Identifying fake MAC Pigments ***Guide with photos***

Xqueeze_me

New member
RECENT FAKE MAC PIGMENTS & EYESHADOW (PACKAGING) AS AT MARCH/APRIL 2008

BATCH CODE
For Batch Codes, please click --------> http://specktra.net/f257/batch-codes-76672/#post815788

PIGMENTS
For Deep Purple pigment comparison, please click --------> http://specktra.net/f257/fake-deep-p...nalysis-94038/

For White pigment comparison, please click --------> http://specktra.net/f257/fake-white-pigment-pics-94024/

For Deep Blue Green pigment comparison, please click --------> http://specktra.net/f257/updated-fak...caustic-92856/

For Chartreuse pigment comparison, please click --------> Chartreuse comparison

For Grey and Jewelmarine Glitters comparison, please click --------> http://specktra.net/f257/fake-glitte...lmarine-93686/

EYESHADOWS
For Eyeshadow Packaging comparison, please click --------> http://specktra.net/f257/eyeshadow-p...7/#post1092005

LISTS OF FAKE MAC PRODUCTS
For current list of fakes (complete from counterfeit Aussie seller, magenta-shores) --------> http://specktra.net/1159757-post429.html (Please highlight page to see the entire list)

For current Wholesale list of fakes --------> Wholesale list of fake pigments, eyeshadows, glitters, etc (Please highlight page to see the entire list)

OLDER FAKE MAC PIGMENTS

This post has been revamped.

MAC Pigments, authentic AND counterfeit, compared are:
  • Dark Soul
  • Golden Olive
  • Pink Vivid

When one is a newbie/noobie, one can't really tell the difference in-depth when comparing an authentic MAC Pigment to a counterfeit. Fear not! A detailed account will be shown in the following pictures and descriptions to distinguish between AUTHENTIC and COUNTERFEIT MAC Pigments.

**Please note that (C)ounterfeit is always on the LEFT side and (A)uthentic is always on the RIGHT side in the pictures.**


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********BOX SECTION********


Top of Boxes:
~ Fonts on the (A) colour label shows consistency in printing, sizing and spacing whereas fonts on the (C) colour label shows inconsistency in printing, sizing and spacing.

~ Positions of (A) colour labels are located on the TOP RIGHT corner on top of the box whereas (A) colour labels are located on the bottom left corner. Here's the classic FAKES!

~ These are classic FAKES because it's just a letter and number on both the top of the boxes and bottom of the jars. (A) labels on top of box should be the colour name and (A) labels on the bottom of the jars should be the colour name and batch code (except for Glitters).

~ Leftover residue from another sticker label found on (C) Dark Soul box.

~ (C) colour labels have a BLACK base whereas (A) colour labels have a white under base.

~ (C) Dark Soul and (C) Pink Vivid have scratches leading to the colour labels and some previous sticker residue was left there, which indicates that the previous colour labels have been removed and replaced with another.

~ Bubbles underneath (C) colour labels on top of boxes may indicate that a previous label sticker have been removed OR its just plain crap label-sticking technique.

~ When the top is flipped up/open, you can read the (A) colour label as is, whereas you have to turn your head upside down to read the (C) colour labels (with the display hole facing you).

Front of Boxes:
~ Printing is done poorly on the (C) boxes. caffn8me has mentioned that MAC is very strict with printing.

~ On the (C) boxes, the first "/" after Net Wt. is vertical compared to the 2nd "/" after 7.5g on the Net Weight description just below the display hole - Golden Olive boxes.

~ Pink Vivid - (C) Pink Vivid is 7.5g whereas (A) Pink Vivid is 2.5g and the "/" error on the (C) box as well.

~ Sometimes, the Net Weight description on the (C) boxes are way too close to the display hole.

~ MAC logo on (C) boxes are bolder than the (A) boxes.

Back of Boxes:
~ Printing (AGAIN!) done poorly on (C) boxes.

~ (A) boxes spell POLVOS CON PIGMENTOS whereas (C) boxes spell POLVOS CON PLGMENTOS - Pin-point PIGMENTOS error.

