buying more (I’m like a make-up collector now LOL). If you ask me, I think Carousell is much safer than eBay.

Here are some of my hauls that I felt were worth every penny I paid or otherwise, worth mentioning. These are all authentic ones (I have been to Sephora so many times that I think I’m already an expert in identifying fakes now) at very reasonable prices! All prices are in Singapore dollars unless otherwise stated.

Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Eyelash Curler

Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Eyelash Curler (S$10) – RP US$24

I’ve heard great things about Shu Uemura’s eyelash curlers so for the longest time, I was hunting it down on Carousell. I was so elated to see someone selling a brand new piece with refillable pads for $15 which I then bargained the price down to $10 because the seller wasn’t sure if it was authentic (it was a gift from her friend). I doubt there would be fakes for this though but I still took a gamble and bought it. Thereafter I took this to Shu Uemura JEM outlet for an authenticity check and true enough, this is genuine. Teehee!! This is the Karl Lagerfeld special edition version which works just like the original one. It’s really gooooood. It doesn’t pinch my eyelids like my old one because it’s designed for Asian eyes! The next eyelash curler I’d love to lay my hands on is the Anna Sui one which was used one me during an Anna Sui makeover a few months back (will blog about it soon) and I was very satisfied with the result. Oh and I’ve also the (gold) Shiseido one which works great too!

Benefit World Famous Neutrals

Benefit World Famous Neutrals (S$15) – RP S$48 / MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel (S$5) – RP US$16

2 of the earlier eye make-up I got from the app which I absolutely adore. You cannot deny that the Benefit WFN was a steal! Its original price on Carousell was $18 and the seller even agreed to lower the price to $15 upon my request. Honestly even if she didn’t allow further discounts, I’d still get it anyway! Furthermore, it was brand new and authentic! *gasp*

Benefit World Famous Neutrals

Benefit World Famous Neutrals shades

Totally untouched as you can see. The seller was so nice to even allow reservation for close to a month as I was unable to take time off my busy schedule to meet her. Sellers like her also keep me going back to the app 🙂

MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel

MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel

The eyeliner gel was already used (about 90% left) when I got it but I didn’t mind for its low price. I had been using retractable eyeliner but I didn’t really like it as it lacks flexibility (if you get what I mean) so I bought this to try. I’m loving it so far because it has the moistness I’m looking for. I’ve also tried Bobbi Brown’s which in my opinion is slightly better than the MAC one (see below).

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner Set

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner Set (S$30) – RP S$80+/US$59

This set comes with an applicator and 2 eyeliner shades – Sepia and Black. I use black for cat eye make-up and sepia for a more neutral look for school and work. I’ve never used the applicator though since I own an angled eyeliner brush but I trust it’s equally awesome too LOL.

Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara

Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara (S$22) – RP S$35

Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara

Close up of the wand

The best mascara I’ve used so far (I also have MAC Archie’s Girls Mascara which I got from the physical store) because it holds my lashes really well. It also adds enough volume to my lashes and this is very important to someone who doesn’t wear falsies at all lol. However one thing I don’t like about it is the massive fibre fallout after application which I read somewhere is due to it being waterproof (don’t ask me why). I also apply this on my lower lashes. Now, imagine my va-va voom eyes lolol.

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Full-sized Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (S$8?!?!) – RP S$35+

ZOMG it’s only $8 and yes, I reiterate, it’s authentic AND brand new. It was also the fastest transaction ever: paid and received the product within 10 minutes after enquiring because seller lived in Dhoby Ghaut area and I was just nice at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station when I saw her listing HAHA. I haven’t tried it yet because I’m still using my Too Faced Eyeshadow Insurance. Just mentioning this product because of its unbelievable price!

Some eyeliners and a primer

Wet n Wild Color Icon Brow and Eyeliner pencil (S$3) – RP US$2 / Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Rockstar (S$10) – RP S$30 / Too Faced Shadow Insurance (S$9) – RP US$20

I find the Wet n Wild pencil too harsh as an eyeliner but alright for brows so I use it mainly to darken my brows (also because it feels scratchy when applied on my lids). Considering its price, it does its job fairly well.

