If you buy makeup from unverified cosmetic carriers, you're making a deal with the devil, friend. You may save some bucks, but you're risking the health of your skin and eyes. Mainstream makeup is regulated, but as we have learned through YouTube's "Testing Fake Makeup" trend, buying fake makeup online is the ultimate crapshoot. The products never perform as well as the originals, plus the ingredients are not necessarily going to be the same. There's no guarantee that faux or counterfeit makeup won't cause irritation, allergic reactions, or worse... like ripping your brows straight off your face. Unfortunately, this English teen found that out the hard way when she bought a knock-off brow gel online and suffered consequences that are sure to give you nightmares.
Charlotte Knight, a 19-year-old, from North Yorkshire, England, purchased what she thought was a legitimate eyebrow gel from the well-known K-Beauty brand, Etude House. The real product, the Tint My Brows Gel, is really a tar-like paste that dyes the skin so your brows will last for more than a day. Products like this are especially good for those with little to no hair, or for those with not enough time to painstakingly apply eyebrow products every morning. The brow gel usually cost roughly $11, which would have been roughly £8 for Knight. So when she saw the same Etude Brow product on eBay for half the price at £4, she quickly snapped it up.
What Knight didn't consider was that third-party carriers rely on independent sellers, which means there's no guarantee that you'll be getting the real product rather than a counterfeit. When cosmetics that are normally priced at a higher rate are offered at a discount on eBay, Amazon, and the like, it should send up a red flag that the makeup item mostly likely isn't authentic. Unless a sale is offered by the brand itself, please be wary of products that are marked down significantly for no specific reason.
Unfortunately, no one had warned Knight against purchasing cheap cosmetics products off of eBay. When her brow gel arrived, she applied it according to the directions on the packaging. When using the tinting product, you're supposed to leave it on for two hours while it dries. The company even recommended leaving it on overnight for a more dramatic and long-lasting effect.
However, after two and a half hours, Knight knew something was wrong. The eyebrow tint had dried down and was rock hard. Though she had purchased the light brown shade, the product was turning her brows a shade of Sharpie-like black. The product was stuck to her brow hairs like "tarmac." According to the Daily Mail, Knight was "crying and trying to peel it off." She then had to resort to scrubbing them off, which, after half-an-hour of panicking and washing, worked, but took out half of her natural eyebrow hairs with it.
When the real Etude House heard about the story, a spokesperson said that the product had been discontinued for over a year at the time of Knight's eBay purchase. Upon further inspection, Knight discovered that some of the Korean writing on the counterfeit packaging had been misspelled when she compared it to the actual Etude House packaging.
Thankfully, the seller that provided Knight with the product has been banned from eBay after this particular incident. However, no amount of banning with bring Knight's bangin' brows back. Now Knight has to wait, and hope that time really does heal all wounds (even cosmetic ones).
The moral of the story: don't buy potentially counterfeit makeup online, even if your fav YouTuber is doing it. If you find your favorite product online for half of the original price, please question why it's miraculously so much cheaper than normal. Some things are just too good to be true.