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Smashbox is a US company based in LA. Their full name is Smashbox Cosmetics. This is the brand that is currently officially sold in the UK at only three retailers - QVCUK, Just Beauty Direct and House of Fraser in Belfast.

It seems at the moment that there has been an influx of fake Smashbox onto eBay UK. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the amount of fake Smashbox that has appeared on eBay US, where buyers are more familiar with the brand, is considerably less.

So why should you be concerned about fake Smashbox?

There are a number of excellent articles on eBay written about fake cosmetics products - the reasons they give about the dangers of purchasing fake items apply equally to Smashbox Cosmetics.

First and foremost, you are purchasing a product that you will be applying to your face, your eyes, your skin. What exactly are you applying and what is it going to do to your health, attractiveness and future wellbeing?

There are two issues here; the first relates to the nature of the ingredients used, the second relates to the manner in which the product was manufactured. When you purchase fake Smashbox, what assurances do you get about either of those critera? How sterile were the factories that made these products?

Reputable cosmetics companies spend untold resources on ensuring that what you apply to your face will not be damaging. They are accountable for their products and risk being sued for damage caused if their products harm you. Their professional reputations are at stake and a good name lost in this very competitive industry is generally something lost for ever. Who are you going to hold accountable if your fake Smashbox causes anything from a skin reaction to serious long term damage to your sight, scarring to your skin and so on?

How do the companies producing this fake Smashbox work? Do they have quality controls, inspections and so on? They are putting a false name on the products they produce - so what is the likely reality here?

Smashbox actually are PETA accredited; they do not test their products on animals - what guarantee do you have that the companies producing this fake Smashbox have similar ethics and principles? None at all.

So how do you tell what is genuine Smashbox and what is not?

Check the design of the packaging with the Smashbox website (smashbox.com); other comprehensive Smashbox websites in the US are Sephora and Nordstroms - all have online inventories; if you cannot see a black and white eyepencil,  a flat tube of foundation, a metallic chunky eye crayon, a white oval eyeshadow duo palette or a silver coloured foundation compact - then the chances are that this is because the item you are trying to compare is not Smashbox.

Taking a quick look at what is being offered in the wholesale section on eBay is not a bad idea as a rough guide - the majority of items being offered as wholesale/joblots at the moment are not genuine Smashbox. Is the item you are considering one of those items? Look to see what else the seller is selling and where they are based. Still unsure? Why not ask your seller for an ingredients list? Ask if the item(s) have the Smashbox address on the product and on the packaging? Ask for the product identification number (all Smashbox items have this) and then check with Smashbox US. A seller of the genuine items should be able (and willing) to provide this easily.

Classic, genuine and original Smashbox is relatively distinctive both in terms of the quality and design of the packaging and product casing, and in terms of the product itself. Don't take the risk of buying inferior products which at best are not going to work like the genuine article and therefore be a waste of money and, at worst, could be damaging to your skin and even dangerous to your health.


Since the first publication of this article in Spring 2008, one of the largest sellers of non 'Smashbox Cosmetics' make up, on eBay has acknowledged on their 'My Ebay' page that they are not linked or part of Smashbox Cosmetics in LA at all. Their eBay trading name is Kalawatrd.

The notice on their My Ebay Page (this is a direct quote) states

" IMPORTANT:We should emphasize that all of our SMASHBOX product are totally different from the same brand name"smashbox" registered in the United States.We registered a same brand name in China and all of my customers can check our official paper and will not be misleaded that we're selling counterfeit,fake or replica.Our smashbox product have our own unique design style and packaging which is totally different, buyers must be very clarified to this situation."

You are therefore now advised by them that any products sold by them are not in any way linked to Smashbox Cosmetics in LA. As they sell wholesale, you need to be aware of their product range as there are many examples of UK sellers now selling the same products on eBay UK.

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