The UD pencil is one of my favourites because of the nice colour (kinda like a mixture of purple and brown, perhaps deep purple?). It’s actually my very first UD 24/7 pencil and I am very satisfied with how buttery it is (makes application super easy but also smudges like crazy as a result) and how well it glides (thus its name) on my lids. However it doesn’t really work with my Too Faced shadow primer because it still smudges after awhile onto my lower lids so I will probably try using it with my UDPP next time. I use this occasionally as an eyeshadow by smudging it around my lids with an eyeshadow brush.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Rockstar

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Rockstar

I bought the Too Faced primer because I’ve read good reviews about it and my eye make-up tend to move around a lot on my oily lids. As its name suggests, it only works well with eyeshadow but not really with eyeliners. Still, I love it because it enhances the colours of my shadows and I’m still using the same tube after 10 months! The quantity is like never ending because all you need is a tiny amount every time.

Benefit Erase Paste

Benefit Erase Paste (S$18) – RP SG$42

Yup, it’s brand new 😛

Benefit Erase Paste

Benefit Erase Paste

I bought this concealer to “erase” my dark circles resulting from late nights. It also gives a brightening effect which helps to revive my dead eyes. I use this minimally though because I feel that without eye bags, my eyes appear smaller LOL. I only use this for the area around my eyes because it doesn’t get trapped in the fine lines below my lower lids.

It comes with a spatula but I don’t know how to use it so I apply with brush. On lazy days I use fingers. For your information, I’m using the medium shade (slightly lighter than my skin tone)

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV (S$45) – RP S$95

Placed the UDPP there to compare the size. It’s really big (bigger than a usual palette la) because of the barang barang inside:

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

It has 16 shades of eyeshadow, a mini UDPP, eyeliner in Perversion, mini speaker and some pop-up butterflies near the mirror.

$45 for everything in there? Shut up and take my money!

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

Close up of the shadows, brand new as you can see.

I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It’s like my best buy on Carousell. The colours are also very pretty and pigmented and not too loud for my liking. If only I have more than a pair of eyes to use them all everyday!

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

Urban Decay Ammo Palette (S$40) – RP S$63

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

Not very pocket-friendly for such a small palette but you can’t deny that the packaging is really gorgeous and the shadow colours are also very feasible! This is the older version which comes with a dual-side applicator (the latest version comes with a brush instead). My go-to shades are Last Call, Mildew and Grifter. Last Call is my favourite here!!

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box (S$12) – RP S$31

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box

ALL THE PRETTY COLOURS

Another very affordable preloved (very lightly) palette which I bought just to test out the colours. Surprisingly, despite the price, the colours are very pigmented and VERY GORGEOUS. The colours look very 夸张 (exaggerated) here but trust me, they appear fine on the lids. In fact, you won’t go wrong with any Urban Decay shadows la. I’ve been using this palette almost everyday now and you’ll be surprised to see how versatile it is. As you can see, I’ve used most of Scratch and Underground already! *thumbs up* I use Honey (a very rich gold) on the inner corner of my eyes to perk them up a bit. Boyfriend commented they look like eye mucus though -_-

It came with 2 applicators but I threw them away because they kinda fell apart and I prefer using brush.

Stila Stirking in South Beach palette

Stila Striking in South Beach palette (S$10) – RP S$29

Stila Striking in South Beach palette

Comes with 4 eyeshadow colours, blusher and bronzer

Not my favourite buy from Carousell but the bronzer in this is worth a mention. I brought this palette with me to Batam in July for convenience sake and only used it once so far with my own brush (I got this brand new). The bronzer has a slight sheen to it and can also act as a highlighter. Its right amount of “darkness” (am I making any sense) helps to define my face effortlessly. The bronzer is so stunningly addictive that I almost overdid my face. HAHA

For newbies who are afraid of using bold colours, fret not. It comes with a mini tutorial below the mirror! Not very illustrative but it helps somehow. However I don’t really like this palette because it has too much blue :S So anyone who is interested to get this from me, please drop me comment!

Urban Decay Naked 1 and 2 palettes

Urban Decay Naked 1 and 2 palettes, both at S$65 each. They retail at S$80 in local Sephora stores

2 of Urban Decay most popular palettes, it needs no further introduction! The price isn’t something to wow about because brand new pieces range from $60-70 on Carousell. Anything lower than that are usually counterfeits.

