Help! Is my MAC lipstick a fake?

I bought a MAC lipstick from eBay recently…not the cleverest thing because eBay is littered with fakes of the most popular brands (such as MAC, Nars and Benefit) but the seller had good feedback and I presumed it would be ok.  But now I am seeing little things that makes me wonder if it is a fake. Readers, what do you think?I am no MAC expert but perhaps some of you are….

I pulled out 3 MAC lipsticks I bought from the MAC counter to compare.

First off, the barrel. Can you spot which one may be dodgy?

MAC Lipstick fake or real

It is….

No. 3.  In person, the lipsticks are roughly the same height, but the new lipstick has a thinner silver band around the middle. It is noticeably thinner than the other 3 in person.

Next up, the labels. Can you spot the odd one out?

Fake mac lipstick peachstock angel

Yep it’s Peachstock.  Can you see how it’s a brighter silver colour? None of my other MAC lipsticks are that colour, they are a much duller silver shade. Hmm.

Then the lids.  You may not be able to tell but where the new lipstick has the words MAC grooved in, it feels quite deep and you can make out the bevelled edges with your finger. With the others, the MAC lettering feels very smooth.


Finally a few more things I noticed.

The lipstick from eBay (peachstock) is a very glossy looking – almost like it’s oozing oil which I’ve never seen on my other MAC lipsticks before.

Also there is absolutely no scent in it.  All my other MAC lipsticks have a light vanilla scent.  I was thinking that maybe it’s quite old but the seller says it’s fresh stock. Hmmm.

MAC Lipstick fake 1

To be honest I can’t figure out if this is an amazing fake, just really really old, or a different batch completely. The seller swears to me it is the real thing and it was sourced in the US hence the differences. I honestly don’t know.

Also if you own Peachstock – does my lipstick look like the right hue? The texture of the lipstick is super soft and the colour is quite opaque too.

Come on MAC experts – did I buy a fake or the real thing?!


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  1. liloo says

    i thought the fake was the ‘jazzed’ one from looking at the label under the bullet, as the font is much thinner. it just goes to show that i would totally believe that the mac lipstick you have is a real one, and i cant tell a real one from a fake. buying fakes dont bother me toooOOOOoo much in essence. But then i heard about this story of some fake product containing 10 more times the amount of lead allowed and that it’s wrong and what not and now I am freaking out about fakes thinking they are not safe to use, and would not be submitted to quality control bla bla bla cos they are on the sly. So if I buy fakes, i am going to stick to non cosmetic things i think. but when what do i do when i dont know when it’s fake? umm xx

  2. Nina says

    My immediate guess was #3 because it seemed like the MAC label was a teeny bit smaller compared to the others. I’m inclined to think that lipstick is a fake based on the fact that it doesn’t have the signature vanilla scent. If she’s claiming it’s fresh stock then it must have that scent. I also checked the letters of my MAC tubes and they aren’t engraved. The tube that I checked was purchased at a MAC store in Hong Kong.

  3. Candice says

    I ordered from and i received my lipsticks this morning!!! Luckily i read your post and i checked them! They are indeed fake! i couldnt believe it as everyone said cheapsmells was legit! Thank you for your post!!

  4. says

    I believe that the three digit code tells you what year it was made in, so your old ones that say A59 and AA9 were manufactured in the year 2009. (Or 1999 I dunno how old they are 😉 ) so your ‘fake’ from ebay would have supposedly been manufactured in the year 2010 meaning if it’s real, it’s old stock. When you visit a MAC store now, they will only sell you one ending in 1 or 2 – from 2011 or 2012.
    To be honest I wouldn’t trust anything claiming to be MAC off eBay but it could just be the case that this is a two year old lipstick hence why it’s gone a bit oily and the smell has faded… I guess you never really know, hopefully you didn’t pay too much for it! I think lipsticks generally are ok to buy off eBay, it’s usually eye products that are dodgy and have sometimes been found to contain lead.
    Might be worth swatching it on your hand one time and then visiting a MAC store and swatching it against the real Peachstock – you’ll soon know if it’s different! :)
    Zo xx

  5. says

    I agree with everything the other Zoe said, I was once bitten by the ebayfakes, got my money back in the end. The MAC girls are good at spotting fakes and should be able to tell you, or it might just be off, lipsticks have a 2 year shelf life from MAC and my ones approaching their second birthday dont smell as strong as the new ones, BUT the consistency is ok. Swatch the real one next time you are in store and ask the girls if you are still in doubt. They are used to it apparently lol x

  6. anne says

    Hmmmm indeed. I agree that the MAC counter is the way to go. I do not, however, find any difference in smell with my Mac lipsticks once they hit the 2 year mark. If they really only had a 2 year shelf life I would have a huuuuge problem as have got a beyond ridiculous amount of them – none are coming to the end of their tubes any time soon!!! I am terrified of e-bay make up in general, so buy em ‘proper like’, as really can’t be assed with the hastle of it all. Boo to naughty sellers.

  7. zoe hunter says

    The vanilla like scent is still there, just not as much as a new one. As a professional mua, I need to keep to shelflife to prevent risk of reaction resulting in a client suing, but I’m assured that the 2 year guide is just that so dont worry to much if its for personal use as long as the consistancy hasn’t cganged and they don’t smell off. That is excluding mascara of course. I too would never buy from ebay but then as a pro I’d be silly to, to save a few pennys but end up with a product containing lead etc is just not worth the risk.

  8. Jen says

    I went to sniff my MAC lippies after reading this (I’ve got 6 of them, various ages) and I found that the lustre ones smelt more strongly of vanilla than the cremesheen one. Also, I bought a Hello Kitty one from eBay, and without being sure what year that was from, it smells the least vanilla-y! But appearance-wise, none have the grooves on the MAC bit on the lid, and the silver ring round the middle is the same on all tubes.
    I got stung by Benefit products on eBay, since then I have tried to steer clear of big brands and stick mainly to the Japanese/Korean brands that I can’t get anywhere else, and to stick to reliable sellers. My Benefit tinted moisturiser smelt like poster paint!!!

  9. says

    I find it hard to tell by its case alone if its fake or not, but it is rather questionable should there be something off with the smell. I hope you figure out soon if what you purchased is fake or not. If you purchased it at a price that’s too good to be true, then that may answer it. 😐

  10. Nichole says

    Hey there,
    I had the exact same problem buying Peachstock off of ebay last week. My lipstick has the same weird grooves and the label color is off. It also appears to be from the same batch as yours as it is labled AB0. My husband took a closer look at it because he is a photographer and could detect minor differences in the way the labels/font/etc were made so he agrees with me that even if it didn’t smell weirdly chemically (instead of vanilla) and even if it didn’t have the weird oily thing going on, he would still think there was something hinky going on. I have dozens of MAC lipsticks from a variety of years and even my oldest ones (I think 5-6 years old) still have a vanilla smell rather than a chemical smell. The seller tried to tell me that MAC told them that there can be differences between batches and that’s why the consistency and smell are off. But I don’t believe for one second that the color/consistency could be THAT off. There should just be minor variations between batches. What did you end up doing with your peachstock??

  11. Xiomara Salas says

    check the metal on the top of the lipstick i also order one i couldn’t believe it! the metal on the fake one is made out of plastic! i notice the fake ones were lighter because they were made out of plastic not metal ! Also the font on the fake one is thinner than the authentic one, wow i just didn’t notice till after i bought so many, such a waste of money!