Sections on this page
- 5 Ways to Spot Fake MAC Makeup
- How To Avoid Purchasing Fake MAC Makeup
- What To Do If You Buy Fake MAC Makeup
- Frequently Asked Questions
MAC Cosmetics is a high-end cosmetics brand selling professional-quality makeup and beauty products. They are part of Estee Lauder Companies, sell products in more than 120 countries, and are known for their artistic approach to makeup. Collaborations with names such as Rihanna and The Rock Horror Picture Show put MAC in high demand for professional makeup artists, the general public, and, unfortunately, scammers. Knowing how to identify fake MAC makeup from the real deal is easy once you know what you're looking for.
5 Ways to Spot Fake MAC Makeup
Many scammers attempt to recreate popular MAC makeup using inferior quality ingredients and altered branding to lower prices. If you've purchased discounted MAC Cosmetics, and you're wondering if they're real, there are some ways to identify if you've got the real thing. Pay special attention to the:
- Product name
All MAC Cosmetics makeup has similar packaging. The boxes and makeup cases are almost always black with a slight shimmer and a white logo. The logo is centered on the product and in all caps. Fake MAC Cosmetics will come with dull black or gray packaging, and the casing of the logo may not be in all caps. Fake MAC Cosmetics may also have an off-centered logo on either the packaging or the case.
Also, look for inconsistencies with the copy itself—fake MAC makeup may have misspellings or information in the incorrect order.
MAC Cosmetics have a distinct smell. They smell sweet with a hint of vanilla. Fake MAC Cosmetics often don't smell great because scammers don't make them with quality ingredients. They might smell like plastic or have a chemical smell.
Many MAC Cosmetics, especially products with multiple shades like lipstick, have a fun name such as New York Apple or Crème de la Femme. Go to the MAC Cosmetic website and search the product's name to see if it shows up on the website.
If it's an authentic MAC product, the search should bring you to the product's purchase page. If it's fake, you won't be able to find it on the MAC website. However, a fake MAC product can use an actual product name, so seeing it on the MAC website doesn't guarantee it's real. However, if you don't find it, it's likely a fake.
MAC Cosmetics are generally on the more expensive side of cosmetics. Most of their lipsticks and lip glosses sell for $18 to $25, and their foundation is $36 to $40. If you're unsure of the price of a MAC product, look up the product on their website.
If the price is significantly more or less than what's advertised on MAC, it's likely fake. For example, you're not going to find a genuine MAC foundation for $4. If you want discounted MAC makeup, visit the clearance section at an official MAC store or department store.
MAC Cosmetics takes pride in using high-quality ingredients in its products that are good for the skin. The composition of fake MAC makeup is what makes them cheap to produce and sell. You can examine the quality of your makeup with a swatch test. With clean fingers, lightly brush the surface of the makeup, then apply the makeup to the inside of your forearm.
Fake MAC makeup will tend to have a creamy consistency and take more of the product to cover the skin. If you're testing lipstick, take note of the color. Fake lipsticks are dull, whereas real MAC lipsticks are vibrant and apply thicker with a single stroke.
How To Avoid Purchasing Fake MAC Makeup
The best way to ensure you're purchasing real MAC Cosmetics is to shop online directly from MAC or a trusted makeup retailer such as Macy's or Nordstrom. MAC does not allow selling their products through street vendors, flea markets, or independent boutiques.
While it's possible to find real discounted MAC products on sites such as eBay, the sellers legally shouldn't be selling the product, and you can't be sure what you are purchasing is authentic until you receive it. You can find trusted sellers near you on the MAC Cosmetics website.
If you're shopping from an unauthorized seller such as an independent boutique or street vendor, scrutinize the product before making a purchase. Check out the logo on the packaging and the makeup case to see if it's off-center or not in all caps. If you have a smartphone handy, search the product's name on the MAC website to see what comes up. If you can smell the product or do a swatch test, do that to help identify any red flags.
If you're shopping for cosmetics online from a site such as eBay, pay attention to the advertisement. Scammers will often have misspellings, sentence fragments, and other grammatical errors. They also tend to use generic photos of the product, so you can't get a good sense of the product's packaging or coloring. Scammers online may also be reluctant to questions about the product's composition or where it was made.
What To Do If You Buy Fake MAC Makeup
According to the MAC, they take the counterfeiting of their products seriously and work with local, regional, and federal law enforcement to stop scammers from producing and selling fake MAC products. If you've purchased fake MAC Cosmetics, you can report the seller to MAC by contacting their Counterfeit Education team. When you report fake MAC Cosmetics, they'll ask you to provide the seller's location name and address, the product sold, and any details about the product that led you to believe it's fake.
If you purchased the products from eBay from a seller advertising the product as real MAC Cosmetics makeup, you could report the seller to eBay. They likely won't be able to refund you, but they can take steps to remove the seller and keep others from falling for the scam. Unfortunately, if you unknowingly buy counterfeit MAC Cosmetics, there's not much you can do to get your money back.