Fake Makeup Brands Threaten Public Health, Make Up Artists’ Biz

Business 3 minutes, 56 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE proliferation of counterfeit makeup brands doesn’t only threaten public health but also hurts the business of most established make up artists.

Cut throat competition in a saturated market has weighed on make up service fees. Newbie makeup artists usually don’t have much capital and the availability of cheap but counterfeit cosmetics allow them to charge lower fees and compete with more established make up artists.

Mila, a veteran makeup artist, said it is becoming more difficult to get new customers as others are charging lower prices.

“My prices are the way they are because I only use authentic high end makeup. I’ve seen other makeup artists especially the newer ones posting pictures of their products and I know that they’re fake,” she said.

She said customers are more likely to go for cheaper services especially if they are unaware about the possible harm that counterfeit cosmetics can do to one’s health.

“People need to be aware of what fake makeup can do to their skin. I understand that cheap prices are attractive but it should be a red flag and (customers) should ask why the prices are that low,” she said.

A new makeup artist who requested for anonymity said as she is a student and only does makeup for clients on a part-time basis, she can’t afford to buy high-end products.

When she first started out, she was using drugstore makeup brands. But she noticed her customers preferred that she used trendy brands such as Jeffree Star and Kylie Cosmetics.

“I could find these products easily at cube stores and online at very cheap prices. This is also why I can charge as low as $15 for simple makeup,” she said.

When asked if she is aware of the chemicals found in counterfeit cosmetics that can harm people, she said customers are aware that her products are not authentic.

She said as customers get their makeup done only for special events, they only have it on for a few hours and she figures that this is not enough to cause any danger.

“I’ve never had anyone complain about my work. I know that some people may have allergic reactions but that’s out of my control and it’s not like they have the makeup on all day,” she said.

Memey, a makeup artist who has been in the industry for the past five years, said it is getting more difficult to get clients now that the market is being saturated with new makeup artists that charge lower prices.

As customers usually ask for a discount and are not willing to pay for her services at her original price, she now offers to do makeup at a lower price using imitation makeup products.

Memey is not too keen to use fake cosmetics but still decided to do this to sustain the business. But she makes sure to inform her customers of the products she uses.

“I personally don’t ever wear fake makeup but some customers don’t mind it even if I tell them that the outcome won’t be as good because the products are low quality and they might suffer from a reaction,” she said.

Amal Jali, who had her makeup done for her recent graduation day, had a bad experience with having counterfeit cosmetics being applied on her.

She said she saw the makeup artist’s advertisement for graduation makeup on Instagram and quickly booked a slot seeing that the makeup artist was only charging $10 for her makeup services.

The bad allergy that she developed from the makeup resulted in her having to attend her graduation with a bare face.

“I was aware that she wasn’t using authentic products but because some of my friends also use fake makeup with no problems, I thought it was going to be fine,” she said.

“The mascara brush she used on me was so scratchy and after a few minutes, my eyes started turning red. I was scared that it would get worse so I took all the makeup off,” she said.

Recently engaged Azra Halil regrets not spending more on makeup services for her engagement as she suffered the effects of putting on fake makeup.

Not wanting to spend more than $50 for her makeup, Azra looked to Instagram for an affordable makeup artist who only charged $45 for her services.

“That turned out to be a terrible decision. Within minutes of her putting on eye shadow, my eyes swelled up but it was too late to turn back so I had to suffer through the whole function and it got worse because my lips also started cracking and peeling,” she said.

The Brunei Times