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Counterfeit Makeup is Giving People Pinkeye

Health and beauty products can be faked easily and cheaply.

The tagline for the online marketplace is “shopping made fun,” which may not exactly align with the report from Bloomberg that claims that their angry customers are getting duped by low quality makeup purchases.

And by low quality, I mean eyeshadow that’s really hard to get out of the container and, once you do, it gives you pinkeye.

The report highlights the experience of one 41-year-old woman who said the sub-$10 powder makeup she purchased from Wish had a mildly sulfuric odor and when she made the questionable decision to apply it anyway, she immediately broke out. Eventually, she says, she had pus coming out of her eye.

There are more stories like this, including confirmed cases of pinkeye, and Bloomberg points to what it says is a rampant counterfeiting problem that’s facing the cosmetics industry. This is coupled with the challenges online marketplaces face in policing activity by sellers when their supply chains cross the globe and they have huge volumes of products.

And while maybe you’ve never heard of Wish, the company – founded by veterans of Google and Yahoo in 2011 – has rapidly ascended from obscurity. The app was downloaded more times than Twitter last year, as people flock to the site for its purported 90 percent off retail deals – often trading timely deliveries and traditional packaging for these ultra-low prices.

But maybe the two-month wait for a $4 eyeliner isn’t the real rub with your Wish transaction. Maybe you’re paying for junk that could be harmful to you. Health and beauty products can be faked easily and cheaply, which makes this product category ripe for the picking. Some counterfeit products seized from retail stores in the Los Angeles area this past spring reportedly contained ingredients like lead and arsenic, not to mention tested positive for bacteria and animal waste.

And while Wish is in the Top 10 global e-tailers for counterfeit listings, volume plays a big part: Amazon, Ebay, Facebook and Instagram are all right there with them.

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