Counterfeit makeup – are you paying the price for beauty?

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WITH the flurry of Christmas parties fast approaching, the demand to look and feel our best has never been so important.
But while it’s tempting to search online for some of our favourite hair and beauty products at a much cheaper price, shoppers are increasingly at risk of buying dangerous and even deadly counterfeit goods.
So while that cut-priced foundation or pair of hair curlers might look the exact same as the ones sold in the shops, these could actually contain toxic chemicals which could be putting bargain-hunters seriously at risk.
A golden glow using unlicensed tanning injections containing melanotan that can cause stomach upset and heart problems; a sparkling smile that contains high levels of hydrogen peroxide that can cause your teeth to shatter; luscious lashes that host tiny insects or a counterfeit designer outfit — all of which help fund criminal activity.
Criminals have no interest in ensuring what you are buying is safe and of good quality — they simply don’t care.
These crooks are often involved in other forms of serious organised crime where the sale of counterfeit goods is only the tip of the iceberg.
Selling a dangerous item to a young woman looking to save some cash is of no consequence as long as the money keeps rolling in.
Officers from Trading Standards, Brand Protection and Police Scotland were in attendance at Girls Day Out, held in Glasgow SECC last weekend to encourage visitors to think twice about the dangers of buying counterfeit cosmetics.
They also gave sound advice on how these products are made, what is used to make them and the links these products have to funding serious organised crime.

WARNING: Using fake makeup could cause toxic reactions.

WARNING: Using fake makeup could cause toxic reactions.

Linda Gray, assistant manager for Trading Standards in Glasgow City Council, said: “We know how tempting it is for people to believe they are getting a good deal, especially when it comes to popular and luxury goods such as Louis Vuitton and UGG Australia.
“Designer brands are always a common target for counterfeit so it’s important that people really do think twice before buying and remember the real cost of what can appear, at first, to be a bargain.”
Other products identified in the last year include Melanotan, STI test kits, dermal fillers, slimming pills, “smart” drugs, abortion drugs and fake dental products. All of these pose considerable risks when bought through the internet.
In particular, Melanotan presents a number of healthcare issues. Women should not be fooled that this is a shortcut to getting a tan safely. These tanning products have not  been approved for use in the UK and there are no guarantees that they are safe, of an acceptable quality or effective in use.
They have the potential to cause serious side-effects including heart problems, blood and eye disorders. Some products arrive with a needle and no guarantee that it is sterile — self injection can be dangerous.
If you have suffered any side-effects which you suspect may have been a result of using this product you can repor it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency at
Police Inspector Alan Dron, chairman of the Scottish Anti IIIicit Trade Group also commented: “Criminals have no scruples, all they care about is making money and it would be naive of anyone to think they care about the consequences of selling dangerous products to
unwitting consumers.
“Fake goods are made in unregulated environments, without  regard for health and safety regulations, so it’s impossible to know what’s in them. We all love to find a bargain, but is it worth risking your health or the health of a loved one to save a few pounds?”
“Serious organised crime seeks to undermine the safety of all our communities, we all have a role to play in protecting Scotland and with the development of the Scottish Crime Campus we will work smarter by bringing together those involved in tackling criminal activity and by creating an environment where collaboration and the sharing of intelligence and resources is encouraged.”


Price: look out for deals that are too good to be true

Place:  Check the returns policy and only buy from a recognised retailer

Packaging: Look out for spelling or grammatical mistakes on the packaging

You can help fight fakes by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and reporting suspicious activity.

Styletto Mag is a Scottish online magazine that publishes the latest articles on fashion, beauty, travel, food and relationships. The site was founded in August 2011. Styletto Mag is a sleek, easy to access online magazine which features shopping trends, beauty reviews, funny features, and women's lifestyle articles. To contribute or submit articles, send them to

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