I’ve used Naked 2 for a longer time because I got it earlier than Naked 1. I’m hitting pan soon! So proud of myself. Hahaha. However I have to say that Naked 1 has nicer shades 🙂

Psst, boyfriend got me Naked 3 too! I actually love it more than Naked 1 and 2 :O Will do a review if I have time.

Enough of eye make-up! Now let’s move on to the face!

(Yes I’m not done yet. My shopping must maintain)

The Body Shop travel brushes

The Body Shop travel brush set (S$12) – RP £13.50

The Body Shop travel brush set

Awww the brushes are so adorbs!

I applied my Stila make-up with these cute lil thang in Batam. I’ve used all of them except for the angled brush. The bristles are really soft and they don’t irritate my sensitive skin. Since they are travel-sized, they can be too small to use (if you get what I mean). Like you need twice the time needed to doll yourself up because the surface area of the brush is 2 times smaller than a regular-sized one lol.

Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint

Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint (S$15) – RP US$15.99 online

Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint

Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint

My first Sleek make-up! As it is very pigmented, I dare not apply too much on my cheeks in fear of looking like a Chinese opera singer but if you use it moderately, it should appear very nicely on your cheeks. I’d blend 2 shades on mine if I use this blush.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful (S$15) – RP S$42

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful

Close up of the blush

I use this blush on a daily basis because I absolutely love the shade on my cheeks. It gives me a natural flushed face with just one swipe! I got this before Tarte came to Singapore and I’m so shocked to find how expensive it is in Sephora now that it’s here! Even though I really love this product, I doubt I will get it from the store because I don’t think its small size is worth the hefty price.

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush (S$18) – RP US$28, close to S$40 in Sephora if I am not wrong

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush

Comes with a mini blush brush

Benefit has many kinds of boxed blush and Sugarbomb is one that gives a very natural and subtle flush on your face. It think it would work better on people with fair skin because it doesn’t really show up on my cheeks (it still does a little but not the look I’m trying to achieve) T_T Plus, I’m getting tanner from all the morning jogs so I guess that’s masking the blush even more.

Bronzers

Sneak peak of the bronzers which I will be showing you guys!

Sleek Face Contour Kit

Sleek Face Contour Kit (S$10) – RP US$8.50 online without shipping

I bought this for its highlighter because I was searching high and low for one. It comes with a bronzer as well which I hardly use. The bronzer is not bad though but I find it too dark on my skin tone (maybe I applied too much, can’t remember). However it’s very compact hence very convenient to be brought around. I use this to contour my nose.

Smashbox Contour Kit

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit (S$25) – RP US$44.95 on Amazon

My favourite contour kit because the step-by-step instructions really helped me a lot when I was still new in contouring my face LOL. Plus I can really see the difference on my face and my features enhanced. I only use this on special occasions because I don’t want to appear to have too heavy a make-up on normal days.

Bobbi Brown Bronzer

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (S$30) – RP US$38 on Bobbibrowncosmetics.com

Bobbi Brown has one of the best bronzers rated by beauty sites and I have to agree! The one I have doesn’t appear very harsh on my face and it blends (doesn’t appear too blotchy) onto my skin tone while still giving that slimming effect.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder (S$10) –  RP US$2.79

It wasn’t a good deal since I got it for more than its retail price. However since it’s only available in the US, I shall pretend that I paid for shipping and handling too LOL. The packaging is a little outdated I must say.. It’s made of not-very-classy-looking plastic and it comes with this cheap looking powder puff O_O Like who uses that nowadays?! Anyway, I’ve never heard of this brand so I did a search on Google. It turns out that this bronzing powder is also highly raved by beauty bloggers. It is also rated very highly on makeupalley.com. Ditto. I really love this bronzer and I’ve been using this everyday as well since I received it! It’s almost gone now though 😀 If only they could improve on the packaging. 😛

Topshop Desert Sun Blush/Bronzer Duo

Topshop Desert Sun Blush/Bronzer Duo (S$6) – RP £12.50

I didn’t know Topshop carries cosmetics! But I feel that they should stick to selling apparels because their make-up don’t work.. for me at least. 😦 I appreciate shades which are less pigmented but this doesn’t show up on my face at all. I was so disappointed 😦 And I always felt that there was something missing on the packaging. There should be a mirror on the hollow space of the inside cover right?!

