The cosmetic industry in the United States is estimated to be worth approximately $62.46 billion USD, a massive market comprised of everything from high-end cosmetics manufacturers and well-known brands down to the discount makeup that you find in your local dollar store.
Make-up lovers across the country want to get their hands on the best of the best, following their favorite beauty brands on social media and actively awaiting the release of new products. Unfortunately, the best products also come at a premium. These higher price points send many makeup enthusiasts seeking the best sales, deals, and knock-offs, trying to keep up with the latest trends.
Unfortunately, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ has once again been proven true. Recently a number of shops throughout LA’s fashion district were selling knock-offs of major brands including MAC, Kylie Jenner’s cosmetic line – Kylie Cosmetics, Tarte, and Urban Decay. For those that came across the products, it seemed too good to be true at their rock-bottom prices. Those who purchased the products would not only discover that their products were counterfeit, but that they contained some surprise ingredients.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was tipped off by some of the brands whose products were being duped, coupled with a number of complaints about negative reactions to the products including unexplained rashes and bumps. The products in question were tested and found to contain traces of dangerous bacteria, animal feces, human urine and human feces! That’s right, those who were using the product were literally applying traces of human excrement to their face…
On April 12th Captain Marc Reina with the LAPD tweeted: “Busted! Major Task Force hits 21 locations in the @LAFashionDist and nets $700,000 in Counterfeit cosmetics found to contain bacteria and human waste. The best price is not always the best deal! #ProtectingOur Community”
Busted! Major Task Force hits 21 locations in the @LAFashionDist and nets $700,000 in Counterfeit cosmetics found to contain bacteria and human waste. The best price is not always the best deal! #ProtectingOurCommunity pic.twitter.com/gliJ8L2F9F
— Captain Marc Reina (@LAPDMarcReina) April 13, 2018
The LAPD raided a total of 21 different shops throughout LA’s fashion district, arresting 6 of the owners on suspicion of trademark violations. The remaining shops were served with cease-and-desist orders.
While legitimate cosmetics brands are required to adhere to strict health and safety standards, the quality of these counterfeit and knock-off varieties aren’t nearly as high as their inspiration. In fact, experts warn that contaminants are common among these products. Detective Rick Ishitani explained, “Those feces will just basically somehow get mixed into the product they’re manufacturing in their garage or in their bathroom – wherever they’re manufacturing this stuff.”
Kim Kardashian-West responded to the raids, tweeting: “Counterfeit Kyle lip kits seized in LAPD raid test positive for feces. SO GROSS! Never busy counterfeit products!”
Counterfei Kylie lip kits seized in LAPD raid test positive for feces
SO GROSS! Never buy counterfeit products! https://t.co/eqIsJBfm6v
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 13, 2018
When you are shopping for cosmetics, try to remember that the prices will often reveal the real products from the fake. If you are discovering sales of 60%, 70% or 80% off and it seems too good to be true, it probably is! While it may cost a little more to purchase the real deal, your health and safety are worth it!
Moral of the story? The next time you come across super cheap makeup in your favorite beauty group, keep on scrolling…
Featured Image Via Mad Beauty