So, uh, Laura Lee just reviewed a bunch of counterfeit beauty products — and it immediately bothered me.
Lee purchased counterfeit makeup from eBay and a shop in Downtown LA. From a MAC foundation to the ever popular Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, the difference between the real makeup and the fake makeup was imperceptible even to Lee.
Though she refused to use one counterfeit Morphe palette because of a "scary" odor, Lee was able to do an entire face of makeup with the products she purchased. She even had nice things to say about some of the fake makeup.
But Lee isn't the first to gain millions of views for trying "fake makeup"
Earlier this spring, James Charles risked his skin and took the challenge. He, too, told his audience that some of the fakes were "not that bad."
To be clear, counterfeit makeup is a huge health hazard. CBS News recently reported that fake makeup has been known to include dangerous ingredients like arsenic, mercury, and aluminum.
CBS sent a counterfeit Jaclyn Hill x Morphe palette to a lab for inspection and results proved the pigments had FOUR TIMES the amount of lead as the real version. One shade in the palette "exceeded the FDA recommended maximum of 10 parts per million."
Although some of these videos make a very good point (that fake makeup pales in comparison to the real stuff), most of them fail to clarify the clear and present danger.
Buying cheap makeup from an unauthorized retailer is really fucking risky.
YouTubers might write a brief warning letter in the description box, but let's be real — not very many people will bother to read that.
"In today's video I am testing a FULL FACE of only FAKE MAKEUP," reads the description of this video. "Please do not try this yourself, fake cosmetics can be extremely dangerous and harmful, I am just eager :)"
Some of these videos actually walk a fine line between reviewing and recommending counterfeit makeup.
And that's just NOT OK, especially when the viewers in question are young, impressionable, and likely looking for a bargain. Because fake makeup is made with blatant disregard for FDA regulations and contains hazardous chemicals that can mess up your skin, hair, and eyes.
Even Laura Lee admitted after filming her video that her face broke out in hives. It's likely the makeup she used contained lead, arsenic, mercury, or just a lot of bacteria.
So if a vlogger ever suggests that a knock-off product is actually good, take it with a grain of salt.
Actually, a GALLON of salt. Don't buy that crap.