Okay so you see this amazing deal online- be it on Ebay or a website or via Facebook's local sell page....you see that palette you've been dying over and order it for like $20! YES! Then you get it, open it, and one of the eyeshadows is called Chocolate Gordial and you're all, "Whaa?"
Congrats, you bought a fake palette. How can you get educated so you don't make the mistake again? I'll help you discover how to spot those wannabe palettes so you'll never get fooled.
I'll first show you some photos and I think you'll see what fake looks like when it's obvious and if you keep reading how to spot when it's almost identical to the real deal.
First up, the Naked 2 palette. Here are the cases side by side. Can you tell which is real and which one isn't? It's kinda tricky, right?
The top one is fake. Only if you had the original or were familiar with it would you know the difference. Obviously the coloring is off, but darn it the size and print/text are identical (or just about). This one is a decent replica, but still no dice.
After all you're looking for the product, right? So let's just go with this- why not buy the fake palettes? I mean you're getting the same shades at a discount and isn't everything made in China? Well I see your point and we're friends so I won't give you this face:
Ethics aside (I mean why rob Urban Decay a drop of their millions, I know, I know)....but in truth you aren't getting the same shades. They'll be very close granted, but they're not what you're hoping for.
Also FDA regulations aren't applicable to overseas products that are unlicensed, so who knows what is going into this knockoff palette (lead, arsenic, rat droppings, formaldehyde, etc) have all been related to unregulated makeup and that alone turns me off. Besides, why be fake? If you are going to get this sort of product, just get the real thing.
Often knockoff shadows are like anything that's almost but not quite. There is a reason they're cheap. The shadows won't blend as smoothly, they won't hold up, and the colors aren't as rich or vibrant. I understand if this is a matter of financial motivation and $50 for eyeshadows just isn't part of the conversation-- okay, I hear you. BUT go into this informed. If you want to spend $7.00 on Ebay for a fake Naked palette go ahead. They'll work. The shadows aren't total dollar store crap (some might be though) and many are very close to the real (expensive) product. If you're okay with the production quality and obvious duplicity- then buy them. However, I just don't want anyone to think they're getting an authentic product and instead end up with a fake.
Just trying to help :)
Below are the shades so you can see what I mean. Hard to tell? I know, it's a pain. Sometimes it is difficult to spot the variations and which is the genuine article. However, take time to hit up Sephora and Ulta to look at the real thing and you'll recognize a fake when you see it- if you are willing to pay that much attention to finding a cheaper palette, it is worth learning what is worth buying.
FYI- the top is the fake. Both have printed names of the shadows, both came with a brush (my real UD brush is with my other brushes hiding away) and both are nearly identical in feel, size, and heft. Sometimes it's a dead giveaway on looking at it, but this is a really close call. That's why having the real one around helps to see the differences. If I didn't have the actual Naked 2, I'd think this was real- except if you read through to my tips you'll find out how I knew it was fake before I even popped the lid.
First- below is a hand swatch of chopper. No primer, two swipes with my fingertip and regular daylight. The top swatch is from the genuine palette and the one below is from the fake. Both are pretty- but you can see right away that the second swatch is crumbly, less vivid, and is like a washed out version of the original.
So you see, it's not the same and fake is truly not worth buying into.
Here is a closer version of the same swatches. Chopper to the left and wannabe-Chopper to the right. I get it though if you look at it and you're still saying, "Hey they are pretty! I don't care! I just saved $40!" And if that's your thinking- by all means, make your choice. BUT if you were expecting Urban Decay this is a miserable mistake to find out. It's like you can't have faith in your palette being worth anything and might be unsafe to wear. Although to be honest, I'm sure it's fine.
One more for your viewing pleasure.
Alright so here is your next test. Naked 3 palettes! Which is real and which is fake?
Keep scrolling and you'll find out!
Again this one is a tricky one. The fake in person feels lighter, more 'plastic' whereas the genuine article is a bit more weighty in the palm. The color is nearly identical to the eye but photographs well showing the difference. When you open the palette though you'll see some differences.
I switched it up and the fake palette (opened) is now on top. It's quite a bit different inside from the other in packaging color- more of a peachy tan than a true beige gold like the authentic palette. Again my real UD brush is stashed away. The colors in this are pretty interesting as the fake palette seems more vivid. Also the label is sometimes printed or sometimes a sticker- any difference will be noticed if you are familiar with the real palette.
Here are some closer shots to show textures. Some in the fake appear more frosted/shimmery than the real shades.
Comin' at ya from the other side now and apparently I can't hold my camera still- sorry for the blur.
For comparison's sake I did another swatch, this time of the rosy metallic shade Buzz. The authentic color is on the left and the fake is on the right.
