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Friday, December 06, 2013

How to spot a FAKE Urban Decay NAKED Palette



I know that all of you, my readers, are aware of the NAKED palette in one way or another. I think I can say it is now the flagship product of Urbn Decay, and one of their best offerings. Actually, in the makeup world, the NAKED palette is by far one of the best things that happened to girls in the history of history... 

If you have been living under a rock, the first NAKED palette was released by Urban Decay in mid-2010. The time it was first released, the blogosphere and makeup world exploded. Every one who loved makeup wanted this product, and for good reason. It was an Urban Decay product (so we're sure of the good quality) and it's a palette with the most useful and versatile shades a girl could ask for. Moreover, if my observations are correct, it is the first palette to contain just neutral colors and not combine crazy colors (like lime color and lemon yellow color) with neutral colors. I used to see all sorts of girls' half used palettes and you would see the crazy colors untouched and the brown color already showing the metal pan it lies in. This is why it immediately went out of stock and it took a while before it came back in stock. It also took a while before the product could be easily purchased because for a long time, it was either out of stock or if there were even stocks, you would have to compete with hoarders and all. 

Given that this is the strongest offering that Urban Decay has, and that this is a highly coveted product in the makeup world, it is a sad truth that there are many people who are making fake ones and selling them for the price of the real ones. 

To begin my story, I went with my mom to visit a family friend, and upon seeing me, this family friend hands me a box. When I opened it, it was a NAKED 2 palette. I was extremely happy as I had a new eyeshadow set, and for about 2 hours I thought it was authentic until I gave close scrutiny of the product. I also owned a real NAKED 1 (I know it's real because I ordered it from Sephora) so I was able to notice what general differences the fake one had with the real one. 

To clarify, even when I realized that it was not authentic, I was still very happy because I did nothing and yet got a 12-color eyeshadow set that's usable (usable as in the quality is ok enough and it did not cause any itching to me or the people I've used it on). I no longer called up the giver to tell her that it was not authentic because I did not want to seem ungrateful and I didn't want to embarrass her. I also had a feeling that maybe she bought them with the consciousness that they were not real, and probably bought them at a lower price. 




This post, is therefore, to protect those who plan to really buy an authentic one with their hard earned cash. I cannot really do anything concrete about those who make fake ones, but it bothers me a lot that they have the nerve to sell the fake ones for the price of real ones. For those who purposely buy fake ones to save money, I have nothing against them, but I can say that they can use the same amount of money for authentic (and better quality) eyeshadows of another brand...

I am not comparing my real NAKED 1 and the fake NAKED 2 part by part as the two are inherently different products, but these are some general guidelines that you can apply regardless of whichever NAKED palette that you plan to buy. Please read on for more information.



I. Packaging
The real NAKED Palettes come with a 'present.' NAKED 1 comes with a sample sized Eyeshadow Primer Potion in the original shade, NAKED 2 comes with a baby Lip Junkie Lip Gloss in the Naked shade, and NAKED 3 comes with a small folder containing samples of all their eyeshadow primers. 

The NAKED 1 and 2 palettes are placed on this plastic base, with the present in sight, inside an acetate box. Only NAKED 3 comes in a cardboard box. 

If you see the blog post on this on mywomenstuff.com, this is how the NAKED 2 palette's packaging should be. It should come with a lip gloss and be contained in a holder. 

EDIT: As of first quarter 2014, Urban Decay repackaged the Naked 2 palette. The box now looks like the Naked 3's box, only with a different number and different eyeshadows represented. There is no longer lip gloss in it, but instead an eyeshadow primer sample pack like in the Naked 3 palette. 

Regardless of if you get the old or new packaging, please be guided accordingly. (shoutout to Ms. Vesna for pointing this out!) 

Not mine, taken from this site


NAKED 3's box should look like this... 

Not my photo, taken from this site


This fake one came in this cardboard box and there was no lip gloss that came with it. 

II. Outer Text 

The outer text of all the palettes should be aligned to the embossed or the textured area of the palette. You can see the perfect alignment of the gold print on the embossed area of my real palette, and the misaligned Urban Decay print on my fake palette. 



III. Eyeshadow Pigments

The real palettes come with super buttery, super pigmented eyeshadows. The reason why everybody's going ga ga over this is one, the colors, and second, UD's long-known super blendable eyeshadow quality. The eyeshadows should be jam-packed in color and should be blendable as well. 

To compare, I swiped the eyeshadow with my finger and applied it on my arm, and repeated the swipe process three times for both the real and fake one. 

You can see that on the left, even towards the bottom of the photo, you can still see that the real one still packs a lot of color. The fake one, on the other hand, is already faded towards the bottom of the photo. 

IV. Eyeshadow Pot Fill

In general, if you observe the NAKED 1,2,3 together, you would notice that in 2 and 3, some pots are seated deeper than others.. 

Photo Not my property, taken from this site
BUT as with any other eyeshadow brand, the pots should more or less be equally filled. All of them should more or less be filled to the brim, as what you see right now in my real palette. If you look at the pots, you can see that each eyeshadow reveals the same amount of surface area of the pot, meaning that the palette is evenly filled. 


Then look at my fake one. You can see that the leftmost color is just half-filled, the second two thirds filled, while the third color from the left is almost filled to the brim. UD will most certainly not allow a product of this quality to be sold to the public. 


V. Brushes

Brushes are also sold by UD separately, so you can expect that when you buy a palette, you would also be receiving a high quality eyeshadow brush. They do not put in random cheapy cheapy foam applicators or poorly constructed brushes... 

You can see that my real brush's metal holder part has one smooth line (as in the line where the hairs are 'squeezed' into the flat shape of the brush), and that sideways it looks rounded.  



