Guide to identifying and avoiding fake Mac lipgloss

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Purpose of Guides

I started writing these guides as I'm dismayed by not just the sheer amount of fake Mac on eBay, but by how many bidders are clearly fooled by these fake items. I have been buying (and using) Mac cosmetics for several years, mostly bought directly from Mac. I have myself bought some of these fake items on eBay, and not known until they arrived that they were not genuine. I'd like to spare others the disappointment I experienced. I'd rather do one guide for each product type where I see fake versions sold so you don't have to read about products you don't buy.

Short of time? Read the summary for each type of lipsloss, this gives the points to watch out for

Read this guide before? - Goto the Update section at the end for new fakes recently spotted

My best advice? - DON'T buy Mac on eBay - MOST of what is for sale is FAKE - this is directly due to eBay policies which have driven most sellers of genuine Mac cosmetics to sell elsewhere (including me) or not at all!

 

Lip gloss:

Mac make a range of different lip gloss types, I have come across fake versions of these types on eBay - Lipglass, Lustreglass and Lip Gelee.

Lustreglass 

Genuine Mac Lustreglass is sold in a solid box (no cutouts or windows) and is named as Mac Lustreglass on the box. Each shade has a unique name - there are no Mac lipglosses with just numbers - and these are not re-used for different colours. The tube should have Mac Lustreglass printed on it, and nothing else. The end of the tube and the end of the box should both have a sticker with the name of the shade on it. When you use the product, this should have an integral brush applicator.

The fake Lustreglass I have seen was sold heavily before Christmas last year, and is sold less frequently now thank goodness. The box is labelled 'Mac' and 'Pro Moist Lip & Gloss' and is a black box with an oval cutout on the front allowing you to see the contents. The gloss colours all have numbers instead of names, the tubes are printed with Mac Lustreglass, and they have a yellow sponge tip applicator (if you get that far!). I have shown these lipglosses to Mac employees and had it confirmed that these are indeed fake and nothing to do with Mac.

Lipglass

Lipglass is packaged in exactly the same way as Lustreglass - a solid black box printed Mac Lipglass. Again, each shade is names individually with a sticker on box and tube end and the tube will be printed with Mac Lipglass. Instead of a brush applicator, lipglass has an integral sponge-tip applicator and this should always be white (this is the only colour Mac uses, some of the fakes have yellow tips instead).

The fake Lipglass I see sold currently is in boxes that look like the genuine item and in tubes that are a good copy too. The only real guide is that the sellers give no real shade names - just shade numbers (if you're lucky, as this is a real give away) or more often a shade description such as 'pretty pink', 'soft coral'. Real Mac shade names really are names, such as Precocious, Elaborate, Soft Sun. If no shade name is given - ask the seller what this is and whether it is marked on tube or box. If they don't reply or say 'not marked but my best guess is Pink Poodle' or something similar - don't buy. Counterfeit products can contain ingredients not permitted in cosmetics in Europe /USA (most are made in the far east) which can lead to sensitivity or reaction in sensitive areas like the lips.

Summary:

  • The box should be solid and have no cut-out areas or windows
  • The box should be labelled Mac Lustreglass or Mac Lipglass, Pro Moist Lip & Gloss is not something ever made by Mac!
  • The box and tube should be labelled with the same product type - Mac do not sell Lipglass in boxes labelled Lustreglass, just in boxes labelled Lipglass.
  • Every colour should have a shade name, and not just a number or shade description

 

Lip Gelee:

There are some fakes of these, but they are harder to spot than the other fake lip glosses.

The box should have Mac and the name Lip Gelee on the front, together with a round sticker on the end of the box with the name of the shade. The tubes should be printed with Lip Gelee towards the cap end and Mac towards the crimped end. On the reverse the name of the shade should be given. On the currently produced Lip Gelee the shade name is printed with the size etc. On some of the older stock and particularly on the limited edition shades, the shade name was printed on a clear label instead of on the tube - these did sometimes fall off. Again, each colour has a unique name and these are not repeated for different colours.

They have a distinctive and strong vanilla type scent - this is often very noticeable before the tube is even opened.

Two types of fake Lipgelee have been sold on eBay. One is where the tube for a particular shade has been copied by counterfeiters and various colours of gloss were sold with the same shade name (lu-be-lu). I have seen these sold myself. So if you see this name used for more than one colour, or used for a colour that is not a deep cool-toned pink (described as raspberry, but less red than raspberry really) then these are probably not genuine. The other kind that has been sold on eBay in the USA (I have not seen these personally) is fake versions of the 9ml charm size (the full size boxed version is 15ml).

The situation is slightly confused by the fact that some seconds have been sold by Mac through Canada (where their central warehousing is based). I'm told these have the printing off centre on the tubes, but all other details (name etc) should be correct. My personal inclination is to say that unless an item is supplied in the original box with shade name on box and tube, or you are absolutely convinced that the seller would recognise and avoid fake items (I believe a lot of sellers do not use the products they sell, and are not sufficiently experienced/able to distinguish fake from genuine) you should simply not bid or buy.

Summary:

  • Every shade has a unique name, never a shade number. If you see a shade other than a deep cool-toned pink called lu-be-lu, then this is probably counterfeit
  • Recently made stock should have the name printed on the tube, older stock/limited editions should have a printed transparent shade name label
  • Unboxed items are much more likely to be fake.

 

Update: August

The Pro Moist fake Mac lip gloss has thankfully become scarce, and there are few fake Lipgelees, but fake Mac Lipglass is still being widely sold.

I still regularly see counterfeit Mac Lipglass. These are often listed on a buy it now basis, and several shades are being sold. These lipglosses are described as Lipglass or as Lustreglass - but the seller photos show a tube printed as Lipglass, but with a box labelled Lustreglass. These are actually two different products and Mac have different boxes for each. Genuine Lipglass comes in a box with Lipglass on it, Lustreglass in a box with Lustreglass on it. The sellers for these items don't give shade names and if asked, just say 'I think it is' or 'my best guess is' .......

If it's made by Mac there should always be a printed shade label with the shade name on it on both the end of the lipgloss and the box. Don't buy them, these are fake!

Barbie Loves Mac Lipglass fakes

Barbie Loves Mac Lipglass fakes were sold earlier in the year. They disappeared for a while, but this week they have reappeared being sold in lots of 15 from a seller in the Phillipines - I'm sure there will soon be other sellers too. The seller gave no shade names but had a photo showing lots of different, very pretty shades.

There were only 4 shades ever made by Mac of Barbie Loves Mac lipglass, so if you see more than 4 different shades being sold they have to be fake. It's a safe bet that the fakes will be sold individually on eBay soon, so don't bid on anything that does not have a name on the box and tube. Most people selling these may not even know they are counterfeits.

The genuine shades, plus descriptions, from this collection are:

  • Sweetness: frosted baby pink
  • Malibu Barbie: fuschia pink with multicoloured pearl
  • Fashion Pack - light pretty peach
  • Happening Gal: reddened plum with gold shimmer

I hope this guide has been helpful and will allow you to easily avoid fake Mac lipglosses on eBay. If so, do vote for it and help others avoid counterfeits too.

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