Our advice on how to spot a counterfeit cosmetic

  • Is it significantly cheaper than on the high street?
  • Is the distributor reliable? Beauty brands usually list their licenced sellers on their website.
  • Physically check counterfeit cosmetics for:
    • Uneven fill levels e.g. in eye-shadow palettes
    • Faded packaging
    • Misspelling on the packaging or in the information leaflet
    • Slight differences in the name of the product or shade
    • A different print (font or style) on the container
    • Mirrors that don’t quite fit or are of bad quality


The HPRA always advises consumers to:

  • Ensure that the product is labelled with a European address (this means there is a company in Europe responsible for ensuring it complies with quality and safety requirements);
  • If you have any concerns about a product you have purchased that you think may be counterfeit, do not use it. Contact the supplier and the European manufacturer listed on the label;
  • Report any sellers of counterfeit cosmetic products to An Garda Síochána on 1800 666 111;
  • Report anyone who is illegally importing counterfeit cosmetic products to Revenue on 1800 295 295;
  • Report any undesirable health effects to your healthcare professional, the manufacturer (contact details on product packaging) or directly to the Health Products Regulatory Authority. Consumers can do that through our online report form or by email to cosmetics@hpra.ie