It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post about spotting a fake MAC lip stick – I bought Peachstock from eBay in good faith, paid a good price for it and the seller swore to me on their child’s life that it was 100% authentic so I kept it but there was always niggling doubts in my mind because it didn’t smell like a MAC lipstick and quite frankly, felt different to an authentic one. But the seller absolutely swore it was a real one – had they been duped too in the process of buying their stock? Who knows. These fakes are damn good.
For the purposes of further research I had the chance to buy a cheap “MAC” lipstick in a shade I wanted, Diva. This lipstick, unlike with Peachstock, was about £2 so no doubt that it is a knock off. I then went and bought Diva from a counter so I could compare the two. So here goes!
NOTE! I stupidly threw the box of the real Diva away without thinking so I am comparing an authentic Cremesheen I bought last week to the fake which is on the right. We can still get an idea of what an authentic one looks like vs. a fake one. So, the notes…
In person there IS a difference but god, it is hard to spot. Notice the authentic is a grey black compared to the fake. It feels similar to be honest, I would say the authentic one is ‘squarer’ around the corners but if they weren’t side to side, I wouldn’t be able to tell.
Again very similar. Font has sharper edges and is ever so slightly bigger on the fake. Otherwise hard to tell.
Clearly different ingredients here but they are different formulas so unfortunately I can’t be sure how close the fake is here. I can say that there seems to be a much longer list on the authentic one and the font is smaller and again the fake one has a slight yellow tint to the font.
This side clearly looks different – the barcode is bigger on the fake one, the font is different and is spaced differently to a real one.
Wow. This is REALLY hard to separate.
The fake has the same slightly pearlised finish as the real one. The MAC is slightly less silver and well defined but it’s really hard to tell without a side to side. They feel similar too. It is almost impossible to tell unless you are some weird MAC expert!
Finally some noticeable differences!
The real one is on the left – the label is a greyer colour and the fake is brighter, which is what I noticed on the peach stock lipstick too.
On the fake the ‘A14’ is printed, on the real one it is a indentation. The wording is more or less the same on both but I would say the label brightness is a good giveaway.
This is another good clue.
The raised dots are more defined and round on the real lipstick. On the fake they are still raised grooves (is that the right word!) but do not have defined edges.
Notice when the lipsticks are swivelled all the way down the tip of the fake is visible, the real one is completely retracted.
Since we have the same ‘colour’ we can compare these!
Here we can see an obvious quality difference. The fake one has weird little water marks type things over it which I have never had in any of my MAC lipstick. Seems like the wax or something is doing odd thing. I certainly wouldn’t accept a brand new MAC lipstick if it had weird marks all over it.
Otherwise the colours look very similar.
Look at the bottom of where the colour begins.
I would say on the real one the make up is neater. On the fake the colour is messy and you can see it is almost ‘leaky’ around the bottom part like it hasn’t been poured by a machine.
Now here is the dead give away I have mentioned before.
Authentic MAC lipstick lids should be interchangeable. A fake MAC lipstick, so far in the 2 I have seen, will NOT fit a real lipstick. See:
The authentic lipstick is smaller than the fake at least where the lids are concerned.
Now the shades! The colour DIVA is a matte burgundy – see here.
I have to say the fake is pretty close but it is just not quite the same. Bear this in mind if you buy a fake to save money the chances are the shade and texture are JUST NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME AS THE REAL THING! If that is what you want and not the brand, then save up a bit and buy the real thing!
Real one: Has a flatter matte finish. Has a drier texture, is more pigmented and opaque, is quite dense and rich.
Fake one: Smooth gliding texture which is not what you would expect for a matte lipstick. Quite a glossy shiny finish and is a lighter berry rather than the burgundy colour it is supposed to be.
The similarity is there but the fake quite frankly is not a matte.
So there you go – maybe this will help someone spot another fake MAC lipstick which I have to say, are SCARILY good. I personally only buy from reputable online stores or on counter now when shopping for MAC – the fakes are just too accomplished for me to be sure.
I have to say, if you are buying a lipstick buy it for the colour not for the brand or label! In which case it is worth buying the real thing or looking for a dupe – at least you will know what ingredients are in a high street dupe, but you don’t know what went in to a fake product.