Concealers

Sneak peak of the concealers!

NARS Concealer

NARS Concealer in Honey (S$20) – RP S$40+

This is a liquid concealer which comes with a q-tip-like thing which makes it easier to apply on the face. I use this when I’m in a hurry. My first NARS product and I am very satisfied! But it’s a little too pricey 😦

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in Shade 03 Medium (S$18) – RP S$34

BEST CONCEALER. Hands down. Benefit really isn’t joking whey they claim that it’s industrial strength. It does cover any hideous discolouration or blemishes! I love this so damn much also because it’s the closest to my skin tone and I think it’s better than the NARS one above in terms of coverage. The price is reasonable too for a high-end concealer! I will definitely get one from Sephora once I empty this tub (already hitting pan too).

Benefit POREfessional

Benefit POREfessional (S$38) – RP S$48

One of my staple make-up and I’d feel super weird if I don’t use this before putting on foundation. It covers the pores on my face (I apply on my T-zone) and gives my skin a very smooth finish as a result. My mom loves it too!

Benefit High Beam

Benefit High Beam (S$18) – RP S$42

Another best buy from Carousell! High Beam is a highlighter which works better than the Sleek one above. It’s pretty strong though so just one short swipe on the nose bridge, cheek and brow bones is enough to give that brightening/slimming effect without overdoing it.

Foundation and primer

Foundation and primer: Sample-sized HELLO FLAWLESS Oxygen WOW in Honey and Champagne (S$9 each) / sample-sized Some-kind-a-gorgeous foundation in Medium (S$9) / sample-sized dr. feel Good face primer (S$4). Since all are sample sizes, I don’t have the retail prices.

I’m obsessed with the HELLO FLAWLESS (I’m just gonna stop here because it’s really a mouthful oh gosh. Why, Benefit?) foundation because it really gives me a flawless complexion. I used to think Champagne suits my skin tone but since I’ve become slightly tanner, Honey seems to work best for me now. They come in pump bottles to reduce wastage (yay!), so I usually pump twice on the back of my hand and dap it using my foundation brush all over my face!

Some-kind-a-gorgeous is a foundation faker which job is to even out skin tone, especially if you have blemishes. Actually I don’t see any difference between this and the HELLO FLAWLESS one though.

dr. feel Good is a complexion balm which helps to mattify shine. Works wonders on oily skin like mine. According to Benefit, it can be worn alone, below or on top of make-up. Being ever sceptical and cautious, I only wear it below make-up because I’m afraid it’d ruin my face if I wear it above. LOL. And yes it does help to control shine for up to 8 hours for me!

Once I’m done with the sample sizes, I will probably get the full-sized ones from Sephora 🙂

Some lippies to share:

MAC lipstick

MAC Lipstick in Quiet, Please (S$9) – RP US$18.50

I echo the reviews on makeupalley. It does have a very nice colour (which was why I bought it) but it is too sheer and has too much shimmers! So much so that the colour doesn’t really appear at all. 😦

MAC lipstick

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Happy Hibiscus (S$9) – RP US$14.99

This is in a very pale baby pink shade and is really hard to pull off. It looks very nice on Google images though. I think it’s very suitable for people with fair skin once again. I blend this with a deep red lippy to give a more pinkish lip colour.

Alright everyone, THESE are my Carousell purchases!! And that’s not all! I’m merely featuring those that are worth mentioning. HAHA I am so horrible! But these were purchased over a period of 5 months la so not too bad. 😛

I’m finally done writing this 3000-over-word entry!

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!

Review on Carousell

This is NOT a sponsored post.

HEY FELLOW SHOPAHOLICS! I’m sorry if this took ages to be up (if anyone is even waiting for it) because it’s a hassle to take screen shots on my slow phone!

As promised many posts ago (actually not really since I didn’t really update very often), this is my review on my favourite shopping app as of now, Carousell! I exceeded the data usage bundle in my plan during the first few months of using Carousell because you really don’t want to miss any great deals (you have no idea how fast a great deal can be snapped up).

