If you are a fan of cheap makeup and live in or have recently visited Los Angeles, we have some bad news: You may have been smearing human fecal matter all over your face and lips.
After several complaints of adverse reactions to makeup in LA, a major taskforce was set up to investigate. Members of the public were having troubles with their skin after using makeup purchased in the Los Angeles fashion district. Particularly affected were their faces, especially around their lips and eyelids, where they had been applying the products, which were later found to be tainted with human products you really don't want to find in your eyeliner.
The major task force headed undercover to 21 stores around the district. They targeted stores and stalls selling counterfeit cosmetics – cheap knockoffs masquerading as the real deal.
Brands shown in police photographs included "Kylie's" makeup range, as well as the Naked range of makeup. After testing the $700,000 haul, the cosmetics were found to contain "bacteria and human waste" according to the LAPD.
The LAPD warned the public that "the best price is not always the best deal" on Twitter, and later outlined safety concerns at a press conference.
"The dangers of counterfeit goods go well beyond mere financial harm and theft. Many of those goods are not properly screened, tested, or regulated, which in turn can jeopardize the safety of our citizens," said LAPD Commanding Officer Marc Reina during the press conference.
As well as human waste, Marc Reina told the press that tests carried out on the cosmetics "were positive for elevated levels of bacteria, lead, and traces of animal feces". This could be the reason why people were having adverse reactions to their eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara – they were basically smearing a whole host of bacteria all over their faces, with a healthy dose of lead just in case that wasn't bad enough.
Non-counterfeit cosmetics undergo regular tests to ensure that they aren't contaminated in the same way, making them much safer for consumers. You're not just paying for the brand, you're paying for assurance that it won't contain harmful products and fecal matter.
During the investigation, six individuals were arrested and $700,000 worth of cosmetic products were seized by the police.