How to Spot Fake Makeup on Poshmark and Avoid Scams

Part One


Poshmark Can Be A Great Place to Buy Makeup and Beauty Products

Unfortunately it can also be a great place to get scammed. I have been thinking about making this blog post for a while and I finally saw some fakes and scams that made me stop putting it off!

I sell new and gently used makeup on Poshmark and I have purchased makeup and beauty products there often. However, I am always seeing people in makeup groups who have purchased a fake Jeffree Star or Kylie Cosmetics product.

How to spot fake makeup on Poshmark
Shape tape foundation that is for sale on Poshmark

Disclaimer For This Post

I decided that I am not going to hide the seller usernames of any of the examples I have from Poshmark. For all these sellers except the one I am specifically showing as someone that has fakes, I AM NOT SAYING THEIR MAKEUP IS FAKE!!!! I do not know for sure that any of these people have or sell fake makeup, I am just showing examples that are red flags for me. Selling fake makeup is illegal and I am not accusing any of them of selling fakes. It is not illegal to buy makeup on clearance and mark it up but in some cases it is kind of scammy in my opinion. By the same token, it is not illegal to sell PR (public relations) packages although it is frowned upon.

What is Poshmark?

Poshmark or “Posh” as it is often referred to is an app and online platform that serves as a third party to link people selling items to people buying items. Poshmark allows sellers to take photos of items and sell them to buyers, and they take a portion of the profits. Poshmark allows the sale of new and used clothing, accessories, jewelry, and shoes. They allow the sale of new makeup but do not condone the sale of used makeup or beauty items. Recently they have added a home items market.

Because it is illegal to sell fake items or replicas, Poshmark specifically prohibits the sale of fake items.

Who sells on Poshmark?

Poshmark has 4 types of sellers:

  • Individuals who sell items they have bought and used in order to declutter and make some cash. Similar to going to a yard sale.
  • Individuals who “source” items by going to thrift stores, consignment shops, and discount retailers like TJ Maxx to find high end items to sell for a profit.
  • Boutique owners who run a small business buying stock just like people who own physical boutique stores. Some Poshmark sellers actually have brick & mortar boutiques where they sell items. These items are usually listed with “boutique” in the listing.
  • Individuals and illegal businesses who source fake items from China and pass them off as the real items in order to illegally defraud buyers.

Dupes vs Fakes

The difference between a dupe and a fake is that a dupe does not pretend to be by the brand it copies. Makeup Revolution is well known as a brand that “dupes” popular makeup. For example, their Forever Flawless Allure palette is a dupe for Huda Beauty New Nudes. As you can see from this photo, it is branded as MUR not Huda, the packaging is different, the arrangement of the shades is different, and it is not claiming to be the Huda Beauty brand in any way.

Huda Beauty New Nudes palette Makeup Revolution Forever Flawless Allure

For reference, this is the Huda Beauty New Nudes palette and a fake that I found on Poshmark. As you can see the fake has tried to copy the Huda palette as closely as possible, has the same packaging, and tries to trick the buyer into thinking it is the same palette that they could buy at Sephora. That is the different between a dupe and a fake.

Why are fakes an issue?

If you have Netflix I highly recommend you check out the episode of the docuseries Broken that covers fake makeup. Fakes are a problem for several reasons, the first being that they are completely unregulated because they are illegal. We already know that toxic ingredients have been a problem in legal, regulated makeup like what happened with Claire’s brand makeup in 2019. Imagine what is in something that no one checks or tests! Fakes have been shown to contain toxins and even rodent feces. People have severe allergic reactions to fakes. Not to mention what happens when you think you are buying an authentic makeup product and you are scammed. Not only are you defrauded but it damages the makeup companies who are being ripped-off.

Fake Kylie Lipkit vs Real Kylie Lipkit


Fakes are a problem on every online platform, not just Poshmark. Mercari (another app like Poshmark) and even Ebay and Amazon have hundreds if not thousands of fake makeup and beauty products. Some platforms try harder than others to keep fake products off their sites. The problem with places like Poshmark and Mercari that are just an app that connects sellers and buyers is that as soon as someone’s account is taken down for selling fakes they just create another one and put the exact same items back up! That is why it is so important to educate yourself on how to avoid scams.

