Fake MAC / Benefit Products, M.A.C, YouTube Videos

Fake MAC Products – How to Spot them & Avoid Wasting your Money

Like many of you I have been duped into buying fake / counterfeit MAC products from ebay. I picked these few items up before I joined the online beauty community, man I wish I had waited. Anyway I hope this helps you find out how to spot a fake product.

This is from my own experience. Yes, I have been duped many a time! Hopefully you won’t be as silly.

The following items are counterfeit:

MAC Eyeshadows with a mirror and applicator: (pictured above) Yes, it sounds like a genius idea but unfortunately MAC have never made eyeshadows with mirrors or applicators. These are made in the East and sold on ebay. In Ireland our friends and family often bring these back from Thailand and are delighted with the bargain. These shadows are no bargain. I myself bought a few of these from a friend in my teenage years. Awful!


MAC Brush Rolls: I know so many girls who have this set and have no idea that they’re fake. One real MAC brush will cost you between €20 to €90. If you bought a whole set in a brush roll for €50, they’re fake. MAC do not sell 24 brushes in a set either. MAC’s brushes are numbered, generally the fakes are not (or they’re numbered incorrectly so check MAC’s website) Although I have seen some fakes that are numbered lately. Many of the brush roll sets say ‘Wholesale’ in the title. There aren’t mac wholesale items as they are only sold from MAC stores and stands.


MAC Mousse Eyeshadows: Again, MAC don’t make mousse shadows. The fake one I have looks like a Maybelline Mousse pot.

MAC Liners: I have recently seen some fake MAC eyeliners that come from China and Thailand. The MAC brand is on them but the packaging looks like that of another brand.

Palettes: There are thousands of these palettes on ebay. For those of you new to MAC, they name their eyeshadows, even in the palettes. I have seen  the following on ebay, all of which are counterfeit: MAC’s 9 Colour Palette, MAC’s Cream Shadows Palette, Glitter Palettes, 88 palettes etc.


Eyeshadows with numbers or colours instead of names: As I said, MAC use names like Sable, Satin Taupe etc not colours or numbers, those are counterfeit.

I have heard there are now fake pigments online too although I haven’t seen any personally. I have also seen counterfeit MAC Mascara’s too.

Ebay also have a page dedicated to counterfeit items on ebay. If you bought a fake product on ebay I have heard you are entitled to a refund through paypal.

There are some genuine MAC products on ebay but as a rule of thumb, if the price seems to good to be true then it probably is!

I have made a video sharing my experience with counterfeit MAC products and examples of the fakes.


I hope this helps!

Have you been duped into buying fake products?

*UPDATE Since I wrote this blog post many other brands have been copied and sold on ebay. I bought a Benefit powder box that is completely fake and a bottle of Posie Tint, which is also counterfeit. Both are complete rubbish. I reported the seller. If someone is selling tonnes of the same product don’t go there.

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  • charlotte

    Hi.. I have just bought a mac mascara off ebay and I am completely unsure if it is a fake or not! It looks genuine! But I know there are some good fakes out there. It is Zoom Lash, with ‘ZOOMBLACK’ printed on the flap at the right end of the box, and a silver sticker on the left end saying ‘PLUSHBLACK’ there is also a silver sticker on the mascara tube saying ‘PLUSHBLACK’. The tube itself is matte black with MAC ZOOM LASH in silver on the end of the tube with the lid on the right. If anyone could please help me identify if this is genuine that would be a great help thank you. Charlotte.

  • Raya

    Hi amy your blog is amazing ,,i always visit,,can you please check this site for me an let me know if this brush set is real or if any of the mac brushes look real here,,thanksx http://www.maccosmeticsclassic.com/dior-brushes03-p-209.html

  • Nono lovely

    I’m all sad now- got MAC eyeshadows and mascara off my sister in law for Christmas and just found they are complete fakes- the mascara tube and box is the exact same as Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen but instead of her HR logo it says MAC. I wouldn’t mind but my sister in law is a savvy shopper for herself and says she would never use inferior products and only buys her makeup direct from approved retailers after herself buying fakes on eBay this year. It would seem she buys the best for herself and the fakes for me! (She even showed me blogs earlier in the year of how to spot fakes!) what can I do though really except be grateful for the thought, a gifts a gift after all!

  • Angela

    I have also made this same mistake buying a 12 color eye shadow pallet. I should have known considering I was at a swap meet. I paid 20 so not too bad but the seller probably paid 2-5 for it. (Guessing only). I am not wrapped up in only buying NAME BRAND items but there are several companies that stand firm to their products and garentee their quality and when you ask a person/seller if it is authentic and the knowingly lie to you it’s unfair. Thank you for these tips.

