More than anything, I do like a good swap. I've been swapping on Big Wardrobe for nearly a year now and have completed over 400 swaps. (I've just realised that means I've spent over £1000 on postage in the last year! Oops!).
I'm always trying new beauty products, especially makeup items. Last week I swapped a little makeup bundle of mine for one Coralista Blush by Benefit. In exchange for a Benefit Miss Popularity, a Benefit That Gal Primer, a Too Faced Highlighter Powder Compact and a new Superfull Avon Mascara I received the blush. I know the values aren't equal, but hey, I'm getting rid of something I don't use for something I (most likely) will.
The lady I swapped with is genuinely lovely. A very reliable member of the site. Sadly though, I think she may have been duped somewhere along the road because this is the blush I received.
I have used pictures of my own Benefit Blush (Bella Bamba from the Benefit website) as a comparison to show how the Coralista is a non authentic product. I don't own Coralista, if I did, obviously it would make for a better comparison.
Without any need for a comparative product, you can see that the edges of the Coralista Blush are scruffy. Also, you can see already that the brush doesn't look quite right.
A good indication is when the label says 'peel here' but there is nothing underneath!
The first picture is of the Coralista Blush's brush. The second of my own Bella Bamba Blush's brush. You can see that the second brush has evenly tapered bristles and they are all even lengths, etc. The holder part is also more even and has smoother edges.
My Bella Bamba blush pan sits very securely in its box. The metal edges of the pan reach right to the sides.
With the Coralista Blush you can just about see that the pan doesn't fit well in the box. There is a very visible gap on the left hand side of the box.
Photos are a bit out of sync here but you can see on the genuine Benefit product that the 'peel here' label does actually do what it says. If you peel back the label the ingredients and so on can be seen in different languages.
Something that the camera would (obviously!) not pick up on is the scent of the product. With a lot of Benefit, different scents are added to different products. Literally everything seems to have it's own unique scent. With Bella Bamba the scent is sweet and fruity. However, with this Coralista, the scent is only of chemicals. Yum! :/
I'm sure anyone who owns a genuine Coralista would spot more differences between their own product and this impostor. And if so, I'd love to here your thoughts!
So anyway!! My point here is that maybe cosmetic items are something that should not be scrimped on! I wouldn't buy cosmetics from places other than the stores themselves, the websites themselves or department stores. But I've been happy to swap them with swappers that I assume wouldn't own fakes. However, this has shown that fakes can get into the wrong hands so easily. I'm quite sure the person I got this from literally has no idea it's not the real deal!
I know a lot of people do buy fakes, knowing full well what they're getting. Something may seem cheaper, but remember that this is an item that's going directly onto your skin! Sometimes right near your eyes and mouth! While it's highly likely that these products contain cheap alternatives to the genuine product's ingredients, more sinister ingredients can also be used. Lead for example!! Remember, there are no tests these products have to pass to make it onto the market. Also, the people manufacturing them are most likely NOT being paid the minimum wage. The products could be tested on animals. The profits from selling these could be used to fund terrorism!!
Benefit can be a little expensive, but if you can't afford a particular item when you want it, I would urge you to seek a cheaper brand instead. There are lots of lower priced brands in Boots, Superdrug, etc, where you know exactly what you're going to get!