How to Spot Fake MAC Brushes on Ebay

by Holly James
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I recently purchased a 8-piece “MAC” brush set from eBay, knowing, that this was a knock-off set. But I wanted a hands-on comparison to some of the MAC brushes I already own and see how the quality compares to some of my other brushes. You can see this item listed on Ebay under 8 Piece Brush Set

The original seller from which I purchased this set is no longer a registered user… go figure. I saw on their feedback that a lot of buyers complained about the set being fake MAC. However, you can find a lot of these brush sets on Ebay under different sellers. Just search “8 PC brush set”, or click the link above for the listings.

You can click any of the images for a very good close-up

Let’s take a look at the brush case first:
• It’s cheap pleather material
• Has a long body to hold longer brushes (which is nice)
• Has an obvious fake silver “MAC” logo
• Inside is acrylic fabric, and would be hard to clean
 src=Inside the case:
•There are 8 slots, so you can’t hold many brushes
• One side has the smaller brushes (as shown below) and the other side has the larger face brushes
• They come is plastic sleeves which are different than original MAC packaging. The genuine MAC plastic sleeves are more form fitting, and not all the small brushes have the same size sleeve (unlike what you see below). src=

All the brushes in this kit, unwrapped & side-by-side: src= src= src= src= src=

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How to Tell It’s a Fake MAC Brush:
Comparing the 168 and the 239 from MAC
I don’t have all the original MAC brushes that are copied in this brush set, so I can only compare the doubles I have from my own collection (which I purchased from the MAC store).
The GREEN circles show the genuine MAC brush, while the RED show the counterfeit one.
Comparing the MAC 168:
• The density and the shape of the fake 168 is an obvious discrepancy. You can see this on the second image below.
• The angle on the head is less rounded on the fake than the genuine 168.
• The actual width of the handle is slightly wider on the fake.
• The metal casing on the Ferrel is not indented the way the genuine one is.
*****Please note, that there are many brushes that DO NOT have this indent such as the 224, 266, 275, 263, 249, 228, 227, 213, 210, 209, 208, 316 (and possibly a few more). However, the 187, 217, 239, 168, 219 DO have the indent and they are some of the most popular brushes from MAC that get faked


Checking the MAC stamp to see if it’s real:

• You’ll notice on the fake that the distance of the middle of the “M” is not a perfect split, but instead a little off-centered and has a larger gap.

Comparing the MAC 239:

• The length of the genuine MAC brush is a tad bit longer than the fake.
• The length and shape of the head on the fake is a little less tapered and a little more fluffy to the genuine 239.
• The width of the fake brush is a little wider, including the actual metal ferrel.
• The metal indent near the handle applies to the real 239, which is missing on the counterfeit one.
• The shade of the handle is different (this is the same for all the brushes, but it was very obvious in this picture). The genuine MAC handle is slightly a smokey-black, while the fake is more blue-black.
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Checking the MAC stamp to see if it’s real:

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