  • Kathie

    I feel so pissed that I bought fake MAC makeup. I seriously didn’t know a thing about MAC products, all I knew was that they aren’t that cheap, so when I saw someone selling them cheap, I bought one.

    Luckily, it wasn’t THAT expensive, but I’m still pretty pissed because the person who sold it to me was a friend of a friend and I could’ve used that money for something else.

    Still pretty pissed about it. I’ve learned my lesson though. I just feel so stupid for falling for that.

  • http://thedietsolutionprogramez.info George Clausing

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I’m shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  • Laura

    Hello Amy,

    I liked so much your post, is very useful.

    I was searching on eBay and found this user:

    who sells MAC brushes, apparently. I loved red ones (for instance, this one:) but I think they’re fake. What do you think?

    Thanks in advance! And keep the good work ;)

    • http://www.makeupandbeauty.ie Amy

      Hi Laura – I checked out those links – fake I’m afraid. I say save your money and buy one nice brush at a time. Or check on sigma – same quality as mac in my books.
      Hope this helps! :)

      (by the way I just deleted the links so it wouldn’t advertise their counterfeit products)

  • http://www.centralandcityrubbishclearance.co.uk/CentralandCityFreeFireWood.html Skip Hire London

    Hi my friend! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and include almost all important infos. I would like to look extra posts like this .

  • emalouc

    I purchased a benefit coralista powder box for my mum for xmas and didn’t open it before i gave it to her. she loves it but last time i went home i used it and realised it doesn’t apply the same as my one that I bought from the counter and it has no scent to it which mine does. I also purchased some mac pro pan eyeshadows which when they arrived had a weird sponge circle on the bottom rather than a magnet. The thing is it is hard to tell straight off that you have got a fake until you use it, I have also done this with a bobbi brown blush brush and its only now that I wish I had done something about it, i will be more vigilant in future. My advice is that if the price seems too good to be true it probably is xx

  • http://www.misspennydreadful.blogspot.com caroline

    I am a journalist and I am interested in interviewing you for an article I am writing. If there is anyone who would be willing to speak about their experiences buying/selling fake cosmetics. i can be reached on for more information. thank you.

    • http://www.benefitcosmeticswhoiasele.com Valerie

      I’m such an idiot! I spent 130 euro approx on benefit makeup (for christmas presents mainly) I began to become a little suspicious on examination of one of the benetint boxes – to my horror I researched some blogs on how to recognise fakes and started to feel a little faint! I have contacted this website and advised them that I was unhappy but they say they will give me a refund if I return! … oh ya really feel like spending anothor 20 euro adding insult to injury!

      The worst is that unfortunately when you read the small print – they do actually say they are replicas – I feel such a total moron!

  • http://tabatGr49.bravejournal.com Jeff Sackrider

    Really good content and really will help with understanding the topic much better.

  • http://www.wholesalesmaccosmetics.com MAC cosmetics wholesale

    I like MAC cosmetics wholesale
    and I Buy good MAC cosmetics online
    there have good quality Wholesale mac makeup brush set and very sex your life.

  • Tat

    Just wondering if anyone who used brush111 or similar sites was ever able to get a refund for their purchases?

  • http://cookingchinchillas.blogspot.com cookingchinchillas

    I just got fake mac nail polishes.Never seen fake nail polishes before.
    Well they are pretty,but fake *bummer*

  • Sandra

    I have recently purchased a glitter mineralize shadow from Ebay, clearly counterfeit as it smells like old ladies cheap perfume and only has a number not a name…full refund coming to me and the seller was most helpful…my only concern is , if this was my 1st Mac purchase and i didn’t know the difference I would never have bought a Mac product again as the smell would have put me off for life

  • allyg84

    I’m sooo grateful that I watched / read this post as I have a MAC brush set saved in my ebay in the watching section which I now know not to touch! Great info here, thanks Amy :)

  • Tracey

    Hi I purchased some Benefit products.I think some are fake too.
    1. The Highligher pencil, gleamed. Half the wood was missing. Most of it under the lead was just gold nib. The wood also felt cheap, as in the paintwood on it. Again a good copy but smelt highly of petroleum. Not usual Benefit smell.

    2. Lemon Aid…so far this looks real. The text when applied onto skin is what makes me think otherwise. It has a serial number on box and on the product …so it could be real

    3. Celebutente – This looks real too. Products smell like benefit products. Serial number on both packets. Thou the lipstick/benetint serial numbers are different. Labeling overall looks good.

