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!