How to identify fake MAC Cosmetics Lipsticks/Viva Glam

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This is a comprehensive guide on how to spot fake/counterfeit/replica MAC Cosmetics Lipsticks and Viva Glam Lipsticks, including Lady Gaga, on eBay.

As a fanatical MAC consumer for over a decade, and now a reseller of authentic MAC products through the eBay Store - Peach & Primrose, it is alarming to see the increasing number of counterfeit and fake MAC products currently listed on eBay, the most common of which are fake MAC eyeshadow palettes.

I have produced a series of eBay guides to assist buyers to easily identify the many fake MAC products listed on eBay, which include but are not limited to MAC Pro Palette eyeshadow pans, MAC eyeshadow palettes, MAC lipsticks, MAC foundation, MAC eyeshadow pots, and MAC Fluidline gel liners.

This series discusses the following fake/counterfeit/replica MAC products:

  • MAC Lipstick - core range
  • MAC Viva Glam Lipstick

Please also see my other guides which explain how to identify fake MAC eye products.

Identifying a fake MAC Lipstick:

1. Authentic MAC lipsticks have a tip that is cut on a slant, with a crisp point that will easily glide across your lip – the one exception is the Slimshine Lipstick which is completely flat.  The application surface of the slant will have a shape similar to a tear drop - see the below picture of the Saint Germain shade, which illustrates this.  It will also have a valid MAC product name and batch code number on the silver sticker at the bottom of the lipstick.

2. The tip on a fake MAC lipstick is usually a rounded shaped tip that comes to a point in the centre, like most cheap lipsticks you might find at the pharmacy.  Sometimes the lipstick will also be cut on a slant to replicate the real MAC lipstick, but if you compare it to the sharpness and angle of a  MAC lipstick you will note that it is not the same angle.

3. Beware of many fake Viva Glam lipsticks currently online.  The Viva Glam collection is numbered 1 to 6 in roman numerals and can also come in Cyndi Lauper or Lady Gaga.  If you see a seller selling – Lady Gaga Pink Plaid, Viva Glam Sweetie or Shy Girl, these are fakes.  There were also only 2 colours released in the Lady Gaga Collection - Lady Gaga Viva Glam 1 (a bright pinkish/blue) and Lady Viva Glam 2 (a nude).  Any others are fakes.

4. Authentic MAC lipstick comes in a black, slightly shimmery bullet shaped casing and has a matte silver tube that protects and holds the lipstick.  Outside of a special collection, such as Viva Glam Gaga, this never changes, so anything any other colour/shaped casing is fake.

5. As with all authentic MAC products, the lipsticks have specific names which you should be able to locate on the MAC Cosmetics website.  They do not have names which are numbers or generic such as Red, Pink/Brown, Brown Shimmer, Nude.  Any seller who does not list the correct MAC name should be avoided.




The casing, lid and lipstick tip are completely wrong in the Viva Glam Lady Gaga fake above.  The main casing should be black with a matte red/signed casing around the lipstick.  The tip of the lipstick is also not shaped like an authentic MAC lipstick.  Note - casing is matte silver in the core collection, only the Viva Glam Lady Gaga collection had the matte red casing.

The tip of the above fake Viva Glam Lady Gaga is rounded instead of slanted, the colour is also incorrect.  This colour was not made.

The tip of the above fake lipstick is not on the correct angle compared to an authentic MAC lipstick.

Fake is the larger one in the picture - notice the shiny silver instead of matte silver casing around the lipstick and the tip is rounded rather than slanted.  The little picture to the left is an authentic lipstick.

Wow - look at all the colours in the Lady Gaga Viva Glam collection!  Only 2 colours were produced - Lady Gaga Viva Glam 1 (Bright Pink with blueish tone) and Lady Gaga Viva Glam 2 (nude)


Note the matte silver casing and black casing with a slight shimmer surrounding the authentic lipstick.  The tip is also slanted and crisp.

The tip of an authentic MAC lipstick should be slanted and with a crisp point at the top for easy application.  Notice that the lipstick application surface is similar to a tear drop shape.  The lipstick also has a proper MAC name - ie. Saint Germain in this case - which is clearly printed on a black circular sticker on the box.

Bottom of an authentic MAC lipsticks has a small circle silver sticker with the lipstick name (ie. Rebel) and also the batch number "A21"


The above are pictures of the 2 authentic Viva Glam Lady Gaga lipsticks.  They were released in 2 colours only as pictured above (Lady Gaga Viva Glam 1 to the left, Lady Gaga Viva Glam 2 to the right), the casings and lipstick tips should also look as pictured.

Other ways to verify an authentic MAC product:

All MAC products have a specific name, like Satin Taupe, Shroom, Vanilla, Oyster Girl, Russian Red, Ruby Woo etc., except for foundations that are usually a combination of 1 or 2 numbers followed by NC, NW, or C. They do not just have a general name like blue, white, red and are not named with numbers alone (ie. Eyeshadow #1)

Why you shouldn’t buy counterfeit MAC items.

Whether you agree or disagree with knowingly purchasing fake or replica products, you should at a minimum consider first and foremost the serious health implications involved with using a fake cosmetic product. Authentic MAC cosmetics have been demagogically tested and approved for cosmetic use.  When you purchase a counterfeit product, you have no idea of what legal or illegal ingredients that have been used to make the product or the conditions the cosmetics have been prepared in.  This has the potential to lead to rashes, allergic reactions and even burns to the skin, which basically defeats the purpose of using make up in the first place to enhance your beauty.  Who wants to sport a rashy and swollen face for their big night out?!!


It's a good idea to check the MAC website for a product you’re thinking of buying.  The reason is that many fake products don’t actually exist on the MAC website.  You might purchase something only to discover later that MAC never made that eyeshadow, gloss, blush colour in any of their collections.  Some products won’t appear on the MAC website because they are old or discontinued, in this case you can do a google search as these will often appear on makeup blogs and review sites.

As always, please check the sellers feedback and whether they are selling other suspicious items. Furthermore, one can check the buyers who left them positive feedback, to see if they have purchased MAC items in the past and if they would be able to tell the difference between real and fake! Remember, if the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Reporting a counterfeit item to eBay:

If you purchase a fake please leave factual, calm and negative feedback to protect other bidders and keep Ebay SAFE from counterfeiters.  You will also need to lodge a dispute and notify eBay/Paypal of the fraudulent transaction if the product has been listed as authentic and branded as MAC.

Listing a counterfeit item is against eBay policy and should be reported.  If you come across any fakes  on eBay, please take down the Item Number and report them to eBay at the following link -

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