Fake shoes on Poshmark

Spotting fake clothes and shoes can be easier

It is pretty clear someone that has a pair of shoes in multiple sizes is selling fakes. The same goes for clothing and makeup or beauty items as well.

Fake Gucci Purse on Poshmark

With designer purses and couture, use common sense

This listing claims this “gently used” Gucci Marmont Super Mini that retails for $890 is authentic and will come with gift bag, box, and card for only $265. That’s too good to be true – because it isn’t true! It’s a fake.

Poshmark authenticates purchases over $500

Poshmark authenticates purchases over $500

For designer items, this is a huge red flag. Listing designer items at $490 is a good indication that an item is not authentic. Unfortunately, no authentication is offered for makeup items.

fake makeup on display


Common Brands That Are Counterfeited

While even very affordable brands like Morphe and Colourpop can be faked, because it costs just pennies to create fake makeup, it is usually the higher end popular brands that you need to be careful about. Some commonly faked brands include: Kylie cosmetics, Jeffree Star, Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Too Faced, and tarte especially tarte Shape Tape.

How to Spot Fake Makeup For Sale

Just like with fake clothing and shoes, one of the big red flags to look out for is a seller that has an item in every shade and color. While again, I am not saying that any of these sellers are selling fake makeup – I can’t know that for sure – I am saying these are examples of red flags that I watch out for.

It is believable that someone bought two similar shades and is selling one because it was the wrong shade, especially right now when you can’t just walk into Sephora or Ulta to return the wrong shade. However if someone has “fair” “medium-dark” and “ebony” they likely were not trying to color-match themselves.


fake tarte facetape foundation

Fake Foundation & Concealer

Because tarte Shape Tape is so popular, it is one of the most commonly duped concealers.

Pay attention to whether or not the seller has 5+ shades, whether or not they are all listed as “new” or “boutique.” You can ask seller for proof of purchase but people that have this many shades in these varieties are not trying to pass them off as personal purchases.

fake tarte shape tape concealer



What To Look For

As I mentioned before, sometimes you can tell that someone purchased a couple shades to see which one was the right one and is selling the colors that didn’t work. Usually that will be someone selling less than 5 shades, usually 2-3, and they will disclose that it is swatched or slightly used.

The seller in the screencap to the right is selling 5 shades and they are all close to each other in color/tone. It is believable that someone would buy these shades in an attempt to find the one that works best for their skin tone.


HOWEVER – these are very very dark purple which is not the way the authentic shapetape design looks, so I would be suspicious of these items/seller. The Makeup Hoarder has a great post on spotting fake Shape Tape. Also, poshmark users are great about helping each other out so you can also find a lot of examples by searching “fake shape tape” on Posh. It is possible that the lighting is off, so if I were thinking of buying one of these I would ask the seller to take a photo of the serial number on the bottom. Manufacturers of fakes know that people look for serial numbers though so you need to familiarize yourself with what actual Shapetape serial numbers look like!


Poshmark user HMBundy has a great post comparing real vs fake ShapeTape so definitely check out her listing, which is where I got this example of the serial number from! She has several comparison photos. You can see that the one on the left is black writing, the one on the right is purple and has a serial number. If you check out The Makeup Hoarder’s post, both the real and the fake have a serial number.


This may seem like a lot of work to go to but when you consider that fake makeup can contain carcinogens and can cause severe allergic reactions and swelling – if you have to buy someplace other than tarte or Ulta it is worth taking the extra time! 



Have you purchased makeup or beauty products that you thought were real but turned out to be fake? Comment down below and let me know!

More Parts Coming Soon!

There is so much information to share that I will be splitting this into a couple parts. I am not sure how many it will end up being but once they are up there will be links here!



Real tarte shapetape on Poshmark

Fake vs Real Serial Number/Bottom Real Shape Tape vs Fake ShapeTape

Fake Shape tape vs real tarte shape tape
Example from MakeupObsessed Pinterest



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