~ (A) boxes show consistency in line spacings whereas (C) shows inconsistency in spacing between TORONTO, ONTARIO and CANADA M5V 1R7, LONDON WIK 3BQ - Pin-point spacing error.

Bottom of Boxes:
~ (A) barcodes are STICKER LABELS whereas (C) barcodes are printed onto the boxes.

~ (A) barcodes are different when it comes to different MAC Pigments.. (C) barcodes on the other hand are IDENTICAL even when it comes to different pigments - Comparisons.

~ Batch codes on (A) MAC Pigment jars FOLLOW the (A) barcodes or batch codes embossed onto the back of the box - Comparisons.

~ Obviously, (C) batch codes on the jars and boxes do NOT follow each other.

~ Counterfeiters take ONE box and print thousands of them, including the leaflets. The 3 (C) boxes show.


********JAR SECTION********


Labels on bottom of Jars:
~ (C) Pink Vivid is DEFINITELY a fake because the month of production is 0??

~ Font difference between (A) colour labels and (C) colour labels.

~ Colour labels difference - (C) colour labels are big with smooth shiny surface whereas the (A) colour labels are smaller with less to no shine.

Inner Cover Lids:
~ The (A) lid has a 4 digit number on the outer lid, another 4 digit number, 2 digit number, 1 digit number AND "Colt-ainer III" in raised lettering on the inner circle while the other (C) lid does not have anything on them.

Base and Bottom of Jars (Marine Ultra is the only authentic jar):
~ The (A) has a 4 digit number, 2 digit number, 1 digit number AND "Colt-ainer III" in raised lettering on the INSIDE bottom and OUTSIDE base of the jar.

~ (C) jars are all smooth and have NO raised lettering or whatsoever.

~ Comparisons - (C) base of jars are THICKER compared to the (A) base of jars.

Crappy Glue Job on the wad seal for the (C) Lids:
~Wad seals were glued loosely to the black cover cap.


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caffn8me - As for swatching fakes, please be very careful. You have no idea what ingredients are in the fake pigments and other counterfeit products have been found to fail safety tests. NEVER use them on your face and if you swatch them on your hand (which I personally wouldn't do) then wash them off very quickly as soon as you've taken the picture.

Ambi- Well, they might contain just about anything, like rat poison, there's no way of knowing [without some professional chemistry] and people who make these probaby don't give a crap if someone goes blind or something, they just want your money.

I hope you will find this guide useful. Please pass it on if someone needs help with identifying MAC Pigments.

Also, please feel free to add any extra information that I have missed out on the counterfeit and/or fake MAC Pigments! Thank you!


*PHEW.. Took me 4 hours to revamp this older MAC pigments post!*​
 

bec

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xqueeze_me
Labels on Bottom of Jars - Pink Vivid is DEFINITELY fake because the month of printing is 0?? Compare the (C) labels with (A).

Would someone please confirm - re: batch codes.

The letter refers to the run number (ie A is the first run, B is the second..)
The first number is the month (1 for Jan, 2 for Feb etc)
The second number is the year (6 for 2006, 7 for 2007)

is this all correct?

how are the months of Oct, Nov and Dec represented?


(apologies if this has been answered, I did a search but couldn't find anything. I also asked a counter but couldn't get a straight answer!)
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Hey bec,

I was browsing through Counterfeit MAC and found the batch codes as mentioned by caffn8me as well as some batch codes.

Since there are 12 months - here are the numbers/letters that correspond:

Jan 1
Feb 2
Mar 3
Apr 4
May 5
June 6
July 7
Aug 8
Sept 9
Oct A
Nov B
Dec C

"I've purchased M·A·C in the USA, Canada and the UK and haven't seen any differences in product batch codes. My oldest M·A·C containers (empty but too useful for B2M) date back to 1995 or 1996 and have no batch code at all on the actual container. More recent ones (1997) have a batch code like 7A017 or 8K19K or 8K021 so nothing like the current codes. I really don't believe that A02 is a valid batch code and the photographs you have posted confirm that your pigments are fake too." 08-21-2006
caffn8me

I'm no expert but I hope this helped!


