This is just a little warning as well as my thoughts on the matter, but basically I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about knock-offs and secondhand makeup from eBay, depop, etc. I’m not trying to say that to buy the real deal is the only way forward because the reason there’s even knock-offs of these things is because they’re too expensive, I’m merely saying that knock-offs are not the way forward.

Okay so I like a bargain as much as the next girl but sometimes they come at a price. I am in no way knocking dupes, dupes are bomb so continue buying but knock offs are different. I know they seem tempting, a lookalike of the real thing for a fraction of the real price but don’t get roped in. Particularly when you’re living vegan/cruelty free this is a grey area. Buying a Too-Faced ‘Chocolate Bar’ palette, a ‘Naked’ Palette or even a ABH ‘Glow Kit’ is normally stress free, I mean they’re established as cruelty free brands but their knock-off sellers? Who knows. Of course they claim that their products are the real deal and therefore they’ll claim to have the same brand ethics as the real brand but this simply isn’t true. Knock-off sellers will use non-vegan products and stick Kat Von D’s name on the label and they’ll stick a leaping bunny on anything.

I have heard a lot of stories about the quality of products that are knock-offs too. The nature of knock-offs is illegal, they take copyrighted products and reproduce them so therefore due to the fact that its an illegal industry, they do business under-handedly and don’t answer to health organisational bodies. If a company does not get products tested (an expensive process) then in theory they can put whatever they like in their products to make them look like the original, whether they’re safe for humans or not. Because they’re illigal businesses, knock-off makers use the cheapest ingredients possible to make their products and therefore they aren’t always safe.

Before everyone goes into frenzy, ‘safe’ ingredients are most likely used as technically a law suit could be on the hands of these companies even though they probably won’t be found to be tracked down for their crimes. The side effects of these products can vary, a fake ‘Shade and Light’ palette could break you out in acne or leave your skin a little red/blotchy at the end of the day. That’s best case scenario reaction. There are many cases of eye infections (I’ll spare you the photos) from eye palettes, which if left untreated can lead to disorders, issues regarding vision and though I can’t confirm it I’ve heard of an infection reaching the socket.

Lips? That’s an even worse scenario unfortunately. You lick your lips, everyone does and that means you actively consume whatever lipstick, lip gloss etc. that is on your lips. Now the stuff in lip products, again can be bad for you but in this case can cause potentially worse side effects, if there’s something you’re allergic to in this then you could find yourself suffering with anything between a closing up throat and diarrhoea. Sounds grim. Also, as I’ve found out just from normal products that I’ve bought without research you can stain your lips with these products.

So all in all I hope I’ve persuaded you all to stick to your dupes rather than knock-offs when searching for a cheaper alternative to expensive beauty products. If you’re really desperate for a cheaper and real looking alternative and have a spare hour or so then one way of doing things that I haven’t discussed. Buy as cheap of a knock of as you can, and also buy the dupe product, if you’re lucky then the dupe will be the whole palette you’re looking for (check MakeUp Revolution as they’re known to dupe a lot of cult classics. Now break up and clean out all of the product from the knock-off and break up the dupe colours, putting them in the pans of the knock-off palette and press them into place using the broken eye-shadow technique. If you live in the UK like me and can’t get your hands on rubbing alcohol then use nail varnish remover. And VOILA! You have really good, safe to use colours in the palette you wanted. This technique is also useful for replacing single colours that you use more than others in a palette, I’ve used it when I hit pan on ‘Peanut Butter’ in my Too Faced ‘Semi-Sweet’ palette.