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Authenticating Mac Cosmetics: Eyeshadows and Pigments

Updated on November 21, 2010

MAC Pigment charms offer a variety of colors at a smaller price.

MAC Holiday Pigment set
MAC Holiday Pigment set

How to tell the difference between real and fake

When looking for a new color or trying something vibrant for your eyes, MAC Cosmetics has a wide variety of eyeshadows and pigments that can add that pop your looking for. However, depending on where customers go to buy that new shade, can determine if they will get a real or fake MAC eyeshadow or pigment. Protecting yourself with product knowledge can save you from getting scammed.

If you want to buy it with no problems at all, buy from a MAC Cosmetics store, online at or at a department store authorized to sell the MAC line. This is the surefire way to get authentic products. MAC also has authorized closeouts at the little know Cosmetics Company Store outlets.

Buying on ebay or other online sites can be a gamble, but there are some questions buyers can ask to help prevent being scammed.

  1. Eyes shadows
  • Ask the seller lots of questions, be sure you are comfortable with them and their feedback
  • Ask for pictures of the labels and the box - MAC eye shadows are labeled with a black matte lable on the top of the box with a color name (no numbers these are fake) and there is a color number on the back of the container with a number.
  • Make sure the color is one that MAC makes and not a weird name.
  • Most of the cases are black, however in some special collection the color may vary - for example the MAC neo sci-fi collection cases are orange.
  • Be wary of overseas sellers selling bit lots are reduced prices.

2.   Pigments

  • Pigments follow many of the same rules as above however the cases are always clear with a black lid and a plastic clear cover inside the lid.
  • Pigments come in matte back boxes and have a name on the matte stickers - stickers should not be glossy or have numbers on them.

Other things to look for include pricing (it can be too good to be true), unboxed items (these could be testers or used), and just if things don't seem right. There are some honest sellers out there, one that was an ebay seller and opened her own online store is - they have good reviews on and she has been a wholesale supplier to many.

Hope this helps you in your quest for the perfect MAC pigment or eyeshadow and keeps you from the fakes that are everywhere!

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