Quote:
Originally Posted by bec
Would someone please confirm - re: batch codes.

The letter refers to the run number (ie A is the first run, B is the second..)
The first number is the month (1 for Jan, 2 for Feb etc)
The second number is the year (6 for 2006, 7 for 2007)

is this all correct?

how are the months of Oct, Nov and Dec represented?


(apologies if this has been answered, I did a search but couldn't find anything. I also asked a counter but couldn't get a straight answer!)

 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Another fake-ness spotted!

Pink Vivid is a Pro Matte so it should have a Net Weight of 2.5gram. NOT 7.5gram! So it was printed on the box AND jar that Pink Vivid is 7.5gram. So wrong...

Check the pictures in Post #1 of this thread. Compare Pink Vivid and Marine Ultra. They should have the same Net Weight. HAH!
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Dark Soul Comparison

Here are more pictures to compare the counterfeit pigments to the authentic samples given to me by *SHANE* (thank you!) from the MAC Concept Store. Unfortunately, due to strict company policies, I was not able to take pictures of the authentic Pink Vivid and Golden Olive in the MAC Concept Store BUT the samples did help a lot! (LOVE the sample jars!
)

As usual, the (C)ounterfeit MAC Pigments are on the LEFT side and the (A)uthentic MAC Pigments are on the RIGHT side.

Left (C)ounterfeit ------------------- Right (A)uthentic

PINK VIVID
(C) Pink Vivid compared to (A) Pink Vivid MAC Pigment
The (C) PV seems a bit darker whereas the (A) PV looks lighter. PV is a Pro Matte pigment so it should contain 2.5g (Net Weight) of matte pigments. The (A) Matte are NEVER filled to the top (They should be about 3/4 or slightly more than 2/3 full only).

GOLDEN OLIVE
(C) Golden Olive compared to (A) Golden Olive MAC Pigment
The (C) GO does not have as much sparkle whereas the (A) GO has more sparkle due to the gold flecks, making it more golden green than just green with little or no gold flecks at all.

DARK SOUL
(C) Dark Soul compared to (A) Dark Soul MAC Pigment
The (C) DS looks more grey/gunmetal/silvery whereas the (A) DS is darker with more shimmer.

FORTUNATELY, I was able to take some pictures for the comparisons of Dark Soul. Thanks to *OPAL, MARTINA AND ROBERT* (Melbourne Myer MAC Counter).

Thanks to *CHRIS AND YAS* for the quick chat at Melbourne Myer MAC Counter! - 16/04/2007

Left (C)ounterfeit --------------------------- Right (A)uthentic

DS 1 - If you look closer, the "e", 'book' and 'recycle logo' is printed on the (A) on the right hand side of the MAC Pigment jar. (A) cap don't close fully and juts out a little bit. (C) cap closes fully even with the cover lid in it.

DS 2 - According to *caffn8me*, MAC is VERY strict with printing. See how the (C) box printing is barely readable. The printed (C) PIGMENT is further above the hole compared to the (A) PIGMENT printed closer to the hole. Also, look at the difference between the labels on TOP of the boxes/top flap. (A) label is ALWAYS on the TOP RIGHT corner with consistent font and printing.

DS 3 - Barcodes are NOT suppose to be printed onto the box. (C) DS barcode is PRINTED on whereas (A) DS barcode is a STICKER label with the batch code/colour on it. Please read Post #1 because the lot I bought (Pink Vivid, Golden Olive and Dark Soul) ALL have the SAME printed barcode and batch code/colour. Batch code/colour is NOT printed on the (A) sticker barcode.

DS 4 - Look at the difference under the label of the jars. (A) label has Dark Soul printed on ONE line with the batch code/colour - A66 "typed" on. Also, on the side of the (A) box, it has some description which I neglected!


