Rat droppings, human urine and arsenic... do you know what’s in your make-up?

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Rat droppings, human urine and arsenic are ingredients I hope you’d never intentionally apply to your face, but if you’re a fan of buying discounted designer make-up brands, then it’s likely your doing just that. Counterfeit M.A.C,

Benefit and Nake Palle products have been found to contain harmful levels of arsenic, mercury, copper, cadmium and lead, which can result in health problems ranging from rashes to high blood pressure. Fraudsters are cashing in on people’s desire to buy cheap cosmetics, by selling goods online using the brand’s copyrighted images, making it difficult to know if you are buying the real deal or not. In the past 18 months, police, throughout the UK have confiscated fake products worth £3.5million. When shopping online, trust your instinct. If a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Do your research and make sure the site you are buying from is recommended by the official brand. Also check if there is a returns policy, if there isn’t then definitely stay clear. Buying leading brands through individuals on social media can be risky too. However, it’s not only online where these fake cosmetics are being sold. Counterfeit cosmetics from China and Eastern Europe, are shipped into the UK and sold in bulk on flea markets too. Make-up artist Lo Dias, 23, who is currently working for former Geordie Shore star, Vicky Patterson on her new MTV show Judge Geordie, says the best thing to do when buying make-up is to “buy your favourite make-up brands from big named retailers and department stores, that you know are legitimate.” Lo, who has been a make-up artist for five years said: “If you can’t afford expensive products you’re better off buying from a good drug store, where you know the products are safe and that you know are actually going to work for you. You won’t get quality from fake make-up and it’s dangerous.” Bogus make-up made using toxic chemicals in dirty and unregulated factories can cause allergic reactions such as swelling, skin burns, raised blood pressure, and even harm a foetus. Lo is aware of how dangerous fake make-up can be. She added: “When I worked on a make-up counter in Fenwick, I heard about a girl who was nearly blinded because she used a fake eye-liner. It looked real but it smelt of boot polish.” Buying make-up direct is the simplest way to safeguard your beauty regime. Luxury brands are very rarely sold at heavily discounted prices, so when you are tempted to buy your favourite lippy for less, you really should think twice.

If you can’t afford expensive products you’re better off buying from a good drug store

Make-up artist Lo Dias