Thursday

RANT: In the Face of Fake

A lot has been said, written, heard, read and revealed about the counterfeit industry. Everything is being copied today. While I sit here and type, and while you read this, fifty or maybe a hundred fake Hermes Birkins are being made --- in different colors and sizes. From bags to shoes to designer clothings, everything has a copy. As true as one of Coco Chanel's ever famous quotes, "Being copied is the ransom of success.", no world famous brand is spared. Name it, they have it. It is so prevalent and rampant that one law cannot prevent this illegal activity. And as much as I don't wanna believe it, the makeup industry has also fallen victim to this "business".

Photo Credits: Google Images

I don't understand it, really, why people even bother to make counterfeit/fake makeup. I mean, surely, makeup can be quite expensive, but not all makeup are. A powder foundation doesn't even amount to one Chanel 2.55, so, seriously, why is there a need for them to create copies? Until I realized that these counterfeiters continue to produce fake makeup because people ACTUALLY buy, whether unknowingly or not. So it's business as usual. As long as the world gets more aesthetically conscious of themselves day by day, fake makeup will always be there.

Photo Credits: Google Images

I don't wanna be a hypocrite, counterfeit bags used to be okay with me, until I learned my lesson. I have a few counterfeit Gucci bags way back, which I bought on impulse, and boy, they are close to the original --- dust bags, paper bags, zip, smell, feel, leather, cards, serial numbers and all. I was not able to use them though, maybe just once or twice because I felt a kind of shame, for deep down inside me I know I'm carrying a fake. I know how it feels to proudly carry a designer bag --- one that made you work your ass ever so badly, that one bag which gave you sleepless nights --- working.  Going back, I decided to just sell them, and they got sold in an hour or so. I thought, hey, this is good business, I might as well try it.

Photo Credits: Google Images

So I found myself a supplier, and sold a few more bags until that fateful day. One of my buyers tried to pass off the counterfeit bags she bought from me to some of her buyers as real and authentic bags. Imagine my horror. I wanted to confront my buyer, but I just froze there, keeping my fingers crossed and praying that no one will buy those bags from her, or even believe her. I have always been honest to my buyers that what I'm selling them are grade A counterfeits, close to the real one, in short "true counterfeits", not inspirations and no missing details at all. I guess that one buyer, when she saw the bags, almost couldn't believe herself that they were indeed fake, so she tried to claim them as authentic. It was an eye-opener for me so I stopped selling those, even if business was booming.

Photo Credits: Google Images

Another thing which made me stay away from that kind of business was a true story I read from a book about Chinese 7-year-olds and younger, working in a factory, stitching counterfeit bags from fabric to fabric, stamping logos with industrial glue, while they were being strapped on their ankles by chains to their working tables, given food once a day only, and were only allowed a few hours of sleep, still chained to their tables. I felt a churning sensation in my stomach that time. I felt guilty and I felt that for every peso spent on a counterfeit bag, I am supporting child labor and slavery. I then asked for forgiveness and prayed that the counterfeit business would spare these poor children.

Photo Credits: Google Images

Okay, before I totally go astray, in this post, I am going to rant about fake makeup. At first, I found it really absurd to think that people really buy those, but as I get to know more about makeup and cosmetics and other stuff being sold online, I've seen and experienced some first hand.

Photo Credits: Google Images

First, Singapore-authentic. I admit, way back the Singapore-authentic hype, I was into online buying. I met this seller who sells perfumes. It was priced at 1300 pesos per bottle that time, and truly, her perfumes were way cheaper than the mall price. She claimed they were "real" perfumes, only made in Singapore. I was really stupid to fall for her marketing ploy. In one snap of a finger, I bought 3 bottles. But when I got home to try them personally, you know the rest was history. To tell you now, there is no such thing as Singapore authentic. If it's authentic, it's authentic. If it's made in the Philippines, it doesn't mean it's fake or of low quality either. Singapore is one of the countries with perhaps the most strict rules on anything, so I bet they won't permit or support any activities such as these. If you go to Singapore, they don't even know what the hell Singapore-authentic is. Whoever coined the term Singapore-authentic, I don't know, but he must be rich now. I also remember buying an EDT from the perfume section of a famous mall, which turned out to be fake too. Tsk.

Photo Credits: Google Images

Second, a Longchamp Le Pliage tote. I was sold a fake bag by a reputable online seller who is a doctor too by the way. I only discovered she sold me a fake one a few months after when I noticed something wrong with the bag and with the care card. Again, stupid of me for trusting her and not checking the bag right away. When I tried to communicate my observations with her, she snapped back at me and told me how dare I accuse her of selling fake bags. I told her, since she's selling in bulk, a few fake items here and there might have been included accidentally or unknowingly and maybe she should talk to her supplier about it. She just shrugged me off and told me that if I wanted a refund she's not gonna give it to me. I never mentioned anything about a refund, I was just telling her what I noticed with the bag. After a very long message, after I have stated every proof I have that what she sold me was a fake, she blocked me and never replied back. If a customer ever complained about my product, I would gladly accommodate him/her. But this very nice seller? God knows what to do with her.