(Ok, I've looked around and saw that description on the side of the box is the list of ingredients used to make the pigments - seems like the Pro Matte has no ingredients listed on the side of the boxes but they are legit because they were purchased from the MAC Concept Store) - 15/04/07

DS 5 - The (A) box only has the 'recycle logo' at the bottom left corner. The batch code/colour is printed on the bottom right corner of the box AND according to the batch code/colour printed on the DS MAC Pigment jars.

DS 6 & DS 7 - So now we compare the cover lids. (C) has NO number or anything whatsoever on or under the lid. (A) has a one-digit number ("1" or "2") on top of the lid, a "3250", "12" and "Colt-ainer III" in the inner circle and a "3251" on the outer circle UNDER the lid.

Another weird thing about (C) MAC Pigments is that it smells sweet compared to the (A) MAC Pigments. (Yes, I smelled them!) If your MAC Pigments smell SWEET, please if possible, bring it to a MAC Counter to compare and smell them! Also compare the colours and textures!! The (C) MAC Pigments seem to have this "dustball-like or dusty-like" texture.

I was not able to take a picture of the bottom of the jars because I did not have the time nor the eye to see if I captured the numbers inside the bottom of the jar. BUT please look at Post #1 - JARS SECTION - Base and Bottom of Jars.

Once again, I do hope this helps! Please do take care because God knows what is used to make those Counterfeit MAC Pigments!
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
I've done a quick swatch of comparisons between Counterfeit and Authentic MAC Pigments.



PV - Pink Vivid
GO - Golden Olive
DS - Dark Soul

Not exaggerating but it did feel a bit itchy on the Counterfeit side..
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Pink Vivid Comparison

First picture
- Shows the colour difference.

Second picture
- Boxes' difference.
- The layout of the colour label. Colour labels are ALWAYS on the top right corner.
- (C) colour label font is bolder and less consistent .
- (A) Matte should be a 2.5g, NOT 7.5g.
- The (C) first / (after the Net Wt.) is more vertical than the 2nd / (after 7.5g).
- Distance between PIGMENT.

Third picture
- (A) batch number follows the barcode. A is the first batch, 7 is July and 3 is year 2003.
- (C) batch number A07 does NOT exist and does NOT follow the barcode. A is the first batch, 0 is NO month and 7 is the year (2007).
- Matte colour label on bottom of jar is a see through label.
- (A) barcode is a STICKER label whereas the (C) barcode is PRINTED on.

Fourth picture
- Spelling mistake on PLGMENTOS on (C) box. (A) spelling is PIGMENTOS.

Fifth picture
- (C) cover lid has NO numbers or any raised type numbers whereas (A) has a 2, 12, 3250 and Coltainer III is raised type in the inner circle of the (A) cover lid AND 3251 raised type on the outer circle of the cover lid. The INSIDE bottom of the jar also has similar numbers and Coltainer III in raised type.

Sixth picture
- Wad seal of (C) more like a "styrofoam" material.

3 (C)ounterfeits vs 3 (A)uthentics Comparisons

Seventh picture
- (C) Pigments on the left hand side does NOT follow the barcodes, as you can see, the barcodes are ALL the same on the (C) side.
- (A) Pigments batch code follows the barcode on the box and have different barcode numbers.

Eighth picture
- Bottom of (C) jars are thicker compared to the (A) ones.

Ninth picture
- (A) colour labels are ALWAYS situated on the top right corner!

Tenth picture
- Once again, this is to show that the (A) cover lid has raised type numbers on it while the (C) coverlids have NOTHING.

I hope this helps!
 

dheedhee

New member
waooo this help alottttt.. thanksssssssss... but the Golden Olive, the colour is totally differenttt.....
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Leaflets Comparison

Thanks to ratmist for bringing this to my attention!

I have finally taken a few pics for the comparisons between counterfeit (Garbage!) and authentic MAC Pigments' leaflets.

Garbage!:

  • Dark Soul
  • Golden Olive
  • Pink Vivid
Authentic!:
  • Matte
    • Pure White
    • Pink Vivid
    • Basic Red
    • Primary Yellow
    • Black Black
  • Fairylite
  • Ruby Red
LEAFLETS "board" (I ironed them so they stay flat instead of folding up!)