If you go to Sephora.com and look at the zoomed in photo of the brush of the NAKED 2 palette, it's supposed to come with one cleanly done line to crimp the hairs in place. Moreover, the color is bronzy and the brush hairs are a bit long. 



Meanwhile, you can see that the fake one comes with two strong, uneven lines to hold the hairs in. And that sideways, there is a dent in it. It's also not bronzy in color, and the brush hairs are not as long as they should be. 



Though this is not something that you will immediately see, the real palette's brushes come with more element-resitant text. I had just been using the fake brush for about half a year and yet the text is more erased than the real brush that I had been using for almost two and a half years. 




VI. Pressed-ness

I don't really have a better for pressed-ness so I will just explain further. So basically the real ones come with eyeshadow powders that are pressed really well that they do not easily flake off or get carved off in case my nail accidentally scratches the eyeshadow. The following photos show what happened after I had accidentally scratched the palette, and the other scratches that have been in it. It is less pigmented than the real one and yet much softer in structure that it easily gets displaced and gives off a lot of fallout when applied. 



VII. Text on the Palette 

This is also not an easily seen sign, but real palettes have the eyeshadow names printed well on the palette that they are able to withstand daily use. Moreover, they are able to withstand it when wiped with rubbing alcohol. My fake palette's letters fell off on their own even if I had purposely avoided the letters when cleaning with alcohol, which is a big difference to my real palette's lettering that is still strong as ever even after I had cleaned the palette with rubbing alcohol and baby wipes a gazillion times since I got it. 



The more obevious sign, though, is that the fonts and colors used in fake ones' texts are usually tackier-looking than the real palette's... If you feel weird about the font or writing of the text, chances are it is fake. 
Not mine, taken from this site

VIII. Eyeshadow Pot Masses

This is not a visual sign, but if you suspect that you have purchased a fake one, you can try this process.

UD's website says that each eyeshadow is 0.05 ounces. I recorded the mass of the whole real palette (4.65 oz) and took out one of the eyeshadows (the one that I had used the least so that its mass would be the closest to an unused unit's mass), and weighed the whole thing again. This removal led to a 0.15oz decrease in mass. Basing from this information, I am assuming that the eyeshadow powder itself is 0.05 oz and that the eyeshadow pot is 0.10 oz.


Now, the fake eyeshadow (this is also the one I used the least in the whole palette), which if real is also supposed to weigh 0.15 oz (because UD's website also declares that NAKED 2's eyeshadows are 0.05 oz), only weighed 0.10 oz. Had it not been for the extremely uneven fill of the pots, I would have assumed that UD just used a lighter material for their pots in this palette. But meh, it's so uneven that this eyeshadow pot that I took out did not meet the mass standards a UD NAKED eyeshadow is supposed to have. 


IX. Attachment of pots to palette

Real palettes would be stuck on super efficiently onto the palette that a lot of effort would be needed to depot it. It took me almost 5 minutes of tugging just to depot from the real one, and less than five seconds to depot from the fake one. If you suspect that what you bought is fake, you can try to depot one to see how well glued it is to the base. To prevent eyeshadow cracks and spills, just pour rubbing alcohol on the shadow before carrying this experiment out. 





X. Eyeshadow 'warts' 
My real palette has never had eyeshadow 'warts' or bumps on the eyeshadow surface when I use my finger to touch the eyshadow... 

No, those are not giant glitters but warts hahahahah 


XI. Place of Purchase 

For those who plan to buy them in the Philippines, by all means, not in Greenhills. NO NO NO because 99% of the palettes there are fake. I cannot tell you how many sellers claim that their products are authentic even when they're not-- they do not even have the honesty or heart to say thay they sell 'Class A' or 'replica' goods! They even have the nerve to sell those for 1600 to 2500 pesos!!! 

As for online, even if it is pricey at 3600 pesos (even when it's just supposed to be 2200), I think I can say confidently that Zalora and Lazada both sell real ones... There will be a lot of FB resellers, and all I can say is try your best to google the seller online and try to find blog entries or feedback about the seller. Remember that anybody can use images of the real palettes but send out the bootleg ones... 

For those who plan to buy online from a US standpoint (if you want to make pabili or to join someone's balikbayan box), buy only from Sephora.com and from UrbanDecay.com as these are the two reliable authorities to get your palettes from. Do not buy from Amazon or E-bay as there is a big chance that the palettes are fake. The following are screenshots I took of stuff on Amazon... 

This one came in the same fake box mine came with, and yet the seller even had the nerve to sell it for $65 even when the real ones cost just $52. 

At least this seller had the heart to sell it for a lower price, but still, with that amount of money you can buy the real eyeshadows of other brands, or another eyeshadow set of UD... 

This person also had the nerve to sell it for $59.95 even when it's most likely to be fake... 


Always be careful of these kinds of situations... 


XII. Pricing
This will apply to the Philippines only, I guess...because you have just seen that sellers on Amazon sell the fake ones at prices even higher than the real ones... Usually the fake ones are sold at 1500-2500 pesos, and the real ones usually retail here from 3200-3800 pesos... If you are buying a palette and you do not have super VIP status with this seller or store and the price seems to be too low, it must be fake... 

I don't think that there is any reason for them to sell the real ones below the SRP of 2200, and I don't think that they have the power to buy from the manufacturer of these palettes. 

If I am not mistaken, UD has its own manufacturing division, and even though it didn't, expect that the contract will include that the manufacturer is prohibited to resell the products to other buyers. And even in the unlikely event that the manufacturer does agree, I doubt that they will willingly entertain small orders and give out super low prices... 


XIII. Overall Feel
You can feel the real one from the fake one. I can't explain it, but I get this funny feeling when I see the fake ones... Always trust your gut when shopping, and when in doubt, think it over or don't push through with the transaction anymore...



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