Let me start with a brief introduction of Carousell. As many of you would have known from my first Carousell blog post, it’s a mobile app for shopping available on Android and iOS. Sadly, it’s only applicable in Singapore and Malaysia since most of the sellers there reside in these 2 countries. However some (a minority though) do provide international shipping so, rejoice! If you’re lucky enough to encounter buyers who practise international shipping, you can pay through Paypal. I do have to warn you, though, that we’re very wary of buyers from countries further than Malaysia because of possible frauds. One blacklisted country would be Nigeria because, you know, the only word you’d associate Nigeria with is “scam”. True enough, quite a number of Carousell users were swindled out of expensive branded goods that were worth hundreds of dollars and duped by fake Paypal payment confirmation emails (what’s new?).

On Carousell, you can be a buyer, seller or both. I started out as more of a seller but I gradually got too lazy to measure my apparels so now I buy more instead. There is a camera function on Carousell where you can just snap pictures (4 maximum), add a short description and post! There are many lurkers on the app so don’t be surprised to receive offers at ungodly hours like 5am.

Adding on to the roles on Carousell are traders. Traders, as the name suggests, simply trade their items for other items listed by other users. They hardly purchase because they are self-proclaimed “poor”. I am perfectly alright with trading but sometimes you just gotta admit that it can get really annoying to keep getting trade requests especially when you have already stated “NO TRADES” on your listings. On top of that, their items are not very appealing either -_- No offence traders but, please learn to read okay before you get on my nerves. *shakes fists*

What are “trades“?

This is one of the most common questions asked by people who are new to this whole online shopping world. Basically, to trade means to swap, and in this case, you swap items with the other party. The one who initiates the trade would express interest in one (or more) of your items, either by commenting on your listing or (most annoyingly) offer you $0 to start a private conversation with you, though you don’t really need to offer anything to send a private message now. You start by looking through the initiator’s listings, and see if anything catches your attention. Typically, you’d want to pick the item which value (i.e. selling price) matches that of yours. Otherwise, the one who is receiving the item of a higher value would have to top up the balance in cash, or offer another item that is around the same price.

For example, if Carouseller expresses interest to trade in your $10 item, you look for something that costs around $10 in her listing. If you like something that costs, say, $15, you may negotiate with the other party and see if she is able to compromise the difference of $5. Otherwise, you’d have to offer $5 in cash or another item that’s valued at $5 on top of the original $10 item that sparked the discussion.

Some sellers tend set difference pricing for purchases and trades. For example, the listing may show $10 but somewhere on her profile or item description, you notice something like: “trades+5” or “U+I+”. For the former, the value that’s indicated beside the “+” is how much you have to factor in on top of the listing price if you’re planning to trade. So for example, if the item is selling for $10, and seller specifies “trades+5”, she reserves the rights to pick something that is worth $15 on your listing for trades without having to top up any difference. Or, if you offer something that is less than $15, she can request for a top up of the difference in value even though both items may cost the same.

Why is there such a practice, you may ask? Well, apart from greed, some sellers see trades as making a loss because she may be trading something of superb quality with a rag (yes, dishonest sellers everywhere!). Hence, this serves as a cushion to minimise the impact of feeling cheated. Some sellers just dislike trades, but they don’t want to be too inflexible and miss out on great deals. Others are just trying to deter fickle people from approaching them for trades.

“U+I+” simply means “You add, I add”. This is usually to combat sellers who charge unreasonable trade premiums. Thus, if you have this as one of your terms and conditions, you can say that your item is now $15 instead of $10 now because the other party started it first.

Carousell interface

Carousell interface on iOS.

Beauty Products section

Beauty Products section

There are many different categories catered to different types of shoppers. “For Her” are mainly listings of female apparels, shoes, accessories and anything girls use in general while “Beauty Products” are cosmetics and stuff you apply on your body, just to name a few. For me, I frequent “Beauty Products” so much that I rarely shop at Sephora now because you can get brand new items there at a fraction of their retail prices. You can find brands ranging from Urban Decay, Benefit, MAC, 3CE, Anna Sui and even Dior there. I’m an addict and you’ll be astounded to see the results on my next post HAHA.

Carousell feedback

Feedback left by my sellers and buyers on my profile which I obviously blurred so that no one can stalk me.