Garbage! Leaflets
They are all the same length and are of the same contents, including Pink Vivid (Pro Matte). They are printed the way the boxes are printed: take ONE copy of the box and leaflet, and print thousands at one go!

Authentic! Matte Leaflets
Authentic! Fairylite and Ruby Red Leaflets
  1. First row of Matte leaflets - Pure White, Pink Vivid and Basic Red.
  2. Second row of Matte leaflets - Primary Yellow and Black Black.
  3. Fairylite leaflet
  4. Ruby Red leaflet
As you can see, all the authentic Matte leaflets are smaller with only ONE set of ingredients where as Fairylite and Ruby Red leaflets are of different lengths and contents.

Garbage! Pink Vivid VS Authentic! Pink Vivid - Contents comparison.

Garbage! Pink Vivid VS Authentic! Ruby Red - Length and contents comparison.

Garbage! fonts are rounder and more spacious between characters. The line-spacing between the last line of ATTENZIONE and the start of VORSICHT is inconsistent because it looks crammed. Spacing at the bottom of the leaflets are not consistent with the left side spacing beside the descriptions.

Authentic! fonts are more solid-looking with even line-spacing. The spacing at the bottom are consistent with the left side spacing beside the descriptions (same applies to the other Authentic! leaflets even if they're of different lengths). Sometimes the word VORSICHT is replaced by ACHTUNG or the other way around.

All the Matte MAC Pigment leaflets at the end states: MACCOSMETICS.COM / MOP4000220. Ruby Red is similar but Fairylite states MACCOSMETICS.COM / M540010221.

Garbage! folding VS Authentic! folding - See for yourself how unprofessional that Garbage! leaflet was folded compared to the Authentic! leaflet folds.

Alright, I'm done with deciphering!
 

ratmist

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xqueeze_me
Thanks to ratmist for bringing this to my attention!

w00t! Thanks for the pics to compare. I wish I wasn't so surprised the fakers would go to the lengths of producing counterfeit leaflets. Shows how naive I can be, I guess.
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratmist
w00t! Thanks for the pics to compare. I wish I wasn't so surprised the fakers would go to the lengths of producing counterfeit leaflets. Shows how naive I can be, I guess.

You're welcome!
Fakers would do just ANYTHING to sell their garbage, which is why it is VERY important to do some research before buying cosmetics (especially MAC!
) on eBay!

I'm sure everyone learns and discovers something new everyday!
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
I want to sell M·A·C products. What should I do?
While we appreciate your interest in M·A·C products, please be advised that our products are distributed for sale only at our authorised retail store accounts, the majority of which are located in major department stores or international perfumeries. While there are other points of sale, we are not seeking to expand our distribution network at this time and we do not offer franchises.

Make-up Art Cosmetics, Inc. 2007, Product Information, http://www.maccosmetics.com.au/custo..._prodinfo.tmpl (8 May 2007)

Just wanted to add this extra info in here so that everyone can read and know that there are NOWHERE legitimate anyone can buy authentic MAC items wholesale for onward resale.

If any sellers said, "Our suppliers have assured us that these are authentic MAC items." Don't fall for nor believe that!!
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Extra info!

Quote:
Guideline: If the product you are selling bears the name or logo of a company, but it wasn't made or endorsed by that company, don't list it on eBay.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

* Listing cancellation
* Limits on account privileges
* Account suspension
* Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
* Loss of PowerSeller status

eBay Inc. 2007, Replica, Counterfeit Items and Unauthorised Copies, http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/polici...unterfeit.html (8 May 2007)

Quote:
Sellers may not disclaim knowledge of, or responsibility for, the authenticity or legality of the items offered in their listings.Sellers should take steps to ensure that their items are authentic before listing them on eBay. If a seller cannot verify the authenticity of an item, the seller is not permitted to list it.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

