It was only a matter of time before the much coveted Colourpop Ultra Matte lip was reproduced (poorly) and fakes were made. We're here to tell you that it has (unfortunately) finally happened!
The purpose of this blog post is to keep you informed on what to look out for and assist you in purchasing genuine products only. We have purchased a fake Colourpop Ultra Matte lipstick for the purposes of this post. We purchased the colour "Clueless" from eBay at a cost of £4.50 and will be comparing this with a genuine Clueless lipstick purchased directly from Colourpop and as stocked by us.
1. Price Point
The fake lipstick is priced at £4.50. Colourpop retail their lipsticks at $6 which is approx £4.63. That leaves a 13 pence profit point. This is not considering: Landing (import) costs, shipping costs, packaging and posting to customer costs, sale costs (I.e PayPal/eBay fees) etc. Therefore it is fair to say that if the item was genuine it is being sold at a LOSS. This should ring up immediate alarm bells. No business or company will be selling their items at a loss for no specific reason. The particular eBay I purchased the fake lipstick off had stated that the price was an "introductory offer" in hopes of fooling people. However, introductory offers are "less than normal" profit or BOGOF offers, not the selling of items below cost! - believe me, the sellers really aren't that nice!
2. Let's compare packaging
As seen above, you will notice that the packaging on the fake lipstick has a yellowy-creamy tinge. In comparison, the Colourpop lipstick is white. This picture was taken with flash and will probably be most notable when comparing the two together - but if you see any yellow tinge on the box you can be sure it is fake. The genuine box has more of a grey undertone if anything.
You may also see in the photo that the positioning of the text is wrong. The Colourpop lipstick has a centralised format with regards to the text and also has space around the edges. In particular, the "net wt." writing sits right at the bottom of the box on the fake lipstick but the real one leaves room for an invisible border. This lack or border/spacing is a recurring theme on all sides of the box as you will see below.
In the above picture you can see that on the fake item, the writing is bold and again not centralised on the box. There isn't much space between the last line and the bottom of the box. There is also thicker spacing on the top.
Oops! The fake box has been copied incorrectly - it should say NYLON-12 but says NYLON-1Z.
On this side of the box the main differences are that the font all seems to be bolder and thicker than the genuine. There is also that border issue where the writing comes right up to the edge on the fake box.
The fourth side of the box is plain with no writing - the main difference here is the yellow colour as aforementioned. But it is also worth mentioning that Colourpops closure flaps (the side you open the lipstick from) tend to be lose and easy to open without ripping - actually after handling 1000's of them in my time, I have never come to find one sealed shut so tightly as the fake! That is likely to be due to the differences in material used to manufacturer the fake box.
Once again the alignment is off centre on the fake box. Competitively, on the genuine items the image and text is centralised.
The fake box has a yellowing sticker with faded writing and a bold font. The genuine box is clear, refined, very visible and easy to read.
Ok... So as mentioned above the flaps to open the box on the genuine items are quite loose. The fake item is very tight and it was very hard to open, when we tried to open it - ours ripped!
Ok... So the colour is different, to say the least! The top tube is the genuine Clueless and the bottom is pretty much just a random fake concoction. The genuine Clueless lippy is a muted pink, whereas the fake is much more striking. Two completely different looks and no doubt two completely different customer wants.
This also goes to show that the ingredients list at the back does not actually tell you what is in the item of the fake! It is merely a copy of Colourpop's list however the product itself is completely different. This is essential to understnd for safety - especially for those with sensitive skin and allergies!
The genuine item feels heavy and luxurious, whereas the fake feels a lot lighter and plasticy.
GENUINE on left and FAKE on right
Both lipsticks have the Colourpop sticker on the bottom however the Clueless sticker code on the real lippy reads: "6E04" whereas the sticker on the fake reads "6C02."
If you run your hand down the tube over the groove where the arrow is pointing on the picture - you will notice that the genuine item is curved inwards. That means that when you run your finger down it - it is smooth. On the fake item it is a straight edge, so when you run your finger down this there is a very sharp edge.
When we opened up the genuine product for the first time there was a sticky noise of product, letting us know that the tube is full. There were remenants on the wand and a good amount of product on the tip. Comparatively, the fake product felt hollow, there was no residue on the wand and the product barely seemed visible. It appeared to be all pushed to the side with the centre empty??
The fake is a bright pink! Not at all like the genuine Clueless. When we swatched these on our hands the fake felt a little moisturising, almost like a soft matte lip creme (by NYX). These are £3-4 lipsticks by the way! We also found the layer to be thin, it needed going over several times to display a good amount of colour. Comparatively, the genuine Colourpop was thick, it needed only one layer and when applied did not feel as vaseline like as the fake.
The fake dried much quicker - probably because there was so little product comming out the tube! It dried very tight and crusty looking. Although it went on in a very moisturising manner it dried uncomfortable. As you can see it picks up the lines in my hand much more than the real product. You can also see that you will be able to see my hand through the fake item as it is quite sheer and needs multiple layers. Compared with the genuine item, the Colourpop lipstick did not feel uncomfortable and tight at alll but does dry matte.
Time to wash them off. The fake lipstick came off relatively quickly and the genuine item ... well it's still on my hands 6 hours later. This should give you an idea on their staying power. Apologies that this could not be tested truly on the lips but I personally would not want these mysterious products anywhere near my lips!!!
The most important thing to remember is that we do not know what is in these fake lipsticks. There could be harmful chemicals and allergens you may not be aware of which could cause serious detriment to your health. We would never advise using fakes even if they were GOOD fakes.
In in this instance it is clear that although the packaging may be close in resemblance the product is in no way a good fake.
These fakes may seem to be a cheaper alternative for Colourpop lovers - however it is key to remember that without the fake box this product is in no way a Colourpop lipstick. The price point will also suggest that this lipstick is infact a generic lipstick likely to be sold for a £1 or less on websites such as alibaba or aliexpress. The people who reproduce these items merely steal the name and branding of a company to label their own generic lipsticks as those with rave reviews in a bid to boost revenue.
It it is dangerous, it is harmful and it is lying to customers. The claims made my Colourpop can not be applied to these fake items - you cannot be sure of the ingredients, the colour, the fact that it is cruelty free, the origin (it is likely not to be made in the US!) etc.
I asked the seller who I purchased this from for an invoice/proof of authenticity that the item is purchased from Colourpop. The seller was cagey about this, ignored the request and simply offered a refund. Shady much? A genuine seller will never hesitate to provide you this - so if in doubt, ask for invoices!
Buyer beware always! If it is too good to be true it probably is, but please do be cautious when purchasing anything for your skin, face, hair and body if you do not know what is in it.
Bottom line is, don't play yourself!
Find genuine Colourpop lipsticks from us here.