One tip for new Carousell users to avoid getting scammed or stood up is to read sellers or buyers’ reviews left by other users whom they have transacted with. This review function was recently added and it really helps in deciding if you should go ahead with the transaction. There are 3 kinds of feedback: Positive (+) / Neutral / Negative (-). I personally take positive reviews which are too vague (e.g. “friendly buyer”, “item received”) with a pinch of salt because they look really forced and patronising, like they were pestered by the seller/buyer to write them a good review to add to their positive feedback count. Receiving positive feedback can stroke your ego so I guess that’s why.

Feedback cannot be deleted but it can be amended by the giver. For example, if you find that you have received an unsatisfactory product after giving the feedback, you can change your review from “Positive” to “Negative” and even amend the explanation.

Feedback page

You can easily add a feedback by going to the user’s profile. I have only added feedback to those who are worthy of it and if I’m kind enough (I usually am), I’ll reciprocate reviews left on my profile. 😛

However as you know, it can be a hassle to keep visiting profiles to spy on others’ reviews so another way to know who the problematic users are is by looking up the keywords “blacklisted”, “scammer”, “beware” or anything similar on the search engine. It will pick up listings which contain the keyword in their description. I used to search for “blacklisted” users but recently there have been an increase in users warning buyers of being blacklisted should they back out on the deal on their listings. Now you’ll need to get past tens of listing to finally get to the first actual blacklist notice. To save time, I only search for the other 2 keywords now.

How a typical blacklist notice looks like.

How a typical blacklist notice looks like: a screen shot of the blacklistee’s profile as the cover photo and screen shots of their SMS conversation coupled with written account when you click on them.

It can be really fun to read blacklist accounts but after awhile you’ll realise that it’s always the same ol’ story – buyer delays in payment and never does, buyer doesn’t turn up for meet-ups, seller receives money but never sends out item as promised, etc. Unrepentant blacklistees appear on so many blacklist notices that their usernames are naturally etched onto your memory.

So far I haven’t blacklisted anybody because I’ve only encountered buyers who back out on deals which is fine with me. I understand the consequences of impulse buys (lol) so I do not insist that they have to buy even after confirming the purchase. They can change their minds for all I care (unless I have travelled all the way to their convenience to meet them – that is just downright irresponsible). This pretty much makes me a very bad salesperson LOL.

You can also use the search function to look for things (duh) because sometimes the seller may have accidentally selected the wrong category for the item so you don’t see it in the correct “department”. For example, a lipstick listed under “For Her” (technically it’s not wrong la). The administrator of Carousell would reclassify it but he would miss at times.

Searched for Urban Decay

“Urban Decay”

Searched for Benefit

“Benefit” – for the unaware, BNIB means BRAND NEW IN BAG (and BNIP means BRAND NEW IN PACKAGING)

I hope the listed sellers don’t mind that I am indirectly promoting their items here. And I have to reiterate this: EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN BUYING COSMETICS. Don’t end up buying counterfeits please. It’s so-not-worth-it.

In my opinion, what sets Carousell apart from other online marketplaces is the convenience in negotiating prices. Being a true blue Singaporean, I really enjoy bargaining even though some prices are already a lot lower than retail. It’s terrible I know, but most of the time I’m just trying my luck. If it succeeds, great! Otherwise I am always understanding enough to adjust my prices closer to what the buyer/seller wants. Some people dislike bargaining as much as trading though. I respect that but I usually stay away from such inflexible sellers (unless the item is already ridiculously cheap). I mean, it’s an online marketplace for a reason right? Pfft.

Hone your negotiating skills on Carousell!

Hone your negotiating skills on Carousell! I usually go 2-5 bucks (the acceptable range) lower than the stated price unless it’s below $10, which I’ll probably only take 1-2 bucks off. But on really crazy days I’d go down by half. But that’s a very rare occurrence so please don’t judge me 😦

I have pretty much mentioned the unique features of Carousell.

I will get my haul post up soon (link here). Meanwhile download the app on Google Play or AppStore and shop away!

NOTE: Since publicising this post in 2013, the app has undergone massive makeovers. While this post remains relevant today, I still urge everyone to download the app and experiment with the newer features not mentioned here. I will do an updated review if time permits.