* Listing cancellation
* Limits on account privileges
* Account suspension
* Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
* Loss of PowerSeller status

eBay Inc. 2007, Authenticity Disclaimers, http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/polici...sclaimers.html (8 May 2007)
 

rainbow

New member
all these information really comes in handy especially for ladies (myself) who tends to buy from ebay very often. things that we can look out for so as not to be cheated of our money.
 

lauracbarnes

New member
I just wanted to add one other red flag that I noticed on the UPC label. The three counterfit pigments, even though they are three different colors, they all have the same UPC code (AKA UPC number).
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauracbarnes
I just wanted to add one other red flag that I noticed on the UPC label. The three counterfit pigments, even though they are three different colors, they all have the same UPC code (AKA UPC number).

Did you mean all the counterfeits have the same barcodes? If yes, then it is already mentioned in the seventh picture's description in Post #7.

Thanks for making that detail stand out though!
I've added that info to the first post!
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Thanks to panda0410 for bringing this to my attention!

It seems like some MAC Pigments are Made in USA and some are Made in Canada. My Mattes (Pure White, Pink Vivid, Basic Red, Primary Yellow, Marine Ultra and Black Black), Fairylite and Ruby Red are made in Canada in the 2003-2004 range.

I noticed that the Dark Soul is actually Made in USA and its the A66 batch... Is it because they start making the MAC Pigments in USA after 2005?

Help please!
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Possibly updated fake MAC Pigment boxes!

Initial fake boxes.



The initial fake boxes (except for Marine Ultra) colour labels on top of the boxes are situated on the bottom left corner.

These may be updated set of fake MAC Pigment boxes.

Counterfeit


The updated fake boxes' colour labels on top of the boxes are now situated on the top right corner, similar to the authentic MAC Pigment boxes. The fonts on the colour labels here are too bold and squarishly-round compared to the authentic colour labels. What's evident is also the light scratches on top of the boxes, similar to the initial fake boxes.

Authentic
 

Xqueeze_me

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemstone
I have a new criteria to add to your list Xqueeze_me... and that is the texture of the box. I used to work in printing, and I can see a definate difference in the quality of the card stock from the genuine pigments. The genuine pigments (the newer pigments) are printed on a VERY bright white paper, with a very fine surface. The fake pigments are on a slightly yellower paper with a slightly rougher texture. I do have one old box of golden olive that I believe is genuine that is printed on a cruder card stock, however. Here are some photos of the current fake compared to a genuine.

Front of Box
Back of Box

Thanks to Gemstone for bringing this to my attention!

The counterfeit cardboard seems a bit more flimsy and slightly softer compared to the authentic MAC Pigment cardboard boxes.

Also, check out the slight colour difference of the cardboard boxes.


On the left side are the counterfeits and on the right are authentic MAC Pigment coarboard boxes.


The counterfeit boxes show a lot of light scratches on the box and bubbles underneath the colour label. CRAP!

The authentic boxes, on the other hand, doesn't have any light scratches, lousy printing, etc (They're all the same.. flawless and scratchless in the MAC Concept Store!
)

Here's a closer look at the counterfeit cardboard boxes. (Scratches, colour labels position, fonts, printing, position of the printing.. all gone wrong!)


If only there's a scientific lab and a scientist willing to check what ingredients are REALLY used to make the garbage counterfeits!
 

charmedimsure

New member
I bought a pigment on ebay over a year ago and have been using it with no problems. I didnt know there were fakes out there. I am having trouble figuring out if it's a fake or authentic. I can't find the box, so I have to go by the jar, but I'm confused. I hope you guys can help...I'm basing these assumptions on the pics and descriptions on the first post...
*Clear cover lid has numbers and writings on it like authentic pigment (4 digit number, 2 digit number, and colt-ainer III)
*Bottom of jar has silver sticker like fakes in pic, says AC5 Gold Dusk
*Base/ bottom of har has numbers on jar itself like authentics
*Printings on back of jar look like printing of fake (position of e, book and recycle symbol)
*Was still in place, very sturdy like authentics

I could really use your help guys. By the way, the color is very concentrated and vivid, that's why I never suspected anything, until now. Thanks!
 

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