Nikita Richardson
May 18, 2015 3:42 pm

For some of us, our beauty routines are near sacred. Others could care less, which is totally fine, too. But whether you buy makeup all the time or every once in a while, a new police report out of London has us reeling over the fake makeup trend that’s taking over the web.

According to the report, the United Kingdom’s police force recently discovered that much of the “luxury” makeup being sold at deep discounts on fake beauty sites is full of “additives” ranging from the nasty to the downright dangerous, including rat droppings, human urine, mercury, lead, arsenic, and even cyanide. In response, the force has shut down more than 5,500 fake luxury beauty sites and is asking consumers to look out for various symptoms, including skin irritation, rashes, burns, swelling, and early symptoms of long-term health problems. Perfume, sun tan lotion, and electronic makeup tools are also big scam faves. ASIDE from all this, by purchasing from these sites online, you’re putting your personal information at risk (as well as your bod). So basically, if you’re buying your makeup online, you need to be REALLY sure you know where it’s coming from.

Meanwhile, here are some tips from the police on avoiding fake makeup:

1. Just buy directly from the source: While a discounted bottle of Chanel No. 5 might sound like a deal, you’re better off paying full price for the real thing at the real Chanel.

2. Avoid websites whose names feature misspellings: In other words, if a site’s grammar is off, it’s probably not trustworthy.

3. Consult with fellow online shoppers: Check out reputable blogs and forums for tips on which sites can be trusted.

4. Protect your financial information: Be sure to keep your web security applications up-to-date as fake makeup sites are prime territory for identity thieves. And be sure to avoid suspect emails as well.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but safety first amirite?

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