UD's Buzz is a rosy champagne mauve whereas the fake is more of a frosted cranberry. Both are pretty and in this case the fake formula felt scratchy compared to the UD shade. In each instance I've found fake palettes do not perform as well as the originals. Do they perform as well as a Hard Candy or Wet N' Wild or NYC palette? Sure- they do, honestly. BUT I wouldn't be thrilled to pay for an Urban Decay palette and get drugstore or less quality. Boo to that.
I saved the fakest for last, lol. Behold the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette and friend.
The monstro palette on the bottom is the fake (in case the huge size and blurred font didn't give it away). If you know the original, the chocolate shade is rich and dark, the fake is quite a more red-brown.
Size differences with my ipsy stash up in the left corner making it's debut. I have a huge apothecary jar with samples in it and I was decluttering for my bestie to get a box of goodies. I had a huge spread right where I was taking these shots.
When you flip open the fake palette this is where it gets kinda funny. Black Porest Truffle, anyone? Or if that doesn't do it for ya, how about Milk Ghocolate? Mmmm...
The authentic Chocolate Bar is above and when you open it you get a lovely whiff of cocoa. When you open the fake, you guessed it, nada. Although these shades are very similar to the eyeball (despite the poorly typed liner film)...again the swatches don't lie.
Below on my hand is Candied Violet the Real and the second one is the imposter.
The genuine shade has flecks of shimmer and a rich royal purple shade. The second is more grape purple and shimmery but not with the dimension the glitter in the original offers.
I hope the evidence was helpful in showing how close fakes can be to the real products. In buying my makeup from the actual websites of the brand or from Sephora, I know I'm getting the genuine item. However, who hasn't bought that LE or sold out or DC'd item off of Ebay? How do you know you're not getting ripped off?
To recap- here is a photo showing some of the clues I look for when I am trying to spot a fake. The three main giveaways are:
1. No serial # (numero uno to spotting a copy cat)
2. Font sizes vary on the faux product
3. Shadows just don't match
In the image below I've included my top 10 from this post (found below the picture) if you want to save the image and use it for a reference.
Top Ten Tips To Spot A FAKE
1. If it's coming from China. Really. No offense to China, but it's probably not real if it's shipped from someplace out of the country of origin.
2. If it's a killer deal but not sold via the retailer or a licensed website, it's probably a knockoff. Sorry, no deal.
3. Serial numbers are not imprinted on the back of the product near the label or on the box. Usually that's a good sign of a fake, especially the really tricky ones. Also if the label is usually printed but your cheapo is a sticker, yeah probably not the real thing.
4. Serious spelling errors in shade names or promotional writing on packaging. I promise LORAC doesn't sell a POR palette.
5. If the online (especially Ebay) listing doesn't say authentic but it's still called 'Naked Palette' it's probably not real. Even if it's $30- if it's genuine, sellers take pride in that and will specify it. If it doesn't say authentic, don't buy it.
6. Be familiar with the real article- go to Sephora or Ulta and look at what you want to buy. Swatch it. Take notice of quality of the product, the size, and the coloring of the packaging. You don't have to memorize what they look like- but if you know the real deal you'll be faster to spot a knockoff.
7. The fragrance of the product is off- it smells chemical or strong or like gasoline. Most high end products do not have a strong fragrance or if they do it's intentional and expected- and you'll know if it's wrong or missing.
8. It looks cheaply made or is slightly broken- if the shadow falls out right away or the mirror is warped or is plastic instead of a true mirror...signs are you've been duped. Genuine palettes don't have botched hinges, foggy mirrors, and loose pans- especially sketchy if they're a 'deal'.
9. The product is available online before it's release or is a 'new' Naked palette from Indonesia no one has heard of. Generally any palette or new release item won't be available beyond PR send-outs (which are generally not resold) and anything random you see on IG probably isn't it. So don't buy that Naked 5 for $30 from Ebay- if it's not from a trusted source or a press release, it's probably not a real item.
10. When in doubt, buy direct. Why waste your time on anything but the authentic product? Order from Urban Decay or Sephora. Save up and get the real palette. That way you have peace of mind and know it's legit. If you're bound and determined to try the online marketplace then at least use Paypal and if it's fraudulent but misrepresented, get a refund.
If you search any palettes on Ebay you'll find some passing as authentic. Look for seller feedback and if there are 2 reviews with sketchy English, I say pass. I'm not mocking anyone who isn't bilingual (shoot I barely can get by with my passable Spanish and lazy English at times)...but I just don't trust non-established Ebay or Etsy sellers.
Hope this has helped you find the clues to the fake palettes and makeup items compared to the real deal. Now you can be a makeup sleuth too! Let me know if you've been duped or if you've been smart and avoided the knockoffs. Or if you're like me, just wanted to see what they were all about.
Have a great day,