Jae's Blog

MAC Pigments AUTHENTICITY CHECK! (A short, simple guide)

Posted in MAC by Jae on October 17, 2010

Pigments pigments pigments!

Who loves pigments? I love pigments! I love MAC pigments because they’re so colourful!

But what happens when you don’t quite know whether that lovely pigment you bought online is authentic… Or not? -grinning- Trust me, I’ve been there with the fretting and freaking out but today I’m gonna show you some pictures of an authentic piece and what looked really fake at first but turned out to be authentic :3

This is a picture guide, love – so this is EXTREMELY picture heavy. And I do mean EXTREMELY.

Let’s start by looking at the main box of the old style jar (OJ styled, I will refer to this as “Original Styled Jar” sometimes)

The boxes that these ordinary pigments (read: ORDINARY PIGMENTS) come in is semi-matt black, so no glossy business. There have been special packaging for some pigments before like the ones from Alice + Olivia – those has slip-on sleeves as well. (AUTHENTICITY CHECK 1)

So we both know that what we’re looking for is that product colour sticker on top of the box. It is an important clue as to whether the product is real or not because fakes often do not have these stickers. (AUTHENTICITY CHECK 2)

MAC recently (well, kind of recently) decided to change the style of their jars to a slimmer one.

This caused some really mixed reactions and some cried foul at the reduced amount of pigment for the same price. Others, of course, decided that since they often buy full sized jars but never ever finished using the product, it’s alright and with increasing production costs, that they were okay with paying for a quality product. This, of course, is very much up to the individual.

The old style jars contained 7.5g of product while the new style ones contain 4.5g. Both still cost the same in USD – 19.50USD.

Now, I won’t comment on that whole reduction of content situation because I know that I don’t buy full sized pigments very often, but I digress.

Next, flip box over and check out the back. See the read circled bit? Every MAC product comes with a batch number printed or inscribed on because the buggers make so much stuff. (Authenticity check 3)

This is the bottom of the box – a barcode! (Authenticity check #4)

And yes, the right side of the box – there’s the full line up of the ingredients! (Authenticity check #5)

Authentic pigments will come with a paper insert containing very important information about the pigment. (Authenticity check #6)

Yup, whether the pigment is suitable for use in different areas is written here. In this case, it warns not to use teal and cornflower in the lip area.

There are also pigments that are not eye safe (not to be used around the eye area) and these are usually the glitters and neon colours. I know that some girls still go ahead and use them because they haven’t met any trouble but I would play it safe and not (then again, it’s up to you, doll). 🙂 The reason glitters are not recommended around the eyes is because of how large some of the glitters are, so chances of eye irritation is high.

The image above looks like a comparison of a real jar of pigment versus a fake, right?


The jar marked:
a is an authentic old styled pigment (ordinary, out of make)
b is an authentic PRO jar (old jar)

Usually, the word “MAC” is not so bold but in this case, it’s the real deal.

So don’t freak out when you get a funky looking jar where the word “MAC” is printed a little differently because it might actually be a PRO jar.

Let me explain, with MAC, they’ve got two lines (kinda). One is the ordinary line, the stuff that’s all available to us from our ordinary stores but there’s another line, which is the PRO line.

The difference between the two lines is that the PRO line contains a few more colours as compared to the ordinary line and sometimes, you’ll hear that some MAC items are only sold in MAC PRO stores. It’s often understood to be the “professional makeup artist” line, so there you go. 🙂

And just in case you’re interested:

According to the MAC PRO website, there are two PRO stores in Singapore:

391 Orchard Road = Ngee Ann City store.
310 and 320 Orchard Road = TANGS store.

That’s just in case you’d like to know – so that’s probably why we always here about these stores getting the new collections in first. 🙂

That aside.

This is the back of the jars.

The old styled  jar has all that info up back (Authenticity check #7) but notice how the PRO jar doesn’t have any info at all? Well, apparently, MAC used to sell these jars separately until some really horrible people started buying these jars and putting fake products into them – yeah, I know right?

Ah, now back to the authenticity checks.

Remember when I said that the original styled jars have batch numbers? Yup, it should also be on the base of the item as well – it should look like it was stamped directly into the colour tab. (Authenticity Check #8)

Yeah, the PRO jar’s a wreck cause I tried to tear off that barcode thing to see if I could get a batch number somewhere but nope.

Overall, this is the rundown when you check your pigments:
1) Box is semi-matt black
2) Sticker on the top (with the colour name)
3) Batch number printed on the box
4) Barcode at the base
5) Ingredients list on the right side of the box
6) Product insert
7) Info on the back of the jar
8) Batch number stamped into the base of the jar.

As you can see, I’m not about to say that this is the mother of all checks because this list is NOT exhaustively. There are many other things that you can look out for but this is just a really short, simple guide.

Hope this helps! 😀


4 Responses

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  1. Rina said, on October 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    comprehensive authenticity checks like yours serves 2 purposes:
    1. for buyers: know what u buy
    2. for pirates: know how to make it even more ‘authentic’

    double edged sword. hmm.

    • Flitter Jae said, on October 19, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Hey Rina!
      Haha, unfortunately, there are many sides to issues like these – then again, I suppose even without a guide, they’d be churning those fakes out like no tomorrow so…
      Sigh. I sometimes wonder how these people sleep at night. =.=|||

  2. Serene said, on October 18, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Although the 2 stores are listed as PRO Stores in SG…but sadly they do not carry many things that a PRO Store is suppose to have

    • Flitter Jae said, on October 19, 2010 at 9:12 am

      Hey BB!!!!!!!!
      I know right? =.=||| Sigh… There are so many things that we just… Lack, really – be it in MAC or any other brand of cosmetics.
      We either lack or lag. So frustrating sometimes.

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