Photo Credits: Google Images

And third, just a while ago, a seller who really pissed me off because she was selling fake makeup and claiming that they were the real ones, only overruns and made in Singapore. Since when were Benefit and MAC made in Singapore? And since when do makeup companies produce overruns (if they even have some) and sell them to the public? When I told her a few facts about Benefit and MAC, she just told me pointblank that if I don't intend to buy, I just mind my own business. The nerve! I don't care if she sells or uses fake cosmetics, just don't trick people that what you sell are authentic. That's dishonesty for goodness sake. Bazaars I've been to, sell fake cosmetics too. And they sell like hotcakes, mind you.

Photo Credits: Google Images
Photo Credits: Google Images
Photo Credits: Google Images

I once bought a fake Benefit Coralista for the sake of comparing it to the real one. The seller knew it was a fake and she was honest about it. I wish I did a review on that but I wasn't able to do so because I was afraid to swatch the blush on my face. =) I just gave it away in the end.

Photo Credits: Google Images

And now, my question is, what's the point in buying fake makeup anyway? Is it considered nowadays that if you own expensive makeup, then that's a mark of a status symbol? If you cannot afford it, then don't buy it at all. You can save up or something, just don't settle for less. I really can't find logic in it, nothing at all. Makeup is expensive for a number of reasons, but nowadays, we are no longer limited to just the expensive ones. There are good quality brands out there that are very inexpensive yet are comparable and sometimes better than the expensive ones. To name a few, there's NYX of course, Milani, MeMeMe, Sleek, and E.L.F. And for the local brands, we have Fanny Serrano, Fashion21, James Cooper, even Nichido. I recently discovered that even Ever Bilena has amazing matte lipsticks for only a hundred pesos or less, I'm not too sure though.

Photo Credits: Google Images

Bottom line is, we have a lot of choices and every makeup lover/junkie doesn't just choose the branded ones. Believe me, we try every thing that seems promising and we stick to products not because of the brand or price, but because they deliver the job well. Sometimes, we ditch the expensive ones too because they cause us breakouts or they just don't work as promised.

Photo Credits: Google Images

Personally, most of the time, I prefer cheaper makeup than high-end ones. For a 1450 pesos worth of one NARS blush for example, I've already got myself about four or five NYX blushes, in powder and in cream form. I always look out for good dupes as much as possible. I always want to broaden my knowledge and experience on what works best for me and what looks best on me.

Photo Credits: Google Images

So, again, why buy fake makeup when it really has no sense at all? These counterfeits did not adhere to any product standards or any quality check. You don't even know the ingredients of what you're putting on your face. Lord knows if there's lead or mercury in it, or food coloring from fish liver which you might be allergic to. Or maybe as the lola's would call it, there's just "atsuete" in it. The water that was used to mix with your fake liquid foundation, you'll never know from which "estero" it actually came from. I've read somewhere too that some fake perfumes are mixed with pee and all sorts of disgusting bodily fluids. Eww! So it might be in your fake fluid concealer or cheek tint too. The dangers are endless. So if you're into buying or about to buy fake makeup just because of the mere brand, I suggest you stop at all costs because you might be harming your skin or your health as well.You know in yourself that it's fake, so why are you trying to fool yourself?

Photo Credits: Google Images
Photo Credits: Google Images
Photo Credits: Google Images

My parting words? It doesn't prove anything and it doesn't bring you to a status of wealth and success if you pull out a MAC Studio Fix from your kikay kit in the washroom. That girl beside you who is using a Fanny Serrano 2-way Cake is not lower in status or in no way different from you. At the end of the day, you both wash your face and sleep with a clean, bare face after all, right?

P.S. All photos in this post scream FAKE. If you see similar photos of these in sales, bazaars, online shops, don't buy them. Or if you have bought stuff that looks like these, now you know you've got yourself a knock-off.

18 comments:

Ems and Les said...

Very well said, I honestly think there are some out there who buy fake for bragging rights. As lame as this can sound there are shallow people around who thinks owning a MAC, NARS or other branded stuffs would make them the "it girl" or something.

Love, Chay ♥ said...

Hello Ems and Les. What you said is so true. I mean, I don't get it why some girls buy the brand and logo (even if it's fake) instead of going after cheaper quality makeup thy delivers excellent results too. Bags and shoes are a different story because if it's for bragging purposes, people can be tricked and think you're using the real thing. But fake makeup is worse IMO. No one will ever know of you're using a 'designer' makeup or a local drugstore one. No one cares, so why pretend? It's really strange. Fake makeup is so not worth it.

JhAnEy said...

That's why I don't by makeup online because I'm not sure if they are fake or real even if it the seller claims it to be original brand. I always buy my makeup in the mall because I'm 100% sure they are real.

Love, Chay ♥ said...

