Sunday, 26 September 2010

eBay Fakes: We're on to you!

Hi everyone :)

A couple of days ago, I received an email from Adam Ismail, a graphic designer who has some great pointers on how to spot fake Benefit products from eBay. He'd tried to leave a comment on my Benefit Coralista post, but pesky Blogger disallowed it for being too lengthy! Adam has allowed me to post his guide in full so that it can hopefully help you decipher if you've bought a genuine or fake boxed Benefit product from eBay. 

Adam says:

Hi all,

I just wanted to try to help you identify what are likely to be fakes, based on my knowledge as a Graphic Designer (I work with brands every day, so can tell the difference between different font weights, images etc) and also comparing a real Benefit Dandelion to a fake my wife received from a seller on eBay.

Many of the points will apply to other Benefit face powders, but those who are wondering about their Dandelion being fake, this is directed at you!

So, first things first: 

1) Graphics - Top of box lid (side with dandelion image)

-  Look first at the 'weight' of the dandelion text. On a genuine one century gothic LIGHT is used, however on the fake, century gothic REGULAR is used. In other words, the text will appear 'Bold' on a fake. The text showing the weight of the enclosed makeup will sit too close to the stalk on the dandelion image. On this fake, '10g' and 'net' are almost touching the stalk, whereas on the genuine there is a gap of about 1mm between the stalk and the writing on either side.

- The Dandelion image on the genuine box has a pink outer ring with the centre of the dandelion showing a black background with cream/white highlights on each individual seed head. Where the whole head of the dandelion meets the black stalk, there is jagged pink detail cutting onto the stalk. On the fake, however the dandelion head is almost completely pink and black with very fuzzy seed heads, unlike the crisp print on the genuine. Also, where the head meets the stalk, there is a straight line cut-off, not like the detailing on the genuine box.

- The Benefit logo. On the genuine box this is quite fine text, which looks sharp and crisp. On the fake, the letters in the word 'benefit' appear slightly stretched widthwise and seem squashed heightwise.

2) Graphics - box side (side with text)

- On the side of the dandelion box should be the words: "a brightening face powder" on the top line and "poudre eclat visage" on the bottom line. When looking from the side with the box stood on a surface, the text will look upside-down. This is true of GENUINE versions. The difference will be that the text is again slightly more bold than on the genuine (this is a little less obvious than the dandelion text on the lid as it is smaller text)

3) Graphics - Bottom of box (There are a number of ways to spot if it is a fake from this side)

- Firstly, check for spelling errors in the text. For example, the fake Dandelion I received has the word "expuisite" instead of "exquisite". Also check that anything using "C" or "CI" in the ingredients is capitalised, such as: "(CI 77891)" or "C9-15". On the fake it frequently appears as: "(ci 77891)" or "c9-15".

- The text should be nicely centred on the label. The genuine has a 3mm gap from the left edge of the label to the text and the same on the right hand edge. On this fake, the text is 1 mm away from the left hand edge and 2mm from the right hand edge of the label

- Peel here label. Firstly if your label doesn't peel to reveal other languages underneath, you've very likely got yourself a fake. HOWEVER, if you have a peel off label it may still be fake. Here's how to tell. The dead giveaway that this was a fake was the fact that the text under the peel off label on this DANDELION box was in fact the text from the CORALISTA box. Another thing I noticed is that on the fake, the label peels completely off, whereas on the genuine, the label peels all the way to the side, but stays attached by approx 5mm on the left hand side of the label. 

4) Packaging issues

- On the fake you will largely see paper overlaps not meeting very well, though this can sometimes be apparent on factory seconds, so don't think it's a fake purely based on this.

- The brush on the genuine has very soft bristles. The fake is still soft, but you can tell a difference. Close your eyes and run your finger over both and you should feel the difference. 

- The metal tray in the genuine sits perfectly snug within the card box. On the fake, I can see a large 2mm gap between the metal insert tray and the box on one side and a 1mm gap on another side of the tray.

- The cellophane slip around the brush in the genuine dandelion is the same height as the brush itself and it cut almost perfectly straight on the top and bottom edges. In the fake, the cellophane has been cut rather wonky and doesn't cover all the brush, but stops short about 2 - 5mm from the end of the bristles.

5) The make up itself... (unfortunately, I'm no expert here :P but I will tell you my one observation)

- The fake seems a fair bit thicker in consistency to the genuine. It also seems a bit more 'chalky'. 

Well, I hope that helps some of you to spot a fake. Apologies if my analysis of the make up itself wasn't comprehensive, but as mentioned, I don't use it as a man so have no real experience to compare it! I do however have design experience by the ton, so was able to spot a fake without even opening the box!

Any questions, feel free to ask :)

And personally, after having three bad experiences from eBay makeup sellers, I'll be buying direct from Benefit/dept stores from now on.

Hope it helps!


Many thanks to Adam for the guide. I hope you find it useful :)

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  1. This is soooo helpful, thankyou for sharing! Iv had my fair share of fakes but hopefully not anymore! :) xx

  2. wowee someone knows their stuff! fab guide xx

  3. Hannahh - That's quite alright :) I hope it helps us all stay fake free!! xx

    Sophie - He sure does. Thanks xx

  4. That's so lovely of him to write all of that up for us unsuspecting eBay bargain hunters! Thanks Adam, and thanks Kim for sharing :)

  5. Amazing post, saving it for future reference!

  6. Ooo thankyou for sharing

    I gave you a blog award :D

  7. great post. I managed to pick up a real coralista on ebay.

  8. Beauty's Bad Habit - Thanks, hope it's useful xx

    Laura - Thanks, I will be too xx

    Chloe - That's quite alright! Thank you! xx

    Harpreet - Thanks. Oo well done :D xx

  9. Thank you Adam and Kim for such a helpful post.

    Rachelle Xxx

  10. I also have a post about this along with the names of two ebay sellers, one who sells originals and one that doesn't.

  11. Thank you for sharing this Kim! :)

  12. Rachelle - You're welcome. That's my Public Service Announcement for the week lol :) xx

    Sue - Oo fab I'll pop over and take a look! xx

    Stavroula - That's quite alright! xx

  13. Great post, everyone needs to be made aware of this! I'm not trying to spam you with my blog here but I have a post with heaps of pictures of fake Dandelion compared with the real thing...

    x Jasmine

  14. Thank you :) And thanks for your link, I'm sure a lot of people will find it useful! xx