    4. Justine Case – No serial number on outer box or inner box. Again looks like good copy, but the packet sicker was lob sided. Inside there was grit on the mirror. The 3 bottles looked smaller then 2.5ml…i measured and only 1.8ml in bottle. Compared to website, the benetint writing is wrong…letters not exact same design. Also on each bottle, the benefit has a dot above i which should not be the case. The bottles smelt like petroleum/greasy (must have been made in dirty factory). The cream was meant to be 2.2g, didnt look like that amount. Benetint also looked a funny colour, brush wasnt great.

    In all, the Lemon Aid and Celebutente seemed exact products. The pencil and Justine Case were definite copies.

  • Louise

    This is a great piece of advice, I have been there (more than once I hate to admit!)
    I bought a ‘mac’ palette off ebay like the one in the picture above and as soon as I received it I knew it was a fake, the eyeshadows are absolutely awful!
    Now I only buy directly from MAC! :-) x

  • Rebecca b

    Mac DID make a white coloured eye palette, it contained 10/12 eyeshdaows a brush, a pencil and a pearer. I bought one for Xmas, a few years ago from Brown Thomas – which is an official Mac stockist ! ! ! ! ! !

    • http://www.makeupandbeauty.ie Amy

      Rebecca, Did anyone say anything about a white palette? I’m a little confused

  • http://allielicious.com Allie

    I was also looking at the website Wright81 put a link to… “89 MAC Eye Shadow Pigments” for $249.. and they even have individual names! You’d only be able to tell the difference if you have seen what the make name labels look like. And even some of the authentic MAC names they have used…

  • http://allielicious.com Allie

    My dad was looking on ebay and was going to buy me one of those brushrolls with for twenty something mac brushes. luckily i knew enough to know they were fakes.
    A nother really bad place is multiply.com ~ a lot of sellers on there sell fake mac products ~ whereas some even advertise them as “mac replicas” and sell them for maybe 2-3 dollars less than the MAC Prices. It’s terrible.

  • http://www.twitter.com/sapphiremakeup Llora

    I just visited the website that Wright81 quoted, and a chat window pops up and you can talk to one of their “consultants”. I asked to know the names of the shadows in the pallets, and she couldn’t tell me any of them! TOTAL fakes!

  • http://over40princess.liedel.org/ Nancy Liedel

    The completly ridicuous thing is the worst perperator of Fake MAC brushes ads on your blog. Which of course you really have no control over at all. I get that, but the irony is hysterical.

  • Ailish

    I recently bought a MAC palette of 120 eyeshadows, blush, mascara and the 187 mac foundation brush…. They all came to about 120 euro…. I thought i was getting a great deal

    The mascara was awful, the blush isn’t too bad i have to admit and the foundation brush is gone in the bin so that was a waste of my money…

    The eyeshadows, however, are alright but it’s obvious they’re not real MAC products even though it says MAC on the cover of the palette…. I definately wouldn’t buy off them again but the palette is good for someone who is on a budget and cant afford real mac products

  • Nancy Piche

    Also, if they sell huge lots of products at once, it’s a clear sign it’s fake. As, really, why would an actual person sell 100 mac items? I honestly have grown a hate/love relationship with ebay. Mostly hate. I’ve been ripped off for about 1000$ in two different instances. Rule of thumb, buy from individuals and reputable ebay stores. If they don’t show many photos or aren’t willing to, assume fake.

    • http://www.makeupandbeauty.ie Amy

      Great advice Nancy!

  • Angie

    Someone took a bunch of Coastal Scents 88 matte palettes and slapped a MAC label on it. They all sold for more than $88 each. I tried flagging the posts, but I found the auctions too late.

    • http://www.makeupandbeauty.ie Amy

      Oh my god that’s crazy! It makes me so mad. I found a cream shadow palette last week that had 11 bids on it and it was up to €47. Sick

  • Lia

    Ugh I was duped too, before I knew a lot about makeup I bought some of the fake pigments from eBay. Even though the post said they were real I knew they were fake right away because they didn’t have a name just a number. I will never buy MAC from eBay again!

  • Wright81

    Thanks so much for this post. I recently bought some MAC eyeshadows on ebay and was really confused by the mirror and brush packaging.

    Here is a site I found that I figured was counterfeit as well: http://brush111.com/

    Did you notice the color payoff was really different with the counterfeit shadows?

  • http://planetloulou.blogspot.com Louise

    I have had a few fake pigments the outer jars are exactly the same but they had a sort of plastic nozzle dispenser inside the jar – very weird

  • Emma Jane

    I’m lucky enough not to have bought any fake make up but a few weeks ago I won a Mac 194 for £8. The seller had said the brush was genuine but when I received it I could see right away that it wasn’t. The hair was really scratchy and the handle was cheap and nasty. Thankfully I was able to get my money back. I’m definitely learned my lesson!

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