That's the safest thing to do Jhaney. =) I really hate fake makeup especially the ones that look so obviously fake, but are claimed as authentic. It's pathetic really. =/

jcpagsibigan said...

i really agree with you.counterfeit products such as make up even pose dangers to our health. i learned it the heard way. i purchased a MAC powder foundation from an office mate, saying it's authentic but when i started using it and compared it with the official MAC outlet at Trinoma, i realized that i was duped. not only was the packaging dubious, but my skin reacted to it - i felt the sting of the ingredients used in it and made my face itchy. in short, i had to stop using it before it's too late.

by the way, i have just discovered this local product by the name of G-lish at a small stall in Trinoma, just a few steps away from Body Shop. so far, i've tried using their powder blush on, lip-and-cheek tint and powders. As of now, my face hadn't had any adverse reaction and i like most of their shades. i don't know if you've heard of it but i'll be glad if you can come up with a product review.

Mish Rendon said...

Amen! I'd rather buy local makeup brands in the mall than buy unsafe fake cosmetics.

Love, Chay ♥ said...

jcpagsibigan: that's really a bad experience you've got there. Fake makeup can really harm our skin, sometimes so bad that we end up spending more on making our skin go back to the way it was - doctors, meds, and all. So not worth it really. Any, I'll check out g-lish and see what I can find there. Thanks for the reco. =)

Love, Chay ♥ said...

Hi mish. So true. Fake makeup is just a waste of good money. =)

Ayen said...

I bought a fake mac lipstick for php100 just to compare with the authentic one that i have. Its funny because the fake one felt like a lipbalm! Just a hint of color even after numerous application! It went straight to the trashcan.

Love, Chay ♥ said...

hello ayen. whoa, 100 pesos for a mac lippie. i wonder what are the ingredients of that one. i guess the color is food coloring or something else. =/

Camille(SHOBE) said...

even urban decay?!! well i feel the same way bout you bout bags...i bought this one and taas noo niyang sinabi na its 101% authentic though i said na its fake mentioned some facts and detailings pa she brought up pa nga bout her attorney and all and she said she'll replace it...(then i though...irereplace mo..with a new fake one) parang ganun din hehe..in the end ang consumers ang talo.

Love, Chay ♥ said...

yes camille, even urban decay. not only the naked but even the mariposa palette. like i've always said, we can't seem to do anything at the present about counterfeiters, sellers and all, sana lang, these sellers wouldn't pass off fakes as the real ones.

Tin G. said...

Well said bru! No to FAKE MAKE UP!! Haven't tried using fake make up though, I am too afraid that it might cost me more when a bad result comes out. Nyx and Coastal Scents are the only brands I have purchased online. There's always duty-free products. If you buy stuff from the airport, it's $10 cheaper than mall price, but it is guaranteed authentic! Hoping everyone thinks the same. But too bad, some ladies would opt for fake make up just to show off. =/

Love, Chay ♥ said...

TIN G.!!! haha. madami talagang ganyan makapagyabang lang na bumili syang MAC. hahaha. =) pati ba naman makeup diba? =)

Liz of Manila said...

Saw a dealer in a bazaar in Eton Centris last Christmas. I was intrigued at her showcase of Urban Decay and Benefit products. Pero scared pa rin even if the seller looked sushal kasi the cosmetics were exposed (open palettes and cases). If it's the real thing and it costs a sum, why would you expose it like that diba?

Anonymous said...

Up to now hindi ko pa din alam why may singapore makeup na ginagaya yung famous brands. Actually meron tlgang mga overruns n binebenta pg dating sa mga damit. Kaya hindi din natin mssbi n baka nga may overruns na makeup;) meron kc aq n pnood s kristv ung bedsheet set pg binili u dto s pinas 600 dollars lng tpos bibilhin ng sikat na brand tatakan mgigi n syang 2600 dollars. Ibig bng sbhin n ung fake or immitation na yung mura? Despite isa lang ang gumawa sa kanila. kya up to now nguhuluhan aq un bang tinutukoy nyo ay tlgang fake kc mura? Cguro ang fault dun ngamit ung name nung brand na mahal at binibenta nila ng mura. How sure r u na ung gnmit s singapore brand ay iba dun s original brand? Ung s perfume kya ndi ngttgal ung smell kc may added water ata pra mas mging mura pero f aamuyin same sila ng amoy. Anf mali nung iba dapat they should be honest nma immitation lng ung bnebenta. Hirap ng bumili ng branded products ngaun kahit sikat na mall kaya ng mgbenta ng fake s presyong original. Haaayyy

Love, Chay ♥ said...

hi Liz. i couldn't remember the countless number of times I have encountered sellers selling/advertising fake make up as the real deal - both online and in bazaars. it's really alarming. i agree with you to some extent, about exposing all palettes of those expensive makeup, but there are still some honest sellers out there who do this so they can market their products better. but yeah, that got me thinking now too. :)

Love, Chay ♥ said...

i think with makeup, compared to other products, it's a different story. there is and there shouldn't be makeup "overruns". if you think about it, why would a makeup company buy their products from a generic supplier? how then would they be able to sell their products and claim it as different compared to other brands, when they are after all, just generic?

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