We get it. Makeup is expensive and the price of counterfeit products is tempting. But it’s important to remember that these products aren’t the same, and in the case of Kylie Cosmetics, they might be made of human feces.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, who conducted a raid of 21 black-market beauty stands in L.A.’s Santee Alley, counterfeit products for brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and MAC Cosmetics tested positive for high levels of bacteria and feces. (Yes, human poop could be in your fake cosmetics.)
On Thursday, the LAPD seized more than $700,000 worth of counterfeit beauty products, including Kylie Cosmetics’s lip kits, Urban Decay’s Naked eyeshadow palettes, and Melted’s lipsticks, after they came back positive for containing bacteria and human waste, the Daily Mail reported.
“Busted!” LAPD Captain Marc Reina tweeted. “Major Task Force hits 21 locations in the @LAFashionDist and nets $700,000 in Counterfeit cosmetics found to contain bacteria and human waste. The best price is not always the best deal! #ProtectingOurCommunity”
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After the explosive investigation, Kylie Jenner‘s older sister, Kim Kardashian, tweeted the Daily Mail’s article, urging fans to not buy counterfeit cosmetics. “SO GROSS! Never buy counterfeit products!” she tweeted.
The breakthrough follows a raid in February when customers began complaining of rashes and bumps from using counterfeit cosmetics. After the products were tested, they came back positive for high levels of bacteria tracing back to animal urine and feces. Per the Daily Mail, counterfeit products often become contaminated due to unsanitary conditions during the production.
After the LAPD received more complaints about counterfeit products, the department conducted another raid this week, which resulted in the arrest of six people who will be charged with trademark violations. Fifteen others were served cease and desist letters and ordered not to continue selling counterfeit cosmetics.
According to Customs and Borders Protection, counterfeit products, which can result chemical and lead poisoning, cost the beauty industry more than $75 million a year. It’s important to note that counterfeit products are not only sold on the street, but also through many third-party websites, such as Amazon.
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To be safe, we recommend you buy beauty products straight from the source, such as the brand’s website or a trusted outlet like Sephora, to avoid spreading someone’s feces on your face. The price is higher, but like Reina said, the best price is not always the best deal.